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

6 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Do to Prepare for Preterm Birth

By Darline Turner-Lee, mother to preemie Vanessa and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond

As a parent of a late-term preemie, I found myself completely unprepared for the emotional fallout after my child was born early and with breathing problems. Term births are considered pregnancies carried to 40 weeks. Babies born at 37 week gestation or earlier are considered premature. Even though I had been at risk and was very nearly on bedrest at several different points during my pregnancy, the topic of a neonatal ICU (NICU) stay never entered the conversation. I worked in the medical field for many years and still felt unprepared for my child’s stay. I sincerely wish my OB and I could have discussed these possibilities in advance. If you are pregnant, here are some tips and questions to help you prepare your own backup plan in case your child is born earlier than expected or with complications. [Read more]

Mourning a Different Kind of Loss

As I look back at the NICU journey of my 25.5 weeker, I am incredibly thankful for the beautiful baby boy who has shown me true strength and determination. He has been a fighter from day one and been through more in 9 months than most deal with in a lifetime. What a blessing it has been to witness this miracle grow and develop from a fragile 1 lb 8 oz micropreemie to a 14 lb 4 oz “big” boy.

Despite how blessed I feel for how far we have come, as I look at my stack of maternity clothes in my closet, I am constantly reminded of the last 14 weeks of pregnancy I was never able to experience. [Read more]

Connie P’s Birth Story: What to NOT Expect When Expecting!

Connie P shares an emotional account of ups and downs after the early birth of her daughter who arrived at 31 week gestation and is now age 4. She writes: “I was not prepared at all for a preemie. None of the books explained what could happen and I learned the old fashioned hard way! It should not be this way, there should be more awareness, thank you for this site.” [Read more]

Multiple Tips for a Multiple-Births Pregnancy

If you’re anything like me, while growing up you didn’t have a real-life connection to a mother who experienced a multiple-births pregnancy. Instead you may have been accustomed to believe the romanticized and perfect versions of having multiples, which you might have watched on TV, like I did. Of twins, I thought: they get to […]

Neonatal Loss

Right after we buried her my worst fear – and I don’t say this lightly – was that she would be forgotten. And to some, she probably is. But over time, it became increasingly obvious that it didn’t matter who remembered her, what mattered is that she could live through us. And we could tell her story everyday – to anyone willing to listen. [Read more]