Monday, September 28, 2009

Hospital Gowns

The first month of Toby's life was spent in the NICU of Greenville Memorial hospital. It was one of the scariest months of my life. We dealt with multiple surgeries and times when we thought we would get to go home only to be dissapointed again. It was also a very lonely time in my life. There were plenty of times I would drive to the hospital to nurse Toby only to be told that he had just been fed a bottle. Those moments were lonely and frustrating.
Moving to texas one month after getting out of the NICU we ended up with multiple trips to the pediatric ER at Christus Santa Rosa. Every time I would sit in those tiny ER rooms looking at my little baby boy with the ugliest purple hospital gown barely hanging on him. It was miserable.
When I picture kids in the hosptial it's hard for me not to picture my miserable little baby boy in a purple hospital gown with obnoxious teddy bears all over it.
Recently, Jamie (one of the women who truly helped me through all those ER visits with Toby)found out that her little baby Charli (6 months old) had a cancerous brain tumor. This beautiful little girl will undergo numerous trips to the hospital during which she will endure six months of chemo. Jamie is one those mom's whose children seem to always look perfect. When my children are going around with stained up shirts and clothes that don't match she had her children looking adorable in matching shirts and cute khaki shorts. Charli has been the same in the first 6 months of her life. The cutest clothes you could possibly imagine with a matching little ribbon stuck on her head! Not overboard like some mom's, but just always looking cute and put together. Well, all I could picture was Charli in an ugly hospital gown just like Toby. So that's when my ideas stared coming. She needed somthing cute, something pretty she could wear during her days of chemo, but also something practical. So I did what I do. I started sewing. I made her two cute little hospital gowns. One bright green and happy and one khaki with little flowers on it. I sent them off today and hope that they work out well.
Then I started thinking even more. How much I would have loved to take a cute hospital gown with me for Toby in the first few months. Then the wheels really started turning. Was there a way to get hospital gowns out to families who could really use the encouragement? Was there a way to include the gospel with these little packages? I dont know how to start something like this, but man would I love to. I know that in those lonely moments sitting next to Toby it would have been an ongoing reminder that someone was caring and wanting to help in some small way.

That's what I want to do. Help in some small way.

If any of you that read this have any ideas or suggestions. I'd love to hear them.


Monica said...


Matthew's NICU stay was at Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital. We were blessed to have a group of ladies who sewed for the NICU ward for all the preemies. Matthew was always outfitted in cute homesewn caps and booties. Plus, holidays meant special vests made out of material for the season. Matthew's stay included St. Patricks Day and Easter. Those vests are now precious memorabilia for us. You may want to call that hospitals NICU and ask for the contact info of the ladies who did that. They may be able to lead you in the right direction to getting into the hospitals. I want to say I was told there were a group of ladies from Oak Hills Church that did it. Also, I was allowed to bring in onesies for him. I so disliked arriving and seeing him in a little white hospital tshirt and diaper. Another idea to help moms with preemies is to maybe provide onesies for their babies. I know it was difficult for me to go out and shop for preemie onesies when I was spending so much time at the hospital. But I SOOO preferred them over the hospital clothes. Hope this helps in some way. God bless!


Monica said...

Andrew and I were discussing this today, and we remembered the name of the group that did all the sewing for the NICU babies. Threads of Love...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea you have! I would love to see a picture of one of these gowns!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you know that Jamie! I've been praying for little Charli, though I don't know them personally. Now I'm going to look for your gowns in her photos. She always looks cute, as you say.
Great idea, Kari!