Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents
Carolyn Leighton-Hilborn

About Carolyn Leighton-Hilborn

Carolyn (Ontario, Canada) is a mother of three premature children. In 2008 her first son arrived at 31 weeks; she trusted her instincts and made it to the hospital in time. In 2010, she had identical twin boys at 27 weeks. The twins' NICU stays lasted 3 months and just shy of 4 months. During this time Carolyn felt extremely isolated and began to reach out via social media. On her personal blog, she writes about raising preemies, twins and parenting topics; you can also find her on Twitter. Currently, she is a peer health worker in her local multiples organization, Chairs Multiple Births Canada’s Preterm Birth Support Network and joined the Board of Directors of Canadian Premature Babies Foundation.

4 Tips for Raising a Child with Hydrocephalus

Whether your baby is diagnosed in utero or after birth, the diagnosis of hydrocephalus comes as a shock to any parent. A sad fact is that Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) is the leading cause of hydrocephalus in preterm infants and varying levels of IVH are very common in preemies, especially extremely preterm babies. Unfortunately, just as there is […]

Managing Multiples in the NICU? Don’t apologize.

When you are in the NICU with twins, triplets or higher order multiples, you are not only having to manage one baby’s health care needs, but two, three…It is going to be exhausting trying to keep things straight, who’s experiencing what, the times each baby will be having assessments, what medication they may need to be on, and then you need to get some sleep – have you tried sleeping when you have multiples (even a singleton) in the hospital? It’s hard! You may feel half-rested, as you try to sleep “with one eye open” or keeping your ears perked, half listening for the ring of your cell phone sitting by your head. You don’t want to miss anything, so it is hard to get your body to be at one hundred percent rest. [Read more]

A Prematurity Story: World Prematurity Day

Once upon a time an expectant mother and father eagerly anticipated the arrival of a healthy baby on or around their due date in 40 weeks’ time. Unfortunately at some point during the prenatal period, things took a turn for the worst, and instead of welcoming a baby on their due date, these same parents […]

Multiples with Multiple Discharge Dates

I suddenly knew in my heart the twins did not need to stay in the hospital together until each was ready to come home. The twins could come home one at a time, if that was how it was going to work out. [Read more]

Looking Back on Five Years

Five years ago my husband I looked over scans on the computer screens and became well versed in the anatomy and conditions of our little boys. You could say we had a crash course in neonatology, and at that time I worried many of my dreams and ideals for my babies may never occur, yet we had high hopes and knew we could take on whatever came our way. [Read more]