Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quilts for Little Babies

This is our daughter, little Miss E, a happy, healthy 21 month old.

However, she was born just over five weeks early, weighing in at 4 lbs. 5 oz. She spent about 12 hours in the NICU and 8 days in the special care nursery. Here she is, a few hours old, all wired up in her incubator.

During her time in the special care nursery, seeing the other babies, I realized how fortunate we were. Miss E was essentially only kept in the hospital because she was small. She was out of an incubator within a couple of days. She was released when she was eating reliably, even though she was still under her birth weight. There were two other babies that were the same gestational age as Miss E, but were born two months earlier, and they probably didn't go home until at least a month after our girl came home. I can't imagine what that's like. I was released only a few days before Miss E, so there were just a few days of traveling back and forth to the hospital. I don't know what I would do if I had to do that for months. You just do it, I guess, and wait for that day you can have your baby (or babies) at home with you.

While hospital nurseries are not the sterile, harshly lit environments they used to be, it is always nice when there are things to make it more homey. The babies that were there for awhile had decorations and pictures brought in from home. Outfits were brought (of course, they were huge) to replace the the little white hospital shirts. And some handmade items were donated to the hospital for the babies. Miss E was given a cute little pink knit hat.

I decided I wanted to do something to help make the environment more cozy. Since I don't knit or crochet, I figured it would have to be sewn. While I was pregnant, I started quilting, so I decided on little quilts. I came to this decision about a year and a half ago. About a year ago I contacted the hospital Miss E was born at to find out about appropriate sizing for the quilts. And last week I finally finished the last of nine quilts to donate. Six are small enough to fit inside the incubators and three are larger to drape over the incubators.

One of the styles I used for several of the quilts is called a stacked coin (Here is a tutorial). Super cute and quite easy.

I even made some Bonfire Bakery labels for the quilts (Here is that tutorial).

Here are all the quilts, all stacked up and ready to go.

It's taken awhile to get them made, but I am so happy I did it. And I look forward to dropping them off at MGH's NICU tomorrow morning.

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