As an assignment for a course I am taking, I am supposed to develop a collaborative project. I wanted to choose something that I feel passionately about and I was inspired by something that happened almost 12 years ago when my son Daniel was born with and died from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. At that time, the nurses at the hospital gave him a beautiful hand crocheted sweater which meant so much to us. It is something that I still treasure. When I called the local hospital to see if there is a need for items like this, the bereavement coordinator said that there is, but she then told me about an even greater need that they have.
This topic may be uncomfortable for some of you to read about, but I know that the compassion in this group is amazing. There are many more babies born far too soon than I ever realized. These babies are loved and cherished even if they never take a breath. It is comforting to many parents to spend time with their baby. Nobody expects or plans for such sadness, so there aren’t miniature hats or blankets for these little ones to wear while they are being cuddled and while pictures are taken. On the rare occasion when the hospital does get in small items, they are so appreciated by the parents. Sometimes the babies are buried in them, and other times the parents save them as precious keepsakes. At a time when parents feel so alone, it can mean so much to know that people they don’t even know care and are reaching out to them.
The bereavement coordinator at the hospital said that most people shy away entirely from the idea of making blankets and hats for babies that have died and yet it brings so much comfort. I know that alone, I cannot make a dent in the need that exists and that is why I am reaching out to you all for help. It occurred to me that the name knittinghelp.com could be double entendre in this situation…that through our knitting we could help ease a tiny bit of the sadness for others.
These miniature items probably will not take very long to knit. For example, the hats should be made to fit a little head the size of a plum. The blankets should be about 10” or 12” square. These do not even have to be knit. (gasp!) The bereavement coordinator said that little flannel blankets would be wonderful too.
Although I know that you are doing this out of the goodness of your hearts, a little external gratification never hurts anything. The name of each person who participates and sends one or more items will go into a drawing. On April 4th, two names will be drawn. One of you will receive two lovely skeins of Manos del Uruguay and the other will become the proud owner of 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon.
I will photograph and post the pictures of the items you donate and their arrival at the hospital so that everyone feels a part of it all. If a lot of people can take a little time to make one item or more, I believe that together we will have done something huge.
If there is interest in doing this, I will open up a KAL topic.