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Preemies at Kansas City hospital celebrate first Valentine's Day in style

Valentine’s Day was full of heartwarming moments for parents visiting their newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

Preemies wore red, white and pink hats decked out with hearts as they napped on blankets covered in colorful hearts. 

A mom poses with her newborn, dressed up for Valentine’s Day. Schaumburg Photography/March of Dimes

“Every day a child is in the NICU can be frightening and uncertain, but holidays are especially tough, as families miss the normal joys of celebrations at home,” said Rebecca Keunen, March of Dimes NICU Family Support Coordinator, who helped organize the adorable event.

That’s why the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Saint Luke’s Hospital decided to work with professional photographers in the area — to give parents of critically ill newborns a moment they would always remember.

One by one, families posed for photos with their child, and photographers took portraits of the tiny babies.

A newborn naps on a heart covered blanked in her pink and rose-colored hat for Valentine’s Day. Faces You Love Photography/March of Dimes

And the surprises didn’t stop there.

Parents also wrote heartfelt messages to their babies while hospital staff created “baby footprint valentines.”

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City sent CBS News some of the “love letters”:

James Wilkinson

Happy Valentine’s Day, James! 

You are the best Valentine we have ever received. We love you more than we could ever explain and

can’t wait for all the fun memories our little family is sure to create. Your 4 legged sisters can’t wait to

get you home!  

Love, Mom and Dad

Laney, Hadley and Brady Burnett

To our Sweet Valentines,

On this Valentine’s Day, we are so fortunate and blessed to have not one, or two, but three tiny new valentines to love….We are so lucky to be your parents. We couldn’t have ever imagined how strong our love for you could be. On your first Valentine’s Day, may all this love help you to grow and keep getting stronger so we can all be together at our home soon!

Love, Mommy & Daddy


Dre Patterson

Hey Baby Dre,

Mommy is so blessed to have you in my life! You weren’t supposed to be here until March 1st… coming January 18th was so unexpected. …I won’t forget that moment seeing your beautiful brown eyes! We can’t wait to have you home to share all the love from your 3 older sisters, daddy and myself.

Love, Mommy Cinta 

A couple poses with their Valentine’s Day cards in the NICU. Helen Ransom of Faces You Love Photography/March of Dimes

NICU nurses also gave parents their own Valentine’s Day card, with a print of their child’s feet in the shape of a heart.

“From the tips of my toes to the bottom of my heart, I love you!” the cards read.

After looking at the dozens of photos taken of the sleeping newborns, one thing’s for sure, Saint Luke’s Hospital said, “Love is in the air.”

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