So far, April the Giraffe is definitely the break-out star of 2017. With millions of people around the world excited to finally watch the live-stream of her birth last Saturday, April has certainly won a special place in hearts everywhere.
One particular place where April has left an impression is the St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, where nurses crocheted a special hat in the shape of a giraffe head to be given to the first baby born after April’s own baby was born last weekend.
The lucky new owner of the adorable hat? Baby Jeriel, who was born on on April 15, just 12 minutes after April’s now-famous calf made his way into the world at Animal Adventure Park.
The hospital shared a snapshot of little Jeriel in the hat on Facebook earlier this week, and OMG how adorable does she look in it?!
Nurse Becky Allen from St. Josephs Women’s Hospital told Fox 13 News that Jeriel and her proud parents were greeted by several excited hospital nurses, who presented the baby with the sweet hat in honor of April the Giraffe on Saturday.
Allen explained to the TODAY Show earlier this week that all babies actually receive handmade hats at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital. It’s part of The Paula Project, an initiative named after a beloved hospital nurse named Paula MacDonald, who had started the tradition of crocheting hats for newborns many years ago. MacDonald soon taught other nurses on staff how to make these adorable hats, too, which now come in many colors and styles. Sadly, MacDonald passed away a year ago, though her memory still lives on at St. Joseph’s with every hat that is crocheted.
According to Allen, a fellow nurse named Jen McCutcheon made the April the Giraffe hat two months prior to the birth of Jeriel.
“We thought that the giraffe was going to deliver [much earlier], so we held onto this giraffe hat and it sat glued to our bulletin board,” she shared.
Allen says the hospital delivers around 20 to 30 babies a day, and that the nurses’ goal is to make sure every baby receives a handmade hat to go home with.
Meanwhile, April the Giraffe and her adorable calf are reportedly being well cared for the by the experts at Animal Adventure Park while she recoups. But April’s long-awaited babe still needs a name — in fact, there’s currently a contest going on to name the male calf. If you have a great idea for a name, you can submit it now at Name April’s Calf.
Congrats to baby Jeriel and her family, and the awesome labor and delivery team at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital for a job well done!
And big congrats to April the Giraffe, who finally (after a long and surely uncomfortable labor) had her baby calf. She was pregnant for 15 months, people! I’ll just let that sink in for a moment …