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

Why the Preemie Power Contest Means So Much

Thurston and MommyWhen a child is born preterm or with a special health care need, they face many challenges—from simply breathing on their own to regulating their body temperature to learning to eat from bottle or breast.  Unfortunately, many face significant challenges—from the need for surgery just hours after birth to infection and brain bleeds. Once home, the challenges sometimes continue for many months and in some cases for a lifetime.

Even late term preemies (babies born between 34-36 weeks) often face medical and developmental challenges. For a preemie, there are often muscle tone, balance and information (both auditory and visual) processing delays which can postpone milestones and impede learning and school readiness.

As a parent, it is excruciating to watch your child struggle during a NICU stay.  And those same feelings of guilt, frustration, fear, helplessness and exhaustion often persist long after a NICU stay as you work to provide your child with every opportunity to meet their full potential.  That is why Hand to Hold’s Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest is so important.  The annual contest offers a way for parents to pause, reflect and celebrate the tremendous progress of their babies, infants and children.  And in some cases, it is a time to remember and honor a child that was unable to overcome their mighty villains.

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To the NICU Nurse… Thank You.

Joseph and his primary nurse, Renee', on day 100 in the NICU.

I had never met a NICU nurse until the early hours on Halloween morning 2009. In all honesty, my first encounter with a NICU nurse wasn’t overwhelmingly positive. She was giving me the grim statistics of what living with 24 week twin boys could be … [Continue reading]

Seeking a Second Opinion or Finding a New Doctor


You know that feeling when you’ve just left the NICU after a long day, your cell phone rings, and you recognize that the number is the NICU? My husband and I had just returned home from the hospital. I knew my son was scheduled for a follow-up … [Continue reading]

Fighting the Fear of Flu Season (and other nasty viruses)


RSV. Influenza. Back-to-school germs. And now... Enterovirus. If you're anything like me, those things scare you to no end. What if your newly released NICU baby gets sick? What if your now 1-year-old doesn't qualify for Synagis any longer? What if … [Continue reading]

How This Extra Step Made Our NICU Stay More Bearable


When my husband and I found out we were having twins, I was both excited and scared, and one of the first things my then-medical-student husband said to me was, “You know, they’ll probably be in the NICU for a while.” No, I didn’t know that, but … [Continue reading]