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

Healing After NICU Life

Our daughter, Kylie, was 10 weeks early. My pregnancy was successful until my preeclampsia diagnosis at 29 weeks. I had only heard of preeclampsia once, and didn’t know much about prematurity either. A friend had preeclampsia around 34 weeks gestation, but she brought her baby home right away, so my diagnosis didn’t worry me that much until my doctor told me what I could expect as he was certain I wouldn’t make it full term. After being a self-proclaimed pregnancy expert, reading, and watching all the pregnancy shows, I was sure I had it all figured out.

Kylie being born 10 weeks early changed our life drastically. My husband is a marine and was going to school when Kylie was born. Since she was in the NICU in a town two hours away from our home, he had to withdraw from class and cut way back on his school hours. This resulted in bills getting behind as he lost his financial aid from the V.A. It was a very difficult time, and had we known more about prematurity and had we been more educated on the ‘what ifs’, we would have been a little more prepared in how to handle these things.

This is why we decided to get involved with March of Dimes after Kylie’s “NICU graduation.” It was so rewarding and therapeutic to share our story, and be able to relate to so many people who have or had dealt with the same issues. It amazed me how many people had never heard of preeclampsia and how many people didn’t know how common prematurity is. We really needed an outlet for what we went through so being able to meet new friends through our story helped us tremendously in our healing process.

Since then, I’ve signed on here a guest contributor, the parent blog of Hand to Hold. There are so many ways to find healing after a NICU stay. Where did you find yours?

Dani Curliss About Dani Curliss

Dani Curliss (TX) is the mother of two, Kylie and Austin. Kylie was born 10 weeks early, weighing 2lbs. 10oz., and Austin was born at 37 weeks. Both babies were born early due to preeclampsia. Kylie is now three and has no lasting complications from her prematurity. Dani and her husband have made their life mission to raise awareness of prematurity and preeclampsia and she shared Kylie's NICU journey on her personal blog. She learned a wealth of information during their six-week NICU stay, and finds healing from their experience by helping and encouraging others with their story. You can find Dani on Pinterest, or email her at d.curliss@outlook.com.


  1. Annette Luvshergoddessess says:

    Thank u for this post. My Warrior AlanaRa was born at 30 weeks 1lb. 7oz. and my life has never been the same. I still find it hard to look at the pictures or have any recall of that time in my life because it was that painful. Thank you so much just for saying that experience does change a life. I don’t feel so crazy that I was impacted so hard by it.

    • Dani CurlissDani Curliss says:

      Kylie is almost three and it STILL is hard to look at her pictures and think about the NICU stuff. Being a part of this blog and sharing our story really helps. I strongly encourage you to talk about it more and get involved somehow. I had a blog when we were going through the NICU stuff that also helped me ‘vent’. I am glad you have this website as a resource to connect with the rest of us preemie parents!

  2. I have a similar story to yours in that I had a “perfect” pregnancy right up until I woke up in labor at 30 weeks. My son was born 18 hours later. I was not prepared at all and had no idea what to expect. My 2nd son was also born at 30 weeks but we were more prepared. We still do not have an explanation as to why I went into labor both times. I have been looking for a way to help others because I think it would have made such a difference to us. I have looked into March of Dimes but haven’t gotten involved yet. Our oldest is 2 1/2 and our youngest is 6mo. Both are doing great, but it takes an emotional toll on you 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story. It encourages me to get involved!

    • Dani CurlissDani Curliss says:

      Wow! I can’t imagine having another preemie baby that early! Our son was born about 3 weeks early but I was worried the whole time that we would have another NICU baby. It probably helped some knowing what to expect since you experienced it with your first but I don’t think you can ever be prepared to go through something like that again. Thanks for your response! 🙂

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