Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007 - The Pictures Say It All

"Dad, I said no more pictures!"
"Oh, alright, how about this pose?"

"Or, do you like this one?"
"How about a full body shot?"

"Hmmm... what else can I do to pass the time?"

"If I had a barbell, I'd show you just how strong I am"

"Aaaah! Just practicing my scream for Daddy. I hear it's almost Halloween!"

"Ha! I fooled you!! I'm holding it in my other hand!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007 - Afternoon Update

Olivia continues to do so well. They weaned her vent settings down again to 18/5 with a rate of 14!! And. . . .they may try her on CPAP this weekend. This is a huge step for her and we are so proud. Olivia is quite the popular baby in the NICU. I believe that the nurses actually fight over who gets to take care of her. I love her feistiness and her fighting spirit. Pretty soon you may be able to purchase her new aerobics video that she’s training for. She is going to be thrilled to get off the ventilator as she gets so mad when it tries to give her breaths. It’s like she’s saying, “Stop! I can do it myself!” Please pray for her success on CPAP.

They may have to add some fortifier to my milk because she is not gaining weight like they would like her to. It seems that she’s kind of stuck at 2 lbs 9 oz. Please pray that she will tolerate that okay. Olivia continues to love being held (almost as much as we love holding her.) As you can tell, I’m just so proud of my daughter today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007 - Update

Olivia is doing great today. I am always so very proud of her. Her vent settings were weaned down to 18/5 with a rate of 16 and her oxygen requirements remain really low. She was on 22% last night and was satting very nicely at 92%. She also is making her first little noises. . .kind of a cooing/crying. But, she seems fairly happy when she makes the noises. Ryan and I have been taking turns holding her each night for a week now and she does extremely well. We put up curtains around her isolette while we hold her and spend time together as a family. We read our stories, sing our songs and just talk about our future together. Ryan and I can hardly remember what we did in the evenings before we had Logan and Olivia. I am constantly in awe of my husband. He wakes up around 6:30 a.m., works all day and then spends all evening at the hospital. I can’t even imagine working right now on top of everything else that we’re dealing with.

Next week Olivia has her first eye exam to begin testing for ROP (retinopathy of prematurity.) It is an abnormal growth of the blood vessels in a premature infant’s eye. The smallest and youngest of premature babies are the most at risk. I have included a link that explains it in greater detail. We ask that you be in prayer for Olivia as this is another big hurdle.

Interesting tidbit: The cause of Stevie Wonder’s blindness is due to ROP. He was a premature infant and back when he was born, they did not have the medical knowledge and technology to help treat it. Please continue to surround my little girl with your love and prayers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - Update

Olivia is doing well today. They have increased her feeds again and weaned her vent settings to 18/5 with a rate of 18. Olivia also has to have a transfusion today because she was slightly anemic. She went about 3 weeks without needing one, so that is great. She enjoyed being held by daddy last night. Olivia is opening her eyes more and more. I tell ya, it makes it so much harder to leave when she just wants to look at you. I think she is starting to enjoy having Ryan and I there more and more. I woke up this morning with an awful headache. Of course, I freaked out thinking I might be getting sick. But, now I think it was just one of my bad headaches. I’m terrified of getting sick and it makes me not want to be around any people. If I get sick, I don’t get to see my baby girl and I can’t bear the thought of missing even one day with her. So, if anyone feels like they are getting sick, please stay far away from Ryan and me. We won’t be offended, I promise.

Thank you all for your posts. Thank you to all of the other moms of 23 weekers who make me realize that I’m not the only one going through this. Shanon, I appreciated your comment about how well Olivia is doing. I truly believe that she is defying all of the odds. She had no IVH, no PVL, her PDA closed without surgery, she’s been on full feeds, etc. She is just an amazing little girl. . .stronger than I’ll ever be. What a weight on those little shoulders. I always had comfort in knowing that Logan and Olivia went through it together. As they got older, they’d each have someone who understood what it was like to be born so early. It breaks my heart that Olivia doesn’t have him anymore. Then, I remember all of the friends that Olivia and I are making who do understand.


Kinnick and Carver
Olivia and Avery
Conner, who understands what it’s like to lose a twin
Serena and Edwin Jr
Kaitlyn, who also understands what it’s like to lose a twin
Lindsey and Sydney
Cooper and Logan
Cole and Paige, who lost their triplet, Kaylee
Interesting story about Cole and Paige. . .when I first found out that I was pregnant with triplets, I was searching the Internet for everything “triplets.” I came across their website. Before I ever knew that I would need the information, I learned everything I knew about premature births. I think that was God’s way of preparing me for what was to come. This was also one of the reasons that we chose Paige as Olivia’s middle name.

How many people have that many friends before they are even 2 months old? Plus, that doesn’t count all of the neighborhood kids who pray for Olivia. She also has her cousins: Julia, Alex, Katie, Rebekah, Aidan, Isabelle and one on the way. And, the rest of her family and church and all of our friends and their kids, etc. What a support system! Thank you all so very much. Your comments and words of encouragement are so very appreciated. They help get me through each day.

I have made each of the above websites a clickable link on this page. They are listed under the heading "Friends" - Stacie

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

-Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 - Update

Well, I thought I would send an update earlier today. We’ve been getting home from the hospital late and then we still have to eat dinner. Ryan and I are both pretty down today. Don’t worry, Olivia is doing fine. When Ryan called for the morning update, he found out that the doctor planned to add the extra fortifier/calories to my milk. We had heard that “may” have been what caused them to stop her feedings before. Ryan spoke with the doctor about it and for now they are going to just increase her to full feeds and monitor her weight gain. We don’t want to second guess any of the doctors as we completely understand the need to increase her caloric intake and fully respect their judgments. Most premature babies need these extra calories for the growth and development of their bodies and brains. This entire NICU experience is so difficult. Nobody should have to suffer with infertility. Nobody should have to suffer through the NICU experience. Nobody should have to deal with the loss of their child. Why have I had to suffer through all three? Most days it is just too much. My heart longs for Logan. I constantly yearn for reassurance about Olivia that no one can give me. She means the world to Ryan and me.

I think back to August 9th. . .oh, what a day that was. I had my sonogram and found out the sexes of my twins. I was ecstatic when we found out that we were having a boy and a girl. Everything was going great. Would you believe that I actually felt guilty? It was just so incredibly perfect. My heart broke for all of the people who couldn’t experience the joy that I was feeling. Because everything was progressing so well, we had already purchased two cribs and a double stroller with two car seats. Now, I have to look at them in the nursery everyday, but I just can’t bear to get rid of Logan’s crib or the stroller.

I wish that I could respond to every comment, every card that we receive, every stuffed animal that was given at Logan’s funeral or that was left on our front porch. Please know how much all of that means to us. Ryan and I look forward to it every day. Thank you all so much for helping us through this difficult time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007 - Update and Pictures

Olivia is now in her big girl diapers. :) She has outgrown her newborn diapers.

I got to hold my precious daughter tonight for about 2 hours and 20 minutes. They went up on her feeding today to 15cc. There isn’t a whole lot to report tonight which I consider a good thing. We are just patiently waiting for her to grow healthier each day. Patience. . . .that is something that I have an abundance of. I mean, what else can you learn when it takes you over 2 ½ years to be blessed with children? Now, I ask for patience from all of you. Many might think that once Olivia goes home, she will be similar to a full-term infant. What other mothers of preemies (Olivia is actually considered a micro-preemie) know is that we will be in the midst of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) season. To us, that might result in cold-like symptoms, but to premature babies it can be extremely serious. From what I’ve read and from conversations with the nurses, Olivia will not be going out much or entertaining many visitors. We will just have to follow our pediatricians recommendations. Please be patient and understand that Ryan and I will do what is in the best interest of Olivia. Thank you all again for keeping Olivia in your prayers.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007 - Daddy and Olivia

Sunday, October 14, 2007 - An Update from Daddy

Well, for a change of pace, I thought that I (dad) might write the update today. I got to set the record today for holding Olivia the longest. I held her for 3 hours! She loved every minute of it. Her nurse said that at about 4:15 Oliva knew that it was about time to be held by mom or dad. Jodi and I got to the hospital at 4:45. Olivia was wide awake and ready for us. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep on me after they got her out. It is a wonderful feeling holding my daughter. She's going to be a daddy's girl yet. I'm just amazed at how calm she is while she is out. She gets totally relaxed. Olivia isn't just warm when she's out on me. She get's daddy warm. When she goes back into the isolette she tends to be about 37.1°C. Her normal temperature in her isolette is generally about 36.7°C. She did really well tonight during her transitions from and back to her isolette. She also keeps surprising Jodi and me with how much weight she has been gaining. She gained another 30 grams tonight which brings her to about 2 lbs. 9 oz. They have also increased her feedings again today. She is currently on 11.4cc of breastmilk every 3 hours. Olivia also had another first today. She got to wear her first hat! It was cute seeing her wear it.

I know my postings aren't as good Jodi's, but y'all won't have to worry. She will still be doing the majority of posts.