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

A Mother’s Heart: How to Help it Heal After Severe Preeclampsia

It’s been four years, almost to the day, since I gave birth to my preemie at 29 weeks, weighing 2lb 6oz. Nothing at all like the big, bouncing baby boy I had been fantasizing about. Yet, he was the most beautiful, and tiniest, baby I had ever seen. Being rushed by ambulance because severe preeclampsia […]

Coralee’s Story: The Path That Lay Ahead

My first appointment with my OB in my third trimester started out as a routine check-up, but quickly took a turn for the worse. The first abnormal thing they noticed was there were trace amounts of protein in my urine.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had blood pressures within the normal range, but on this day I had blood pressure readings ranging from 180/130 to 195/145.

The next suggestion that they gave me was doing a “no stress test” to monitor my daughter’s heart rate and my blood pressure for thirty minutes while laying down.

By the end of the test, my blood pressure levels had lowered a little, so they sent me home with an order to buy a blood pressure cuff and monitor my levels every hour to ensure they do not reach those levels again. [Read more]

Being Aware of Preeclampsia

With May being Preeclampsia Awareness Month, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of this dangerous disease.

What is preeclampsia?

From preeclampsia.org:

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

It also accounts for 15% of all premature births in the United States. I know these facts because last May I sat in the hospital after having my son at 31 weeks of pregnancy. I remember thinking that I was painfully aware of preeclampsia. [Read more]

Grandma is Hurting, Too!

Not too long ago I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks when I overheard a conversation between two women at the library where I work. The first woman asked the other one how her granddaughter was doing. All I heard were the words “preeclampsia,” “they had to take her early,” “29 weeks and 2lbs 6oz.” I couldn’t believe it! Other than the fact that they were talking about a baby girl, they very well could’ve been talking about my son and I. [Read more]

Making Peace with My C-sections

Before I had children, I hoped I would never need a Cesarean section. I thought I stood a pretty good chance of avoiding them. My mom didn’t have C-sections, and I have wide hips. I was young and healthy. I knew better than to write a birth plan in stone, but it seemed a shame […]