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

Know Someone in the NICU? 10 Ways You Can Help

One of your friends just landed themselves in the NICU. Let me guess. You want to help, but you have no idea what to say or what to do. Fear not, many of us who have been there have these suggestions to help! [Read more]

Can You Hear Us? Hand to Hold’s Podcast Campaign Starts Today!

Today we are launching an important two-week campaign to fund our innovative support-based PODCAST for NICU families! Our podcast will eliminate the many physical and emotional barriers parents face in accessing and receiving support. Read more to find out why this endeavor is a valuable addition to the family-friendly support programs Hand to Hold offers.

For weeks after my son’s preterm birth at 24 weeks gestation, I sat by his bedside and desperately tried to see past the tubes and wires that engulfed his tiny body. I could barely see his face because of the respirator tube and tape used to hold it in place. I was told I needed to bond with my baby. But how was I supposed to bond with a baby I could not hold, feed or bathe? I knew the possible implications of allowing myself to bond with a baby that may not survive. [Read more]

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]

Rewriting the Story of a Partnership After Crisis: NICU Healing

The day after my son William died, my husband and I went to the hospital to see his twin Elliott in the NICU. We had agreed that being near Elliott would be the only thing that would feel ok that day. We were both mostly silent. I remember feeling very otherworldly, very distant from the reality that was spinning, beeping, screaming around us, very distant from John. Everything seemed to have a cold fog around it, embodying the environment. There was this watery, grey feeling like nothing was really there, including me. The only comfort was staring at sweet Elliott under the bili lights, waiting for the quick moments when the nurses would do his cares and we would briefly be able to look into each other’s eyes (or at least I could gaze into his).

The nurse practitioner who was on shift that day came over to John and I, and related how sorry she was about William’s passing. With tears in her eyes, she told us that Elliott, so far, was doing well for his gestational age. And then she turned to us, making eye contact. She told us that she believed we would make it through this together, that our relationship was strong, that even though many families don’t make it through in one piece, she thought we would be one of the few to make it. [Read more]

What First-Time Parenting Activity Made You Nervous in the NICU?

Was there a routine, first-time parenting activity in the NICU that made you extremely nervous to perform? Maybe it was changing a diaper, or giving your preemie a bath. Whatever it was, you are in good company. All of us preemie parents have been there! [Read more]