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

Introduction of Drake

I have never written a blog but I am overwhelmed with the need to share my story and hope it finds people who can benefit from my experiences.  So as I sit and wonder where to begin, I figured my first blog should introduce you to the little miracle I will be writing about, Drake.  Drake’s journey into this world took a lot of work by a lot of people, but mostly it took a lot of hope and faith.  Let me make a LONG story short…well semi short…and I will write about all these experiences in greater detail in future blogs.

After a battle with infertility Drake was conceived through IVF.  We thought he was a miracle then but looking back that seems like the easy part, and trust me none of that was easy!  My whole pregnancy was on the rough side, at 19 weeks my hormone levels came back high.  Doctors suspected trouble then, they suspected he had ambiguous genitalia, micrognathia and was small for his age.  We did an amnio and a whole lot of genetic testing.  Everything came back normal.  We watched him carefully, at 27 weeks his body was measuring around 20-21 weeks.  They checked the blood flow from me to him and found it very poor.  They admitted me straight to the hospital.  First thoughts were I would deliver within the week.  I was at the hospital on monitors for 3 weeks before he showed enough signs of distress and delivery was scheduled.  At 32 weeks we started out vaginal and 28 hours later ended up emergency c-section.

I was so scared as they put me under, not scared for myself, but scared for my son.  When I awoke I asked about him right away.  They told me he was fine.  The amount of relief I felt was incredible.  I did not get to see Drake right away.  Drake was rushed to the NICU and weighed in at 2lbs 7 oz.  My husband was allowed to see him and took photos for me.  I slept with the camera and looked at the photos every time I woke up.

The next morning I was taken to see him.  I cried my eyes out.  I cried for worry, love, joy, and fear.  He was so tiny and fragile but he was here and he was fighting and he was doing well.  So then Drake’s stay at the NICU begins.

There is much to tell about his NICU stay.  Drake had many interesting things occur during his stay.  He has hypospadias, had two large bleeds in his brain, had emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia, got MRSA, had bloody stool from the high calorie formula and got a cold.

We were there for 8 weeks.  We cried, laughed, got mad, prayed, were happy, amazed, scared and felt more emotions then I can ever explain.  We made some life long friends and found that hope can make miracles. I look forward to sharing our journeys and pray you find in them what you desire.

Drake is now doing better then anyone could have hoped.  He is an inspiration to all who meet him.  He truly is a miracle and the joy in my life.  Many friends have shook there heads and said how sorry they were for us to have gone through all that.  Although I confess to a little bit of envy, well OK  a lot, when I see and hear of normal pregnancies and births I know I am blessed to have gone through what I did.  I know that others do not get the positive outcome I did.  I know people wish they had what I have now.  I still sit in amazement that he is really here, we did it…we have been blessed….we are the lucky ones.


  1. Thank you for sharing! I can’t believe all of the difficult things you dealt with, but your little guy is sooooo cute! I love his big smile in the white tux. I’m not even sure what half of those words mean that you said your son had in the NICU – I look forward to reading all of your posts in the future so I can learn more about them!

    I understand what you mean about being envious of normal pregnancies but at the
    same time being grateful for your experience. I also feel so blessed to have my little preemie and for all that I went through. I believe my experiences have changed me forever and given me a whole new perspective on the gift of life. Watching the miracles that happen almost every day with preemies is awe inspiring and humbling.

  2. He is the CUTEST baby I think I’ve ever seen!! My word 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. You do have a miracle there and I’m excited to hear more about him.

  3. Our little guy was born at 32 weeks, too, but did not have the health problems to cause him to be so small, he was 4 lbs 6 oz.

    Many people said how sorry they were and how sad it all was and how hard it must be. And while I admit a month in the NICU was incredibly hard, especially since ours was the youngest baby there at the time and I saw many many babies come and go… I still saw those few with more health problems than my own baby, and I saw a few that didn’t make it.

    I also counted myself among the lucky ones, and felt like I was blessed. Cameron came home, and we had to be careful about germs for a long time, but overall he was doing awesome. In such a hard circumstance, I know others don’t always get as good of outcome as I did.

    I think with a preemie you just have to constantly look on the bright side. : )

    Glad Drake is doing well.

  4. What a wonderful story, you have a great way with words Julie, Yes, you are blessed and so is Drake for having two parents with such love and faith for him. Rough times make all that really matters more clear, and Drake proves that with each and every smile. Having personally met him, I have told you what an honor it is to see him. He is the strongest child I have known and he brings many smiles to all who come into contact with him. I am glad you are sharing your story. The world will be a better place because Drake is in it – mark my words.

  5. Kimberly says:

    What a great story, Julie. Drake is so adorable! I know what you mean about envying “normal” pregnancies. I still struggle with that and can’t seem to get rid of my maternity clothes that still have the tags on them.

  6. Oh my gosh, is he the cutest thing! 🙂

    Looking forward to reading more about Drake’s NICU journey in weeks to come!


  7. My little boy was born at 32 weeks, he was
    2 pounds 8 oz, we’ve been in the Nicu for 6 week, crossing fingers to go home soon, thank you for sharing this gives me hope!!

    • I am so glad you found your way here and that my story has helped.
      This blog only touches on all that we went through with Drake but he is now almost 2 1/2 years old and he is doing perfect! He is still small for his age but he is walking, talking, and super smart! There is nothing wrong with him at all. Hope can make miracles….you just have to believe.
      The best advice I was given that I will pass on is when you are holding your baby, he can sense your emotions, so when you are with him show him only love and happiness. (Save the worry for when you are away from him) Love heals! Good luck and hope you get to go home soon.

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