During one of our first days in PCICU (as we were having a bow fashion show before Annabelle's first surgery), Scott mentioned to me that every little girl in there should be dolled up just as our precious daughter. We were fortunate enough to know months in advance about Annabelle's heart so we could prepare and pack- learning that bows were allowed. Many families either don't know that they will be spending their child's first days in the ICU or don't have the resources or don't know that baby stuff is allowed until they are already far from home. We committed to giving every little baby girl that comes into the PCICU some girl stuff from Annabelle in those first days and now we are going to make it happen.
I am in the process of putting together the first handful of many "Annabelle Baskets". It will include a small stuffed animal/babydoll (such as the ones that held her ventilator tubes in place and she is buried with- the nurses love these to help with their lines), a pair of girly socks (heart babies feet are always cold), a pink bow (of course!) and a letter from Annabelle to her heart sisters.
Saving Little Hearts, our congential heart diseaese support group for SC, has agreed to distribute them since they already take care packages to MUSC and are in the loop. They will also be notifying all the pediatric cardiologists in our state of the Annabelle Baskets so they can let their patients (either in utero or born) know about them. Scott and I are excited about delivering the first Annabelle Basket ourselves!
It is our prayer that our daughter's life & ministry continue to touch the precious families that find themselves in the same situation that we were in. It is very hard for parents to see their newborn baby in an ICU awaiting open heart surgery just as soon as they've given birth. We hope that this will help them celebrate the beautiful life they've been blessed with!
If you are interested in helping, please contact me through the comments or through my email.