Woman Makes Gorgeous 'Angel Gowns' for NICU Babies Who Don't Make It Home

wedding dressWhen you're done with your wedding dress, what do you do with it? Throw an epic trash the dress session? Hang it in a closet somewhere and forget about it? How about cutting it up to make clothes for babies in the NICU who will never make it home from the hospital?

They're called angel gowns, and they're the brainchild of a woman named Lisa Grubbs, wife of a specialist for premature babies. They're also the most heartbreaking and yet sweetest thing I've heard of in a long, long time.

The thing is, no mom expects her baby to be the one who doesn't make it home from the hospital. I once asked a friend who works as a labor and delivery nurse why she chose to work the maternity floor, and her answer came quickly: it's the one place in the hospital where everyone is happy. Bringing a baby into the world is supposed to be happy.

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So when it goes wrong, when a baby doesn't make it, you can imagine a mom and a dad's life is turned upside down. Everything they planned for is undone, and now they have to face what no parent should have to face, have to face myriad details none of us ever think about (and certainly never want to).

That's the beautiful thing about Grubbs' group, NICU Helping Hands. They take care of one of the biggest details so the parents can focus on others. It's one big thing off their plates.

One of Grubbs' volunteers, a NICU nurse, told a Texas news station that before angel gowns, they'd wrap the babies in hospital blankets, washrags, or towels. They didn't have much else.

Now Grubbs says the re-purposed wedding dresses give that baby something special. As she told WFAA:

This child who is so loved by its parents, being wrapped in love by a bride.

Let's face it ... there is NEVER a time for too much love, but if there is ever a time for extra, it's when parents are going through something like this.

I love what Grubbs is doing -- she herself is like an angel of the NICU -- but even more, I love that this is something she is open to seeing spread across America, to hospitals with NICUs around the country. The group accepts all wedding gowns -- even those with stains (they can work around them) and they also accept seamstresses from around the country. What's more, they will ship the completed angel gowns to any NICU, with the gown wrapped in tissue paper in a special white box.

Did you have a baby in the NICU? What's the sweetest thing anyone did for your family?


Image via Jeremy Bronson/Flickr

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Rose Mason

very nice gesture but where could people send the gowns so it can be made into one of them I would send my gown I am never gonna do anything with it so I would pay shipping to this lady for her to use

Bonni... Bonnie0512

If u ck the link up in the story, the nicu helping hands webpage tells you where to send your gowns if you want ti donate them.

youth... youthfulsoul

That's sweet. Yes I had a child in NICU but thankfully he made it home and is a thriving 3 yr old now.

nonmember avatar ana dimas

this is so beautiful. as a mommy of an angel baby, I know how much this means to the parents. my mother and I ended up buying a baby doll for the gown it had to dress my son in. this is just amazing. I still have the doll 11 years later :')

nonmember avatar BostonBob

Same here...had a child in NICU for a week who is fine now at 6.

These people are doing a wonderful thing.

nonmember avatar Tara

We had a 26 week preemie and Oir son came home and is a healthy almost 13 year old, now. Our second child did not come home, the last thing a grieving parent need to do is to "shop" for something. I am grateful to a dear friend who we met in the NICU, she purchased our Emily's gown and crocheted a beautiful blanket and bonnet for her. She had lost her first child at birth and she is Romanian, she sad it is her culture/tradition, if you will, to do this for another family who is suffering the loss of a baby. She told me that I will pass this gesture down and tell the next person of the story. Well, I did not exactly pass this gesture down, but I did send a hard to find blanket, which I had listed on ebay, to a mother on another state so that she could cover her baby daughters strong place in the winter. When she asked me if I could take less for the baby blanket, I knew instantly what I was going to do, I immediately removed it from ebay and got her address and sent it to her. I cried the while time I was packing it up and driving it to the post office. I visit her website for the playroom of hope and look at what good things she has done. Some of the smallest things have the biggest impact on people. To know that there are people who care is one of the nicest things and to feel a touch less hug from strangers, means more than you will ever know.

nonmember avatar phoenixcrochet

A lot of groups also crochet burial gowns for babies who don't make it, some of them are so tiny but all are beautiful. I've donated some I've made, but I'll tell ya- it's almost as emotionally powerful for teh people making them as the people receiving them.

nonmember avatar akorpnya

The Angel Gowns website also says they will send back a 'memento' of your donated gown if requested. Our older son spent some time in the NICU and the nurses were amazing. Such special people to choose to work with sick babies. Thankfully, our son is a healthy and energetic 2 yr old.

nonmember avatar Lauri

I had a son in NICU for 10 days. He is now a healthy 23 year old. Our experience was difficult. At one point one of the NICU nurses overstepped her boundries and told us there was nothing more they could do. We panicked and when our pediatrician found out he was mad. I am afraid that nurse got in some trouble. The sweetest thing anyone did was by a nurse on the maternity ward. She came in one night to do my vitals and held my hand and said it was okay to cry. I let loose some big tears and am so thankful she helped me to deal with the emotions I was bottling up.

tifferie tifferie

My son was in the nicu for 2 weeks. A group of elderly woman would make all of the babies blankets and beanies to wear. Thank god my baby is a healthy 6 year old now.

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