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

About Laura Maikata

Laura Maikata (MI) is mom to three fantastically unique children, the youngest of whom was born at 23 weeks due to preterm labor. Within months of finishing a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Laura found herself as a student, instead of teacher, of a different kind of foreign language – the language of medical professionals. In the NICU her son, nicknamed "JAM." had surgeries for a PDA, NEC and AP-ROP. More on JAM's tenacity for life can be found on Laura's blog or on Twitter.

Delight Despite Delays

Sometimes you don’t need to fight for your child. Sometimes they can just play, just be. Sometimes, for parents preemies or special needs kids, it’s hard to know when it is one of those “sometimes.” When my son was born at 23 weeks gestation, I knew he probably wouldn’t be typical, but I kept fighting […]

Talking to others about your new NICU life

Congratulations. You are the parent of a preemie.

In the next few weeks you will readjust your expectations of a normal pregnancy and a normal birth. And around you are people who care for you, who are trying to understand your new world. This post is about these friends and how to understand their friendship in this new season.

preemie footprint NICUYour child is here, born too soon, fighting to gain the strength that comes natural to most full term babies. The strength to breathe, the strength to suck, the brain strength to produce strong, sure heart beats.

Draw a small circle on a piece of paper. In the center is your preemie. Around your child are you and any other immediate family members.

Maybe you now live at your baby’s bedside, maybe you’ve gone back to work or back home to older siblings. It doesn’t matter where you are physically, because your heart is still there beside that tiny being. Every time the NICU comes up on your caller ID, your heart will thump and turn.

You are at the epicenter of this new madness, the combined delight of a new being and fear of uncertainty, of medical difficulties, of a world turned upside down. [Read more]

Preemie Breastfeeding Success Story – Not What You’d Expect

The nurse walked in as I finished pumping. She complimented me on my fortitude, that I was still trying hard to produce milk for my son, months in to our NICU stay. What else was I going to do? He wasn’t even supposed to be here yet. I couldn’t give him third trimester antibodies, the […]

Advice from a Former TEF Preemie, Now a Preemie Dad

My husband was a preemie and a special needs child. I guess I’d always known that, though I’d never applied “special needs” to anything to do with him. After the birth of our third child, however, I saw that part of my spouse’s past in a new way. My husband was born as a late […]

7 Tips for a Successful Summer with Your Preemie

Summer – glorious summer! I love the season, but the first time he saw it, my baby hated everything about it. Now that we’re all out of isolation, how do we make the most of this time of year? My preemie was born in the middle of a beautiful northern summer, but with eyes fused […]