CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Going into premature labor can be terrifying for a young mother, as can the days and nights once the baby is born. Waiting out the time in the NICU, dreading bad news, cherishing the time with your child, but hurting for the one left at home who must understand Mom’s divided heart.
For Ashley Smith, getting to bring daughter Paisley Hope home after five months brought her incredible joy and gratitude for Medical City Dallas NICU. “Sitting beside your child for months you see the same white walls and when a baby is born early fighting for their life, some days you don’t get good news and the only thing colorful is the blanket the nurse put in the baby’s bed. They do have the regular hospital blankets but all the nice and pretty ones have been donated and there will be days your baby doesn’t get the pretty blankets because Medical City has so many babies,” Smith told The Monitor.
It is that gratitude that prompted Smith to organize a blanket drive to celebrate Paisley’s first birthday June 4. Paisley is 13 pounds now, up from 450 grams (less than one pound). She has overcome a lot of medical challenges and continues to thrive.
Smith recalls when she would video chat with her son Philip while Paisley was in the NICU and he would say, “Oh, she has a new blanket today.” Those blankets meant a lot to this Mom and she hopes to recreate that feeling for others.
Smith, who lives in The Hamlins invites anyone who is interested to donate receiving blankets, (new, not the fuzzy ones as the babies cannot tolerate them well) for delivery to Medical City Dallas on June 7. Blankets can be dropped off between 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 30 at the front entrance of The Hamlins Apartments. For more information, see the event page on Facebook: Paisley’s Drive-By Blanket Drive for the NICU.