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

The Night I Met My Son

The night I met my son will forever live in my mind as one of the scariest, loneliest, yet happiest nights of my life.

My wife gave birth to our first child more than 100 days before he was supposed to be born. I wasn’t even mentally prepared to be a dad, even though we planned the pregnancy and had a due date. I just figured I had more time to get ready, but I was wrong. At six o’clock in the evening, I was eating dinner and getting ready to play softball when my wife came home in tears. By 7:33 that night, our son was born. So much happened in those 90 minutes, it is still hard to believe. I experienced fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, sorrow and the thought that I might lose my son and my wife on a hot summer night in which I was supposed to be playing a game instead of contemplating starting my life over. [Read more]

“Mama, Carry You!” How My Preemie Taught Me to Walk

Sometimes I resented it like crazy that I had to ask to hold my preemie. Then, to make it that much worse, sometimes it felt like he was being yanked from my arms. And sometimes he was because he had stopped breathing. Another time, a nurse actually reprimanded me for holding him too much because, […]

14 (More) Inspirational Quotes to Encourage You During Your NICU Stay

Inspirational quotes and passages are powerful tools that help get us through some of the most difficult of times. We asked members of our Facebook community what quotes gave them strength and encouragement during their NICU journey. Here are some of their answers.

What about you? What quote or passage gave you strength during your bed rest, NICU stay, or beyond? [Read more]

The Value of Empathy and the Me Too Factor

Every January I find myself in a state of disbelief that time is forcing us to get accustomed to yet another calendar year. Didn’t I just get used to writing “2015” on everything? But that’s the thing about time. It doesn’t stop.

As I reflect on 2015 and look forward to 2016, I feel anticipation and just a little anxiety. Taking on this role of Hand to Hold’s Online Community Coordinator and Lead Blogger for Preemie Babies 101 has been eye-opening. See, our 5-week NICU experience was quite uneventful. Once my 31-week twins were out of the woods in those first few scary days, our neonatologist referred to them as “boring.” And boring was good.

My fellow blog contributors and the members of our Preemie Babies 101 community have not always been so fortunate. Some have delivered micro preemies at an unfathomable gestation, sometimes having to fight for their right to live. Others are still struggling with the effects of prematurity in the form of developmental delays or learning disabilities. And still others have shared their stories living with grief after a tragic loss. [Read more]

‘M’ is for the Many Things Moms Endure

On Mother’s Day, I think of the moms of the sick and premature babies I cared for in the neonatal ICU for more than 30 years. They all shared these characteristics: They and their spouses/partners were sleep-deprived — dead-dog exhausted. They were scared. Neonatal intensive care was the last place on Earth they wanted to […]