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


I’m hoping that all of you had the chance to read my review of “A Pound of Hope”.  It’s an incredible book and I recommend it to all of you, to your families, and to your doctor.

The authors generously gave me a free copy to award to the winner of this giveaway.  Yippee!

So, if you’d like to enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of “A Pound of Hope”, please leave a comment on this post saying “Thank You” to someone who helped you during the time of your preemie’s NICU stay.

Good Luck to all of you!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. I would love to say thank you to our favorite NICU nurse, Sherry. She was so very understanding and very patient with my husband and I when other nurses treated us like we should know better. We all know how scary and surreal the NICU situation is at first and we were trying to recover from what was a surprise situation and adjust to the NICU at the same time. Sherry really helped us out. She explained Roxy’s oxygen levels, A’s, B’s, and her IV fluids and medication. She let us take care of our own baby without hovering. She always gave us hope that Roxy was doing well. She was the one nurse who pushed Roxy to improve each time she had her. She knew that Roxy could do it and she helped her achieve small victories and milestones that led to her coming home. She was A-MAZ-ING! Thank you, Sherry!

  2. I’d like to say think you to my sister and my Mother and Sister in laws. While we were staing at the Ronald McDonald house away from town my family cleaned my home top to bottom, reorganized the kitchen, and decorated the nursery so that everything would be ready when our son was released.

  3. I want to say thank you to all the great ladies in my neighborhood/church. They brought me countless dinners. Including some I could freeze and heat up at my own convenience. That was the best because we all know that as NICU mom’s the days and times we’re home are such weird hours. It was nice to come home and heat up some actual food. I also had a few ladies and friends come by a few times each week just to visit and let me “talk” about what was going on and they just listened. So helpful. SO very helpful.

  4. Thank you to our church congregation who watched our other children, cleaned our house, brought us meals, gave us rides and made our lives so much easier!

  5. I would like to say Thank you too My Mom! She was my main support throughout this amazing Journey! If it wasnt for her i would be all alone considering i am a single mom to my most precious preemie daughter! Everytime something hard came along my mom was there with me and would take off work just to be there for moral support! She is the greatest mom in the world and a wonderful grandma!!

  6. I want to say Thank you to our NICU nurses, especially Kathy, Terri, Laura, & Ann and the DR Debbie! Without them our 1lbs 6oz 24 week miracle wouldnt be here! My Family was also amazing, My dad, his girlfriend Mary, my sister in law Amanda all helped maintain my house and animals for the 4 weeks I was in the hospital on bedrest! It was very tough being admitted to the hospital and not knowing what would happen to your babies and having to worry about your home as well. They made that easy on us! We have really gained a whole new family thru this amazing journey!!

  7. I would like to say thank you to the n.i.c.u. nurse Deb from Munson Hospital. She was like a mother to me in a time of uncertainty and worry. She did her best to answer any of my questions or give me a referance where i could find any info i needed. All of the staff deserve a big THANK YOU for taking care of my very special christmas preemie baby girl! You will never be forgotten!

  8. I would like to think my family! My husband stepped up into daddy mode very quickly and stayed strong for me! My parents held our hands the entire time and loved us through it all. My sister was always there as well as my grandparents! I could not have had a better support system! Our little boy was born 8 weeks early at 2lbs 7oz and is now almost 4 months old (2 months adjusted) and weighing in at 9 lbs. We are truly thankful for our family!

  9. Becky Grech says:

    I would like to thank all of the doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses- and to one nurse especially- Michelle. Michelle- thank you for being the first to suggest kangaroo care to Dalton’s doctors. I was in tears every day that I could not hold my baby and when you suggested to me that this would actually HELP him I was so thrilled that there was finally something I could do for him. Also, to my mom who was the best labor & delivery nurse a daughter could ask for. You helped me through 18 hours of magnesium, which ended up NOT stopping my labor and were an amazing support to me and Dalton during his stay.

  10. Brandy Sims says:

    I would like to thank my Mother for all her love and support during my 97 day stay in the NICU with my 24week micro preemie Gracie. She was and always has been my rock. She was there for my emergency c-section when my husband didnt make it on time, and she stayed at the local Ronald Mcdonald house with me the whole time because we were 3 hours away from our home & couldn’t bare the thought of leaving Gracie.Thank you for everything Mommy.My biggest wish is that I can be half the mother to Gracie as you have been to me =)

  11. I would have to thank all of the NICU nurses. They were all equally important in our journey and were always available to listen to a vent or comfort when shedding a tear!

  12. I would like to say thank you to my mother-in-law. The minute she heard I was on bedrest she committed to driving up the next week. When I had to be induced 2 days later at 29w for HELLP/pre-e, she drove from GA to MN that day and arrived on his birthday. She stayed for 5 weeks, and probably would have stayed the whole 7 weeks while he was in the NICU had she not been called away to a funeral. She was absolutely phenomenal – she helped with shopping, cooking and cleaning, but most of all, she provided a stable presence for our two year old daughter. She is an ANGEL!

  13. I would very much like to thank Ava’s entire team at the Beth Israel NICU…especially her two favorite “blue ladies” Cathy + Dannette…without them my one pound 3 month early IUGR baby would not have been challenged and therefore would not have been home with us on Thanksgiving, or off of oxygen or bottle feeding. I am in awe at the love and care our daughter received there, in my eyes there is no other place to have a baby, early or term, healthy or sick.
    With more love and admiration than we can ever express.
    Jessica, Stephen and Ava Defilippis <3

  14. I want to say thank you to Dr. Phillips. Even though we’re still in the NICU, we’re temporarily at a different hospital and we can’t wait to get back! We miss him!

  15. I want to say Thank you to all my family that helped take care of my older daughter while i was on bedrest for 6 weeks before my daughter was born. To my parents that tried to come see me everyday even tho i was an hour away and brought my older daughter to see me. Then when my daughter was born at 26 weeks and 6 days to all the family that took turns driving me up to see her everyday or dropping me off and picking me up. Without them I dont know what i would’ve done.

  16. Cassius' mom says:

    I want to thank my husband and my parents . From day 1 of spending 5 weeks in the hospital with severe pre-eclampsia and catering to my every need and wants. Boy how the hospital food was just not cutting it with my cravings. From just sitting there watching me sleep or from helping me paint my toes.. Then at 30 weeks 4 days our son was born via an emergency c-section. I passed out that day before and we all knew it would not be that much longer till his born. He spent 6 weeks in the hospital and if we could not make it for part of the day. My parents would go sit and read to him.. Until we arrived. They are truly my shinning stars..

  17. I would like to say thank you to my partner, who has been the strong one in all this. He has supported me so much without letting his emotions control him. I sometimes forget that this is happening to him too. Our daughter, Aura, is still in the NICU, and has been for 4 months, with no sign of coming home for Christmas. My partner has been there every second of the way, to reassure me that she will be okay, hold me close when I start to miss her and cant see her for days at a time (We live 2 hours away from the NICU). He really has taken charge of the situation so that I have as little stress on me as possible. He is amazing, Thank you baby.

  18. I’d like to thank our social worker at our NICU. She was so kind to us and went out of her way to make us comfortable and help us to see that the NICU didn’t have to be so scary. Thanks Claudia! We are so greatful for all you’ve done!

  19. Whitney Richardson says:

    I would like to say thank you to each and every single family member I have and my 3 best friends. Each and every single one of them helped my husband and I out while our twins were in the NICU. They rode with us, stayed with us in the family house, took care of our animals, our house and our yard and sat with us in the NICU during our NICU stay. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful family. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

  20. I want to say a big thank you to Casey. She was the first nurse at the NICU who let me hold my baby Skylar. I was so terrified of holding my less than 2 pound baby, but she started me on the journey of being able to care for my preemie baby all on my own. She JUST came home on Friday!

  21. I would like to thank GOD. Because above all doctors and nurses He is the one that was near Lucas every day, every minute, every second. He`s the one that gave him strenght to grow so that we can bring him home, and He is the one that gave us courage and hope to go on.

    We give You all the Glory, and thank you for all our blessings

  22. Michelle Yvonne Burns says:

    I want to say a BIG thank you to our church family who carried us through the four months we spent in the NICU. They helped us financially, spiritually, emotionally and physically. W e could not have made it through that difficult time without each and everyone one of those wonderful people. They became the hands and feet of God.

  23. I’d like to say thank you to our friends and family for helping during my hospital stay and my babies’ NICU stay. Thank to them I was able to get to the hospital (too much pain to drive from c section), had home cooked meals, a clean house, ran errands, and gave me a shoulder to cry on so many days. Thank you!!!

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