Hand to Hold

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SUPPORTER UPDATE - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

You Are Enough

Magic MirrorI am pretty hard on myself.  For as long as I can remember I have struggled to quiet the negative voice in my head that chastises me for not being smart enough, slim enough, or creative enough.  The voice that once whispered these messages in my ear began to shout at me after delivering my son preterm. Suddenly the self-doubt intensified into self-loathing as I blamed myself for his early birth and the tremendous medical challenges he faced. I was riddled with guilt and felt totally incapable of meeting the needs of a baby born so tiny and sick.

Too often one of the biggest challenges that engulfs NICU parents is a sense of guilt. Of not being enough. We blame ourselves for not being able to carry our babies to term. Some feel like less of a parent because they do not feel an immediate bond with their baby. This guilt and self-doubt can last for years especially if our child experiences ongoing medical and developmental challenges.

When I first heard the song, “Enough” by the all-woman band The Mrs. and its positive “I’m Enough” refrain, the message resonated with me somewhere deep inside. When I watched their powerful Magic Mirror video, I could not hold back the tears because I know how mentally and physically exhausting and detrimental it can be to carry around self-doubt, loathing and guilt.

The Mrs. created the Magic Mirror (pictured above) so women could see themselves the way others see them…to know that they are ENOUGH.  This message is resonating with women all over the world, and their video has been viewed more than 4 million times in multiple languages. If your life or that of a close friend or relative has been impacted by a NICU stay or loss, we hope you will consider supporting the mission of Hand to Hold this giving season either through a monetary gift or volunteer hours. To find out how a gift of just $25 dollars can provide critical support to a NICU family, visit our gift registry.

Hand to Hold was honored when The Mrs. agreed to sponsor our recent Baby Shower Luncheon. There were many tears as attendees watched the powerful Magic Mirror video and as they experienced the mirror first-hand. What an amazing, yet simple gift The Mrs. is giving to women regardless of age, size, race/ethnicity, religion, income and other backgrounds. We are “Enough.”  We may not be perfect, and life may not have gone according to plan, but we are “Enough” and we should appreciate and value the woman we see in the mirror because she makes a difference in the lives of so many and does it with grace, humility and great love.

“The Mrs. Band is pleased to partner with Hand to Hold, an organization that helps families during a time when they are especially vulnerable,” said Band Founder & Drummer Andra Liemandt. “We hope our self-affirming messages will resonate with them and give them strength during difficult times.”

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself repeating “I’m Enough” countless times in my head as I have struggled to meet the daily demands of raising my kids, leading Hand to Hold and being the wife, friend, sister and daughter that I want and need to be. Many days there does not feel like there is enough of me. But I am practicing turning down the volume of the negative voice and turning up my iPod instead.

I’m Enough. And so are you! May you cherish and respect not only the reflection you see in your mirror, but the person you are deep inside.

Happy Holidays,

Kelli Kelley Signature 
Kelli D. Kelley
Founder and Executive Director

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Congratulations to our 2014 Preemie Power Contest Winners

Lil WarriorHand to Hold congratulates the winners of its Fifth Annual Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest. Asher "Lil Warrior" and eight other amazing kids were named winners this year. We congratulate our finalists and all the participants who shared their child's stories this year.  

Mother of Preemie Triplets Chairs Successful Baby Shower

Price FamilyJackie Price shares her family’s NICU journey and her inspiration for chairing our first ever Baby Shower Luncheon fundraiser, which was presented by The Mrs. in Austin, Texas, and benefited Hand to Hold, a national NICU parent support organization. The sold-out event grossed more than $100K to support our mission of providing resources for NICU families. We are grateful to our amazing committee of volunteers and additional sponsors Roger Beasley Imports, Austin's First Steps, H-E-B, Andrea and Dean McWilliams, Seton, Austin Fertility Institute and Vivere Austin Surgery Center, Picket Fences Baby and Maternity,and Texas Fertility Center.

Four Ways I Helped My Older Children Deal With a Premature Sibling

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Giving Back As a Way to Heal

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How to Know If You've Hit Pediatrician Gold

Twins coming homeFinding the right pediatrician after the NICU can be scary. NICU Mom Alden Gilligan shares her journey after her twins were discharged and how she found a pediatrician who took the time to educate herself about the health concerns common to preemies and who sought advice from specialists so that her preemies would have the best care possible. 

5 Things I Wish I'd Known When Choosing a High-Risk OB-GYN

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Connect With Us

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Receive Support

Join our volunteer list

Hope Ignited by YouThe hopes and aspirations of parents in the NICU differ from parents who experience a pregnancy without complications. This holiday season, your monetary gift can ensure every NICU family receives the information, support and resources they need to navigate the difficult challenges of a NICU stay and prepare for a bright future beyond the hospital doors like our 2014 Preemie Power Winner, Asher 'Lil Warrior' and his family.

Donate online today!

Team Hand to Hold Accepting Runners & Walkers

Team Hand to HoldIf you are an athlete or just like to walk for fun or fitness, we invite you to run or walk on our behalf in the upcoming Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and Paramount 5K to be held February 15, 2015. We are also looking for volunteers at our Water Stop to help keep the runners hydrated and to provide a little support and encouragement along the way. Contact Matthew McElhaney for more information.

Mark Your Calendar for the NICU Grand Prize Giveaway

Watch your email for a chance to participate in our annual NICU Grand Prize Giveaway in early 2015. Last year, families from across the country shared their stories and rallied support for Hand to Hold and their favorite NICU. The top fundraiser's NICU will win Kangaroo Chairs (for parents to provide skin to skin care for their preemies), Boppy pillows to make feeding in the NICU more comfortable and amazing Hand to Hold educational materials for NICU parents and siblings. More details coming soon!  

Become a Helping Hand Peer Mentor

Mom holding a preemieVolunteer to support a family like yours. Become a Helping Hand peer mentor and use your experience to help a fellow NICU parent. Sign up for our online training and our Family Support Navigators will guide you through the process.

Chat With Healthcare Experts Each Month

Mona Liza HamlinJoin us in the new year as we chat with Clinical Nurse Educator Mona Liza Hamlin, BSN, IBCLC on the Hand to Hold Facebook page wall on January 13 from 11am to 12pm CST. She will be sharing her best breastfeeding solutions for NICU families. Mona is the owner of Breast for Baby Solutions and a board member of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color. If you have a topic or speaker you'd like to suggest, contact Erika Goyer.

Thanks for Your Support

Enfamil

For Healthcare Providers

MilesHand to Hold offers resources exclusively for NICU health professionals. Hand to Hold's NICU Resource Library, a collection of educational materials available by subscription for NICU families in English and Spanish. Endorsed by the National Perinatal Association, these materials complement Family-Centered Care practices. Watch for our new online store, which is coming soon!

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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