Preemie Prints is a non-profit organization sharing hope with families who have experienced a premature birth, critical birth, or infant loss in a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). We do this through information, support, the gift of photography, handmade items, and prayer.
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We post links to preemie articles, pictures from our NICU/NICU Grad shoots, events, information, news, prayers, and much more. We'd love for you to join our fb family!
"Hi, I'm Amber, founder and director of Preemie Prints, and mom to identical twin girls. Eden & Pryscilla were preemies, born at 32 weeks gestation. We were in a NICU for 4 very long weeks. Although that time is short in comparison to many NICU families, it was a difficult and long journey for our family and the inspiration behind this organization. My time spent in our NICU and those first weeks back at home with two preemies, was one of the most trying yet shaping times in my life.
There were a handful of things that got our family through it. First, a firm reliance and faith in God's plan. Second, my support network filled with family, friends, doctors, nurses, and many other people who had been through the same experiences. Third, our precious babies. As my husband and I watched them grow stronger everyday, they were a constant reminder that our NICU parenting was helping them. Lastly, pictures. Everyday after we would leave their room in the NICU and head home, I would stop by the store to develop all of the pictures I took that day. Even once they were both home with us, my husband and I, would flip through the book I made of their NICU stay and homecoming often. It was therapeutic and it helped me, it helped my family heal, and those pictures will be a lifetime reminder of our strength.
Being in a NICU, as well as, those first weeks at home with a premature baby is unexplainable to anyone who has not been through it. We would "joke" all the time about feeling like round the clock nurses once we got home. So many people think that once you are home the scary part is over, but we know that is not true! Emotions run wild, as sometimes you are extremely sad and other times overly joyful, then scared beyond belief, yet prayerfully hopeful. I remember nights when my husband and I would go from crying to laughing hysterically in a matter of seconds. We were honestly a mess.
The pictures were therapeutic then, but now they are even more precious. They bring me great joy, pride, and confidence, in myself, my children, and my family. They truly are priceless. I look at the girls NICU pictures more than any others, and one day I will tell them the story of how their life started by showing them those same pictures.
Some may feel that the NICU isn't a place you necessarily want to document with great photos, but I disagree. Although it may be an extremely difficult time, I've talked to many moms who wish they had them now. At the time many feel photography was not something of importance, since your baby is fighting for their life. It is understandable but later regrettable, which is why I want to encourage you to take pictures during your journey and why our organization offers the gift of charitable NICU and NICU graduate photography to you and your family."
Our mission is to support NICU families through a unique network that offers HOPE.
Preemie Prints began by the desire of one past NICU mom who wanted to share beautiful memories through the gift of photography with other NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) families. It quickly began to spread as more photographers started jumpling on board with our organizaiton and helping to promote our mission. As we begin to come into contact with families we realized that support was necessary and needed, especially in the Bryan College Station area where, back in 2010, there wasn't any support for families outside of the hospitals. There was no group or organization supporting local NICU families on a regular basis. We saw an opportunity to help and we expanded our efforts. The College Station Medical Center was the 1st hospital to welcome us in, offering us a room to hold our support meetings and helping us to spread the word directly to their NICU families. So began our NICU H.O.P.E. (Helping Other Parent's Endure) Meetings. Each month these meetings have continued to support and connect current & past NICU, preemie, and angel families. We've also been able to spread awareness through our monthly sponsorships. Each month a local restaurant parterns with us to provide a meal for families. It is amazing how something as simple as sharing a meal can really bring people together.
With the amazing technological advances we have available to us, we are unique in the fact that we have created not only a solid local face to face volunteer/family support network, but we've also been able to reach out nationally through our photography outreach and online support. The internet provides a platform that makes it possible for us to reach hundreds of families on a daily basis. We do this through facebook, our website, and through our national network of amazing photography volunteers. Our national online support outreach is a vital part of our mission. Sharing information and stories, as well as, providing email, prayer, phone, and text support has allowed us to support so many families. We currenly have two private groups that run through facebook, one for past & present NICU families and one for families who've experienced an infant or preganancy loss. These groups are flourshing. Not only have connections been made, support given, and stories shared but real relationships full of love and friendship have developed. It is truly amazing and beautiful to witness how the online world and technology allows for this.
After time past we decided to start helping our local NICUs direclty by donating handmade items and also giving NICU gift bags to current families. Some of the items we make include: outfits, blankets, stuffed giraffes & bunnies, postioning devices, heating pads, preemie hats, and more. Preemie Prints Sew & Craft donates items monthly to local hospitals, NICU families, and others who reach out to us. This amazing group seems to grow each month with local and remote volunteers. We continue to need help in this area and are always in need of donated fabric and supplies to keep us going.
Along the way we have helped many NICU families who are in need of preemie clothes and supplies. We are blessed to be able to provide these items becuase of the generous donations of handmade, lightly used, or new preemie clothes that are donated to us on a regular basis by people all over the US. We hope to one day have a special preemie shop where these parents in need can come pick out the clothes they like from a very large donated selection. In addtion, when donations allow, we give giftcards to families for food, gas, and other items that are needed.
Throughout the past two years we've discovered a great need in the growing Brazos Valley. Through our future fundraising efforts, we have made it our goal to open the Brazos Valley NICU Support House. Bryan College Station will soon be home to 3 neonatal intensive care units. The College Station Medical Center, St. Joseph's, & the new Scott & White. This means that many moms and dads will be traveling to the BCS area from smaller surrounding towns like Caldwell, Brenham, Hempstead, Sommerville, and Calvert. If tragedy or emergency strikes and they find themselves in one of our three NICUs then Bryan College Station will become their "home away from home" for a period of time. We know these families would greatly benefit from having a place to stay free of charge, close to thier baby, yet away from the hospital. Every family needs a break from the hospital, our goal is to provide a relaxing environment for these families to utilize as needed. The BV NICU Support House will give them just that. Our goal is to provide 1-2 overnight rooms, with all of the luxuries of a comfortable home. The families using the NICU support house would be given "come & go" priveleges as long as their little one is in a NICU. Over the past year we have met about 5 families who would have benefited from this form of support. They were making daily drives over 1 hr. for weeks in a row. This on top of the normal NICU stress, for many, is unnecessary.
In addition to the overnight rooms our NICU support house will also have a lactation room, a NICU library, a sibing playroom, a sanitary preemie developmental play area (that families can use after hospital discharge), a meeting room, kitchen, a photography studio for our volunteers to use, and a preemie shop full of donated items for parents in need. This house will also serve as our administrative offices. We feel this support house will serve many purposes for the preemie, NICU, and angel families that Preemie Prints supports.
Finally, since we have truly created a unique blend of national and local community members we woulnd't feel our efforts were complete without having one international outreach project. Through a very close friend, volunteer, and supporter we have chosen to help a specific hospital in the country of Belize. This hospital NICU and it's families are in great need of many many supplies. Basic supplies that unlike in the US are just done without in this NICU. Within the next year we plan on making our very 1st donatin to this Belizian NICU and will include items made by Preemie Prints Sew & Craft like NICU positioners, blankets, and clothes. More details will be provided as we begin working with this hospital and their families in the future.
Upcoming 2012 Events
September 14th - NICU H.O.P.E. Meeting
September 15th - Donation Drop Off and NICU Nurse Appreciation Day
October 15th - Candle Lighting & Angel Balloon Release (In honor of Pregancy & Infant Loss Awareness)
November 3rd - Brazos Valley Bazaar - Fundraiser & Shopping
We thank you for your support and hope this helps you to learn more about our current mission and future goals. If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit our website and click on donate. Thank you for supporting NICU families worldwide.
2306 Kendal Green Cir.
College Station TX 77845
Preemie Prints is a division of Pass Times United Inc. based in Waco, Tx.
We are a 501(c)(3) tax deductible not for profit organization.
All donations are tax deductible, contact us for identification numbers and further financial information.