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

In the NICU, Blood Equals Life

Blood isn’t a topic that everyone thinks about until they need it. January is Blood Donor Awareness month and our NICU babies need blood much more than you realize. [Read more]

10 Things Every Preemie Parent Should Know

When I think of motherhood, I think of it being a beautiful, yet scary adventure. For many women it’s a club that everyone wants to join, by any means necessary. Becoming a preemie mom was a club I got initiated in without signing up. During my first pregnancy, I tried to prepare as best as […]

New, small NICUs – convenient, or risky?

Five months in the NICU made the daily drive to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle quite tiresome. And then we met some Alaskans in the waiting room, who told us stories about being hustled on to air ambulances when pre-term labor was discovered, about husbands who had never seen their child because they had to stay with the other children, and about getting tired of living at the Ronald McDonald House.

I said, “There really ought to be a NICU in Juneau like the one here so you can be closer to home!”

A year after our family got home from the hospital, I went to a talk given by a neonatologist about how preemie care developed, and discovered that the issue of building smaller NICUs at community hospitals is complicated and controversial. [Read more]

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]

Preemie Breastfeeding Success Story – Not What You’d Expect

The nurse walked in as I finished pumping. She complimented me on my fortitude, that I was still trying hard to produce milk for my son, months in to our NICU stay. What else was I going to do? He wasn’t even supposed to be here yet. I couldn’t give him third trimester antibodies, the […]