Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Newsletter: cancelled

It's been more than a little crazy here lately.  We're working on oral feeds with my daughter, so there's been even more time that I'm in the NICU (we're still working on breastfeeding as the primary feeding method). My son got Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease at daycare, and even with lots of handwashing, my daughter got it too, so we've had a sick cranky kid at home and a sick cranky kid at the hospital. And my son had surgery to sew his trach stoma shut (hooray for being able to put him in the bath tub without risking him pouring water straight into his lungs!).

So, all that said, I'm behind on the newsletter for this month, and planning to just skip it, but I want to give you a couple quick updates.

One mother amongst us is working with an artist friend of hers on logo ideas.

Another has put together a list of blogs and zines for us to approach with articles, posts, and press releases about the group. I've got a couple others to add to her list, and then we'll be looking for some help writing to the various publications to ask if they're interested in a guest post or article, and then on writing those pieces.

I am so grateful that they've jumped right in with both feet to keep things moving around here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prayer requests for October

Any requests for October's newsletter?

What about preemie stories? I'd love to feature your preemie next month :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seeking Sponsors

I'd like to go about sponsorship a little differently here. I don't see a need to build up a stash of cash for care packages at this time (because there aren't a lot of requests), so selling ads or otherwise asking people for money up front doesn't seem to be the right thing to do. Besides, then I'd have to do accounting, and I hate it with a passion.

Instead, I'd like to propose this:

I'd like to exchange site buttons with our supporters. I'll be making a special "I support Pagan Parents of Preemies"  button, and provide a sign-up form so we can keep track of supporters. Sign up, and post our button on your website, facebook, blog, or whatever, and give us a little exposure, and we'll post your button (125x125 max) on this blog in exchange. Supporters will be signed up to receive our newsletter each month, and will receive a special email when we need to put together a care package.

Supporters who help out with a care package when requested will get a special "Care Package Sponsor" button and will be listed on a thank you page here on the site.

Further, I'd like to seek out other ways of getting information on this project out there - writing articles for magazines, for instance, or guest posting on blogs. What about a give-away here on the blog? Something Pagan parenting related maybe, or something for Pagan kids? Anyone have a line on getting some things donated?

I'd also like, once we get a logo finalized, to get a little store going on zazzle or cafe press, with funds from there going towards advertising.

Got some other ideas? Let me know at - I'm definitely open to suggestions!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seeking Your Stories

I'd like to start a regular feature each month profiling a Pagan preemie. Any interest in telling your story? I think there's value in knowing we're not alone, and that others have walked the same path we are.

Interested in telling us about your NICU journey and where you are now? Leave a comment, or email me at and we can work out details.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monthly Healing & Energy Requests for September

Have you got any healing or energy requests for your preemies (no matter their current age) for this full moon? Let me know and I'll put them in the newsletter!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pagan Parenting in the NICU ver 1.0

I'm pleased to announce the first edition of my ebook, "Pagan Parenting in the NICU." Comments & suggestions for updates are always welcome.

I'm hopeful that other parents will find this information helpful during their NICU stay. I'll be including a printed copy in each care package.

Download it now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Logo Contest!

You know, having blog buttons and other promotional stuff, as well as telling parents about this site, would be easier with a logo. Besides, wouldn't it be neat to have a Pagan Preemies shirt at some festival and have someone else say, "hey! I have that shirt!" - it'd be an instant connection, knowing that you're both parents of miracles.

So, I'm opening up the floor for a logo contest!

Please make submissions fairly large - 6" x 6" using at least 150 dpi. We'll be wanting to scale the logo down for things like blog buttons (125x125), but having them bigger to start with will make for easier use on other things like t-shirts or mugs.

Submissions can be made by email to until September 1.  I'll list them all on our facebook page after that, and voting will commence, ending on September 14.

The winner will receive a $25 gift card, a mention on our Thank You page, and our eternal gratitude. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you know.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Monthly Healing/Energy Requests

Now that we've got a few blog subscribers and a few facebook members, I'd like to put out a monthly call for healing and energy requests for our preemies. I'll put these in the newsletter just before the full moon, and publish a link to it as well so that we can send energy as part of our full moon rites.

So...does your preemie (no matter how old they are now) need a little extra help? Let me know here or on facebook, or email me at!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

ebook coming soon - readers wanted

I have finished what I think is the next-to-last draft of an ebook on how to bring faith into the NICU as a Pagan. I'd love to have a couple of people read it and maybe make some comments before I publish it for general consumption - not that it can't get updated as time passes, but I'd like the first edition to be reasonable.

If you're interested in reading the pre-publish version, comment here or on facebook, or email me at

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Holidays in the NICU

With Lughnasadh/Lammas coming up here in the northern hemisphere, I thought it might be useful to talk about celebrating holidays in the NICU.

With our first child, we spent every major public holiday except Memorial Day, and every Wheel of the Year holiday except Beltane in the hospital. While the nursing staff decorated for mainstream holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day, I wish we'd done more to celebrate our own holidays (at least when they didn't overlap some major crisis with our child).

When considering what we ought to do this time, decorations seemed easiest. Maybe a corn dolly for Lughnasadh? She'd go well on our little altar space - I haven't found one yet, but it's on my ever-present list. Or maybe a little sheaf of wheat? We can't have large amounts of food in the room, only snacks, so bread might be iffy, and that's a major staple for this holiday.

I went looking around online for other suggestions, and found a nice article at Parenting Children with Special Needs - its suggestions are applicable to many holidays, while most other articles I found were specific to Christmas (and a few mention Thanksgiving). Generally, the recommendations fall into categories like decorating your child's room and getting them special holiday outfits.

The other key thing in reading others' experiences, and in looking back on our own, is to do what feels right to you - celebrate how you want, where you want. Celebrate, or don't, based on how you feel. Change traditions or make new ones. Spend the day with family, or in the NICU, depending on what feels most comfortable. This issue of personal comfort and opinion is important - we had a large argument with family about not spending Christmas day with them while our son was in the NICU, because we felt it more important to be with him, rather than with the broader family, and they disagreed. Our decision, though, was that our child needed to come first.

Hopefully you only have one or two holidays to contend with - worst case, skipping a holiday or two because you're busy with your preemie won't kill you, and might just be less stressful than the alternatives.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Care Package Items - Wish List

Hi folks. Glad you could join us. We don't have any requests for care packages yet, but I want to put some thoughts out there for those of you thinking about what would be helpful.

The things I have in mind for care packages fall into three categories: things for parents, things for babies, and religious support.

Things for parents:

  • NICU life accessories. Things like hand sanitizer and lotion. Also small notebooks, pens/pencils, a puzzle book, etc. A lot of these can be had at local department stores on an as needed basis.
  • Toiletries. Some hospitals let you stay on site. Some parents are traveling significant distances to see their babies. Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc.
  • Food. I've gotten care packages this time around with single-serving snacks, some natural and some decidedly not. I've gotten coffee samples, bags of tea, coupons for discounts on frozen prepared meals, and gift cards to actual restaurants.
  • Memory type things. Some care packages we've seen include a disposable camera, hand/footprint kits, NICU journals, etc
Things for baby:
  • Clothing for the baby. We have access to a place to get preemie & regular newborn sized clothing. We also have an account with one of the specialty shops that does micropreemie clothes, because we've been doing gift bags for our home hospital for over 2 1/2 years.
  • Baby accessories. Blankets, hats, small stuffed animals (we've had great luck finding stuffed animals at Ikea), pacifiers, etc. Baby-friendly lotion and diaper rash cream too.
Religious things:
  • A symbol of the family's faith. I have a source for tiny silver pentacles. I have a few ankhs. I can get triskele, tree of life, greenman, and Goddess, though they're bigger than I'd like.  I've been unable to find a reasonably priced source of Thor's Hammers that are small
  • Other ritual items. Battery powered LED tealights (most dollar stores have these), maybe a quartz crystal or other protective or healing stone? (I have sources for stones)
  • Once I get it finished, a hard copy of the ebook I'm working on about navigating the NICU experience as a Pagan parent. 
I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of yet. There should probably be some sort of flyer/brochure explaining where this package came from, with links here, and maybe other resources?

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    A rocky beginning

    Most of us don't know until shortly before it happens that we're about to become members of a special club - those whose babies start life too early, too small, too ill, to go home with us when we leave the hospital.

    This is our family's second lengthy NICU stay. We're on week 5 of an unknown stay for our daughter, born this past May at 28 weeks after more than 4 weeks of hospital bedrest for blood pressure issues - based on my history, it was assumed that I was developing pre-eclampsia.

    Our first was with our son, who was born in June of 2008 at 27 weeks and a day, weighing only 1 lb 7oz. due to pre-eclampsia & HELLP syndrome, and spent 291 days in  the NICU, coming home with a tracheostomy, a ventilator, and a g-tube. He's now a nearly-typical 3 year old, with his various tubes coming out later this summer.

    The two stays are different, and a big difference for us is that we're more comfortable there - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It's life in a fishbowl, but if everyone else gets to draw crosses on their child's marker board, and gets to decorate with other symbols of their faith, why not us? A small altar/shrine is in the works; we're more at ease with chaplains and others who want to pray for us.

    I started this site to give support to others in similar situations - whether you're in a position to be open about your faith or not, no matter how long your child is hospitalized - this is a hard journey, and I think we can support each other along the way.

    With that in mind, like our facebook page, linked on the right. Subscribe to the blog. Follow @PaganPreemies on twitter. If you're in the NICU, request a care package. If you'd like to help provide those care packages, email me at We'll also be taking requests for prayers & energy each week, and we'd love to have others help send energy to families who need it.