what to do about announcements

the subject of announcements is a touchy one for most preemie parents. especially for babies that come into the world as micro-preemies... wondering when you'll be able to hold your baby really puts a damper on the usual "we're so excited our baby is here". along with the "we're looking at 3 more months till we can take her home" issue.
some people wait until their baby is cleared of major health risks to send out the announcements. some wait until their little one is completely out of the nicu and home.
i needed the validation as a mother... to do something "normal parents" get to do- send out announcements. (granted, it took me FOREVER! and i didn't get them all sent out- sorry if you didn't get one.. i probably addressed it and it's in a box somewhere. :/ ) one downside to going ahead with sending them out is the stress of the nicu... it really throws a kink in the plans. i'd love to show you ours, but somehow can't find one.. guess i need to go through our household goods to find one to save for the baby book- eh? this is the one we used.. it's from tinyprints.com.

on picture announcements:

we opted for a picture of wren's foot in our hands. many parents, depending on when they send them
out, do a photo announcement with pictures showing the progress their little one has made. if you're opting for sending them out pre-discharge you have to make the decision whether to send a photo announcement, or one without a photo. and deciding on a picture can be difficult. some people in our nicu opted for nitty gritty nicu pictures... after all, that's the reality of it, and if people want to share in our joy, they can see what we're going through too- right? (part of me felt this way... unashamed of my little 1lb 11oz baby with tubes and cords and wires and not a bit of fat.) or, you may opt for an endearing photo: baby holding the rings, a close up of the feet or hands, or baby holding parent's hands... etc. be sure to take a high res photo. we used a picture i took on my iphone, and it didn't print well. (though the proof online looked great.) whatever you decide, keep in mind that many people outside your family and close friends may not realize what happened. (if say, they live under a log, or possibly don't have a facebook.) they also may not realize what lies ahead for your family... or what the nicu experience is like. (feel free to send them to this blog! :) it's great to do a photo announcement that allows for several photos. you can go here and see some neat photo ideas.
i've blogged on this before- but pictures of hope is a great resource- you should definitely look into it. the pictures we had taken (simplybabyphotography) are pictures that we treasure. they captured our nicu experience, and her sweet tenderness in such an amazing way. if you have the ability to get someone in your area who volunteers for this- or if you can just pay someone to come in, having professional photos is definitely worth it. (or if you happen to just be a rockin' photog like this mom.) i promise, they DO grow up.. and you'll want to have those pictures someday.

for homecoming announcement include:
  • name
  • date of birth
  • date of homecoming
  • weight at birth and homecoming
  • length at birth and homecoming

  • one tiny hand to hold, one tiny life to mold
  • our little miracle
  • we've come a long way baby
  • we're proud to announce the birth and homecoming of
  • our little one was in a hurry to arrive
  • our little one is an early bird
  • our sweet little fighter
  • big things come in small packages
  • from small beginnings come great things
  • preemie miracle
  • miracle baby
  • so worth the wait (to bring home)
  • nicu graduate
  • i couldn't wait to get here
  • preemie prince/princess
  • our gift from God
  • no small wonder
  • it's the little things that matter
  • small but mighty
  • the stork stopped by early
  • they were fighting in the womb, so they came out early to demand their own room!
  • ___couldn't wait... he/she came ____before the date!
  • my feet are very small, and the way is hard, but i do not walk alone
  • proof that miracles happen
  • her hands and toes may be small, be she has enough love to fill us all
  • and, any other cutesy baby wording/poems... really, it all applies.
  • for this child i prayed- 1 samuel 1.27
  • for nothing is impossible with God- luke 1.37
  • every good and perfect gift is from above-  james 1.17
  • before i formed you in the womb i knew you- jeremiah 1.5
  • from the fullness of grace we have received one blessing after another- john 1.16
  • i sing for joy at the work of Your hands- psalm 92.4
  • children too are a gift from the Lord- psalm 127.3
  • the spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me life- job 33.4
  • for You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb, i praise You, for i am fearfully and wonderfully made- psalm 139.13-16


our favorite: four harp designs.... after a sweet preemie was born into the family, this printer went to work to fill a need for preemie families- she now has several preemie specific announcements, and is working on more! we LOVE her... her stuff... and her huge heart. thanks to jan for thinking of our little ones. patronize her- you will not be disappointed! (you'll also notice pictures of the little bird in the mock-ups... we weren't paid- but happily provided the photos to help her make some layout options for other parents.)

if you'd like to post pictures/links to the announcements you sent out, or resources to use, that would be great!

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