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

About Melanie Turner

Melanie (MD) is the proud mother of twin micro-preemie girls, Abigail and Elizabeth. In addition to her responsibilities and joys as a mother, she is a kindergarten teacher with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Abigail and Elizabeth were born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb11oz and 2lbs4oz. They spent four months in the NICU where they battled everything from grade 4 brain bleeds, chronic lung disease, hydrocephalus, and feeding issues. Post discharge, Elizabeth was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Abigail with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and both attend weekly therapy sessions. Today, they are happy and active two-year olds who continue to wow everyone they meet. Melanie writes about her experiences on her personal blog and enjoys talking to new preemie moms and giving any advice she can.

Finding Friendship in the NICU

One of the best things that happened to me while my girls were in the NICU was meeting another NICU mom. It’s hard to believe anything good can come from the NICU, but it is true.

I saw her several times around the NICU and one day my mother happened to start up a conversation with her in one of the family waiting areas. She learned that our situations were very similar. We both had micro-preemies born three months early. She introduced us and we quickly discovered we had a lot in common.

Family and friends will try to identify with what you are going through while you and your baby are in the NICU. You may hear others say, “I know someone that has a friend who had a preemie and they are now six feet tall and got straight A’s in school.” Or you might hear, “my child was in the NICU for two days so I totally know what you are going through.” People mean well, but it’s a lived experience and difficult for the average person to understand. [Read more]

Spending Holidays in the NICU

There isn’t anything easy about being in the NICU with your child. The days move slowly and time seems to stand still. When my twins were in the NICU, I often lost track of what day of the week it was because it just didn’t matter to me. What mattered were my two beautiful twin micro preemie daughters.

holidays in the NICU micro preemie twinsMy girls were born at 26 weeks weighing 1 pound 11 ounces and 2 pounds 4 ounces. They spent a total of four months in the NICU. Delivering them early was something for which I certainly wasn’t prepared. I delivered the last week in October, so we spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in the NICU. That year the holiday season was very difficult and different to say the least. [Read more]

Returning to the Hospital After NICU

Running through your house trying to pack for an unexpected stay is challenging and also scary. Your mind will be racing and it’ll be a challenge trying to get your thoughts together. Whether you are getting ready for an expected stay or packing on the fly, here are 10 ways to prepare if you are returning to the hospital after a NICU discharge. [Read more]

Trust Your Preemie Parent Instincts

My twin daughters were born at 26 weeks and spent 4 months in the hospital. One day while I was visiting my girls in the NICU someone told me to trust my instincts. I thought to myself, “Trust my instincts? What does that mean? Do I have powers now like a special 6th mommy sense?!” […]

Summer Activities for Your Preemie

The sun is out. The weather is warmer. It’s finally summer! If you are anything like me, you worked really hard to keep your preemie home and safe from RSV and the flu all winter long. It’s time to reward yourself and your little one with some fun in the sun. First things first, give […]