Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crafty For A Cause

Well, I'm a month late (because I usually do this on Ella's birthday), but the cot sheets for donation to the NICU she called home are all ready to go.

This is something I have adored "giving back" and although I missed a couple of years in the past six, I daresay I will find it a very hard habit to break. When I was in the NICU, the day I had - as mother hoping desperately this nightmare of drugs and needles and doctors' orders would end very soon - was often dependent on whether someone had at least used "baby girl colours" for her humidy crib setup. The fact was, beggars couldn't be choosers and with the amount of soiling that went on, it was first in, best dressed when selecting cot sheets out of the massive clean laundry bins. Sometimes I got to go and choose, but most often, of course, it was a nurse's job. And I would often hear them mention to parents that they'd tried their best to "get her something pink" or "get him something to suit a little boy."

I remember asking more than once, "Where do these cute ones come from?" because they were fairly few and far between, the really nice ones. The reply I received was that they were mostly donated and that they used to have better ones but with the amount of washing they endured, the supply changed fairly often and was only as good as what had been freshly donated. Of course, at that point I couldn't have known that I would be pitching in to ensure they got new sheets if from nowhere else then from me. But I do remember watching pilled and frayed-edged sheets being unravelled from the better ones and thrown out.

So here we are. My 4th or 5th (I can't remember) contribution. Unless you have been in the Special Care Nursery or NICU with your tiny baby, you can't know what a difference it makes to have linen with baby prints on them. Not just any old curtain-fabric looking stuff. But the sort of cuddly patterns that you might have in your own nursery, on their own cots, if only they were home.

If ever you have wanted to do something useful and EASY.... I would highly recommend going to your local fabric store and picking out some lovely polycottons. Check with your local hospital first, but that's easy to do, and I can assure you they'll probably be very glad to accept new sheets! Run your machine around each edge to finish them, so the final size is about 90x75cm (no less) - they are tiny beds, after all! - and they will also be used for making "nests" and for draping over the top of the isolettes to reduce light for sleeping bubbas. Very handy. Vital. Such a lovely gift for a parent as they watch over their little one if they can see some cheerful colours.

I absolutely adore the fabrics I found this time. Then again, I tend to say that to myself every time. I actually picked these fabrics up months ago, but what with our house renovations/extension and the parents inlaw staying for two months at the end of last year... yada yada, I just didn't get the chance to get these ready to take to the hospital any sooner.

So. I plan to take them tomorrow with the LGBB, after dancing. I hope to see some of the familiar faces I haven't seen in over a year since we last went in, but that will really just be icing on the cake.

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