Oct 2007 Article
Well, believe it or not, I FINALLY made my donation visits. YEEEEEE HAAAAWWW!!! Maria Parham was delighted with all the outfits from Ruth Randall in Monroe, NC and they were just fascinated by the fetal wraps that Janina sent. They were crazy over them! They loved the memory boxes and I was so tickled over that. They were simply thrilled with everything!!! I felt like a proud hen or something over all the donations. It was just wonderful! I am posting a couple of pictures that we took there. Please be prepared for a Peg that is 3 years older and 30 pounds heavier than my forum pic here. But...what can I say...it's big ol' me and that's that. My forum pic was the only pic I had of me until yesterday.
The visit to Duke Hospital was nothing short of amazing. Marie Peluso was absolutely fantastic. What a precious lady! I fell in love with her immediately. They were just open mouthed over the gowns and outfits that Janina sent made from the wedding gowns. They said they had never received anything like them before. The only problem with the gowns for their particular area was that all of the babies there were so tiny that the gowns would be quite a bit too big. But, she was delighted to pass them on to the pediatric ICU where there are larger babies. They were just blown away with those gowns Janina and I can't say how sorry I am that I didn't get a picture of their faces when they took the gowns out and looked at them. It was just indescribable. When they saw the gown/bootie outfits that Pauline dontated, they just looked at each other and began to laugh out loud with joy they were so thrilled over them. Then she said the same thing again about how they had never received anything like the ones that Pauline had donated either and immediately had to take us inside the NICU to see what they had been getting in the past. I thought their feet were going to come up off the floor they were so tickled with those outfits.
When Kate and I went into that unit, I experienced something I had never been through before. It was unbelievable. They had over 50 babies in that ICU. The babies are transported from all over the state of North Carolina. I looked at baby after baby and I was completely blown away. They were SO TINY!!!. I realized then that I had been making my gowns WAYYYYY too big for the babies that would be in that NICU. I was able to watch while Marie nursed and took care of one little baby that had come there on May 30th at 1 pound. That baby was more precious than I could even tell you. Marie just held her and talked to her, changed her little diaper and fed her and it was something I will never forget as long as I live. Kate was also blown away by what she saw. There were at least two nurses for each room of six babies and they never stopped looking, nursing or caring for them the entire time we were there. It was just constant care. I saw many more things but I just don't have the space to describe it all. She showed me all the things that she had made personally for the parents like memory pouches that she had sewn out of different colorful materials. They were pretty large and she had done a wonderful job. She took out a bag with some of the gowns that had been donated that they had on hand and they seemed microscopic in comparison to what I had made. A bunch of the outfits had been smocked and they were really precious. She showed me a handprint/footprint kit that she buys which is a small oval made from some type of hard pressed paper and a packet of clay which is smoothed out into the oval, then they press a single footprint and handprint into the clay. She had glued a ribbon around the edge of the oval and put a little poem that she had found on top because otherwise it was just the plain off white pressed paper oval. She had made it very special. She said for those two items in that kit that they had to pay over $8.00 a piece for them. That blew me away as well. She said she was trying to find some clay elsewhere so they could make their own at a fraction of the cost.
Anyway...that is just a small taste of what I experienced. She just hugged us to death and told us what a blessing we were to them. I walked away from that place with a totally new perspective of what I'd done so far for HAIN. I'll never be the same after my visits. Before, I did feel how important the things we volunteers do were to the hospitals and parents. After yesterday, I know with a new understanding that what we do is vitally important and could never be replaced, truly. I want to thank every single person that has sent items to me for those donations and for those items that are on the way as well. I had a card in my box today saying I had a package from Allyson but I couldn't get to the Post Office in time this afternoon to pick it up. I am excited to get it in the morning and I'll let you know when I get it Allyson. Bless your heart for sending it!
What an incredible journey I've come to be on here with HAIN. Words just can't describe what blessings I've recieved as a result of my volunteering here. It is just beyond what words can tell. I thank God for leading me here and I thank God for every single one of you. You are so special.
God bless you.
Here are my pics....
Yep, that is your big ol' Peg in the pink outfit. A far cry from my glamour shot, I know. The girl on the left is Angel (how appropriate) from the birthing center and on the right is Cathy Caudle, head of Volunteer Services at Maria Parham.
On the left is Tina Clayton with Volunteer Services and Angel from the birthing center, once again. They are just precious!