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

I Did Everything Right

Fact: You can do everything right during your pregnancy and still have a preemie. I have never smoked a cigarette a day in my life. I have never used drugs of any kind. My life was not filled with stress. I eat a balanced diet, and I am a fairly active person. During my pregnancy, […]

Resentment in the NICU & Finding Peace

I was standing in line at Vons, my cart full of packaged “healthy” food for my week in the NICU, when the lady in front of me turned to the side. I felt my face get hot and tears began to fall as I saw her round, swollen belly. She smiled at me and I looked down. All I could think was, that was supposed to be me. I’m supposed to be shopping for healthy food items for the last two months of my pregnancy.

Instead I was three hours from home, in a city I had never visited, living in a hospital room, hoping that my little girl would make it through the night.

Our NICU floor was on the same level as the labor and delivery unit. Late night coffee runs for me meant that I inevitably ran into a laboring mom walking the halls. I would watch her in envy, wishing desperately I could have had my chance. My early delivery came with no answers, no solutions, and felt very unresolved. As the weeks passed, and those weeks rolled into months, I saw countless moms and learned to just look down, so I wouldn’t face the pain that they were going to get to take their baby home, while I was just waiting to hear the words “discharge.” [Read more]

(Not Quite) Silver Linings of an Extra Two Months

Two months. A lot can happen in two months; you could try and abandon a fad diet, your heart beats seven million times, and you take more than a million breaths. If you happen to be residing in utero you are busy with tasks like doubling your weight, learning to do your first headstand, and building the skills to survive in the outside world.

In the last two months of pregnancy I can make dozens of to-do lists: feed the freezer meal plans, what to pack in the hospital bag, birth plans A, B, and C, and the million tiny details that still need attention. Instead, I had a baby.

I didn’t have a list for that. [Read more]

Thanking My Husband on Father’s Day: Showing Love in the NICU

My husband was not new to being a dad when our preemie was born 3 months before her due date. In fact, as our third child and third daughter at that, he felt experienced and confident as we looked forward to her birth. That changed when we found ourselves looking at her through the barrier […]

How Depression Looks When You’re on Bed Rest

Over 50% of women on bed rest show signs of depression, research shows.

Lack of physical activity, identity loss, lack of control and social isolation are some of the reasons why women struggle with low mood. Added on to all of these risk factors is the biggest risk factor for developing depression: high levels of stress, something women on bed rest experience every second of every day.

Depression doesn’t have to mean clinical depression. [Read more]