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

‘Your Child is Welcome in Our Nursery.’ Please Say It.

I sat, nervous and emotional, in a room of about a dozen hospital administrators and said, “It would help if you started by telling parents like us, ‘Your child is welcome in our nursery.'” They all nodded and I felt like their faces showed I had gotten through to them. “When our son was about to be born, they talked about statistics and outcomes and decisions people make about whether to try to save their baby, which is important, but it would have really helped just to know that you were willing to have him, because there was literally no other choice for us.”

My wife and I were talking to the hospital’s medical ethics committee. I had written them because while Swedish Medical Center did save our son’s life, we were still really unsettled by the near miss we’d had when he was born in 2012 at 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation. I felt like a vulture was sitting on my shoulder, asking, “What if you’d made the wrong choice?”

The wrong choice, in this case, would have been accepting the on-duty neonatologist’s recommendation to not have our son resuscitated, saying he was too immature to survive. [Read more]

NICU Nurses: The Definition of a Hero

How do you say thank you to the people who saved your child’s life? Finding words to honor their dedication, compassion, kindness, brilliance, and love is an impossibly difficult task. [Read more]

Who Decides? Life-saving Care for Micropreemies

When Miri’s water broke at 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation, we knew our child was in extreme danger, and we were trying to cling to some hope he might live. The neonatologist who came to talk to us didn’t help with hope. “At this stage, I don’t recommend that babies should be intubated […]

Six Ways Dads Can Help in the NICU

One of the things about becoming a Dad for the first time is that you feel a little disconnected as Mom is by far the more necessary person in the birth. Having your first child go in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is especially frustrating, as it feels like there is so little you can […]

Life in the NICU: A Stressful Situation

A normal pregnancy, followed by an easy delivery, that’s what every mother hopes for. Those first moments after giving birth should be filled with happy tears, while you cradle your new bundle of joy. But for preemie moms – and even term-NICU moms – that usually isn’t the case. For me, my happy day turned […]