Corryton (WVLT) -- A Corryton mom is just now getting to know her newborn son after he spent more than a month under the care of nurses at St. Mary's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
As she explained to us, now that her baby is home, her heart goes out to other parents of premature babies beginning the long road to recovery.
Darlene Castro is the proud mother of 5 children, ranging in ages from 7 weeks to 13 years old.
Her newest bundle of joy was born 5 weeks early.
His birth brought challenges and concerns, but mostly charitable inspiration.
"I wanted to make something not only to show my appreciation for what the nurses had done in nursing my son back to health, but also to give them something just to make the parents smile," Darlene said.
Little Christopher Michael, nicknamed peanut, was born July 23rd.
He weighed just three pounds, nine ounces.
"Having to leave the hospital once I was healed and leaving him behind was very very difficult for me," she said.
Baby Christopher spent five weeks in the NICU at St. Mary's Women's Pavilion.
His mother says it was the special attention from the nurses that made all the difference.
"Christopher and I bonded early on," said Janice Seller, one of the NICU nurses. "He was a very special baby."
"They catered to every need I had and every need he had, no question was ridiculous," Darlene said. "They made us feel comforted knowing he was in very capable hands."
But it wasn't just the medical expertise that was comforting.
It was the sentimental touches like embroidered blankets and pictures paid for out of the nurses own pockets.
"The picture collage really means a lot because it brought the times when he was there back to me and I thought that was a special thing," Darlene said.
With her baby home now for about two weeks, Castro wants to help the nurses in their personal efforts to ease the pain for other preemie parents.
She is doing it, one stitch at a time.
"I thought what better way then to make a couple crosses for each baby to maybe hang over the isolette and have the lords protection," she said. "It would be my small way of not only thanking the NICU for what they have done in caring for my son, but also to hopefully help make a little smile in a trying time for every parent that has to go through this."
Castro is asking you too to open your hearts, as she collects donations for the St. Mary's NICU.
Items needed include preemie clothing, CD-ROM disks, CD cases, baby blankets, scrap booking kits and pastel colored yarn.
If you would like to help, you can email Darlene Castro at email@example.com