It can be daunting for new parents to walk into the NICU and to see their tiny baby hooked up to tubes and machines. Everything about those first few months is full of unknowns and plenty of prayers for their little ones' growth and development.
In spite of the hurdles that preemies and their parents face, the exceptional nurses and volunteers at St. Luke Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri are bringing the spirit of Halloween to the families they care for.
Nurses and volunteers from the March of Dimes got to work sewing and crocheting special Halloween costumes for 35 babies.
"Families in our NICU may spend weeks or months here, and it can be an emotional time," hospital spokeswoman Michelle Manuel told CNN."Providing an opportunity for them to celebrate Halloween with their little ones allows them a sense of normalcy, and to celebrate their baby's first milestones, which is what every family wants to do."
Each family got to pick a costume that matched their little hero's personality. Along with the costume came a "Trick or Treat, smell my feet" card with their baby's footprints, a hand crocheted pumpkin filled with treats, and a Halloween book that they can read together.
Three local photographers volunteered to take pictures of the little angels. Each photographer has a special connection to the NICU - they are the mothers of former NICU babies.
Emmalee Schaumburg is one of those photographers, who is grateful to have the pictures from her daughter's time in the NICU. "It's so important to remember how far these babies have come," she told CNN.
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