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

‘Your Child is Welcome in Our Nursery.’ Please Say It.

I sat, nervous and emotional, in a room of about a dozen hospital administrators and said, “It would help if you started by telling parents like us, ‘Your child is welcome in our nursery.'” They all nodded and I felt like their faces showed I had gotten through to them. “When our son was about to be born, they talked about statistics and outcomes and decisions people make about whether to try to save their baby, which is important, but it would have really helped just to know that you were willing to have him, because there was literally no other choice for us.”

My wife and I were talking to the hospital’s medical ethics committee. I had written them because while Swedish Medical Center did save our son’s life, we were still really unsettled by the near miss we’d had when he was born in 2012 at 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation. I felt like a vulture was sitting on my shoulder, asking, “What if you’d made the wrong choice?”

The wrong choice, in this case, would have been accepting the on-duty neonatologist’s recommendation to not have our son resuscitated, saying he was too immature to survive. [Read more]

Dear Preemie (On the Day You Are Born)

Well, my dear, here you are. I don’t know why fate brought us together so soon, for neither of us are finished growing. You are still so small and fragile; I am still preparing myself to be your mom. I planned to read a few more books and learn how to crochet before you were […]

New Hope for 22-Week Preemies

A new set of guidelines has come out for the resuscitation of preemies, and it means a huge deal to families such as ours. It provides more hope that preemies born in the 22nd week can get treatment.

Shortly before our son was born at 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation, the on-call neonatologist told us that they had a rule at the hospital that babies should not be resuscitated before 23 weeks and 0 days. “I don’t recommend that babies should be intubated at this stage because the results are so poor. If you give birth after midnight, I’ll be the one who comes and treats him, but my heart won’t fully be in it.” This caused us considerable stress, wondering “Is he going to show up?” He did, the birth occurred at 11:20 p.m., and he “rounded up” and saved our first and only son. [Read more]

Book Review: Girl in Glass by Deanna Fei

Deanna Fei, author of Girl in Glass (Bloomsbury Books, 2015), didn’t seek national attention. Fei’s four month NICU stay with her daughter Mila led to a national uproar when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong identified her daughter as a “distressed baby.” [Read more]

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. […]