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

Speaking to the Unspeakable: Lifting the Stigma Around Mental Health After the NICU

When my surviving son was finally discharged from the NICU, he cried for about three months straight. Literally. My husband and I called it the daily “witching hour”, though it was hardly an hour. It lasted on average from 3-8pm daily (in addition to other fussy moments). We researched and researched ways of soothing him. We tried driving, swaddling, babywearing, swinging, reflux meds, playing music (The Velvet Underground and Nico was his favorite album), singing, dancing, jumping around holding him on our shoulder, rubbing his back, going outside, and all kinds of folkloric colic remedies that came to no particularly different outcomes. I was exhausted, deflated, and my feelings of guilt and shame with preterm birth were compounded by the idea that now that I was finally able to be Elliott’s sole provider as a newly stay-at-home mom, I was failing even at that. [Read more]

5 NICU-friendly Tips to Lower Stress and Anxiety

To say the NICU is a stressful place to be is explicitly stating the obvious. NICU parents and their loved ones will all agree that it is extremely stressful to have your baby in the hospital, connected to tubes and wires and requiring treatment. The uncertainty of your day to day life leaves you feeling […]

Stress, Grief and Mental Health

Someone once told me, depression doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’ve tried for too long to be strong. Months after my daughter came home from the hospital, those words resonated with me so much. My pregnancy had been plagued with stress. At 12 weeks, we had our nuchal translucency screening and were told our […]

Do I Have Delayed-Onset PTSD?

It’s been over two years since my daughter’s traumatic and extremely premature birth, and I’m just now realizing that I might suffer from a form of PTSD. According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. […]

Dear Mom Waiting For a Diagnosis: Five Things to Remember

It is completely overwhelming when your child is facing a serious medical diagnosis. This kind of diagnosis can come during pregnancy, shortly after birth, or many years later. The diagnosis has many different names like prematurity, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, cancer, autism, or Chronic Lung Disease. Some diagnoses’ have symptoms that can be managed with medication or treatment, others do not. […]