Imagine being pregnant and thinking in 9 months you will bring your baby boy or girl home. But suddenly something has gone wrong with either the mother or the baby and the baby is born weeks earlier than he/she supposed to. What a devastating feeling. Now imagine after being in the NICU ( neonatal intensive care unit) several weeks and the holidays are fast approaching. Your baby has hit the 4lb mark and seems to be better and you are excited about going home for Christmas. Then comes the bad news, ” I am sorry, your little one is not well enough to be on his own away from 24/7 care and cannot go home during Christmas.” What a disappointment, especially if you have other children at home. Your world stops as you want to be home but you can’t.
The Gift of Life Founder, Rosie Moore, knows all too well what that is like when she received the news that her little baby could not come home for Christmas. They had other children at home and had to make the most of spending Christmas at home and then the entire family made the trip to the NICU to give little Kaleb, his very first Christmas gifts. He wasn’t even supposed to be born until after Christmas in January some time but he came 13 weeks early. Kaleb was born at 27 weeks , 1lb 10oz.
Someone at Florida Hospital cared and on Christmas day gave Rosie a book, Marcus her husband received an umbrella and the baby a little rattle as well as Christmas outfits from the nurses working at the NICU. The gifts that Rosie and her husband received made her think, not so much of the gift, but the fact that someone on Christmas day remembered them. A total stranger thought of them.
When Rosie was discharged home with her little one they continued their tradition of taking cookies and bringing Kaleb to visit the nurses. It was in 2012 that Rosie met Mrs. Bainer at Good Samaritan Village( a community of elderly people) and she introduced her to the Love Bears. They both agreed and collaborated together that these tiny little knit bears were perfect to bring to the moms and dads of the preemie babies , not as a substitute for the baby, but as an act of love that someone during Christmas was praying and thinking of them and their baby.
So this year on December 18 2014, The Gift of Life volunteers stuffed bags with over 80+ bears and delivered them to the Florida Hospital for Children. This year due to the high presence of the FLU, we could not go up to the actual unit, however we did get to speak with the Life Coach Team for the hospital and spend some time with them talking about the bears.
Watch as The Gift of Life delivers the bears with its team of volunteers, Rosie, Marcus, Kaleb( the little preemie) Jackie and Ashytyn(also a former preemie, now 17 years old ).
So if you or anyone you know would be interested in knitting Christmas hats and bears please contact The Gift of Life for the patterns and preemie hat sizes. This years Christmas hats were knitted with love by the knitters group at First Baptist Windermere Church.
On Our way to deliver the bears!
The Gift of Life Volunteers today….
Lisa and Monika from Child Life Department
Testimony from one preemie parent received:
“I just received a crochet love bear for my son who is in the NICU at Florida hospital south. He was at born 24 weeks weighing only 1 lbs 12 oz. I just wanted to say that we loved the bear. He is 9lbs now and headed home tomorrow after 4.5 months!:) I love homemade items especially ones made with love. Your work is appreciated. Thanks again for our bear. We will treasure it. ”
(AL ) mom at Fl Hospital NICU
Contact The Gift of Life today to make an Online Donation www.thegiftoflife27.org
“Because Life is a Gift, we treasure each moment.”
The Gift of Life www.thegiftoflife27.org
Treasured Moments Videography http://tmvphdfilms.com/