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

A Father’s Love

I can remember those days in the NICU like yesterday. I don’t usually let myself go there because it is a place I like to stay for a while, give myself time to cry if I need it, and sometimes like tonight – I don’t want to leave.

That time with our daughter was sacred. I remember watching my husband bask over this precious baby girl, glowing with so much pride.

I knew he would love her, because he already did, so much. But seeing his love in action, was something else I could never have imagined if I tried. I think I loved him even more after seeing him with her, if that was even possible.

When she left our world, and we said goodbye, we mourned differently, but I never doubted how much he cared for her. And when people would ask if he had any children, he’d share Jenna with them. To this day, if you ask him how many he has, he’ll include her in his answer, and say two.

It’s been three years since we said goodbye, and I have to say the pain is not searing anymore. It doesn’t feel like a fog or a living nightmare like is used to. It’s sort of just… life. It’s our new normal. We talk about her, we have her pictures all over our house, we share her with anyone willing to listen, and she will always be our first.

On Father’s day we might get a chance to go visit her, leave her a giant bunch of the pinkest gerber daisies we can find and celebrate the fact that regardless of how things unfolded, she made us parents for the first time. And what a privilege it’s been to share her with the world.

The truth is she gave us more than we could have ever given her. She opened our eyes to a deeper love, more compassion, and the chance to see life as a gift.

Because it really, really is.

Franchesca Cox About Franchesca Cox

Franchesca Cox (TX) is a wife, mom, writer, artist. She also gave birth to three beautiful babies, all premature. She founded Still Standing Magazine in May of 2012 as a tribute to her first daughter, who passed away after 13 days in the NICU. The magazine focuses on inspiring healing and community among bereaved parents. You can find her on facebook and her blog.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost one of our twins three years ago too, and also feel like her place in our family is permanent. It has been an uncharted journey so far.

  2. The love of a father for his little girl. That was a love I would have given anything to see grow in my family. In fact is has grown, just not in the way I would have hoped for.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. We just had a preemie. It was unexpected, but he’s doing great. And we love this little life; a little scary at time how fragile he is, but a blessing, nonetheless.


  1. […] other news, if you have a moment be sure to check out my first post on Preemie Babies 101 today. I am honored to be a part of Hand to Hold‘s new blog for Preemie parents, and just […]

Speak Your Mind