Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Comfort of The Isabel Designer Hospital Gown After Knee Replacement Surgery

We received a lovely testimonial from Sharon of Virginia. She purchased an Annie & Isabel hospital gown for herself for a knee replacement surgery she was scheduled to have that would require a couple nights stay in the hospital. She heard about our company from a friend of hers and knew right away it was a necessity for her upcoming surgery.

Sharon purchased the Isabel hospital gown and here is what she had to say about her experience in her gown:

"I am so happy that my friend told me about Annie & Isabel Hospital Gowns and that I ordered one before having knee replacement surgery recently. As soon as I looked online, I knew I'd love your gowns - and I did! I was especially pleased to learn that they were developed by nurses who knew what patients need to feel comfortable and adequately covered. While at the hospital, I was delighted that I could walk down the hall to rehab, and not worry about rear-end "exposure". I also loved the feel of the fabric, and that my gown had pockets. Therapy is tough, and you never know when you'll need a tissue to wipe a stray tear. The lovely pattern of my gown (I chose the Isabel) was perfect for a mature woman, and the compliments I received from guests and hospital staff certainly made me feel special. The only down-side of the gown was that is was so cute that it almost made me excited about going to the hospital - almost, but not quite. Best wishes for continued success."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Channelling The Animal Instincts of The Susan Hospital Gown For A Not-So-Easy Birth!

The labor and delivery of your first child is different for every woman. When you are about to deliver your first child, you can't exactly imagine how your body will respond to this experience and hope for strength and minimal discomfort. We received this very candid testimonial from Liz. She had two gowns for her hospitalization, which definitely came in handy for her extended stay in the hospital. We love when women pick our zebra Susan gown because it is fun and "wildly" chic, but we had no idea how much strength it would bring Liz during a difficult labor. We know that your birth journey was not the one that you expected and we appreciate that you were willing to share it with us. You are a true Annie & Isabel warrior!!

"October 12th, 2010...It's a day I will NEVER forget. My husband and I anxiously awaited the arrival of our son as we began the "birthing" journey at 6:30am. Upon arriving at the hospital I slipped into my Susan gown, smiled pretty for the camera (wish I would have donned some sort of makeup), climbed onto the bed and my pitocin drip began. Throughout the morning, as docs and nurses flitted in and out of my room, everyone commented on the Susan gown! It made me smile because I wasn't feeling the least bit pretty with the 55 more lbs. added to my former self, but hey, you will take a compliment when you can get it at this point."

"Little did I know that only a few short hours into being induced, my epidural would wear off, it wouldn't be fixed, and after nearly eight LONG hours of hard labor, I was rushed into an emergency c-section when they had to put me completely out. Honestly, the Susan gown gave me the strength to be the "animal" I needed to be to make it through those excruciating hours. I was not prepared for even the tiniest bit of pain (naive I know), but the gown's pattern kept me focused, fighting, and roaring (much to the dismay of the poor moms-to-be getting ready for their births. I am sure they found it hard to focus with my blood curdling screams). I remember, just before I slipped into "dream" land, one of the nurses said, 'that is the cutest hospital gown I have ever seen, I needed to ask her where she got it when she wakes up!' and she did..."

"Decker James Miller finally arrived at 7:39 p.m. but I didn't get to meet him until the early morning hours of the next day. Before he was placed in my arms, I asked my sweet husband to help me change from my Susan gown into the Anita gown. I didn't realize the immobility that comes with a c-section (again, naive) but it was so easy to take off and put the other one on, the snaps and ribbons were no-fuss. Once on, the Anita gown make me feel refreshed given the ordeal I had just endured; it actually made me feel pretty again and I was now ready to meet my son. And so, with the Anita gown on, and my son in my arms looking up at me saying, 'are you my mother?', the "parenting" journey began!

Love how Liz has already mastered the multi-tasking!

Sweet Baby Decker James fast asleep after working SO hard to arrive safely!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Annie & Isabel Gives Back to Support Breast Cancer Patients

The Elizabeth Designer Hospital gown is our special edition hospital gown that supports those affected by the diagnosis of breast cancer.

This hospital gown is named after our beloved grandmother, Elizabeth, who also battled breast cancer. Our grandmother was strong, brave, and resilient during her battle with breast cancer. She was a fighter and refused to ever stop planning for her future. She was also very stylish throughout her life and she would have loved to have had her very own designer hospital gown.

We have mentioned before that a portion of the proceeds from the Elizabeth hospital gown would go to a breast cancer fund. On October 12th, 2010, we announced on Good Day Sacramento that we would be donating these funds to the Sutter Medical Center Foundation Breast Cancer Fund. We chose this fund for a couple of reasons. The first is that I work for Sutter Medical Center so we thought it would be nice to donate to a fund that we are familiar with, knowing that the money will be used to directly benefit breast cancer patients. The second reason is that we have had a few women that have worn our Elizabeth breast cancer gown in their journey to beat breast cancer and have directly benefited from this program. They have sung praises about this program so we know first hand that this is a wonderful program to support!

We thought it would be fitting, as Annie & Isabel nears it's one year anniversary, to make our first donation to the Sutter Medical Foundation Breast Cancer Fund. The specific program that this money will be benefiting is called the "Navigator Program" at Sutter Medical Center. We are donating 10% of the profits from our Elizabeth hospital gown to this fund.

The woman who runs the Navigator Program at Sutter Medical Center Foundation is Mary Pare. The program is called the Navigator Program because Mary Pare, a registered nurse, helps newly diagnosed breast cancer patients navigate and cope with their diagnosis, from the surgeries each patient goes through on to their recoveries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In addition, Mary is a wonderful resource to her patients because, as a registered nurse, she is also able to help patients "navigate" through the many symptoms and side effects they may be having and explain what is going on medically and physically to them.

In addition to providing support to her patients, Mary also provides a nice binder full of resources and information related to a patient's breast cancer diagnosis.

She also gives each patient wonderful products to help them recover after surgeries. Some of these products are purchased with the donations made to the Navigator Program. Other items, like hand made pillows, are sewn by volunteers and given to patients to use under their arms after surgery. They are also used by patients to be able to ride comfortably in a car with a seat belt.

The Navigator Program is also supported by other non-profit organizations that contribute by supplying products to patients. One organization, Necessities Bag, Inc., provides large bags full of products to help patients recover after their mastectomies. You can see all the wonderful things they provide in the picture below.

We thought we would share how two women have benefited from this program so you can see what a great program this is.

This is Alexxa. You may remember her from the testimonial she gave us here. This is what she had to say about the Sutter Navigator Program and it is a true testament to what a wonderful program this is:

"There are many reasons why I love Sutter Hospital......I was born there, I had my babies there, and they removed my breast cancer. The nurses, the physicians and the overall philosophy of patient care is among the best. The Breast Cancer Navigator program directly aligns with their fundamentals of care."

"While I was waiting to undergo the scariest procedure of my life, a double mastetomy, an angel in the form of Mary Pare appeared from behind the curtain, hours before my surgery. Mary came armed with a large tote bag of items for me. A binder full of information, a book to share with my children and miscellaneous items to help me both physically and emotionally after my surgery. Mary helped me, as much as anyone could, comprehend something so foreign. Even after surgery she made herself available for any questions or concerns I may have had."

"Thank you Sutter, for Mary and your program.....and helping me feel human again."

Noelle, who was the first to wear our Elizabeth hospital gown, is actually the one who made us aware of the Navigator Program and Mary Pare. She was so impressed with how much this program and Mary helped her that she wanted to connect us with the organization and we are so glad she did! This is how the program helped her:

"It all happend so fast....On Thursday, December 3, 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next few days, I met with my surgeon and my oncologist who both discussed and began planning my course of treatment. Two weeks later, I was in the hospital waiting to have a powerport device inserted in my chest. That was the day I first met Mary Pare. She is the Breast Cancer Navigator for Sutter General Hospital. She was my Angel. She sat on the edge of my hospital bed and held my hand as she educated me on the device and the surgery that I was about to undergo. She put my fears at ease. She was very knowledgeable and promised to be waiting for me when I woke up from my surgery. Mary followed me throughout my journey and was with me at every surgery. She provided emotional support, guidance and became a friend to me and my family......I will always remember her smile, warm heart and carying ways!"

"The Navigator program is a wonderful program!!! It allowed me access to someone other than my Doctors to ask questions, discuss concerns and, more importantly, to give me support and information about breast cancer."

We are really excited to have the opportunity to give back to the community and feel lucky to have found such a wonderful organization to support. We thank all of you who have purchased an Elizabeth gown as you have given back as well!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Edie Lambert Welcomes New Baby Girl in the "Annie" Hospital Gown

If you are from the Sacramento area, then you are most likely familiar with the name, Edie Lambert. Edie is a well respected newscaster for KCRA Channel 3 and has been reporting for them since 1995. It was such a joy to get to know Edie when we corresponded with her about the Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown that she would wear for the birth of her daughter. She is as genuine and friendly in person as she appears on television!

We loved hearing why Edie chose the Annie designer hospital gown. She told us she would be using the name, Annie, as a part of her daughters middle name in honor of her great grandmothers. This struck a cord with us, as you know how important and meaningful it has been for us to name our gowns after our ancestors. So it really touched us that Edie was choosing to remember her great-grandmothers by giving the middle name of Annie to her little Alise. We have always felt that by naming our own children, and now, our company and gowns, after our loved ones that we help insure that their name AND their legacies will be kept alive.

Edie, already so beautiful, looks radiant in her Annie hospital gown.

Edie and husband, Lloyd enjoying their first moments as a family of three
Baby Alise
In addition to the "Annie" hospital gown, Edie was also gifted the "Evelyn" hospital gown by her good friend. We received this very nice note from Edie about her experience wearing her Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns:

"I just had to write a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed wearing your pretty line of gowns as I gave birth to my daughter. It was a joyful time, and that was reflected in the cheerful colors and patterns of the gowns. I also appreciated not having to worry about my backside hanging out every time I walked down the hall!! I loved my gowns so much, I bought two for my mother-in-law for an upcoming surgery. I also loaned mine to my friend, Erin, when she was hospitalized during her pregnancy and she liked them so much she ordered a few more. Between the two of us, I think we now own almost your entire line!"

"As I have been preparing to return to work, I've been looking at the photos Brenda Bisharat shot during those first days in the hospital. Those are precious memories and I am grateful that they're captured as I wore gowns that felt special, beautiful and comfortable."

"Thank you both for using your expertise and creativity to come up with such a great idea."

~Edie Lambert~

Congratulations Edie and Lloyd!
We also want to thank Brenda Bisharat for, once again, doing an amazing job of capturing those first newborn moments!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Testimonial from Julissa Ortiz of Good Day Sacramento!

The exciting on air announcement this past October

If you are local to the Sacramento area, you may remember the live TV announcement last fall when Julissa Ortiz and husband, Steve Large, of Good Day Sacramento, were expecting their first child! Julissa is loved by many for her bubbly personality, contagious laugh, and also for her love of animal prints! She was the perfect person to rock our Susan gown for the birth of her sweet baby Natalia, who made her debut this past January. Julissa and Steve shared Natalia's first pictures on the GDS's blog and gave Annie & Isabel some love!

Julissa wore our Susan gown at the hospital and talented local photographer, Brenda Bisharat, took these precious photographs of their first day as a family of three. We are honored to share this testimonial and want to thank Julissa for all of her support! Brenda was able to so beautifully portray Julissa's fun personality and the love that she and Steve have for their new beautiful baby girl!

Here is what Julissa said about wearing her "Susan" Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown,

"I couldn't wait to wear my sassy hospital gown!! It was washed and packed weeks before going to the hospital. Having my very own gown for the birth of my first baby girl only added to this special experience. After 16 exhausting hours of labor, the Annie & Isabel gown made me feel pretty and so sassy! It was so much more comfortable that the worn out hospital gown! It covers up everything the needs to be covered up, but also makes nursing easy too! Thank you Annie & Isabel."

Congratulations to the Large Family!

To find out more about Brenda Bisharat Photography and the amazing offer for local moms to be who purchase and Annie & Isabel gown ~ please read here!