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

Parenting With Confidence

“She’s yours. What do you think?”

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. We had been home from our 12 week NICU stay for about 6 months. Our 27 weeker was now 9 months old. It was the weekend and I had called the on-call number for our pediatrician to ask if I should take our baby to the MedCheck for a cough. As he spoke those words I realized that I still struggled at times to have the confidence to make medical decisions for my daughter. [Read more]

Reading to Your Preemie: One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Give

The first gift my preemie ever received was a book. A brand, new, book. It had been placed in a drawer next to his isolette. It didn’t really matter what book it was. What mattered is that it was there waiting for him. And for me and his dad.

Thanks to the phenomenal work of a special mom and her immense family of volunteers at Project Cameron’s Story, every baby that is admitted to my local hospital’s NICU is given a brand new book to keep. Why? some of you may ask. Well, when you read to preemies, two amazing things happen. [Read more]

NICU Rhythms

In 2009 I led our family through a 56-day NICU stay with our son Giovanni, who was born 2 ½ months premature at 2 ½ pounds. Reflecting on our NICU journey, I shared the same rhythms familiar to most NICU families. I participated in feeding, diapering and taking my son’s temperature every three hours. I kept this rhythm by pumping every three hours 24 hours per day. I found comfort in the consistent rhythms, rituals, cycles, structures and practices outlined by our NICU staff. It’s been six years since our NICU stay and my family still compliments my strength, in awe of my ability to maintain the schedule by waking every three hours. Giovanni is now six years old and a healthy elementary school boy in the 76th percentile. [Read more]

The ABCs of the NICU: Surviving the first few days of your NICU stay

When we were pregnant with our first baby, we did all the things most couples do to prepare for her arrival. We cleared out a room, set up the crib and read dozens of pregnancy books. However, when my water broke seven weeks early, we were thrown into an unfamiliar world. During pregnancy you learn […]

Spending Holidays in the NICU

There isn’t anything easy about being in the NICU with your child. The days move slowly and time seems to stand still. When my twins were in the NICU, I often lost track of what day of the week it was because it just didn’t matter to me. What mattered were my two beautiful twin micro preemie daughters.

holidays in the NICU micro preemie twinsMy girls were born at 26 weeks weighing 1 pound 11 ounces and 2 pounds 4 ounces. They spent a total of four months in the NICU. Delivering them early was something for which I certainly wasn’t prepared. I delivered the last week in October, so we spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in the NICU. That year the holiday season was very difficult and different to say the least. [Read more]