Moms and dads are seldom prepared when their very sick newborn is admitted to the Parkview Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Most are overwhelmed at the thought of their little one – some as young as 22 weeks – staying in intensive care for days, weeks or months.
The least-likely expectation may be to become involved in scrapbooking. But thanks to community donations through Parkview Foundation, NICU parents can track and journal the weekly progress of their babies.
These parents are the mothers and fathers of babies in the Parkview NICU in the Parkview Women's & Children's Hospital, on the campus of the Parkview Regional Medical Center. They are moms and dads of varying ages and cultures. Some are new to parenting and others have children waiting at home. However, their differences fade on Thursday afternoons as they are united by many of the same emotions, experiences, and unknowns facing parents of babies in the NICU. For them, these sessions are about more than scrapbooking.
Each weekly session puts new parents in touch with veteran moms and dads whose children may have been in the NICU for several weeks or months. Newcomers are welcomed and given scrapbooks and supplies. Returning parents bring pages they have already created, as well as new pictures to share with the group and add to their books.
As one mother explains, “It’s a great escape. You feel like you are doing something normal, but you’re still close to your baby.”
Parents appreciate meeting other parents. They say it helps to talk with someone who is walking in their shoes, and who might understand the emotions they are experiencing. It also gives NICU staff opportunities to talk with parents outside of the hospital room and assess how they are coping with their situations.
Renell Leichty, RN, Parkview NICU patient care coordinator, interacts with parents during scrapbooking nights. In this video, she shares the significance of the NICU scrapbooking program and the importance that generosity plays in healing the entire family.
Parkview Foundations donors provide the resources and materials that are truly priceless for the families who use them. Healing happens at Parkview’s NICU scrapbooking events because of the generosity of our donors. Generosity heals, thanks to you!
If you would like to support the NICU Scrapbooking program or any number of needs NICU babies and families face, consider offering your support through a gift to Parkview Foundations. To speak to someone about this and other opportunities, please call (260) 373-7970.