In honor of her and her brothers’ baptism tomorrow, Whitney Wellinghurst and her mom took a large set of “Mother Goose” storybooks to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Kentucky Hospital on Friday.
Whitney was born very premature and spent many worrisome months in the NICU. Now, she’s a joyful, toddling two year-old about to be baptized into the family of God at the Church of Christ, Union! Alongside her will be her proud and protective brothers, Will and Owen.
When asked why she chose to honor these baptisms in this way, Whitney’s mother Renee said:
I knew I wanted to do something to give back to the NICU. When I thought back about the NICU I remembered how tiny and fragile she was and all of the machines and the noises they made. Then I remembered holding her and cuddling her. Nothing was “normal” about the NICU, you had to wait to be told when you could touch your baby or hold her. The feedings, diaper changes and baths were all different than they would have been at home. Even holding her was different, because of all the tubes and cords…one wrong move and it could cause her heart rate or respiration to decelerate,so when you got into a good position you didn’t move until it was time to put her back into the incubator. The only thing that made the situation feel somewhat normal was when I would tell her stories…it was something I felt like I would do if she were at home. I wanted other parents to have that feeling of normalcy too, no matter how small.
It was a lot of fun to go back to the NICU! We were able to meet her primary nighttime nurse, Michelle. She is so sweet, we love her! They also announced to the other nurses that we were there if anyone wanted to say hi, so we ended up seeing one of her PA’s, the dietician, lactation consultant, and about 5 other nurses. No one could believe how big she is and that she is almost 2!
We rejoice with the Wellinghursts, and pray that the love they share with the NICU will give comfort and hope to many more parents!