Sunday, November 7, 2010

Behind The Scenes Blanket Donation

It was a gorgeous day for delivering blankets to The Children's Hospital in Denver.  Simply gorgeous.  Heath and I arrived first, with kids in tow, and were greeted by a few workers from the volunteer office, a photographer for The Denver Post, a newscaster and cameraman from Channel 9 news, the heart institute coordinator, the hospital's publicity department, and many onlookers who were curious as to what was going on.

After signing some waivers, getting a mike attached to me, and getting the plan in place, the other two families showed up with all of the thousand-plus blankets crammed in their four vehicles.  We got blankets unloaded from the vans, and then loaded up again in the wagons.  All the kids (minus the babies) loved grabbing the wagons, filling them up, and then taking them down the hall to the Volunteer Office.

After lots of trips, and lots of "watch out!! Don't run into them.  Be careful!"  we managed to get all the blankets, minus the three bags of blankets we were taking to the two units to hand deliver, we put all the babies in a wagon, and the publicity went crazy!

Then they asked us if they could get some pictures of the three moms with the three babies.  We were happy to oblige, although felt a bit weird with dozens of cameras focused on us.

The plan was for the Newscast and Photographers to follow the husbands up to the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit (CPCU) and deliver blankets to everyone up there.  So as they got prepared, I snapped this picture.

While they were up there, we waited downstairs with all the kids.  We continued to talk to the publicity people, so they could get enough information for their articles.  We also enjoyed each other's company, and played with our babies!  I love this picture of Julie playing patty-cake with Adam.

 We were reunited with the newscrew again, as we waited for the husbands to finish up upstairs.  In the next picture, you also see us talking with the head administrator for the entire cardiac unit (the man in the suit), and a few nurses from the Cardiac ICU that we have become friends with.  They brought balloons for our babies, which ended up floating up to the 4th floor ceiling just minutes after I took this picture.

Even Chance wanted to help distribute the blankets!  He's holding onto the wagon load that we were planning on taking up to the CICU.

Finally it was our turn. We handed over our babies to the husbands, and we made the very familiar journey up to the CICU.  Our hearts were very full, and memories abounded. It was so touching to go back to the unit where our lives were changed so much.  A very pivotal moment for us, back then, as well as now.

We had some family members come out and pick out a blanket, but some were too busy with their children, and instead the nurses picked out a blanket for them.  We had some who were hesitant to get a blanket, but after we told them that last year at this time, we were all here with our newborn babies, and we received so much service, and that now, in celebration of our babies turning one, we are here to pay it forward, and offer hope and comfort to everyone here, who is experiencing the same thing we went through...well, they warmed up a bit, and picked out a blanket.

Some parents asked us "So there is a light at the end of the tunnel, right?"  or "You mean, life gets back to normal again?"  or "Your babies are doing fine now?"  I think it was great for them to see that even amidst the turmoil and confusion of their life right now, things will change.  Life goes on.  You find happiness and joy, even during the hardest time in your life.  It was so touching for us to share that with everyone, and offer a bit of comfort to them.

We made sure to leave all the extra blankets, as well as about 50 receiving blankets, in their unit, so when more patients come, they can all get a blanket.

After that, we went down to the cafeteria and set up a little area to have some dinner, and celebrate our babies birthdays!  As we were waiting for our pizza to come, the boys all enjoyed a little snack.

Later, we gave them some cake and sang happy birthday to them.  Oh how I love it when all  three babies are together.  I almost feel like I have triplets.  They are so fun.

Obviously, Kimble enjoyed another opportunity to stuff his face with cake.  I think he has a sweet tooth already!
It was a long night, but so worthwhile.  Even though all the publicity was overwhelming, I'm so glad they were there to document the night for us.  It was a tremendous success.  We couldn't have done it alone.  Thank you so much for helping out.  It was a night to remember.


runningfan said...

Incredible! Three cheers for you!

Julia said...

What a wonderful experience and so generous of you and your friends.

The Girls' Mom said...

What a wonderful and fulfilling experience for your family. I bet it was an amazing feeling of coming full circle and moving on into the bright future with your miracle baby.

SarahB said...

I am so happy this was such a success! To see Kimble and the other 2 boys so healthy and celebrating their 1st birthdays together in such a beautiful and generous way is beautiful. I hope that the publicity brings even more blankets for future donations!

Julie said...

What a fun evening! I love your comment about feeling like you have triplets. I feel the same way. :) I just get so proud of everything all three of them accomplish, and when Kimble was in surgery in June, I agonized the whole time.

This has been such a fun project to do together! Now we need to make sure to get together again soon!

purejoy said...

what a memory for your family, and such a sweet encouragement for those families who are now walking in your steps from a year ago.
the babies are adorable!

Jen Sue Wild said...

Very neat!! I wish I could have been there..

Ande said...

I am so glad that all went well with it!!! How exciting to have so many blankets donated, I am sure all that get one will be very happy to have them. I love all the pics. You look fantastic by the way. Love ya!

Colleen said...

What an amazing night! What a gift you gave, so much more than just blankets. And I saw one of mine in one of the pictures...YAY!

Alissa Maxwell said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate 3 amazing birthdays! I know the families at Childrens are all resting a little easier tonight.

Maynards said...

Such a touching story. You are a great example of service and now thousands of people are feeling a bit happier because of it.

Nicki said...

WOW!!! Way to go ladies! And tell Kolby that, yes he is famous. I love that shot of Kimble enjoying his cake. He deserves it!

Sara said...

WOW Shaina, this is such an amazing caveat to your already incredible year with Kimble and the rest of your family. The pictures were beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us.

Heidi said...

You guys so ROCK! That is so neat the 3 of you put this together and worked so hard to make it happen! And that so many awesome people donated! What a totally cool experience for your family! :)