Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Giraffe Bed?

I know, it sounds strange to most, but this really is what they are called.  For those who are confused, a Giraffe Bed is a special "all-in-one" habitat for premature babies.

I'll try to explain why this is meaningful to us.

On August 9th our family will be joining hundreds of other families with children who spent time in the Huntsville Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  The purpose is to raise money for these special beds in order to maximize the healing and growing that takes place in this special unit.  It will be a fun day of fellowship and sharing stories... and of course lots of swimming!

Although Abby is too small to swim on a team, she will be participating with many other "little" swimmers in the effort to raise as much money as possible for other tiny preemies. 

 It wasn't that long ago that Abby lived in a Giraffe bed.  It provided the best environment for her to rest, to safely be on the ventilator, to have the NICU noises muffled, and to be easily accessible for the nurses and docs.  With the lid closed Abby had humidified warm air pumped in all around her.  This protected her delicate skin.  Most of the time there was a cover draped over the bed to provide darkness, more peaceful sleeping and protection for her immature eyes.

There were four port holes that we could stick our hands in to change diapers, touch her and cover her head with a beanie animal if she was restless.  Offering her tiny paci was another excuse for us to reach in to her environment.

In case of an emergency with her stats, the lid could be quickly and automatically lifted high above our heads for complete access to our baby.  This happened many times. After surgeries it was just left up while it provided radiant heat to keep her warm down below.

These are a few pics of Abby in her "castle," as the nurses called it!

Abby in her first outfit (notice the bear in the above picture... Abby's wearing her dress!)

Abby recovering after 3 surgeries in 24 hours.

Corie, Abby's special primary nurse, standing by Abby's Giraffe bed with the cover on.

All this description just to say that we recognize the important role these special beds played in our preemies' NICU stay, and that we long to help other babies like Abby!

Check out Abby's Page on the Swim for Melissa Donation site!  If you feel led to help us raise money for this special cause, you can easily do so from Abby's page.

Thanks so much to all of you who care so much about our girl!