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

Reader Stories

Every once in a while readers write in to share their stories with us. These readers open their hearts to share their hope, their reasons to celebrate, and sometimes even their heartache. Here are just a few of those stories.

Reader Stories, hand to hold, preemie stories, NICU stories

Hisham the Super Hero

My son, Hisham, was born at 23 weeks gestation in May of 2015. He remained hopitalized for one year and we celebrated his first birthday with his doctors and nurses in the NICU. He is visually impared, and has hydrocephalus, but he is thriving like a super hero.

— Sobia Aftab

A Surprise Reconnection

In 2016, I received a Facebook friend request from a mother who had delivered when I was Head Nurse in the Newborn Nursery at Eglin AFB in Florida in 1976. She and her son both wrote and sent pictures thanking me for helping and keeping her informed of his complications and treatments after birth. What a pleasant surprise for a retired 76-year-old Air Force nurse.

— India Matlock

True Miracle Child

former preemie, preemie stories, NICU storiesDuring my pregnancy I saw my OBGYN every other week. I had IUGR, and my placenta was dying off and starting to harden. My son’s umbilical cord was thinner than a pen and had very bad blood flow. It was a very dangerous, high-risk pregnancy.

Around 2 P.M. one afternoon I started bleeding. I was horrified. We rushed to the ER as I continued to bleed. As soon as we arrived they had started prepping me for a emergency C-section. They said my son was in too much distress and had to come out immediately. He was born, and the doctors whisked him off to the NICU.

Now, he is almost four years old and healthy. He is my strong little man.

My advice for any mothers who are going through a similar pregnancy is to stay strong for yourself and your child. Keep up with doctor appointments. Also, the most important, be with your baby as much as possible while their in the NICU. Good luck!

— Stephanie Fischer

Don’t Despair; Hope is in the Air

I want to encourage parents with preemies in the NICU not to give up. Why? Because I was that preemie. I weighed 2 pounds, 9 ounces when I was born and had a lot of complications. I am now a happy, healthy 36-year-old woman who has not had any complications from my premature birth.

— Carrie Lowrance

Baby Everly

I had my daughter on March 31, 2017, at 32 weeks. She weighed 2 pounds, 2.9 ounces and was 15 inches long. I ended up being diagnosed with preeclampsia, and my daughter wasn’t getting the blood she needed thru her umbilical cord. I was going to have my very first c-section. I was scared!

Everly is now growing amazingly. My mom and my husband was there with me, but both of them were afraid that they was going to lose me and the baby.

I thought I did something wrong for her to come 8 weeks early. I realized after a week of being depressed and scared of being alone. Don’t think that you did anything wrong, because you didn’t. Our babies are are miracles.

— Marilyn Middleton

I am One of Three

I was born two months after my siblings passed. I have spent my whole life looking for something that I will never find. I was born in 1958. First in my city to be a triplet, 2 months after my siblings passed.
I feel the need to talk to other people like me, and to the women who were the Mom’s of people like me.

–Judy Turner-Steele

Being an Advocate for Your NICU Graduate

As a former NICU nurse and now nurse educator, I know how important the role of being an advocate for the premature infants is. I always emphasize this to my students. When my son, Acton, was born at 32 weeks seven years ago, I used my knowledge as a NICU nurse to advocate for the things he needed. But I am finding that being a mother of a NICU graduate requires me being an advocate beyond the NICU.

When he refused to eat and try new foods, I was told to be patient and just let him starve. I had to advocate for food therapy and now, he is still picky but at least he eats more than cereal, apple sauce, crackers, and bananas. He is even starting to explore a little more on his own.

However, it continues. We recently had a dental visit in which the staff was not empathetic to his fears and sensitivity to tastes. Needless to say I am looking for a different dentist for him.

To all the parents out there who may have a child in the NICU now or a graduate like me, do not be afraid to speak up for your child. We are the voices of our child and know them best. Be the advocate. It is okay to ask questions and push for the therapies that your child needs.

I am one of the lucky ones from the NICU. Acton is doing great and except for some food issues, you would not know he was a preemie. However, like all NICU moms and dads, I am his advocate and will continue be.

— Linda Merritt

 

If you have a story you’d like to share, email leighann@handtohold.org, or share it with us at NICU Family Forum, our online, interactive peer support page on Facebook.

Leigh Ann Torres About Leigh Ann Torres

Online Community Coordinator, Preemie Babies 101 Lead Blogger - Leigh Ann Torres is a freelance writer, blogger and mother of three living in Austin, TX. After a short and sudden bout with severe preeclampsia, Leigh Ann’s identical twin girls were delivered at 31 weeks, spending 38 mostly uneventful days in the NICU. Two years later the Torres family welcomed another baby, this time at term, with only a mild case of preeclampsia. Leigh Ann currently runs Hand to Hold’s official blog and social media channels. When she’s not doing laundry or fulfilling requests for snacks, she usually has her nose stuck in a book. You can keep in touch with Leigh Ann on Twitter or via email.

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