Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents
Melissa Vandermeer

About Melissa Vandermeer

Melissa Vandermeer (TX) is a native Austinite and wife to a super cute Austin firefighter. She is a former kindergarten teacher turned (never)stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur, and freelance writer. She is a mother to four children - two on earth and two in Heaven. At 23 weeks she delivered Kinsey & Ryan, perfectly whole, but just too young to live. She was blessed further with two full term pregnancies thanks to a hearty cerclage. Her daughters, Kallie & Maryn, are the light in her darkest days. Melissa writes for her own blog, "Don't Hide Your Crazy," but is yet to share her words with the world. When she finally decides to take the advice of a good friend that "it's not a tattoo," she might reconsider. She loves to read, pretends to like exercise (she does not at all), and is an avid researcher of all the things. You can find Melissa on Facebook or LinkedIn...and *maybe* on "Don't Hide Your Crazy" when she gets brave enough.

Tiny Addicts: How America’s Opioid Crisis Affects Babies

Every 25 minutes the world’s tiniest and most vulnerable souls, just hours old, are victims of a vastly growing opioid epidemic. The second the cord is cut, separating a mother from child, the tough road begins. Born addicts against their will, they may suffer what nurses report as trembling, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, sweating, unrest, convulsions, […]

Understanding Neonatal Care & NICU Levels

You’ve entered the world of preemie parenthood, and suddenly it’s a whole new ballgame in which you didn’t plan to play. There are rules, lights, sounds, and lots of talks that might seem foreign to you. When parenting a preemie, learning all about the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and what NICU levels mean can […]

Unique Ways to Support NICU Parents: Ideas for a NICU Care Basket

Your family member or friend just had a preemie baby, and you are desperate to provide help and support wherever possible but aren’t quite sure where to start. The first weeks and sometimes months, while the baby is in the NICU, are very stressful for parents. One of the most thoughtful ways to support parents […]

Protecting Your Preemie from RSV

One of the greatest dangers to your preterm baby may be a preventable virus called RSV. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization in all children fewer than 12 months of age. Premature infants are susceptible and vulnerable to this terrible virus and it is important for parents to take caution. Dr. Sarmistha Hauger, pediatric […]

A Letter to My Doctor

Dear Trusted Doctor, I knew at 16 weeks. At 18 weeks I spoke up. At 20 weeks I pleaded. At 22 weeks it was too late to stop. Despite aggressive measures at 23 weeks, five days, I cradled two perfectly formed babies in my arms. For two hours I held them, kissed them, whispered over […]