Prematurity Awareness Month

The March of Dimes strives for a world where every baby has a fair chance, yet this is not the reality for many mothers and babies. This Prematurity Awareness Month, join us in the fight to give every baby a healthy start. Together, we can Give them tomorrow.

Prematurity affects more than just the baby. Many moms are diagnosed with not only anxiety and depression, but also PTSD after delivery. I was looking for a photo for my dad of my grandparent's lit up Christmas house, and came across this photo:

 I was crying looking through them because this was THE ONLY photo I took during presents that morning. Every picture is of Landon and Luke or my niece and Landon. Our baby was 12 days old, and we still had no clue what her future would be like. I was up pumping throughout the night still, not eating, mad, upset, depressed, anxious, still on blood pressure medicine, and just wanted to be with her.

We had Christmas eve service at church that ended around midnight. I wanted to go , to have SOME normalcy in my Christmas. Then we headed up to the hospital to say a quick Merry Christmas, and take a ' family Christmas photo', where it would be Landon's first time to see his  " baby C" .We woke up on Christmas to do presents with Landon and my niece, & sister, stopped by to run in & drop off some milk to Lucy, and then had to head on to family Christmas. My parents came in later that day, and Luke & I were able to go sit by her bed for a little bit alone that evening.
I just wanted to be with Lucy, but it didn't seem 'ok' for me to be alone. It wasn't really fair to not let Landon have time with me, when all I wanted was Lucy to be with us. I would have been almost 31 weeks along had she still been in my belly, and I really just wanted her back in now that I was healthy.

Holidays are hard if you have lost a child or have a sick child or even just a child stuck in the hospital.
Read back 1 post to see how you can help us out and spread a little of Lucy's Love this holiday season.
We will be collecting NEW blankets for about 3 more weeks, and all the details are in my last post!

Don't forget that TOMORROW is WORLD PREMATURITY DAY! If you see someone in purple, chances are high that they have experienced the NICU or know someone who has.  We will be wearing purple & heading to downtown Nashville to bring awareness to the babies and moms that are fighting for a healthy chance. Look for buildings in your city ( and around the world)  lit up PURPLE!


Lucy's Love

It's that time of year again! November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and you all know The Howells celebrate those preemies. 
For the past 5 years, we have delivered gifts to Lucy's NICU. We started out sewing tiny hats from onesies, and shortly moved to blankets. The blankets are either embroidered or they have a vinyl tag that says Lucy's Love
We have taken a little more each year, and last year Lucy got to deliver over 40 blankets. She walked around to all of the beds and laid the bags out next to them. 
Each bag has a small note of encouragement inside that reminds the parents that they are not alone, we have been there, come out on the other side, and just want to share some of Lucy's love with them. We also include a photo from birth and a current photo on the card.
For the past 2 years, we had friends and family donate gallon zip lock bags, blankets, and their embroidery skill/time. If you would like to help this year, Lucy will GLADLY ( because she LOVES doing this on her birthday, and loves to visit her first home) be accepting NEW receiving blankets to deliver. 
We wash all the blankets in free & clear, immediately iron on the tag, and then fold them into their zip lock bag.
With Thanksgiving, all of our kids birthdays within the next month, school programs, church programs, and Christmas, it is a BUSY time. But we know the pain and struggle of celebrating those things without a tiny precious baby at home. We spent 53 days with Lucy in another 'home', from December 13- February 3rd. We count it a joy to be able to spread some love during this Holiday time. One day Mommy will write her children's book, that is catered more towards a new parent in the NICU, and deliver those as well. But for now, we will deliver as many blankets as we can! 
Everyone knows I'm a photo person, the house is full of albums and frames filled with memories. I'll end this with some photos from the past few years.
We love nurse Leslie! What a great person to call friend!

Lucy's first gifts at a year old.

1 year after Lucy's birth. From 2 pounds to 14 =)

Lucy at 3 years old, dropping off blankets with Ms Leslie =)
Can you tell we love our nurses?

4 years old!
Big FIVE year old! Standing in front of her THANK YOU card we made.
Lucy's first bed in the Nicu, #51.

If you'd like to help out, send me a text, email, or give me a call!