After my nephew Sawyer's stay in the NICU one year ago tomorrow, I have a very special place in my heart for those families going through the nightmare of a NICU stay. I have actually witnessed several friends waiting with heavy hearts, watching their tiny little blessings from Heaven struggle for every breath. Each time I found myself at a loss of what to do to ease the pain.
My sweet sister, knowing that the anniversary of Sawyer's NICU stay was coming up, asked if I would help her make some ornaments she could take up to Children's Hospital of Minneapolis to give to the families there. Just about every day during her family's stay sweet gifts of comfort and community were dropped off at the nurse's stations to brighten the family's days.
Kallie's family got just a glimmer of joy each day at the prospect of receiving the small gifts. Even just that moment of happiness during the day of struggle was a relief. Kallie really wanted to give that gift of joy to other families, and she thought these keepsake ornaments would be the ticket.
Knowing that not all babies are as lucky as Sawyer, getting to go home in the loving arms of his family, we didn't want to say "Ya! You made it" or anything like that. We hoped that this ornament could be a small, silent memory for those who lose their babies, as well as for the families that left the hospital triumphant.
My favorite part of these ornaments is the small pair of footprints inside. It is crazy to think, with the footprints being not even 2" tall, that some of those babies have feet smaller than the ornament's footprints themselves.
I love these sweet feet. My little guy Sawyer, he was only two weeks early, so he had pretty average sized feet for a newborn, it was his lungs that were in such bad shape.
Anyway, forgive me if this post makes no sense at all. There hasn't been much sleep this holiday selling season, but there have been many moments of weepy gratitude for all the joy granted by having Sawyer in our lives. He is such a blessings from heaven and I am so grateful for the knowledgeable medical staff, the answered prayers, and the flat out miracles that made his life possible. Thanks to the care he got in the NICU, today I get to hoist my little nephew into the air today, listen to his bubbly laugh and soak up his slobbery kisses.
I wasn't able to go with Kallie to deliver her box of ornamnets,
but here was a little FB post from her after the visit:
The smiles we got when they received an ornament were wonderful! It was so nice to walk in with smiles instead of the tears from when I first stepped foot into the NICU — feeling grateful.
When I read through her post, I was so happy to see this comment from a recipient of an ornament:
I was lucky enough to get one of these beautiful ornaments yesterday. Thank you so much it's something we will keep forever ! My little Evan was flown in the day before thanksgiving and it has been so scary being 3 hours from home. It was such a sweet thing for you to do !
How sweet of that mom to take time to say thank you too. Poor thing. We have been there, hoping and praying and we hope and pray for your little one too.
That leads me to the second ornament we made. The NICU Graduate ornament!
Cute little Sawyer just touched our hearts when we got to bring him home. Listen to me! You would think he were my boy. Well...he is. It is funny how much you can love one little guy when he didn't even pop out of your own body ;0}
I posted about Sawyer's story last year here at
We had two weeks of torture, then months of cuddly bliss.
Even though this poor boy has spent many a day back in the hospital struggling from issues with his lungs, and is now on oxygen on a regular basis, we are so excited to think back to that day he got to go home. This ornament is meant to be a keepsake for all those tiny little NICU uniform pieces. The tiny hat, medical bracelet, etc. can all fit inside the ornament and be kept as a reminder of the triumph.
After all this little guy has been through, each smile is such a blessing to me. I am totally excited to have made a sweet place to keep all those little things that remind me just how blessed we are.
I AM his favorite Aunt, you know.
Sorry everyone else!
Anyway, Thanks Kallie for letting me take part in your gift. I am super excited it fell right on the calendar in time to participate in #GivingTuesday. You can go here to find out more about that ;0}
I have had several people contact me and ask if I am selling these ornaments on my etsy site. I am. I try to keep things totally reasonably priced, and feel really guilty even mentioning that they are for sale, but mainly want to give a place for moms and others to find the ornaments if they want them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Etsy site, TheBubbleBox for more details. I will have a brief tutorial posted just after this post for those that order just vinyl to make these ornaments. Again, sorry for the sales junk here. Selling them was not my intention, just a response to several requests ;0}
Need a service opportunity??? Call your local hospital to see if they have a NICU. Those families, even though you will probably never hear from them, will hold you in a special place in their hearts for making the effort to bring joy and comfort to such a difficult time!