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

Children’s Books About Prematurity

How do you explain delicate topics of prematurity, loss and the NICU to a child? The following books have been reviewed and recommended for parents looking to teach children about their own journey through prematurity or looking to support the sibling of a preemie. For even more books for children, specifically siblings of premature babies, visit our Sibling Support section of […]

{Book Review} Soon

We were graciously given a copy of Soon for review. All words and opinions are that of the blog author. What happens when a baby is born weeks or months before their due date? Soon takes the reader on a hopeful journey, honoring the fighting spirit of a preemie along the way. As preemie parents, […]

{GIVEAWAY} Baby Bubbles Customizable Onesies

We were graciously given onesies for review. All opinions are that of the blog contributor. Don’t forget to visit the end of the post for the giveaway!

Inspired by the premature birth of her niece in 2013 Ruby, Teresa Skrepenski was inspired to create Baby Bubbles, a clothing line of onesies and interchangeable Velcro patches with traditional and cute messages like “Baby Trucker” or “Daddy’s Girl.” Baby Ruby weighed 2 pounds, 1 ounce and was 14.5 inches long at birth and her early start even inspired the name. The name Baby Bubbles is a take on how preemie babies begin their lives. Skrepenski said, “When preemies are born they begin their lives in an incubator (bubble), where their environment is controlled and sterile.” [Read more]

{Book Review} Peanut: A Storybook for Mighty Preemie Babies

Sometimes preemie parents take their traumatic NICU experiences and turn them into something positive. Preemie mom, Lindsay Nolan, is one of these parents.

Lindsay never expected to become a preemie parent. “I come from a family of nine girls,” said Lindsay, “so I figured if my mother could handle pregnancy that many times, my first pregnancy would hopefully go nice and smooth.”

Unfortunately, Lindsay developed preeclampsia early in her pregnancy and her son Henry arrived at 32 weeks gestation weighing 2 pounds 15 ounces. He quickly dropped to 2 pounds, 5 ounces.

“My NICU experience had its ups and downs.” said Nolan. “I was so in love with my child. It was rare that I left the hospital in the two months I was there, only to grab a few necessities from home and return.”

To cope with the stress of having her only child in the hospital, Lindsay began writing a “love story” to her preemie son. “It was my way of documenting what happened for when he was older.” Eventually, the private love story transformed into a way to offer other preemie parents hope. [Read more]

{Book Review} Precious Infants: Courageous Stories of Premature Birth

Many of our readers may not know that I have a background in art. I grew up with a pencil in my hand, drawing everything in sight, and I followed that path all the way through college, getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. So when I was offered the opportunity to read and review Precious Infants: Courageous Stories of Premature Birth, which features beautiful pencil renderings of preemies alongside their birth stories, I was thrilled. Black and white pencil drawings have always been some of my favorites.

Artist Bethany Kerr is not a preemie parent, but she is a mother. The idea for the book came about when she shared her artwork to a preemie group and offered to draw a portrait for one randomly-selected parent. “Little did I know that I would fall in love with each and every little face that was shared,” says Kerr. “I realized that something inside me would not allow me to just draw one. Something was telling me I had to do more.” That one portrait turned into 50, and by the end of 2014, Kerr had drawn over 160 preemie portraits. 94 of them are included in this book. [Read more]