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

A Letter to NICU parents

Dear NICU parent, First of all, congratulations on bringing life into this world! I don’t know how you got to this point. Whether your labor was long or short. Whether this moment was a surprise or a day that you have been anticipating after months on bedrest. I do know that it is ok to […]

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]

Talking to others about your new NICU life

Congratulations. You are the parent of a preemie.

In the next few weeks you will readjust your expectations of a normal pregnancy and a normal birth. And around you are people who care for you, who are trying to understand your new world. This post is about these friends and how to understand their friendship in this new season.

preemie footprint NICUYour child is here, born too soon, fighting to gain the strength that comes natural to most full term babies. The strength to breathe, the strength to suck, the brain strength to produce strong, sure heart beats.

Draw a small circle on a piece of paper. In the center is your preemie. Around your child are you and any other immediate family members.

Maybe you now live at your baby’s bedside, maybe you’ve gone back to work or back home to older siblings. It doesn’t matter where you are physically, because your heart is still there beside that tiny being. Every time the NICU comes up on your caller ID, your heart will thump and turn.

You are at the epicenter of this new madness, the combined delight of a new being and fear of uncertainty, of medical difficulties, of a world turned upside down. [Read more]

Mourning a Loss That Doesn’t Quite Have a Name: Grief and Loss in the NICU

I think it’s safe to say it’s happened to most of us NICU parents. That piercing feeling, almost like a knife inside, that strikes when you least expect it; in fact, when you’re likely to feel the most ashamed and/or hurt by it. When you see a pregnant woman striding down the street, clearly weeks later […]

So your preemie has GERD. Now What?!?

I’m sure by now you know the sinking feeling you get when other moms come at you with the “my baby had reflux too” stories. First, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is one of the most common problems that a preemie can have. It’s often misunderstood and […]