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

How a Bump on the Head Led to a Great Idea: The NICU Now Podcast is Here!

A recent article in The Times theorized that if English philosopher, political economist and civil servant John Stuart Mill were around today, “his father would have dosed him not with Thucydides and Plato, but with podcasts.”1 Why? Because while the rest of the internet entertains with cat videos and fake news, the podcast is “unashamedly, almost […]

The Value of Giving

On a cold day in December in the early eighties, my dad saw a man walking down the highway carrying an old sewing machine. My dad stopped and offered the man a ride. As the miles passed, the man shared that he had taken his late wife’s sewing machine into town for repairs because he needed to mend his young son’s clothes. It was apparent the man was facing some very difficult times. [Read more]

Connecting Families to Vital Support

If there is one thing NICU parents want others to know, it’s this:

A NICU stay impacts the whole family.

But among the struggle, there is hope. [Read more]

6 Things NOT to Say to a Preemie Parent (and What to Say Instead!)

As a parent of a child who spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, I can tell you it was the birth experience I didn’t expect and hadn’t planned for. Though my daughter’s stay was shorter than some, the emotional fallout and shock of it all did not wear off for some time. Over the years working for Hand to Hold, I have read and responded to parents sharing similar comments on our support forums and our blog that express similar statements. What do we do when well-meaning friends and family say things that bring up all the emotions we have surrounding a baby’s hospitalization? [Read more]

Talking to others about your new NICU life

Congratulations. You are the parent of a preemie.

In the next few weeks you will readjust your expectations of a normal pregnancy and a normal birth. And around you are people who care for you, who are trying to understand your new world. This post is about these friends and how to understand their friendship in this new season.

preemie footprint NICUYour child is here, born too soon, fighting to gain the strength that comes natural to most full term babies. The strength to breathe, the strength to suck, the brain strength to produce strong, sure heart beats.

Draw a small circle on a piece of paper. In the center is your preemie. Around your child are you and any other immediate family members.

Maybe you now live at your baby’s bedside, maybe you’ve gone back to work or back home to older siblings. It doesn’t matter where you are physically, because your heart is still there beside that tiny being. Every time the NICU comes up on your caller ID, your heart will thump and turn.

You are at the epicenter of this new madness, the combined delight of a new being and fear of uncertainty, of medical difficulties, of a world turned upside down. [Read more]