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

About Jessie Threlkeld

Jessie Threlkeld is mother to Breanna, a former 32 weeker. Jessie's uneventful pregnancy came to a screeching halt due to unexplained PPROM. Due to breathing and eating complications Bree had a much longer NICU stay than anticipated with a total of three discharges from the NICU. The two struggled through the ups and downs of breastfeeding, performing CPR and learning the ropes of bringing a preemie home. Jess and her husband Nate have made it their passion to encourage and support preemie parents, and find ways to help those that want to breastfeed. Jessie is passionate about encouraging NICU moms through their journey, as well as, finding natural solutions for common preemie issues. Check out her blog for tips on surviving in the NICU and beyond.

Resentment in the NICU & Finding Peace

I was standing in line at Vons, my cart full of packaged “healthy” food for my week in the NICU, when the lady in front of me turned to the side. I felt my face get hot and tears began to fall as I saw her round, swollen belly. She smiled at me and I looked down. All I could think was, that was supposed to be me. I’m supposed to be shopping for healthy food items for the last two months of my pregnancy.

Instead I was three hours from home, in a city I had never visited, living in a hospital room, hoping that my little girl would make it through the night.

Our NICU floor was on the same level as the labor and delivery unit. Late night coffee runs for me meant that I inevitably ran into a laboring mom walking the halls. I would watch her in envy, wishing desperately I could have had my chance. My early delivery came with no answers, no solutions, and felt very unresolved. As the weeks passed, and those weeks rolled into months, I saw countless moms and learned to just look down, so I wouldn’t face the pain that they were going to get to take their baby home, while I was just waiting to hear the words “discharge.” [Read more]

Finding Community in the NICU

The day my water broke, I was on my way to my baby shower. I was expected to get showered with presents, funny stories and enjoy my swollen baby belly for another two months. But Bree had other plans. I woke up in a puddle, and before I knew it, I was rushing to the […]

Starting Solids with your Preemie

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait to start solids with my preemie. Anything that brought normalcy, and a sense of another milestone being hit felt victorious! Starting solids with your preemie is an exciting step.

I read up on conventional foods for preemies, as well as alternative and natural routes. It wasn’t until I began feeding my daughter solids that her needs became clear to me. [Read more]

Pumping Up Your Bond

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and for us preemie moms, that can be a bit of a sore spot. Here are some of my tips on how to connect with your baby while you’re in the pumping journey (however long). [Read more]

Restoring Your Preemie’s Gut Flora: The Secret Ingredient

We had been out of the hospital three months when I first heard the words gut flora.¬†Little did I know that¬†was the secret ingredient to getting our little girl to optimum health. Gut flora is the intestinal flora, or the microorganisms that aid in everything from digestion to mood disorders. It is often known as […]