Reprinted with permission from Jill’s blog posting on 6/8/10 for Kyarns, the official blog for Kaleidoscope Yarns in Essex Junction.  Many thanks to Jill for sharing her experience with us, and for generously donating preemie hats and blankets to our NICU and pediatric floors!

I just got back from our amazing field trip to the University of Vermont Medical Center. We met the kids right after school at the library, piled into our cars and managed to beat most of the buses out of the parking lot. We got to the hospital and met in the lobby for a few pictures. We were so glad all 10 girls could come!

Someone from the hospital met us and took us up to the NICU. They were so nice and accommodating. We stood outside in the hallway and they opened several shades so the girls could peer in. Here they are waiting for the shades to open:

It was SO cute. All of the kids had their faces pressed up to the windows, looking in. What a great learning experience for them. They saw a little 3 month old baby being fed with a gavage tube, they saw a baby wearing tiny goggles under bilirubin lights, and they saw the teeniest little triplet sleeping in her isolette and the nurse held up a little postcard with her newborn footprints on it – boy were they teeny! We were even able to go into the nurses area, so they could present the box of 50 preemie hats to the nurses.

They saw a great bulletin board with lots of pictures of NICU graduates.

And they each got a little gift to take home… and when I say little, I mean LITTLE!

Check this out: It’s for a baby who weighs less than 4 pounds. Iphone is for comparison!

I have to say, I was overcome with emotion, just standing outside the NICU and looking in. Helen and Sophie were preemies and were there for the first two weeks of their lives. During those two weeks I was there almost around the clock, and was so familiar with the nurses station, the scrubbing-in sink, the bulletin board, the gavage tubes, the bilirubin glasses, all of it. So being back there for the first time since 1999 brought back a lot of memories and it was hard to keep it together. How neat though, that my kids – who are almost 11 – got to see where it all started out for them. They really felt a connection, and that’s cool!

Then we went to Pediatrics and took a tour and gave 2 of our 3 blankets to the nurses there.

So, a year over, and 10 girls who’ve learned a little about knitting, and a little about giving. That’s what it’s all about!

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