This Giving Tuesday, we wanted to give back in a way that was really close to my heart. We decided to carefully curate, create and distribute a special box full of our favourite things to Moms in the NICU at BC Women’s Hospital. These items helped me get through one of the most challenging times of my life and we hope that they can help other NICU mamas too.
If you aren’t familiar with my story, this past summer I spent a month in NICU when my baby girl Stella was born almost 2 months premature. When she came into the world early, I had no idea about what having a baby in NICU meant, since my first daughter was able to come home with me right away when she was born.
I didn’t know about the alarms, the rules, the worry. I didn’t know about rigid feeding schedules, or what a D-SAT or a Brady was. I was terrified all of the time and was mourning all of the expectations I had about what our first month of life together would look like. But soon, I got into a sort of rhythm and realized that my little girl was exactly where she needed to be, in the absolute best, most experienced hands in the world. It didn’t make it any easier really, but perhaps a little more digestible.
Through this journey, a customer of us reached out to me to share her journey in the NICU and how the Smash + Tess x Jillian Harris Romper was a staple for her. She recommended that I wore it on my next visit to see Stella.
My Smash + Tess x Jillian Harris Romper was my go-to NICU outfit. I could easily zip it down and up with my sweet baby inside for some skin to skin and breastfeeding. And after my gruelling experience, I came out of it knowing that I wanted to help other Mamas gain a little comfort in what might be one of the most difficult times in their lives. Jilly and I hope that these best-selling Rompers provide the same comfort to you.
Thanks to Indigo Chapters, we’ve also included “Love you Forever” by Robert Munsch. A NICU nurse suggested we read to Stella so that we could feel like we were doing one normal thing that parents do, even though our situation was anything but normal. It became a part of our routine, and we loved this book in particular because it was a little longer and integrated song. Reading this book to both of my girls has now become a regular part of our routine at home.
We’ve also included some amazing products from some of our friends that got me through my challenging time. Playtex Baby has supplied coolers to help you bring your pumped milk to and from the hospital in the event that you need it. K’Pure Naturals have included some all-natural products for baby and you. Chelsea King has gifted one of their beautiful scrunchies because, well, we know that top knot will be on lock for the next little bit. And finally, due to COVID-19 and this added layer of stress, AG Hair has included our favourite hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean while you’re snuggling your little one and BC Women’s Health Foundation has included a mask to help keep you and your family safe. And of course, we’ve thrown in some tissues to wipe your tears.
I know that this hasn’t gone the way that you thought it would, but just know, that there are brighter days ahead. Sending you strength, resiliency, and love, from one NICU mom to another.
XOX Ashley and the Smash + Tess Team
To support BC Women’s further, we have released our Mini Sunday Romper in Charming Charcoal in 3-6months, with 15% of the proceeds going towards BC Women’s Health Foundation.
You also have a chance to be one of ten winners of a NICU box for yourself by donating here. These donations go directly to BC Women’s Health Foundation. The winners will be announced during our Instagram live on December 7, starting at 3pm PT.