Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007 - Happy Birthday Little One

We only spent about 30 minutes up at the hospital with Olivia today. When we arrived, she was sleeping so peacefully and she was saturating very nicely at 21% (room air.) This was after they turned her vent settings down to 17/5 with a rate of 13. It seems that she loves it in isolation. She needs the rest and we didn’t want to bother her. Of course, we wanted to wake her up and talk to her and see her, but that’s not what is best for her. We did whisper a little happy birthday song to her before we left. It breaks my heart because I don’t want her to think that we didn’t come to see her. It’s been so hard not getting to hold her. Ryan and I both miss it so much. She even gained another 40 grams last night which puts her very close to 2 lbs 12 oz. Like we’ve said before, we believe the isolation is just a precaution. All of her cultures have come back negative thus far and we’re hoping that she is moved out by Monday. She’ll be rested and ready for CPAP!! Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

You know, people take about having a weight on your shoulders. I’ve been physically feeling this weight and have a huge knot in my shoulders that I’m having a hard time getting rid of. Last night, it caused me to have the worst headache. I received a daily devotional yesterday from Mary and Ed and it illustrated my point so nicely. I will post a portion of that:

If I recall correctly, Ian Thomas illustrates this point by telling the story of a man walking down a dusty rural road on a hot, humid day. The man is loaded down with a heavy backpack and carries a duffle bag in each hand. A pick-up truck comes along, and the driver offers the walking man a ride, telling him to hop in the back. The driver heads down the road, but when he looks in the rear-view mirror he sees that his new passenger is standing in the bed of the truck – still holding both duffle bags, still wearing the over-packed backpack on his back. The thing is: We stand in the truck of faith, still carrying our burdens, thinking they are independent of the ride we’re taking. Perhaps we think God can carry us, but not our burdens, that we have to keep bearing them ourselves.

I am guilty sometimes of accepting the ride, but standing in the bed of the truck while still holding on to my burdens. Lately my burdens have been too much for me and I’ve been praying for the ability to give them completely to God. One of my favorite songs (from my records I listened to so long ago) is:

I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.
And anytime I don’t know what to do.
I will cast all my cares upon you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007 - Update

I wish I had more good news to report today. When I went to visit Olivia today, I found that she wasn’t there. She had been moved to the isolation room. They found that Olivia had a blister on her shoulder and they don’t know what caused it. It could have been caused by something that rubbed up against her. They have started her on antibiotics in case the culture from it comes back showing a virus, etc. For the time being, she must be in isolation. This means that we have to wear the full gown and gloves when we go in to see her and we cannot do skin to skin. We can’t even bring in her book to read to her. The culture from her eye did show some growth today, so she did have a slight infection. She is already on a topical antibiotic and the antibiotics that she is now on should take care of it. On top of all this, she had to have her 2 month vaccinations today. Four shots in her little thighs. . .she has just had a rough day. Then, she didn’t even get to be held mom and dad. All we could do is really look at her tonight, but she had her eyes open and she kept smiling at us. She is just so precious. Her stomach is also looking a tad bit distended, so they are keeping an eye on that. I realize that we can’t expect every day to be great while in the NICU, but after all we’ve been through (with infertility, Logan) I don’t know how much I can take. Please just pray for Olivia. We hope all of this is simply a precaution and that she’ll get moved out of isolation by Monday so that we can hold her again.

I went out to Logan’s grave today and brought him a little pumpkin and a scarecrow. It looks really nice for him. I’ve felt awful because I haven’t been able to get out there much. We just haven’t had time because we’re at the hospital with Olivia. I sometimes don’t feel that I’ve had the chance to mourn for him because we have Olivia to think about. In a sense that’s probably a good thing because she keeps our mind on the things to come instead of dwelling on the past. Why is it that when you have a little girl, you become obsessed with the color pink? I see anything pink and I think, “Oh, I have to get that for Olivia!”

Please pray that we get through this little bump in the road and that the isolation room just provides Olivia with a little peace and quiet. Don’t forget that she’ll be 2 months old tomorrow!!!

"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007 - Update

I’m the proud mother of a 2 lb 10oz little girl! She gained over 40 grams last night and we were so excited. Her eye cultures have come back negative for any type of infection. Not a whole lot more to report on her. . .she’s just getting stronger (she’s starting to develop quite a bit of muscle tone) and bigger. We couldn’t be happier about that. Please always think of my Olivia and pray for her every day.

I’ve noticed that some days I do a lot better than others. Some days I feel so angry and bitter and I hope that doesn’t reflect too much in my writing because that’s not the kind of person that I am. It’s hard not to feel those emotions, however, when I feel like I’ve had to fight so very hard for my children. It’s hard not to constantly ask, “Why me?” When I feel like that, I’m just reminded of all the things that I have to be thankful for. I’m then reminded that God is a merciful God. I was by myself at home in the morning on the day that Logan and Olivia were born. What would have happened if I’d given birth to them alone at home? God made sure I was at the hospital with my family so that Logan and Olivia could get the proper medical treatment immediately. For reasons I will never understand, God had to take my Logan from me. But, he also gave me my beautiful daughter. God gave me a husband who loves me no matter what and who will always love his children unconditionally regardless of any obstacle that they face. God gave Ryan and I parents who showed us what it means to be wonderful parents. I have the most amazing family and friends and neighbors. If anyone needs a good chiropractor, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Dopps Chiropractic (Dr. Ian and Dr. Kamra Dopps) in Maize, KS. They have gone above and beyond in supporting us throughout this whole ordeal. Stress does not do nice things to your body. Neither does eating dinner at 11:00 pm, however, I think we’ll be eating by 9:30 pm tonight. Anyway, I just hope that everybody tries to look for the good in their life. It’s there even when it seems there is only heartache. It’s a peace that only exists when you accept Jesus as your personal savior. It’s a peace that I hope all of you have.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - Pictures

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - Update

We had a good visit with Olivia tonight. Daddy got to hold her. She was a little cold in her isolette and sometimes they don’t let you do skin to skin if their body temp isn’t warm enough. But, we always warm her up very well and daddy brought it up one whole degree! She was very relaxed and snuggly tonight. We’ve learned how to tell when she is assisting the ventilator and when she’s just letting it do the work for her. Ryan was able to take deeper, more frequent breaths to encourage her to take more breaths of her own. It was pretty amazing!

She did have to have another transfusion today. I guess the last transfusion didn’t quite bring her numbers up to where they wanted them to be. Hopefully, she won’t have many more. She also has had some discharge from her eyes that they cultured to make sure she doesn’t have an infection. It is probably just a clogged tear duct. We’re hoping that it’s nothing big. Poor thing tries to open her eyes and she can’t because her eyelids are stuck together. Olivia has continued to gain weight the last two nights, so we hope that continues. There is still the possibility that she’ll be home by Christmas. I found out tonight that she has a Christmas dress that matches her older cousins. Olivia continues to amaze and inspire us. To be born 17 weeks early and doing so well. . .it’s just a miracle. She’s our little miracle and we thank God for her every day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - A Poem For Logan

I wrote a poem for Logan last night. I’ve been writing poetry since junior high. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t write it very often. I also don’t share it very much. But, I’ve shared everything else on here, so why not? Anyway, here is my poem. . . .dedicated to my wonderful son, Logan William.

Playing in Heaven Instead
By Jodi Glunt

You were the perfect little boy
Of whom we always dreamed.
Did you know we had your name picked out?
All along or so it seemed.

You even had your daddy’s hands
So miniature in size.
In life we never got to hold you
Or even see your opened eyes.

We had so many plans for you.
Did you know you are a twin?
I wanted you to grow up together.
What a pair you would have been!

I wanted to take you to the park
And push you on the swing.
I wanted to teach you how to walk,
And read and write and sing.

I wanted to show you a fire truck
And let you ride upon a horse.
I wanted to take you to the zoo
To see the giraffes, of course.

I wanted you to watch cartoons
And play video games with dad.
And you and I would take a nap
Oh, the times we would have had.

But, your mommy’s plans were not to be.
“I have other plans,” God said.
“Instead of playing in life’s playground
You’ll be playing in heaven instead.”

And someday when I see you again
I’ll walk down a road paved in gold.
I’ll run to be right by your side
And in my arms I’ll finally hold!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - Mommy and Olivia

Mommy holding Olivia.
Olivia is wrapped up in her pretty giraffe blanket.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - Update

Well, kind of a mixed bag today. I’ll start with the good news. Olivia had her eye exam and they don’t see any signs of ROP! Her eyes were just a bit hazy, which I hear is pretty common for babies her age. Now, I don’t know the chances of her still developing ROP. I hear that her chances are low since she showed no signs this time. . .maybe some other preemie moms can help me out with that? So, before I get too excited I would like to learn some additional information about it. They did have to turn her vent settings up to 18/5 with a rate of 16 and that was a little surprising because she had been doing so well. Olivia also gained a little bit of weight last night and she now weighs about 2 lbs 7.5 oz. We hope that weight gain continues as she hasn’t been able to get over 2 lbs 9 oz. Overall, she is doing well. . .I think Ryan and I just weren’t in the best of moods today. I wish that the NICU parents didn’t take the same elevators as the parents taking their babies home. It’s hard sometimes to go up to see Olivia and watch people with balloons and flowers and their babies leaving to go home. I’m not saying that they don’t deserve to take them home. . everybody does. But, I’ll never get to take Logan home and it will still be a long time before I get to come home with my precious Olivia. I’m also a little apprehensive today because one of the visitors in the NICU had a bad cough. I’m just concerned about Olivia and all of the other babies in the NICU. That’s the last thing any baby needs when they are dealing with so many other problems.

Anyway, Ryan and I made an appointment at our doctor’s office today. We both got our flu shots. Neither one of us has ever had a flu shot before, but because of Olivia we decided that it would be a good idea. We’re just trying to remain healthy so that we can be there for our little girl.

I am so thankful that Olivia’s eye exam went well. Like I mentioned before, if anybody has any input about ROP, please let us know. Should we be ecstatic about this or just cautiously optimistic? Please continue praying for Olivia. . .she is one tough girl!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007 - Update

Ryan was able to speak with one of the doctors this morning. They are starting Olivia on a fortifier to increase her weight gain. Because this can sometimes cause extra gas in the tummy, they are holding off on CPAP (it too can cause gas in the tummy.) Now, this is as long as she doesn’t pull the ventilator tube out herself. She extubated herself last time (when she had the bigger tube put in) and she’s coming close to doing it again. That girl is more tenacious and stubborn than her daddy! Olivia’s eye exam is tomorrow, not today. Her chart had down 10-22-07, but I guess it just meant the week of the 22nd and they usually do the exams on Tuesday. That was an interesting comment about weather changes/barometric pressure. We sure did have a cold front blow in yesterday.

I’m having a rougher day again today. I’m not sure why. I went to the grocery store and everybody there just seemed to be going about their merry way. I wanted to say, “Don’t you know that the world is missing someone very special? Don’t you know that my daughter is in the NICU?” Olivia is 8 weeks today!! I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this for 8 weeks. . .and we’re not even halfway on our journey to bring her home. Some may think that Ryan and I are being overly protective as we are very strict about who can see Olivia and when they can, etc. Please understand that this is just our way of protecting her. I need to do this as I feel I was unable to protect them before. I was unable to keep them safe and warm as a mother is supposed to do and they came into this world too early. I can’t help but think. . what if? What if I would have quit work sooner, what if I would have gone on bedrest sooner? One thing I’ve always struggled with is that I’m not assertive enough. I knew that something was wrong and yet I let them send me home from the hospital when I initially went in (one week before their birth.) As Ryan has pointed out before, if they had admitted me into the hospital, I would have been very stressed. I was not as stressed at home on bedrest and maybe that helped us gain that extra week. The drugs that they were going to start me on to prevent labor can also be very hard on the mother. I don’t know. . .I’ll always wonder. I just need to know that I’m doing everything that I possibly can to help my daughter have the best chance in life. That’s why I’m still providing breastmilk, that’s why we read to her, that’s why we sing her songs and why we hold her every night. Please don’t ever go a day without saying a prayer for Olivia. She is a wonderful little girl!!

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 NLT

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - Update and Prayer Request

Olivia is not doing quite as good today. It’s not that she’s doing badly. . .I think we’ve just come to expect progress from her each and everyday. Her oxygen requirements were a little higher today and she didn’t seem to enjoy being held as much. She was very squirmy and seemed pretty restless. Usually she snuggles in next to me, her oxygen stabilizes and she drifts off to sleep. Tonight she was consistently setting off the ventilator alarm. She also hasn’t been gaining weight like she should on strictly breastmilk. What you have to remember is that a premature baby expends so much energy on things like simply breathing and they usually need some supplementation. I just hope that she is able to tolerate it well.

You know, before I was pregnant and while I was pregnant, I was the epitome of healthy eating. I barely drank any caffeine, I ate my fruits and vegetables and vitamins, stayed away from fast food and trans fat. . .well, not anymore. I mean, when you don’t get out of the hospital until almost 9:00 pm and you haven’t had dinner, you don’t want to cook once you get home. We just don’t have time. We’ve discovered that you can find almost every fast food restaurant on West St. and it’s on the way home from the hospital. Someday we’ll start eating healthy again.

Please be in prayer about Olivia. We would love to see her off of the ventilator this week with lower oxygen requirements. Please pray that her eye exam goes well tomorrow and that she continues to grow stronger and bigger and healthier each day.

…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,...
Philippians 3:13
We are all so excited about Olivia's beautiful future. What an amazing day it will be when Ryan and Jodi take their Olivia home.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 - Update

Yesterday Olivia got her first phone call. It took daddy by surprise. He had to say, “Olivia is my daughter. . .who was premature. . .she’s in the NICU.” The phone call was from a nurse assigned to her by our health insurance company. It was kinda strange. Before we know it, however, I’m sure she’ll be getting calls from boys.

She continues to do very well. They weaned her vent settings down again today. She is now 16/5 with a rate of 14 and is doing fabulous! They increased her feeds to 24 cc, but she is still not gaining weight like she should. They will probably be adding the fortifier to my milk sometime next week. She’s got a big week ahead of her as she also has her eye exam and the possible start of CPAP. Please continue to keep her in your prayers!