Hand to Hold, a 501c3 nonprofit, provides 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. Read more about Hand to Hold.
Are you a new parent with a baby or babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit? Have you recently experienced a loss? Are you a direct caregiver or grandparent of a preemie? We welcome your call at any stage of your journey from bedrest or as other complications arise during pregnancy, after the birth of a baby or multiples born premature, during or after a baby’s NICU-stay, after a diagnosis of a child’s special health care need, or in the event of a loss. We want you to know that you are not alone, and peer-to-peer support is available no matter where you reside.
Contact Hand to Hold
By phone: Call us at toll-free 855-424-6428 or locally 512-550-3181
Have you ever had a friend whose circumstances are so overwhelming that you are exhausted just from imagining yourself in their shoes for a moment? Melissa Overy is one of those friends. And yet it’s difficult to say whether her determination or smile is her most admirable quality as she blazes a trail for her young boys with the weight of the world on her shoulders. “Indomitable” is the perfect adjective to describe her as one of her preemies is actually named “Dom.” At the playground you can see him and his older preemie brother, Aidan, as two happy, rambunctious boys jumping, climbing and running. But at home you will encounter his bleach baths, tubes and feeding pumps. We all agree that raising young children is challenging, but raising medically fragile children as a single mom must be completely overwhelming. But not for Melissa. She takes each day in stride and is not afraid to glance off at the the horizon often too. Each week consists of full-time employment, part-time education, single motherhood, specialists appointments, fevers that require emergency room visits, G-tube maintenance, and somehow even time as a Helping Hand volunteer at Hand to Hold. Below you’ll hear about this incredible mom in her own words.
Hi. My name is Melissa and my Christmas miracle, born 6 weeks premature, is Aidan. I was 17 years-old when he was discharged from the NICU. For five years Aidan surpassed expectations and overcame every obstacle. He was in great health while I was starting to question my own. An ER visit revealed that pregnancy was the source of my physical discomfort, but it’s the emotional pain I remember most upon hearing that it appeared to be ectopic. Two weeks later a second ultrasound confirmed that there was no growth in my uterus so a procedure was scheduled to terminate my pregnancy. [Read more...]
Worry, anger, grief, joy, exhaustion, relief, bitterness, financial anxiety, physical pain. That sounds like a bad year by any standard. For a parent with a premature child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it’s not unheard of to experience all of those emotions in a single day.
The phrase “it takes a village” never meant so much to me as during the summer months of 2008 after the premature birth of my 28 1/2-week-old identical twin boys, Oliver and Avery, and the loss of Avery at two days old due to a congenital heart defect. My husband and I were lucky to have a close community of family and friends propping us up as we experienced all of these emotions and more. Because we were cared for, we could care for our children. But not everyone has that network. Volunteering through Hand to Hold to help prop up another NICU family allows me to bring the gift full circle.