If you noticed in my first post about our #DisneySide party, I left a few things out. As you saw in my reveal post, Disney sent us all kinds of goodies for a Mickey themed party for a DisneySide Celebration. They also sent us runDisney cheer cards. Once I sorted out all of the surprises in our box, it took me several days to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with everything.
I definitely wanted to have a party with our close friends and family, but there had to be more. I felt the need to “pay it forward” somehow. Disney “pays it forward” in their own communities and around the world everyday. I knew that “paying it forward” was one of the best ways to really pay tribute to my DisneySide. Then it came to me! I would send party supplies, treats, and boredom busters to the High Risk Perinatal (HRP) Unit at Northside Hospital for the patients and nurses to enjoy!
You see, for 109 days (and no, that’s not a typo), I was a patient up in the HRP ward while pregnant with the twins, Bubba and Sissy. I was admitted on September 29, 2008, and laid in a bed until January 12, 2009 when I was whisked down the hallway on the way to the OR to deliver the twins. I’ll tell the whole story in another post, but as you can imagine, it was a significant event in mine and my family’s life. I’ve written recommendations, thank you’s, and cards, but it’s taken this long to gain the confidence to go back up to the hospital to say thank you in person. I was going to use my DisneySide and all of my Disney goodies to say thank you to the nurses and staff, and give a little encouragement to the patients in HRP.
Before my party even started, several of my friends and family asked if they could help with the party or bring something to assist with preparation. After thinking about it, I had an idea. Boredom Busters! When I was a patient in the hospital, the nurses always reminded me they had a bin full of Boredom Busters up at the nurses station if I needed something to pass the time. They had crafts, coloring books, movies, books, etc. I took advantage a few times, but my husband was very good about bringing me things to keep me busy. They also had a bin that had goodies for kids visiting their moms. It had crayons, coloring books, stickers, and games. I remember the Kid taking full advantage of this on a few of those days where a 3 year old just didn’t want to be confined to a hospital room visiting her mother. Honestly, I completely understood; I didn’t want to be up there any more than she did. So, I let my guests know if they wanted to contribute any small toys or games, that would be the biggest help they could give. By the end of our party, we had an entire bag of Boredom Busters to take to the hospital!
If you’ve ever been to a hospital, have you ever noticed that the person laying in the bed faces a bulletin board and a clock? Seriously, a clock? I’m convinced that whomever designed those room layouts never realized the torture of laying in a bed literally watching the seconds tick by. After the first few days, my husband and I realized that we needed to put something on the bulletin board below the clock to keep my eyes occupied on something besides the clock. I remembered this feeling, and I realized exactly what we needed to do with the runDisney cheer cards. We needed to cheer up and cheer for the patients in HRP!
We decided to take some crispy rice treats and the party supplies to the nurses. We also decided to treat them to dinner with a TwoSmiles gift card. This was actually one of my favorite elements of our surprise since it was so easy! I got to print out a card/gift certificate combo right from my printer with the photo paper that HP provided.
When we arrived at the hospital, I had to steady my nerves. Spending almost 4 months in a hospital room will make you never want to voluntarily enter a hospital again. This time, it was a happy occasion. All of my children were with me, and they were excited to donate some happiness to the patients and nurses.
Out of the privacy and respect of the nurses and patients, we didn’t take pictures after this point. We were able to speak with the manager of the HRP Unit and the Patient Relations Liaison. They were incredibly kind and interested in our donation. We let them know about the DisneySide campaign by Disney, and they loved the Cheer Cards and lithographs. We were able to talk about some of my old nurses, some of whom are still there. The nurse that is responsible for getting me into an OR in order to have the twins safely just retired in December. The manager of the ward speaks to her often, and assured me she would relate my gratitude to her. When they asked me how long I stayed in HRP, I let them know. They said that I probably held a record for a while, but last year a mom was up there for over 120 days. To that mom, I salute you!
Thank you to Disney, runDisney, and all of our guests at our DisneySide party for the help in “paying it forward”. Today was a good day. If you are interested in showing your DisneySide or throwing your own DisneySide Celebration, you can! Check out the DisneySide Celebration website for ideas, recipes, themes, and more.
Disney sent some of the products you see for us to throw a party, mmm-kay. The opinions and fun had with my kids are all my own.