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

Thank you

A little over a year ago, Kelly and I got together to discuss an idea we had about founding a support group…Life After NICU.

To be honest, I don’t think either of us had any idea what we were getting ourselves into!  Initially, we planned to offer support face-to-face with local families (events and get-togethers).  But suddenly, our online forum (Facebook) took off… and grew and grew and grew.  🙂  So much so, that we needed to add another person, Gena, who was as passionate about the need for support for NICU families as we were.

The growth on Facebook alone has absolutely blown us away!  Within 4 months, we had over 500 followers, by May over 1,000, and by September we had hit the 2,000 mark.  We very much appreciate your help in spreading the word about our group!  We never anticipated that just one short year later, we’d have over 2,350 of you following us on Facebook, and over 23,000 pageviews on our site.  We never thought that our group would become global, with followers in over 21 countries.  We are astounded and humbled by your support.

With a year under our belts, doing this incredible advocacy work, we’re definitely not as green as we once were.  We understand better now the ever-changing world of social media.  We’re learning new avenues (Twitter) and new ways to connect with NICU parents all over the world. Thank you for your patience with us while we’ve worked out all of the kinks.

The way that you all support one another, offering advice and anecdotes of your own experiences, has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  So many of your questions that we repost on our Facebook page take me right back to those early months after our NICU discharge.  As we all well know, every NICU story is different and unique, but there are commonalities in every experience.  We did not have the birth stories we wanted or expected with our little ones, and there’s trauma associated with that (which can be hard for others to understand).  No one knows this journey like another NICU parent.

I think I can speak for all three of us when I say that we LOVE serving you here at Life after NICU.  You all have given us a sense of purpose beyond our roles of mother and spouse.  Our driving goal all along has been to help make a difference for just one person – to let them know that they are not alone and that they will get through this NICU journey.  We sincerely hope we have accomplished that goal.

During the months to come we have fun things planned… there will be more content here on the site – posts we hope will inspire you, help you heal, and give you strength to continue forward.  We hope to continue with more amazing guest bloggers, sharing more incredible stories that are full of hope and promise.  We want to share more impressive organizations with you, to help you find your own ways to give back to our community of NICU families.  We plan to hold more local events in the new year and network with other NICU support and advocacy groups to help spread our message.  …and so much more!

We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our families – our loving spouses (Tom, Joel, and Brian) and our miraculous kids (Teagan, Jayden, and Connor).  Thank you to our families for understanding and supporting our passions, helping us make Life after NICU all that it is today.

To all of you, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making our efforts worthwhile.  Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Love and hugs, Aimee (& Kelly & Gena)
Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

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