Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007 - CPAP Information

To describe what CPAP is, first I will explain the four biggest things that the ventilator does.

1) Provides oxygen
2) Rate – The number of breaths given that the baby has to take. (Note: The baby can take extra breaths on her own.)
3) PIP – Peak Inspiratory Pressure which is how much pressure is given to inflate the lung
4) PEEP – Positive End Expiratory Pressure which is how much pressure is applied at the end of expiration. It is basically used to keep the lung partially inflated at all times.

So, when Olivia has a vent setting of 17/5 with a rate of 18: Her PIP is 17, her PEEP is 5 and the ventilator is giving her 18 breaths per minute. When she goes to CPAP, she is no longer given any extra breaths and gets only the PEEP without the PIP, along with oxygen. Instead of a breathing tube down her throat, she will have small tubes that fit through the nostrils. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. When the ventilator setting is 16/4 with a rate of 10, it is usually no longer beneficial to be on the ventilator. I sure hope I have explained everything correctly.

If there are any nurses reading this, feel free to add anything that I left out or described incorrectly

Saturday, October 13, 2007 - Olivia and Mommy

So beautiful. So precious. So lovely.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 - Update

I’m happy to report that Olivia continues to do well. I was able to hold her for another 2 hours today. Yes, it was Ryan’s turn, but he graciously allowed me to hold her for the second day in a row. He felt it was what I needed and he was right. Don’t I have an amazing husband? She kept her eyes open for quite awhile when I first started holding her. We found that she loves to hold and squeeze daddy’s finger! I also noticed after awhile that she started licking me. . .it was so endearing. Finally, she drifted off to sleep and we just enjoyed being together.

Her feeding was increased to 8.1cc today. Dr Hsiao believes that the problem with her feeding last week may have stemmed from the formula and extra calories that were being added to my breastmilk. She didn’t tolerate it very well and much prefers plain milk. They are going to try to increase the amount of milk to obtain more calories instead of increasing the concentration. I may also start collecting only the hindmilk for her which has more calories. She is also getting closer and closer to CPAP!

Yes, I am getting the message that everyone thinks I need to write a book. I believe that Olivia might keep me too busy for that. I did previously write stories as a child, but looking back at them. . .they didn’t really have plots. I only described what everyone was wearing. In one of my stories, I had a kitten die at the end and it made me so sad that I had the kitten come back to life. I did, however, win an essay contest in the 5th grade and I was able to meet Betsy Byars. Then I started writing strictly poetry, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped writing altogether. Life will do that to you, I guess.

I also wanted to thank all of the nurses who cared for Logan and those who continue to care for our precious Olivia. I appreciate all that you do. Your profession makes quite an impact on many people. Thanks to all the people who read this blog daily and who continue praying for Olivia. We have a long road ahead, but looking back. . .oh, how far we’ve come.

Isaiah 40:31
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings as EAGLES they shall run, and not be weary;and they shall walk, and not faint"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007 - A Wonderful Update

I was able to hold Olivia tonight for about 2 hours. I don’t think that there are many more wonderful things in the world than that. She seems so happy and content when we’re holding her. Her oxygen saturation stabilized and she fell asleep for over an hour. It makes me finally feel like a mom because I know that there is no other place she’d rather be. Did you know that a mother’s body temperature will actually raise to increase that of her child? I don’t know if holding her releases all kinds of hormones in me, but I miss her so badly. I’m just a mess tonight and I can’t stop crying. I can still smell her and I remember how she felt in my arms and how she kinda pinched my skin with her fingers. It’s like I can’t wait until tomorrow to see her. I always knew that I would love any child that God blessed me with, but I’m amazed at how much I love her. I think back to the long, hard road that we have had to travel in order to have our Olivia. I would do it all over again to be blessed with such an angel. Please keep praying that she continues to grow stronger each and every day so that we can bring her home.

Oh, I guess I should mention that they did increase her feeding today to 5.4ccs and her vent settings were changed to 17/ 5 with a rate of 20. What an amazing little girl!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007 - Olivia Pictures

Daddy's first time holding Olivia. What a precious picture of Dad and his girls.

Beautiful Olivia. Sleeping peacefully.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 - Update

Thursday must be our lucky night as daddy got to hold his little girl tonight (I figured I should share her.) It was wonderful. It’s so amazing to see the love that Ryan has for his daughter. He is such a wonderful dad. Olivia did get to start her feedings again today at 2.4cc every 3 hours. They will continue her on the IV fluids until she is back up to full feeds. She also weighs a whopping 2 lbs 5 oz!!! And have I mentioned how beautiful she is? They’ve kept her vent settings the same and her oxygen has run anywhere from room air (21%) to 30%. She is an amazing little girl.

I shared a poem with Stacie that was given to me by one of the nurses tonight. This particular nurse mentioned that she lost a daughter and has had 5 miscarriages. I don’t understand why any of us have to go through this. This poem “A Child Loaned” made me realize that our children are never truly ‘ours.’ God just loans them to us for awhile. I wish with all of my might that I would have been able to be with Logan for a lot longer, but I know that I’ll be with him again. I’ll be with him for eternity someday in heaven. It’s still hard for me to understand. I see adorable little boys all around me and I wonder what Logan would have been like. Would he have been shy or silly? Would he have had Ryan’s eyes or my smile? I still struggle with this everyday. Everyone talks about what an inspiration I am, but what they don’t know is that I have to sleep all of the time just to cope. It makes the time go by quickly and it takes me away from reality for awhile. I basically spend my day in bed or with Olivia. Hopefully, that gets better someday because I have so many things that I need to get done. I have to finish the nursery sometime to prepare for Olivia’s homecoming. That will be such a joyous day!! Please continue the prayers for all of us!

Thursday, October 11, 2007 - A Child Loaned

One of the nurses gave me this poem tonight:
A Child Loaned

"I'll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine,"
He said,"For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories
As comfort for your grief."
"I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.
I've looked this wide world over,
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
And take him back again?"
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy
Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand."
~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - Update

My sweet Olivia is doing good. She brings such joy to our lives. . .it’s unreal. They turned her vent settings down again. She is now 18/5 with a rate of 18 bpm and was on room air for much of the day. Olivia is getting so close to CPAP. I think the only thing that may hold her back is that CPAP can sometimes cause extra gas in a baby’s tummy. Because she had excessive air in her tummy before, I don’t know that they are in a huge hurry. Again, that is just my own speculation. She is probably going to start her feedings back up tomorrow. Please pray that the transition is smooth and that she tolerates it well.

I thought I would share a motto by which I try to live my life. When I was a child, I had a poster hanging in my room. It had a cute, furry lop-eared bunny on it which I’m sure is what held its appeal for me. As I got older, however, I noticed the words on the poster. It read:

What you are is God’s gift to you; What you become is your gift to God.

The first part has always helped me realize that God made me exactly the way I was meant to be. That was often hard for me to accept given the problems with my reproductive system. I’m sure that He had a plan though. I’m sure that Logan and Olivia were meant to be born at 23 weeks, although that’s something I’ll never understand. The second part relates to what we do with those gifts that God gives us. There have been many times where I have not been proud of who I was becoming. I’ve struggled with that as I try to figure out who God wants me to be. I know that He wants us to minister to other people. God also made me somewhat shy and unable to speak in front of large groups of people. . .so how can I minister? I guess this blog has allowed me to do so. I don’t know that I’ll ever have so many people’s attention again. I just hope that everyone asks themselves if God would be proud of who they are becoming. People ask me what they can do to help. Praying is always something that you can do and Olivia continues to need all of our prayers. Also, if you’ve ever wanted a closer relationship with God, *now* is always the best time. You may think that you don’t need God in your life if everything is going well. But, let me tell you, that can all change in an instant and we are unable to get by on our own ability. If all of us fostered a greater relationship with God because of my Logan and Olivia. . .that would mean the world to me. Please continue to make Logan’s life memorable. Please continue to pray for Olivia and help bring her home to her dad and me. We love her so very much.

I was so happy to read this update. I know I am not alone when I say Praise God! Olivia continues to fight each and every day for the very life that so many of us often take for granted. Ryan and Jodi ask us to allow Logan's life to be remembered. For his life to have meant something. I know that Logan meant so much to so many. And, each day, we all pray for Ryan, Jodi, and their precious Olivia.

Together we have been united in their plight. Together we bow our heads and pray for a little girl who wants and needs to be home with her mom and dad. Together we have grown in our walk with the Lord and together we have allowed our lives to mean something too. We all have the opportunity each day to allow God to work in our lives - we just have to let Him. Ryan and Jodi have allowed the Holy Spirit to move them and through Ryan and Jodi - we are all being moved.

I thank God for Ryan and Jodi. I am thankful for who they were and for who they've become. I am proud to call them friends. God reveals Himself to us each day and each day I see and hear God when I update this blog.

I pray God is working in your life - I know He is at work in the Glunt family.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - Olivia Update

We picked out Logan’s marker today. It’s a little teddy bear plaque. . .it will be really nice for him. That was very difficult to do. I still miss my baby boy so very much. I hate that someday I’ll have to tell Olivia that she lost her twin brother. Twins always have a special connection, you know. Olivia is doing good. They are not going to try to start her feedings until Thursday. Her vent settings were turned down a bit. She’s now at 21/5 with a rate of 18 bpm. She was on room air for quite awhile today. Last night when her nurse was in with her, Olivia grabbed her finger and wouldn’t let go. I guess she just needed a friend. How precious is that? Olivia still fights the ventilator with all of her might. I bet she will be so happy to get that out.

Stacie put a site meter on this webpage yesterday. Wow. . .If I’d had any idea of the number of people visiting each day, I probably wouldn’t have written half of the things on here. I do feel blessed to have so many people who care. Stacie and I have agreed to keep up this blog until Olivia is at least 25 years old. I can see it now. . .”My little Olivia started her period today. . .” Well, maybe Olivia wouldn’t want me to tell EVERYTHING. We’re sure grateful for all of the prayers.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007 - New Olivia Pictures

Olivia must not be happy with whatever is happening!
What a pretty little girl.
Mommy says this is Olivia making one of her funny faces
Olivia is peeking out at Mommy and Daddy!

Monday, October 8, 2007 - Update

I spent most of the afternoon and evening up at the hospital with Olivia. She’s got more personality in her 2 lbs 2 ¼ oz than some full grown adults. Ryan and I were both pretty shy and timid children and so we expected our children to be similar. I think Olivia is going to be quite the contrary. If she doesn’t like something, she’ll let you know. And she is just so funny with her facial expressions and actions. She’ll make Ryan and I laugh out loud.

Her 48 hour blood culture is still negative (for infection) and her abdomen girth is good. She’ll have an x-ray tomorrow morning and if that looks good, she will probably start her feeding tomorrow. Of course, she’ll have to start out with a minimal amount of milk and work her way back up to full feeds. She got 2 chapters of her book read tonight because she was just listening so contently. We’ve also been singing to her each night. Olivia seems to like her songs. . .I think ‘You Are My Sunshine’ is her favorite. She truly is our little sunshine and we’re so blessed to have such a precious daughter. Please keep Olivia in your prayers.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Ephesians 1:4 NLT

Sunday, October 7, 2007 - Rocking Chairs

Ever since I was able to stand, I’ve had this bad habit of swaying back and forth. My parents realized this early on and gave me my dad’s old rocking chair that he had as a child. My favorite pastime became putting on my headphones and listening to my records in my rocking chair. Some of my favorite songs from those records were those played before Logan’s service. I bet I spent half of my childhood in that rocking chair until one day I actually got stuck. So, my parents bought me a new rocking chair and my favorite pastime continued. I remember when I moved out into my apartment, I was grateful that I didn’t have a roommate who might think I was weird. Luckily, my husband understands me.

I rarely get to listen to music and rock in my rocking chair anymore, but throughout my life I have never been without a rocking chair. Because of this, some of the money given to Logan’s memorial will go to purchase new rockers for the NICU. I want to thank all who have contributed. My old rocking chair is waiting for Olivia in her nursery. . .just in case she takes after her mom.

Sunday, October 7, 2007 - Olivia

We had a good visit with Olivia today. Her 24 hour blood culture results were still negative. We think that she is improving and she may even be starting her feedings again as soon as tomorrow. There is still no sign of NEC and I’m so thankful. The best protection against NEC is breastmilk which is why I’ve continued to pump every 3-4 hours. Her oxygen requirements were about 24% while we were there and tonight she is on room air. She opened her eyes quite a bit today. I think she likes to look at mommy and daddy.

We went out to visit Logan’s grave this afternoon. We are picking out his marker on Tuesday. It was very difficult, but I know he’s not really there. He’s in heaven and as happy as can be. It’s still hard for those of us left behind. A parent should not have to visit a hospital and a cemetery just to be near her children. Logan will always be so very special to us. Please continue to pray for Olivia. . .she is an amazing little girl!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007 - Update

Update 1: Olivia’s x-rays at midnight and at 6 am showed no change. I don’t really know whether that is good or bad news or neither. We are awaiting results from her noon x-ray. Last night she also had some red blood suctioned out that they were a little concerned with. She hasn’t had anymore of that, however. I’m grateful that she doesn’t seem to be getting worse, but I’m praying that she’ll start to improve. Please hold Olivia close to your heart and continue the prayers!!

Update 2: No x-ray was done at noon since there hadn’t been any change. No need to expose her to additional radiation. She still has the tube down to her stomach, but they have turned off the suctioning. Her oxygen requirements are still fairly low. We are headed up there this afternoon. Please continue the prayers.