Dear Dee and volunteers,
Once again thank you for you wonderful donations. We at Christiana Care use your gowns and blankets in the NICU for babies who for one reason or another die despite all the technology that we have available. Often when critically ill, the parents dress them and lay them on the blanket, for thebaptism. Pictures are taken. When there is nothing more we can do, we remove tubes and wires, dress them and allow the parents to hold them as their heart rate slows and they take their last breaths. Pictures again are taken. These pictures are the only pictures these families will have of their sweet babies and you can imagine how much nicer it is to see a picture of a baby dressed in a handmade gown and wrapped in a beautiful blanket. I've worked in this field for over 26 years. Before wonderful volunteers like you the babies wore a white undershirt that usually didn't fit and were wrapped in the typical striped hospital receiving blanket. There was hospital equipment in the background in the pictures.
Studies show that the tangible and non-tangible memories that parents collect, help families through the grieving process. Each of our families leave with a memory box, and a collection of small things to help them remember their baby's short life. We give them things like the crib card, bracelet, a lock of hair, blood pressure cuff, pacifier and footprints in both plaster and ink, a teddy bear and lots of pictures. They also leave with the blanket and outfit. Some use them for the funeral and burial and others choose to save them with their collection of memories.
It is a very sensitive time. I wish I could send you some pictures but that would require consent from the parents. Once again, Thank you for all that you do.