Indianapolis mother, Emily Collins, knows first-hand what it’s like to be pregnant and on hospital bed rest, and hopes to be a ray of light to other moms and their NICU babies.
During her third pregnancy, Collins experienced several bleeding incidents just 11 weeks in and spent 11 weeks on bed rest.
When she was 30 weeks pregnant, she experienced a placental abruption and had an emergency C-Section.
"I had a really difficult pregnancy with my third," said Collins. I was in and out of the hospital at St. Francis and I ended up needing a C-Section at 30 weeks gestation. My son, Nick, spent the next two months here in the NICU."
After discovering a need in her community, she connected with the Florida-based nonprofit, High Risk Hope, to help support women and families experiencing a high-risk pregnancy in Indianapolis.
"When I was in the hospital, I didn't really stop to process what was happening add how scary everything was until after he came home," said Collins. "That's when it set in for me, how lucky we were and how badly things could have worked out for Nick and for me, too. So, it became very important to me to help moms who are like me."
High Risk Hope provides emotional support bundles to NICU patients and women on high-risk bed rest.
Items in the bundles include educational materials, books, journals and milestone cards.
"There's no other nonprofit in the United States that supports women that are having high-risk pregnancies on bed rest in the hospital or families with premature infants in the NICU," said Kerri Kibbey, the director of special events, marketing and public relations for High Risk Hope. "We put in some of those items that really focus on mental health and alleviating the stress in a situation like this."
Over the past few months, Collins has raised over $670 to bring High Risk Hope bundles to Indiana.
On Monday, Collins and her husband, Cory, delivered 22 NICU Baby and Bed Rest Bundles to families at Franciscan Health Indianapolis.
"It was really special for me," said Collins. "If someone would have given me a bundle like that, it would have really brightened my day and meant a lot to me.
"It's incredible," said Kibbey. "I am so impressed with Emily and everything she has done to bring this here. It was just amazing I was able to be here and experience that with her."
Collins plans to continue her fundraising efforts as an ambassador for High Risk Hope and has planned several events throughout November as part of Prematurity Awareness Month.
"It's important to me to help moms who are in my position and to make sure they know they're not alone and that they're not going through this by themselves," said Collins."
Check out these upcoming events to support High Risk Hope:
Pub Night for Preemies
Nov. 8 @ 11 a.m. at Union Jack Pub, Broad Ripple
Mimosas for Moms
Nov. 11 @ 11 a.m. at Bar Louie, Greenwood Park Mall
Brews for Babies
Nov. 16 @ 6 p.m. at Books & Brews, Indianapolis