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

Are You Scared to Try for #2? Me Too.

When I was younger, people’s chosen family sizes always intrigued me. Why do they have that many (or few) kids? Why is there such a large age gap between those two children? Why am I 15 years old and dissecting other people’s family size? Of course now I know that most family sizes aren’t chosen, […]

We Are Survivors: Preeclampsia Awareness Day

May 22 marks the first ever World Preeclampsia Day. Occurring in only 5-8% of pregnancies, preeclampsia isn’t a complication typically on the mind of a newly pregnant mom. Yet, for those it strikes it can be life changing and even deadly. I am a survivor. A survivor of this often unheard of, yet potentially deadly, pregnancy […]

Words of Wisdom for Mamas on Bedrest

by Darline Turner-Lee, bedrest coach and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond   Bed rest sucks! No doubt about it. I am constantly amazed and humbled at how mamas on bed rest stay focused, stay positive and stay supportive of one another. I am honored that I get to work with and support such […]

6 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Do to Prepare for Preterm Birth

By Darline Turner-Lee, mother to preemie Vanessa and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond

As a parent of a late-term preemie, I found myself completely unprepared for the emotional fallout after my child was born early and with breathing problems. Term births are considered pregnancies carried to 40 weeks. Babies born at 37 week gestation or earlier are considered premature. Even though I had been at risk and was very nearly on bedrest at several different points during my pregnancy, the topic of a neonatal ICU (NICU) stay never entered the conversation. I worked in the medical field for many years and still felt unprepared for my child’s stay. I sincerely wish my OB and I could have discussed these possibilities in advance. If you are pregnant, here are some tips and questions to help you prepare your own backup plan in case your child is born earlier than expected or with complications. [Read more]

Expecting After a Preemie: A Worrier’s Journey to Joy

Over the years, my wife has asked me many questions seconds after I fall asleep. Typically her questions cycle through the topics of shutting the garage, taking out the trash, locking the front door, or hearing a sound outside. Her timing is impeccable.

“Do you think Sloane will be a good big sister?”

This was a new one.

Despite its uniqueness, I handled the question exactly as I would any other as I drifted off to sleep: I plugged it into my mental autopilot answer-creating algorithm. While it sounds fancy, it’s actually pretty simple. All I have to do is not think about the question, quickly generate three facts that may or may not be valid, grunt out a single word response, and resume sleeping. It is a technique I have mastered to combat my wife’s sleep depriving precision.

For this question, my brain considered the following facts:

Fact: Sloane is an only child and only grandchild.

Fact: Sloane has a great-grandmother, three grandmothers, and two grandfathers all living within ten minutes of her.

Fact: Sloane has twenty-two pairs of shoes. Sloane doesn’t wear shoes.

My subconscious formed its conclusion: In her eleven months on earth, Sloane has been the lead singer in a solo band and has enjoyed every second of it. Move over Celine, we have a new diva in the making. This was an easy one. I chose my single-word response, grunted “nope,” and drifted off to the sweet sounds of Celine singing “My Heart Will Go On.” When my wife didn’t respond, the safety feature in my mental autopilot answer-creating algorithm kicked in. I roused and uttered the word, “why.”

I haven’t slept since. [Read more]