Image Source: Hurley Medical Center Facebook
For many people, the holidays can be a hard time, which is why those small instances of hope that demonstrate that life can keep going, are always refreshing reminders. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the NICUs of our hospitals, where the teeniest of patients demonstrate tremendous courage, a fighting spirit, relentless hope—and of course, the most adorable of looks.
We got a peek at the cutest NICU warriors on Halloween, where they served up some downright creative costumes and this year, some NICUs shared even more holiday fun by dressing up their smallest patients as the cutest little gobblers.
Raleigh General Hospital
For instance, Raleigh General Hospital in West Virginia shared some of their adorable little turkeys on their Facebook page.
Katana Jackson, the director of women’s and children’s services at Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia told TODAY.com that the tradition of dressing up their NICU patients for Thanksgiving actually started last year and is now an annual part of holiday festivities. The holidays can be especially difficult for parents who have babies in the NICU, so dressing up is just one way to add a little cheer into their days. “We wanted to have something special for the parents and a really good memory of this special time,” she described to TODAY.
In addition to getting the photo keepsakes of their babies, parents also get to keep the costumes to take home with them. Just imagine having those costumes years down the road to remember how far they have come!
Baptist Health Bethesda Hospital
Baptist Health Bethesda Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida is another facility that joined in the Thanksgiving fun, sharing their own little turkeys on their Facebook as well.
According to their Facebook post, the Thanksgiving outfits were gifted by some of the Baptist Health Foundation’s donors, so parents there were also allowed to keep the outfits for their babies. Some of the babies were literally fresh out of the womb, with birthdays celebrated the same day as their holiday-themed photo shoot—in fact, some of the babies were so brand-new that they didn’t even have names yet, according to what a hospital spokesperson told TODAY.
Hurley Medical Center
Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan also got in on the holiday spirit with humor, sharing a whole album of adorable babies dressed up in handmade Thanksgiving hats donated by Hurley Volunteer Corps. “Happy #Thanksgiving! Thankful that each and every one of these miracles is in the right place to heal and grow! #HurleyChildrensHospital #nicubaby” the hospital posted with their pictures, adding a photo credit for the images to Doug Pike.
Their photos even included a spin on pumpkin pie, featuring a lil’ pumpkin all dressed up!
Brookwood Women’s Medical Center
Staff at Brookwood Women’s Medical Center in Birmingham, AL handmade Thanksgiving costumes for their NICU patients, dying onesies brown and hand-making feathers. The Women’s Center shared the adorable results on Facebook, adding, “Thanks to members of our staff who hand-dyed the onesies brown, and made the feathers themselves! Be sure to leave these adorable little ones and their families some encouraging words during this time. We wish them all the best!”
It wasn’t just hospitals that shared Thanksgiving festivities in the NICU. Many parents also took to social media to share how thankful they were for nurses who go above and beyond to make them feel a part of the holidays, even when celebrating while their little turkeys are still under NICU care. For instance, one mom shared on NICU Mamahood’s page how grateful she was for the nurses who made her son feel included day in and day out, even on Thanksgiving.
“This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the NICU nurses that got Liam a thanksgiving outfit and helped him make a holiday footprint craft for us. They made today the best it could be. Something they do day after day. Holiday, milestone day, the not so good days. They show up. So to all of Liam’s nurses, this thanksgiving, and every day actually, we are so incredibly thankful for you ” she wrote in 2021, with an encouraging update this year: “I will always be thankful for Liam’s nurses and doctors. As I remember Liam’s first Thanksgiving I can’t help but get emotional. This year he’s going to sit at the family table with us and I have only his NICU staff to thank for that opportunity.”
Image Source: NICU Mamahood/Facebook