I remember the six weeks before my daughter was born so clearly. I couldn’t breathe. I felt her little foot lodged on my lowest left rib. I was sleeping about 4 hours a night. I noshed on Tums as though they were the finest chocolates. All I wanted was a glass of wine. I was Ready To Be Done.
One of the strangest, strongest feelings I had during that time was the urge to nest. Sure, sure, all my mom friends had told me that I would be overcome with an intense and unending desire to make my home perfect for my little one. But, until those last six weeks, I didn’t understand. I poured every ounce of myself into setting up my home for my sweet one. Floors were scrubbed. Crib assembled. Then disassembled. Then reassembled in the correct fashion. Every piece of furniture over two feet tall was anchored to a wall. My husband and I became IKEA assembly ninjas (seriously, we could assemble a dresser set in less than 20 minutes).
I love my daughter’s nursery. It’s the physical expression of the excitement (mixed with a touch of anxiety, let’s be honest) I felt waiting for her to arrive. It is the most wonderful room in our house and it is filled with love.
Cut to August 2016. I held my 5-month-old in my arms and read about the terrible floods washing over Baton Rouge. I imagined moms-to-be, just like I had been, watching everything they had lovingly prepared for their little ones’ arrivals wash away. I felt for all of Baton Rouge, but my heart broke thinking about those mamas.
That’s why my company, Pip & Grow, is partnering with the Birthing Project USA to help Baton Rouge mamas rebuild after the floods.
The Birthing Project USA, is hosting baby showers for moms who need a little extra help. Each mother or mother-to-be will receive an infant bassinet box filled with baby goodies. Most importantly, each mom will be paired with a sister-friend to act as a mentor, supporter, and cheerleader to mom as she enters the wonderful, chaotic world of motherhood.
A key component of each shower gift is the Smitten Sleep System. Smitten is an elegant, eco-friendly infant bassinet box designed by a leading expert in infant safe sleep. Using a safe sleep space is one of the most important ways parents can prevent SIDS and suffocation, the leading causes of death in one month to one year old children. Safe sleep is particularly important for Louisiana babies – Louisiana has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the country (which is 30 percent higher than the national average). Many of the mothers who will participate in the showers don’t have access to a safe sleep space for their babies, putting their children at a higher risk for SIDS and suffocation. Fortunately, Smitten offers an affordable, portable option.
We’re asking for your help. The Birthing Project needs the following items for each mom:
- Cloth diapers
- 0-12 mo clothing
- Smitten Sleep System bassinet boxes for safe sleep
Please use the link in the shopping list above if you’d like to give a Smitten to a family in need.
To donate other baby items:
- Go to Goodshop.com
- Choose Birthing Project USA as your charity
- Search for Old Navy, Carters, Burlington’s, or your favorite store
- Shop for Baby and Mommy goodies to be delivered to:
Carol Bebelle, Director
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113
I know that you have all given, given, and given some more to help put your community back together. I also know that as fellow Baton Rouge moms you understand better than anyone else the heartache these new moms must be feeling. If it’s not in your means to donate right now, please consider sharing this post with your loved ones. We are grateful for anything you can do to lift up these mamas and surround them with love and light.
About Kate Compton Barr, MPH
Kate Compton Barr, MPH, has been working in the public health field for more than a decade. She is also a co-founder of Pip & Grow, the socially-responsible company that develops innovative child safety products. Pip & Grow is home of the Smitten Sleep System – an affordable, portable safe sleep space for babies 0-6 months old. At Pip & Grow, safe sleep is beautiful.
Kate’s best and most important jobs are being mom to her luminescent, 6-month-old daughter, Winnie and wife to her spectacular husband, Dan. Kate is happiest sitting by the ocean, surrounded by family and good friends. She enjoys good food and is honored to carry on her family’s Southern baking traditions.