• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
hospital
on decorating. . .

on decorating. . .

I spent my downtime on call today working on decorations for the new NICU. I have loved learning about infrastructure and architectural plans and contractors through the entire process of our NICU expansion – thinking of space, and plugs, and practical function of shelves and monitors and incubator space. However, decorations are way more fun. . . and also essential to making our nursery welcoming.

The architect decided on a mountain theme, and my mind immediately went to my on of the first full psalm I memorized as a child “I lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where does my help come. . .” It seemed like a perfect verse for our mamas in those first uncertain days with a premature baby in the NICU. . .

So, I reached out to an Etsy designer who has provided all the verses for the NICU so far and she sent me this design:

She changed out the fir trees from her original design for acacias. I toyed with changing the mountain to the volcano the sun sets behind every day in Kijabe. In the end, we left it like this, and I can’t wait to put this up in the expressing room in the NICU.. .

A few months ago, I found these mountain decals below from another designer, already the same blue as the Kijabe logo – playful and whimsical. . . they will be the first thing you see when you come in the door behind the nurses desk and beside the resuscitaire.

We are adding one more verse to the wall above the babies, Jeremiah 1:5, below. It was the first verse I put on the wall 5 years ago (after a pediatrics team vote), and is such an important reminder to our moms daily.

I am excited to move into the renovated NICU at the end of the week – to be able to walk with these moms in a beautiful space that matches the skill of our team – and to be able to remind them in all that surrounds them, that even in the early seemingly endless days of caring for a premature baby that they are Seen and Known and Loved . . .

*Below are some of the other decorations I made today – for our nurses’ stations, the windows, and even for the door to remind people to wash their hands – every space prayed over, thought through, and planned out to love our patients and our team. . .

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