Hand to Hold

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Podcast Campaign Exceeded Goal! 
by Kelli Kelley, Founder and Executive Director 

podcastFor 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.

Those were dark and lonely days. I was crumbling under the weight of my grief. I was overcome with feelings of guilt and shame that my body had failed my baby and my husband.

I did not know how to talk about my emotions.

I did not know how to effectively communicate with my son’s care team or how to advocate for him.

I did not know how to break down the barrier between me and my sick baby so I could start the bonding process.

I needed support, but I did not know where to turn, who to ask or even the words to use.

For the past 10 years, it has been my passion to help parents through those dark and lonely days and months that follow preterm birth and the loss of a baby. Hand to Hold has developed phenomenal educational resources, a respected peer-to-peer support program, an active online community, and a tremendously successful in-hospital support group curriculum.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and corporate sponsors, Hand to Hold will now be able to expand our support curriculum to include a support-based podcast for NICU families that will make support more readily and easily accessible.

We are thrilled to announce that to date, our Podcast Campaign has raised $22,140, surpassing our initial goal by more than $2,000! 

This exciting new project will provide much-needed support to those who may not have access to a support group at their hospital, or who may choose not to participate in support group for a number of reasons.

We would like to thank the more than 200 donors who supported our campaign, Andra Liemandt of The Mrs. for leading our Podcast Power Hour, and corporate sponsors Huggies® and Prolacta Bioscience. Because of these generous individuals and corporations, we will be able to develop and launch our podcast series! This means NICU families will have access to critical support right on their smart phone, tablet or computer, when and where they need it, for free.

Again, thank you for believing in our mission and stay tuned as we broadcast our launch later this year!

What Supporters are Saying

"I would have loved a podcast to listen to during my 26-weeker's stay!" -- Karee M., NICU parent & podcast supporter

"For all the parents of the babies I have taken care of in my career and because of my son. Thank you Hand to Hold for offering this valuable service." -- Linda M., NICU nurse, NICU parent & podcast supporter

"Podcasts are a wonderful idea; wish we had them when my twins were in the NICU 18 years ago!" -- Debbie & Charles D., NICU parents & podcast supporters

"We are proud parents of twin NICU graduates which spent 5 months and 11 months in the unit. Our daughters, who were born at 23 weeks, received every treatment possible while in the NICU and we were educating ourselves through each circumstance without the support of someone who had been through this. A podcast with accounts from families who had been through our struggle would have been a welcome relief as we drove to and from the hospital, or even as a respite from the constant noise of the unit." -- Lindsey K, NICU parent & podcast supporter

More Good Stuff

9 Ways Parenting a Preemie is Unique

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Postpartum Depression After a Complicated Delivery

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I Did Everything Right

kaleena NICU babyYou can do everything right in your pregnancy and still have a preemie. Blogger Kaleena Berryman shares her story and encourages other moms to share their experiences with premature birth on social media using #idideverythingright.  

Is Buying Breast Milk Online Safe?

bottle milkFor mothers who are determined to provide breast milk to their baby, donated milk is a life saver. Milk banks can get expensive, so many parents turn to un-regulated online sales. But is this safe? From our friends at Texas Children's Hospital, neonatologist Dr. Amy Hair tells us the risks and complications involved with buying breast milk online. 

Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!Watch us on YouTubePin us on PinterestVisit our blog!Share your NICU experience

Welcome New Sustaining Circle of Love Members!

Sustaining Circle of LoveHand to Hold would like to recognize new Sustaining Circle of Love members!

Andra Liemandt
Tom Hill
Melissa & Brandon Cason
Paula Boon
Deion & Jim Wilson

Get Your Ticket for Our Superhero Birthday Celebration!

birthday kidCome celebrate the end of summer with Hand to Hold and the Round Rock Express on Labor Day Weekend! All those who register before August 12th will be entered into a drawing to win a door prize. Click here for details and to buy tickets. Thank you to our early bird sponsor, Viva Pediatrics

Show Love for Nurses!

Primary Nurse and childSeptember 15 is NICU Nurse Appreciation Day! Don't forget to show a little love for all of the wonderful men and women who give their hearts to some of the tiniest babies and their families. Get a free printable greeting card for your favorite nurses, and make sure to read Heather Huck's popular essay, Dear NICU Nurse, found on our blog.

Secure Your 2016 Baby Shower Ticket, Table, or Sponsorship! 

baby shower logoFollow us down the yellow brick road to an afternoon of celebration and reflection on the lives of fragile babies and their resilient families at our 3rd annual Baby Shower Luncheon in Austin, TX. Inspiring guests with a message about courage, faith and friendship, New York Times Bestselling Author of Sparkly Green Earrings and TheBigMamaBlog.com blogger, Melanie Shankle will talk about what it takes to navigate life’s most difficult challenges. Secure your ticket/table/sponsorship today!   

Volunteer Opportunities

Kelli visits VictoriaVolunteer your time to write supportive notes to be given to families in the NICU now and to say thanks to NICU staff during special recognition months. Or virtually correspond with a family who has had an experience similar to yours by becoming a Helping Hand peer mentor. Whether you have a little or a lot of time, we have a spot for you to make a difference today. Get started.

Connect to Support on Your Schedule

Julie Cruz and hubbieA baby's NICU stay or loss can be a lonely and isolating experience. Let our experienced Family Support Navigators help you connect to information, resources and support to help make the journey easier for you. Send us a request to begin

Past Issues

Read past eNewsletters.

   About Hand to Hold
Hand to Hold logoHand to Hold is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications. 

Hand to Hold - www.handtohold.org - 855-H2H-NICU

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