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

About Danielle Dreger

Danielle Dreger (WA) is an ex-30 week preemie and the mom of a
micro-preemie boy born at 27 weeks after she developed HELLP. Theo
weighed 1 lb, 13oz and was 13 inches long and spent over 200 days in
the NICU/hospital with severe lung damage from complications from a
PDA ligation, a superbug, pneumonia and prematurity. Now Theo is a
happy and vocal toddler who loves “organizing,” reading, and chasing
his dogs. When not working as a teen librarian or working on her YA
novel, Danielle is chasing Theo, traveling with family, and trying to
squeeze in a nap.

Preemies and Eye Health

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, which is fitting because this August is the one-year anniversary of my ex-27 week preemie, Theo, getting his glasses. Parents of preemies are all too familiar with eye exams. Babies born under three pounds or before 30 weeks are screened for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Preemies are also […]

Emerging from Isolation at the End of Cold, Flu & RSV Season

The days are getting longer and cherry blossoms and tulips are blooming. For most people these are signs of spring. If you’re a parent of a preemie, these aren’t just symbols of something new. These changes in nature signal the end of cold, flu and RSV season. We brought my son, Theo, home from his […]

Sleep Awareness Week & Preemie Sleep Challenges

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6th through March 13th, to raise awareness for the health benefits of sleep and its importance to safety and productivity. If there’s one thing new parents (and parents of preemies) have in common it is lack of sleep. A 2014 study showed that new moms were still sleep deprived after eighteen weeks of giving birth. There are hoards of articles with sleep tips for parents and recommendations for how many hours of sleep babies and toddlers need, but what if they don’t help? [Read more]

Being a NICU parent can be rewarding

I won’t lie, being a NICU parent was hard. I cried a lot. It was also surprisingly rewarding. The longer your baby is in the hospital, the harder it gets. My son, Theo, a 27-weeker, spent over 200 days in the hospital, 120 of them in the NICU. Even though he seemed healthy, Theo still required too much oxygen support to go home and we had to watch countless babies (many born after him) pack up and head home with their families. It was frustrating, but my husband and I made the most out of a lousy situation by expanding our emotional support team and doing self care. [Read more]

What to Read or Watch While Pumping and Nursing

My preemie, Theo, never latched, so I exclusively pumped for over sixteen months, ending only because my supply stopped. During that time I logged many hours (many of them in the middle of the night) with my Kindle, devouring books and binge-watching TV shows. I’m a librarian by trade and it is my job to offer […]