By: Jennifer Murray

NICU Survival Kits: What’s Next? (Update)

Update: Isella went to be with Jesus this afternoon.  Although her 3 days on this earth were short, her impact on this world will be long lasting.  Please keep her parents Myka and Ben in your prayers as they face the difficult days ahead.

nicu My heart is heavy for several babies currently struggling in the NICU.  My friend from high school FCA, Myka, gave birth to a sweet daughter named Isella.  There were complications during delivery and things are very bleak right now.  We are praying for a miracle and trusting God’s sovereignty in her sweet little life! Another family friend’s niece delivered a baby boy named Broyan today at 24 weeks. He’s 1 pound 12 ounces and so far is fighting and stable, but the days and even weeks ahead will be very critical.  Another little guy Noah was born recently, even though his due date wasn’t until December.  Would you join me in praying for these sweet precious gifts from God, Isella, Broyan, and Noah, the medical staff, and their families?

Since our last media post on the NICU Survival Kits, I’ve received several emails of referrals, prayer requests, suggestions, and offers to help make preemie blankets and hats for the kits.  This is super exciting to us, because we really want this project to be a blog community effort.  Many of you are contributing just by visiting our blog, because a portion of the modest revenues we receive from advertising on this blog are used to fund the NICU Kits, which cost about $40 a piece to assemble.  THANK YOU!  We are truly blessed to have you as faithful readers and supporters of our family! 

For those of you who are interested in becoming more involved in this project here are some suggestions for things we need.  We would appreciate your ideas, feedback, and any resource suggestions as we continue with this effort!

~ We are in need of a good container/bag/box to put all the goodies in.  Currently I’ve been dressing up a regular large gift bag, which does the trick, but I have visions of a custom box or reusable bag with a nice label on it.  Ideas?  Suggestions? 

~ We are in need of crotcheters and knitters for preemie blankets.  Think “doll blanket” size.  Most of the blankets that I’ve received have been in the 20×20 range…a little longer is fine.  I have a stock pile of about 20 blankets, but we are assembling quite a few lately and they are going quickly. 

~ We would love to find a discount to buy the book, On the Night You Were Born, (affiliate link), in bulk.  We have checked with the publisher (Feiwel & Friends), but were not able to get a bulk rate.  If we order through Amazon we have to pay shipping per book.

~ Ongoing Items in Need:  Gum, Snacks, Hand Lotion, Journals, Disposable Cameras, Chapstick.  Keep your eyes peeled for discounts and sales and tell us about them!

Again, we are not asking for your $ or even donations, just your dag-gone amazing resourcefulness! 

Feel free to leave me a comment here or we’ve set up an email account specifically for our NICU Survival Kit Project at

nicuemail

Thank you for helping our efforts in a project that is sooooo dear to our hearts!  Thanks again for your prayers for Isella, Broyan, and Noah.

27 Responses to “NICU Survival Kits: What’s Next? (Update)”

  1. Just Heather
    October 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey, dear – you know you can count on me to watch for the discounts. I will let you know!

    On the bags, you can buy blank reusable grocery sacks for less than $1 each, if purchased in bulk. You can have them printed for around $1.25 when you buy 100 – if you can afford to plan ahead for that many, it might be neat to have a scripture or inspirational quote screen-printed on a pale yellow or lime green bag.

  2. Midwest Mommy
    October 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Praying!

  3. Hughes & Company
    October 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Jen, I love this idea and will continue to keep my eyes peeled for any bargains! Just as a note of encouragement, you may recall that our first child was born 8 weeks premature. Today is her 9th birthday. She is a strong, healthy, happy girl who loves the Lord, and we thank Him daily for her. I know you feel the same about your own four little precious miracles. I will continue to pray for your friends!

  4. Erin
    October 21, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    http://www.cheaptotes.com

  5. Mols
    October 21, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Hi Jen –

    If you're a Barnes & Noble member, you can get the book online for $9.90 (otherwise it's $11), and if you order more than $25 at a time, the shipping is free.

    Wish I could knit well enough to make blankets for you 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    October 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Are quilted blankets okay, or do they have to be knitted/crocheted?

    -Holly

  7. The Murray Crew
    October 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Holly, Quilted are GREAT! Thanks for asking!

  8. Carm
    October 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    You don't need to pay shipping on the book from Amazon, so long as you order 3 at a time to take the total over $25 (so you qualify for free super saver delivery).

  9. Anonymous
    October 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    I got my own copy of that book at Costco a year or two ago. Not sure if they still stock it but I know it was around the $10 mark and I am in Canada so I would imagine it would be much cheaper in the US.

  10. Midwest Mommy
    October 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Oh I can't imagine their pain. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

  11. BoufMom9
    October 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    OMGosh. I am so sorry for their loss. Am saying prayers…

  12. Meg
    October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    If placing an order through amazon (for OTNYWB), you can get free 2-day shipping if you pay for an Amazon prime membership (about $80/year). I believe they have completely free shipping if you don't mind waiting 5 days for your order.

    Another idea for the book…Talk to your local bookstore about ordering in bulk for you and giving you a steep discount (since it is for charity).

    I LOVE this book. Still makes me cry to read it.

    Also, am going to see if my old crocheting group wants to make you some blankets! They are such fun to make!

  13. Drew and Emily
    October 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    I can crochet you some blankets, just let me know what type, weight, and color yarns that you think would work best. You can email me at greek4 at aol dot com

  14. Barbara Manatee
    October 21, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    Jen – I have been following your updates and am so saddened to hear of your friend's loss. My heart goes out to them.

    Just tonight, as my kids were choosing stories for bedtime, I tried to convince Sarah to read "On the night you were born" but she was more interested in Winnie the Pooh today…;-( I'm sure I'll be reading your special book several times in the weeks to come as my 'babies' approach 3….*sniff sniff*

  15. Diana and Fam
    October 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    You might want to check with your local library. They can order books in bulk and they might be able to get it fairly cheap. And I am sure they would want to help out with such a great cause. Good luck!

  16. Jennifer
    October 22, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    I have an idea for a neat reusable bag. It would take someone to sew them, but they are so quick and easy. The link is

    http://madebyrae.blogspot.com/2009/06/lickety-split-bag.html

    I have made several of them. They only require 2 yards of cordinating fabric, and the fabric can be cute baby style or more Mommy looking. It is a great multi purpose bag. check it out!

  17. Anonymous
    October 24, 2009 at 7:38 am #

    Amazon offers free shipping on $25 orders or more so just order enough to get free shipping.

  18. Happy Hodge Podge
    October 26, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    i am in the process of making 12×12 flannel blankets for another project, but would be happy to send some your way if you think they would be big enough. please let me know.

  19. Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus
    November 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    I love this idea! I mentioned it on my blog today. 🙂 God bless.

  20. Amy Rainey
    November 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi,
    I just discovered that "On the Night You Were Born" is being released as a board book in January with a retail of $7.99.
    It is sure to be cheaper at amazon. I have ordered books in bulk from them before (up to80 at a time) They often come in many shipments (literally 2 or 3 books at a time), but it has always been free. I found a site where you can preorder the board book.
    http://www.deepdiscount.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=85961660&utm;_source=ChannelIntelligence&utm;_medium=CPC&utm;_campaign=Google&ci;_src=14110944&ci;_sku=FWLRN260155

    I hope this helps.

  21. Amy Rainey
    November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Hey, one more idea. For the bags. Find kid-print fabric (think the dollar bin at Wal-Mart). About three seams can turn it into a cloth sack (think pillow case). Tie it shut with 1-2" wide matching ribbon…like a Santa-sack. It would be cheap, $1 a bag, maybe. And, tying it shut would hold everything together and make storage easier for you and the hospital. I would make some for you if I had a sewing machine. Surely there is a willing seamstress out there?

  22. amyameretta
    November 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Jen,

    I was wondering if you had any specifications on the preemie blankets other than making sure that they are 20" by 20" and washable?

  23. The Murray Crew
    November 14, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    All – Great input and ideas! So appreciate all of this!

    amyameretta – No specifics other than that…freedom for your own creativity! =) You might want to add a tag that has a personal message attached. Just an idea.

  24. mrs. frederick
    December 29, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    i seen you are looking for storage ideas.. i know they are a little more each but much more personal.. at walmart they have canvas basket in the laundry area.. they can have patches and iron on names put on them.. i have made them for all of my nieces and nephews they are great to put toys or diapers in once the family gets to leave the hospital or a really cute keepsake…. i had 2 sons who were in the nicu and i think what you are doing is amazing… may god bless you and all the little ones…

  25. amyameretta
    January 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Hi Jen,

    I recently finished some preemie blankets that I would like to send to you. Could you message me your address?

  26. Kimberly & Alex
    February 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    I have preemie hats/blankets for your NICU kits. pls let me know if you are interested.

  27. Lisa
    February 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I just found your blog today. What a great thing you are doing, taking such an unfortunate event and turning it into a blessing for others. My oldest was in the NICU for just 4 days and we were fortunate to bring her home at that time. I am not sure how I can help you, except with my prayers at this time but I will be sharing your project with others. I do love to quilt when I get a chance so maybe a can make up some small quilts. Lastly, you have inspired me to revisit our family’s Lenten project and to do something for the local children’s hospital.

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