Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

10 Things I’ve Learned About Prematurity

When you experience a premature birth, you’re bound to be changed. Here are a few things I’ve learned about prematurity…

1. Be patient – I find there are so many situations where I need to adjust and just breathe. Things are going to happen that you aren’t expecting. Relax, go over the situation in your head and then make the best choice for the situation.

2. Expect the unexpected – As I mentioned above things are going to come up, we don’t plan to spend time in the hospital, or driving to doctors’ offices that are two hours away but things happen. An example of this is just this past year, we spent Christmas in the hospital because Kendall wound up having RSV. Were we planning on being in the hospital for Christmas? NO! Did we still make the most of the situation? YES!

3. Scars are appreciated – Scars are something that comes with the territory. Surgeries are very common with preemies and I have learned to appreciate them. Of course I am terrified of how kids will react if they see Kendall’s scars. I was thinking about it last night and came to the conclusion that I will have her embrace them. I want to tell her that if she sits and looks at all her scars she will realize that they kept her alive. We made the decision to have the surgeries because we wanted her to live, they were necessary for her survival, and that in itself is AMAZING!

4. Milestones will come – Delays are common in preemies. I had twins and I remember being so frustrated because their milestones were so different. I then had to step back and realize that Brooke was in the hospital for three months and Kendall for eleven so she has been through more and had more traumatizing events. This makes for milestones to come at different times. The point is to not fear, with time the milestones will come, they may be days late, months late, or even years late but they will come and you will still jump up and down and encourage them to meet those milestones.

5. Therapy is necessary SOMETIMES – I feel like this is a big topic. Therapy is sometimes necessary in my opinion. We went through all kinds of therapy with Kendall and some were necessary and some weren’t. With physical therapy she flew through it, as her body thrived she gained momentum and graduated from physical therapy in no time. Kendall was very slow to learn eating and when we would go to occupational therapy I felt like it wasn’t helping. They wouldn’t do anything different then what we would do at home, I felt like we were wasting our time and money for things that weren’t helping. We ultimately made the decision to stop with therapy and just worked extra hard with her at home and we were successful. [Continue reading]

Making Discharge Less Scary for NICU Parents

NICU Discharge

My son Jackson was in the NICU 105 days.  He came home a week before his due date after logging more than 2,500 hours in the hospital.  His NICU stay was emotionally and physically grueling.  From his first days when my husband and I sat by his … [Continue reading]

Where’s My Sister? Tips on Including Siblings in Your NICU Journey

Sibling love

I remember being so conflicted when my Haley was in the NICU.  She was our second child.  We were used to giving all of our attention to our son Jacob.    Now not only did we have two kids to love and care for, but they were in different locations.  … [Continue reading]

Next FB Chat: What to Expect if Your Baby Needs Therapy after the NICU

ECI baby

Join us for our next Facebook Chat with Stacy Ramirez, the Child Find and Outreach Specialist for Any Baby Can's Early Childhood Intervention Program, also known as ECI in Texas. While each state has various programs and many go by different names, … [Continue reading]

Multiple Tips for a Multiple-Births Pregnancy

2tolove

If you’re anything like me, while growing up you didn’t have a real-life connection to a mother who experienced a multiple-births pregnancy. Instead you may have been accustomed to believe the romanticized and perfect versions of having multiples, … [Continue reading]