Hand to Hold

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Celebrating Milestones

Jackson in isolette with boxing glovesLife is full of milestones - markers that denote our accomplishments and continued progress on our life journey. A baby’s first smile, first word and first steps are typical milestones to be celebrated. NICU parents cherish milestones as they denote our child’s continued growth and development. Sometimes we must adjust or change our expectations, but it is so important for our babies that we never underestimate their power to overcome tremendous obstacles. Hand to Hold’s Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest was created to allow parents to recognize and celebrate these milestones – BIG and small.

The third annual Preemie Power Photo and Essay contest is a major milestone in the life of Hand to Hold. Each year the contest gains popularity, garners more votes and gives away more prizes. This year we introduced more age categories and, thanks to our friends at Neotech, the Preemie Power grand prize winner will receive a trip of a lifetime family vacation to Disneyland.

Through our collaboration with Mead Johnson Nutrition, information about Preemie Power will reach 660 Level III NICUs which we hope will not only increase participation, but also provide hope and support to new parents.

JacksonPlease visit the Preemie Power Website, www.preemiepower.org, often this month to read the amazing stories, vote for your favorite entry and support the mission of Hand to Hold by donating in honor of these amazing super heroes.

Much like our Preemie Power contestants, Hand to Hold has achieved some major milestones in a very short period of time. We have much to look forward to in 2013 as we build relationships with hospitals and parents across the country, launch the Hand to Hold Community Partner Network, expand our online resource library and continue the development and introduction of resources for Spanish-speaking families.

 If you are interested in helping Hand to Hold and the families we serve reach even greater milestones in 2013, please consider joining our leadership team, serving on a planning committee, championing Hand to Hold at your hospital, volunteering as a Helping Hand Mentor and/or making a monetary donation. Together we truly can make a difference in the lives of NICU babies and their families!  You can reach me at kelli@handtohold.org or 1-855-424-6428 x3.

With Appreciation,

Kelli Kelley 
Kelli D. Kelley
Founder and Executive Director

More Good Stuff

Keeping My Respiratory-Compromised Child Healthy During RSV Season - One Mom's Story

Mighty ZShelley Colquitt explains how she kept her daughter, who spent time in the NICU with a rare illness affecting her respiratory system, healthy during RSV season. Strict handwashing routines and antibody shots bought her daughter precious time to become older and stronger, so she was able to successfully weather an RSV infection. 

Understanding Your Child's Development: What Are the Milestones? 

Preemie, Photo courtesy Knight FamilyFamily Support Navigator Erika Goyer explains what milestones are and how they can be used to better understand your child's unique developmental path. Learn about the skills that children need and how to connect with early intervention if help is needed along the way. 

Victoria Chambers Remembers Her Son James

James CIn honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Victoria Chambers remembers her son James. She reflects on how peer support helped her and shares how her family continues to remember James in their everyday life with James' little sister, Kathryn. 

One Dad Reflects on Sending Forth His Champion, James

James' BirthMatthew Chambers reflects on what it means to be a NICU dad and why he got involved to help other grieving dads and families. Matthew strongly believes that he hasn't "lost" his son, James, merely sent forth a champion after all the rounds of battle were done.

What's Hot on the Blog, PreemieBabies101

PreemieBabies101 Blog{Professional Insight} Fostering a Positive Parent-Patient-NICU Nurse Relationship

Lisa Davenport, RN shares how parents can make the most of the nurse-patient relationship during a NICU stay. She brings her invaluable perspective as a NICU nurse, a NICU mom and as an instructor/retention counselor for an Austin nursing program.

The Touch of a NICU Nurse

Babs Haller reflects on her daughter's time in the NICU and how the touch of her NICU nurse made all the difference, for both her and her daughter.

Finding Time for Your Inner Triathlete

Triathlete and mother of three, Stephanie Goley, shares how she's integrated a healthy lifestyle all while caring for her special needs son and two other children. Her message? It can be done!

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2012 Preemie Power Photo & Essay Contest - Enter Now


Oct 1 - Preemie Power Photo/Contest begins accepting entries for a chance to win a family trip to Disneyland and other prizes! 

Oct 19 - Preemie Power voting starts; Last day to sign up for the 26 for 26 Austin Marathon, Half Marathon Training Group available through Preemie Posse.

Oct 21 - NICU Support Group - St. David's Medical Center from 6-7 pm

Oct 25NICU Support Group - St. David's North Austin Medical Center (last Thursday of each month) from 6-7:30 pm

Oct 28 - NICU Reunion at St. David's Medical Center from 2-3:30pm

Oct 29 - Lunch & Learn features Dawn Gibson, LMSW talking about emotional health for NICU moms and dads.

Mondays/Tuesdays, 9-1 pm - Volunteer to provide NICU respite at the Ronald McDonald Room at St. David's North Austin Medical Center or at St. David's Medical Center. 

Thanks to Our Superior Strength Preemie Power Sponsors!


St. David's Healthcare

Preemie Posse 2013

Preemie Power Super Heroes

Captain TenaciousMeet Austin, a 2011 contest entrant, who was born at 27 weeks at the size of a 24-weeker. Now a year old, his mom shares, "Like Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, Austin [aka Captain Tenacious] started his life a tiny and fragile boy, but showed a determination to prove that despite his size he was strong enough to put up a fight." Be inspired by more Preemie Power Super Heroes from 2010 and 2011, and enter your preemie in this year's contest today!

Past Issues

Read more Hand to Hold Supporter Updates.

   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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