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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Micro premie hats for babies who die at birth
 

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Micro premie hats for babies who die at birth

My charity project is one that many do not know about and I am getting into it very late. I am a Nursing instructor in Pediatrics. I am close friends with our Maternity instructor and one day at the end of a stressful clinical day, my friend told me how they had baby that day who died at birth. The baby was only 21 or 23 weeks gestation and was very tiny. (A full term baby is 38 to 40 weeks so this baby was very tiny and could not survive.)

Whenever this happens at our hospital, the nursing staff carefully wash the baby, get hand and foot prints, dress the baby in normal baby clothes that are donated for this purpose and take pictures for the family. The outfit for the baby is usually a t-shirt, diaper, sweater, hat and booties. The body is then wrapped in a blanket and brought to the family to allow them to say goodbye to their baby. After the baby is returned to the staff, all of the clothes are removed and given to the parents to take home along with the pictures if the parents want them, and a tiny ring that was placed on the baby's finger which can be worn on a chain by Mom or Dad. These items become very comforting to the family as they grieve for their dead baby.

On the day in question, the instructor was upset . They could not find a hat small enough to fit the baby because the infant was so tiny and the hat would fall to its chin. This got me thinking about knitting up some tiny hats. I researched some hat designs and worked up a pattern for fingering yarn. The hats are only about 9 inches around and 3 inches from crown to edge. I contacted the nurse manager of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit about this venture and we looked to see if this was a problem. All of the hats we found that day were for larger, normal size babies so this was a need.

Before I toot my horn, you need to know that there are many, many wonderful people who have been knitting sets for babies who die and I am very new to this. I have only made about 5 so far but am planning more as the summer comes. Losing a baby is a horrific experience and these clothes that are made for the dead infant can be a comfort to the families because their baby wore them and they are a connection to that infant.

You might recommend to your customers to contact their local hospital about knitting materials for infants as well as adults (lap robes, Chemo hats, 'walker bags' etc.) who are in the hospital. Every piece is needed to make a life a little better for the recipients.


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