NICU Awareness Project
At Baby Bling Bows, we not only have the chance to help make beautiful things, but we occasionally get to be part of something special, like the NICU Awareness Project...
"To the wonderful people at Baby Bling Bows -
Sometimes, it is hard to feel like a mother when your baby is in the NICU. Normally a momma comforts her baby, feeds her baby, takes the baby home and dresses them in adorable and snuggly little outfits. In the NICU, none of that is really possible. Instead, your baby is often covered in chords, and you can't dress your baby or take them home. It is a devastating and heart shattering experience.
My sweet little girl, Graham Gabriele, was born with a rare birth defect called esophageal atresia. This means that her esophagus was not connected to her stomach, resulting in a 3 month hospital stay and over 5 surgeries. Indeed, we had to leave our home in Kansas to travel to Boston so a specialist could repair her. It was a wrenching time, to say the least, only compounded by my separation from my other young child at home. The incredible news is that the surgery was a success, and she is doing great now.
I didn't know whether I was having a boy or a girl, and when she was born, my husband and I were thrilled to have a precious little girl (we have a boy at home). I didn't buy any accessories for my daughter beforehand, and my time in the NICU made it impossible for me to leave or, quite frankly, even think about it. The time is just so frightening, scary, and overwhelming.
One friend thoughtfully sent a deep pink baby bling bow to me. I had never heard of the brand but instantly fell in love with the soft texture, the beautiful color, and the fact that it wasn't too much of a bow - if that makes sense. Quite honestly, I didn't think much of it, but decided to put her on it when my photographer friend came by to visit. No one was more surprised than me at how much it meant to me to be able to "dress" my daughter. I wrote my friend an emotional thank you note and the next week, 10 more bows showed up. And they kept coming in from family and friends. Over the months, I was able to walk in every morning and get her "dressed" in a different bow and try to forget about all the chords and the fact that we were stuck in a hospital instead of enjoying the comforts of home. It brought so much joy to my heart. Through the long days she was in a coma and on a ventilator, I looked past the chords and wires and fear and put a different bow on her sweet head every day. The nurses and doctors came by every day to see which bow she would be wearing. It truly helped ease my heartache.
Now that she is out of the hospital and strong and healthy, I still put a little bow on her every morning. And each time I do, I think of how grateful I am for the little things - like your bows - that helped me feel like a normal momma during the most devastating time of our lives.
Miss Graham turns 1 on September 29. I have been thinking long and hard about what to do for her birthday. And this year, I'm going to ask friends and family to buy a Baby Bling Bow - or 2 - in lieu of a present for Graham. I intend on donating all those bows to the strong little fighters in the NICU. The bows are perfectly soft for sweet little newborn heads. Already, I have bought bows for other NICU mommas I have met, and we all agree that it brings such an unexpected level of comfort and joy - for when you can't take your baby home or dress them through all the chords, the simple act of a new bow can brighten a day.
I'm attaching some pictures of Miss Graham in her bows. I hope you know that your bows can make a big difference.
One small suggestion - have you ever considered making "preemie bows" -- a bit smaller so that the medically challenged babies of all sizes can wear them when ready?
Thanks again for providing some comfort to my momma heart. "
"I am at a loss for words. Honestly - you guys are the most kind people with the most incredible company. Thank you for being so wonderfully compassionate and empathetic to my sweet girl. I was worried about Graham's birthday and how I would feel. But, your HUGE box of bows arrived the night before and I was just overwhelmed and filled with love. It helped make the day such a celebration. We had a blast trying on new bows for a photoshoot and then had the best time taking bows to sweet babies in the NICU. I cannot believe how many bows you sent! It blew me away. And the precious card with Graham's story, and the tiny little bows just warmed my heart. All my friends and family think that your company is the most incredible company - and I agree.
Thank you for loving on us after a tough year. Thank you for not hesitating to take a suggestion and making tiny little bows for tiny little babies. What a difference it will make. Thank you for all of the beautiful bows you sent to Graham -- I will think of your kindness and love each time I put a little bow on her head.
From the bottom of my heart - thank you so much. It gives my heart such peace to think of all the little fighter babies in the NICU rocking it with a baby bling bow."
Much love forever,
Molly and Graham