If you want to save some time and backstory you can click over to this (more eloquently written) blog to hear her story.
As a multiples parent, we always knew that we would 99% likely face NICU time. We also knew if we didn’t hit certain milestones (first 24 weeks, then 28 weeks, then 32 weeks) that our outcome could vary from the 100% success that we had to something much more dismal and hard to think of.
We saw those families while in the NICU. We were lucky enough to only have one baby on the moderately intensive side for a few days. Otherwise we were “feeders and growers.” They just had to learn to eat and keep their temp up and we could go home. We had neighbors (including my last roommate) in the closed off isolation rooms on the end for the weakest of preemies. We saw babies “code” (either stop breathing or heart rate drop) more times than I’d like to think about.
What I want to share with you today, is this. The Angel Gown program. An amazing organization called NICU Helping Hands works with NICU families providing resources for those in need. One thing that most people don’t think of is: What does one bury their infant who died without ever having left the hospital?
Here is the answer: and Angel Gown. Made from donated wedding gowns, these fabulous (and entirely volunteer) seamstresses make 10-12 gowns for those babies who need them. They are completely free of charge to the families and can be sent to anyone who needs one, you just have to ask.
Almost 9 years ago, I was married in the most beautiful gown I could find. I felt radiant and that hope and love and joy, I hope, is still preserved in that dress. As a mom, you have a fleeting image of your daughter wearing your gown, but we all know that rarely happens. 20+ years from now it will be far out of fashion and at the most will have been a dress up toy for them as children. That gown has been safely preserved an stored for 9 years now. It has traveled 6 states and completed two cross country moves.
These Angel babies will never come home, the least they deserve is a gorgeous gown. I hope the families who receive the gowns made from my dress have a fleeting glimpse of the happiness it knew as a bridal gown and the love and prayers it now covers their child in. If you have a gown, whether it has sat on a shelf for weeks or months or years, please consider donating. Sadly there are many more Angel Gowns needed than there are bridal gowns to make them from. Please visit their website at http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/angel-gowns/ for more information and the address to mail to. If you don’t have a gown, consider making a donation to cover the costs this project accumulates.