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

Imprints Where I Once Saw Scars

A certain peace lies in discovering that the emotional scars of the NICU have faded into imprints of two tiny faces born too soon. [Read more]

9 Ways Parenting a Preemie is Unique

Preemies are not small full-term babies, and parenting a preemie is its own unique roller coaster of joys and challenges separate from the standard newborn experience. Here are 9 ways the experience of parenting preemies is unique.

1. Having a preemie begins a journey, one that often has twists and turns. Our babies don’t come straight home from the hospital, and the hospital isn’t a brief stop but a central part of what can be months of ups and downs as our babies work their way home to us. There are good days and bad days, steps forward and steps back, and as the parents of preemies, we know that we are definitely not in control. [Read more]

Sleep Awareness for Preemie Parents

It’s a huge relief to finally have your baby home from the NICU, but there can be anxiety leaving the dedicated staff and reliable monitors behind. If you are arriving home without equipment, it can be extremely frightening to allow your baby to sleep without standing there staring right at him/her. Our first night home, I decided that I would just never sleep again. Period. Eventually my body gave out and after a few nights of trying, I realized that my baby was doing just fine without me. For the record, the NICU follows specific standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to ensure that your baby is capable of sleeping/breathing consistently before they are discharged. [Read more]

Finding Friendship in the NICU

One of the best things that happened to me while my girls were in the NICU was meeting another NICU mom. It’s hard to believe anything good can come from the NICU, but it is true.

I saw her several times around the NICU and one day my mother happened to start up a conversation with her in one of the family waiting areas. She learned that our situations were very similar. We both had micro-preemies born three months early. She introduced us and we quickly discovered we had a lot in common.

Family and friends will try to identify with what you are going through while you and your baby are in the NICU. You may hear others say, “I know someone that has a friend who had a preemie and they are now six feet tall and got straight A’s in school.” Or you might hear, “my child was in the NICU for two days so I totally know what you are going through.” People mean well, but it’s a lived experience and difficult for the average person to understand. [Read more]

How My Kids’ Therapy Team Saved Me

During J’s 91 days in the NICU, I was so focused on bringing him home that I really didn’t think past the car ride home. All I knew was that things had to be better when we were together as a family, when I could really get to know the baby taken from me when […]