Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007 - Pictures

So daddy. . . .I was thinking. . .
It’s never too soon to start asking for a pony.
Maybe just a tiny pony?

This is MY daddy!

Saturday, November 10, 2007 - Update

Today was a very difficult day for both Ryan and me. This morning we got rid of Logan’s crib, which we had been needing to do in order to get the nursery ready. It just kinda reminded us, however, that Logan is never coming home. We went to Babies-R-Us and it was very difficult. It had been hard for me to go into baby stores when I was trying so desperately for a child. You’d think now that I have a baby, it would be easier. . .but, it’s not. I saw a little outfit that said, ‘If you think I’m cute, you should see my twin” and I just lost it. Ryan just about lost it, right there in the middle of the store. I think everything is catching up to Ryan. He’s been remaining pretty busy throughout this whole ordeal, but it’s difficult for him. I know time will make all things easier, but we will forever miss our sweet Logan. We will forever wonder why they had to be born so early. Today would have been better if Olivia didn’t have so many As and Bs. They decreased her feeding today because Dr Dorn believes that her problems may be caused by reflux. Her oxygen requirements still remain very low at less than 25 mL / minute. She’ll saturate at 100% and then drop like a rock. It’s so scary. We weren’t going to hold her today because of her numerous episodes, but I’m glad we decided to. Ryan held her and it was just what he needed. She remained awake for a long time and was staring at him and grabbing his finger. They had many wonderful father/daughter moments and she was so cute as a pretty pink princess (thanks Stacie for the adorable sleeper!) She was also cuddled up in her new quilt that was made just for her. She is now up to 3 lbs 10 ¾ oz and is an absolutely beautiful baby. Both sets of grandparents were able to come up and check on her.

We went to Kohl’s on the way home. We walked in the door and heard, “Are you Olivia’s parents?” Yes, we had our first public recognition. This wonderful lady heard about us from her church and she follows the blog everyday with her daughter. Thank you to all of the people who have taken such an interest in my daughter’s life and for keeping her in your daily prayers. You’ll never know how much it means to us.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007 - Update and Pictures

I’m happy to report that Olivia did not have to go back on the CPAP. In fact, today when we called Olivia hadn’t had any As or Bs (apneas or bradycardias) since 2:15 am. She had been saturating at 100% consistently and they kept turning her oxygen down. Finally, the nurse took the prongs out of her nose and Olivia kept saturating just fine. She was basically doing everything on her own like you and me . . .or so we thought. Well, when we got there tonight she was back on the nasal cannula. Come to find out, the oxygen mask had a little bit of oxygen coming through it and it was in the enclosed isolette with Olivia. So, technically, she was getting some oxygen. When they turned it off, they had to put the prongs back in her. She is still doing fabulous and is on less than 25 mL/minute. Last night she gained another 25 grams and now weighs 3 lbs 9 oz. I spent the afternoon with Stacie and we sat and talked just like the good ‘ole days. After talking with Stacie, I figured out why Olivia is doing so well. I believe that she is a very strong girl herself and in addition to that, Logan is giving her all of his strength as well. I just know that he is up in heaven cheering her on.

Tonight, Olivia was our little ‘golden girl’ and was dressed in her yellow giraffe sleeper. Olivia’s nurse even got her yellow bedding to coordinate with her outfit. She looked adorable and I finally got to rock her again. She has been maintaining her temperature well and has had only 3 As or Bs since midnight. I’m so proud of her. They believe that her problem yesterday did stem from the change in her feeding. They are going to keep her feeding over 2 hours this weekend and may try reducing it to 30 minutes on Monday. Feeding has always been one of our concerns as I’ve not yet heard of a micro-preemie who doesn’t have feeding issues whether it’s reflux, weight gain, vomiting or the need for a feeding tube. (If there is one out there, I’d love to hear from you.) Please continue to celebrate each of Olivia’s successes with me. You’re reading about a wonderful woman in the making.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007 - Update and Pictures

Well, it looks like Miss Olivia may have to go back on CPAP. She does beautifully on nasal cannula. . . .saturates at 100%. . .when she’s awake. Once she goes to sleep, she gets too relaxed and forgets to breathe. This is one of the reasons that we haven’t been able to hold her. Instead of CPAP, they may try her on a high flow nasal cannula. We don’t know yet. I feel so bad for her because she seems so much more comfortable off of CPAP, however, you can only watch your child stop breathing so many times. Like I told my dad tonight, she is Super Baby, but she is only human. Olivia is still doing fabulous. She was so alert and content tonight. I couldn’t decide which pictures to share. I got to dress her in her first outfit. She didn’t fuss at all when I was putting it on and I think she even liked it. Actually, she is getting very accustomed to mom and dad and pretty much lets us do what we want. While we were there, she was maintaining her body temperature very well. Please pray that her apnea/bradycardia episodes become few and far between. . .even if that means going back on CPAP. Please keep her in your prayers and enjoy the pictures of sweet Livi!

"Hi Mom. Hi Dad. I've been waiting for you."

This is my mom changing my diaper. I don’t fuss when mom or dad change my diaper anymore. In fact, I like to leave a present for dad and then right after he cleans me up. . .I like to leave another present for mom.

I’ve got my eye on you.

Oh, daddy. . .you’re hilarious!

This is my mom dressing me for the first time.

Uh, mom? What happened to my hand?

Man, now I know why they call this a sleeper.

Mom. . .you make me so happy.

Okay, I just can’t stay awake any longer. Goodnight.

Thursday, November 8, 2007 - Update

13 comments!!! Wow, that warrants another update. It’s called positive reinforcement. Plus, so many things are happening I have a hard time remembering them at the end of the day. Olivia continues to succeed on nasal cannula. She has had about 4 desat episodes since midnight, but that is still less than what is allowed. For those who have wondered, a nasal cannula is a plastic, flexible tube with prongs that fit in the nose and delivers supplemental oxygen. No pressure, no extra breaths. . .just Olivia breathing on her own with some extra oxygen. She is currently on 25 ml per minute. This is down from the 75 ml per minute that she started off on. They also changed her feeding today to 33 cc and instead of being fed over the course of 2 hours, she is being fed over 30 minutes. This is more like a regular feeding will be. And if her respiration rate stays under 60, they will begin nipple feeding by bottle or breast. We told them to be sure to call us when she was ready for that because we want to be there. I’d love to be the first to feed her. I’m not sure how much breastfeeding I will get to do since they have to add special care formula to my breast milk for extra calories. It looks like my relationship with Mr. Pump will continue on. Olivia also gained another 40 grams last night and is now up to 3 lbs 8 oz. And. . .we should be able to dress her tonight!!! Grandma Glunt gave us a few outfits (oh, I can’t wait to show you her pink, butterfly sleeper) and our neighbors, David and Denise Omli (wonderful neighbors) left a present on our doorstep. They managed to find not only a giraffe gift bag, but a sleeper with giraffes on it along with adorable outfits!! Thank you so much. I’m trying to keep up on all of my thank yous, but the overwhelming kindness from so many people is making it difficult.

Boy, it seems like everyone knows this new mother of triplets! I can’t wait to meet her. I believe that one of her babies (a little boy) is in the bed next to Olivia. What an adorable little boy! Olivia might want to keep in touch with him. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I was able to have all of my 3 babies. I feel that in my mourning of Logan, I don’t ever acknowledge the 3rd baby that I lost. I say that Olivia was a twin, but in truth she was a triplet. If you all remember, I miscarried Baby B before 8 weeks. Not that I’m complaining. I feel so blessed for the precious little girl that I have. My father, as many of you know, is a great musician. He is the best piano player I have ever known and he used to write and compose songs. The words of one of his songs rings true for me. “If I never had another blessing, I’d still have all I need.” I hope Olivia grows up knowing how much of a blessing she is to not only her daddy and me, but to so many other people. Oh, and don’t worry, pictures are a’coming.

Late-Afternoon Update: She's had 7 apnea/bradycardia spells since 10:00 am. During one of them, they had to bag her for over a minute to get her back up. Usually, that warrants going back on CPAP, but he believes it may be because of the change in her feeding. She didn't seem to like being fed over 30 minutes. Sometimes, their tummies fill up too fast and their diaphragm pushes on their lungs making it difficult to breathe. They changed her feeding back to the 2 hour schedule and are going to see if that helps.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 - Evening Update

I have great news to report tonight. Dr. Dorn called us this afternoon to tell us that Olivia was coming off of CPAP. Yep, she is now on nasal cannula and doing fabulous. What wonderful news! After we quit dancing around and singing the theme to Rocky (she’s quite the fighter,) we had to call our parents and let them know. Dr Dorn even mentioned that if she continues to do well, we may be discussing the move to the special care nursery as early as next week. I don’t know if we’re quite ready for that, but like all parents. . . .we have to let her grow up. As much as we want her home, we hope it’s not until AFTER my baby shower. Ryan and I realized today that we do not yet have everything quite ready for her homecoming.

We went up to see her tonight and were unable to get in due to the admission of triplets (two of these babies are on the same team as Olivia.) We had to wait out in the waiting room for about an hour, but while we were there we talked to some other moms. I met one mom who gave birth to twins (boy and girl) at 23 weeks about a month after I did. This was after her struggle with infertility and 3 rounds of IVF (I believe.) Wow. . .it was amazing to talk to someone who really understood. She even talked about how she needed to get home to pump. I thought I was the only one who thought about that. Please pray for her two little ones.

Anyway, we finally got in to see Olivia and she was beautiful. You can see her face so well. She loved having us there tonight and when we would take our hands out of her isolette, she would get really squirmy until we got back in with her. I read her story to her and she loved that. There was a part in the book where Reddy Fox stuttered and after I read that part, she just grinned from ear to ear. She continues to amaze us day after day. I think we can finally see a little glimmer of light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. What an amazing little girl we have and what an amazing God we have who blessed us with this absolute angel.

Now you CPAP, now you don't!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 - Afternoon Update

I just thought I’d send a quick update on this glorious day. I woke up feeling fantastic this morning. . .no more scratchy throat. I slept for 8 hours straight which I haven’t done for oh, about 10 weeks. Of course, I slept right through my alarm and didn’t get up to pump which isn’t too good, but I think it’ll be okay. I also learned this morning that Olivia gained 85 grams last night! This puts her at about 1550 grams although I’m not going to get too excited until she continues on this upward trend. I’m so proud of her and I’m so glad that I get to go see her today. Although I’m not too fond of this colder weather. . .I love fall clothes. They are just so comforting. I went to put on some of my fall clothes, however, and many of them did not fit. What is it about having babies that makes all your clothes shrink? Yes, I’m sure that had to be what happened. A shopping spree. . .that’s what I need, but not for me because I’m too excited about dressing Olivia. She’s going to be so pretty in pink!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - Update

I am sitting here all alone tonight as I type this update. I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat, so I couldn’t go see my daughter and I’m just heartbroken. I don’t know if I’m truly sick or if it’s just allergy drainage, but I don’t want to take the chance. Ryan is up with her right now and I know that she loves her daddy. He’ll read her story to her (we’re now on Peter Cottontail) and let her know that she is loved. I still miss her so much!!!

I do have wonderful news to relay. She had another eye exam today and the ROP has not progressed past Stage 1. This does not mean that we’re in the clear, but it is still fantastic news. Olivia also had to have her Hepatitis B vaccination today. The nurse gave her a pacifier with sucrose and said that Olivia did very well and that she has actually gotten more upset over a diaper change. She is still on a PEEP of 4. Last night she had a nose bleed. . .those prongs have to be so uncomfortable. Olivia did lose 10 grams last night and they are a little concerned about her growth again. They removed her OG tube today because, along with excess gas, it is also removing some of the milk she’s being fed. They believe that she might also be anemic. Tomorrow they will check her levels and she will have another transfusion, if needed.

Ryan just returned from his visit with Olivia and had two surprises for me. The first surprise was a note from one of our favorite nurses commending me for being such a good mom. I don’t feel like a very good mom since I didn’t go see my daughter today, but I really don’t want to get her sick. Also, people donate and/or make quilts for all of the babies in the NICU. Well, Olivia had a quilt made especially for her by the mother and grandmother of an NICU nurse. How special is that? We also ask for continued prayers for Olivia’s neighbor.

Olivia continues to do so well. I am not naïve enough to believe that she could come out of this whole thing completely unscathed. I mean, she was born 17 weeks early. . .17 WEEKS!! But, her progress has continued to amaze me and I pray every day that she will be okay. I pray that I am given the wisdom and the support to face whatever obstacles that we encounter. I know that I love Olivia more than I ever thought possible and I will do my best to give her every opportunity in life. Ryan and I are committed to her 110% and will be the best parents that we can possibly be.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007 - Update

I was able to spend the afternoon and evening with my precious daughter. Olivia continues to do very well, although she has been struggling more lately on her lowered CPAP setting. She has had more desats, apneas and bradycardias lately although the frequency of these episodes is still below what they consider the norm. Olivia has not been gaining weight as well lately either. She’s only gained 25 grams within the last 3 days which puts her about 25 grams shy of the 1500 gram mark. Previously, she had been gaining almost 40 grams per day. They increased her feeding to 31 cc and may increase it again depending upon what her weight is tonight. Please pray that she continues to grow like she should as this is very important for her development. Olivia managed to pull her OG tube out about 3 times today and even managed to get her feeding tube out as well. One of the nurses had to hold her arms down when they put the OG tube back in because of the force Olivia was using to push them away. Everyone remains to be very impressed by my sweet Olivia. There are not many long term studies or even any data on 23-weekers. Many places do not even resuscitate babies born before 24 weeks. I hope babies like Olivia change people’s minds and prove that every baby should be given a chance. Olivia has a little friend with her in her isolette. A few weeks ago, somebody donated little stuffed animals to all the babies in the NICU. Of course, they have to be put in plastic bags, but Olivia has a little elephant sitting with her everyday that we call Horton. Everyday, Horton whispers to Olivia “A person’s a person no matter how small.” (Horton Hears a Who still remains one of my all-time favorite stories.)

Last night I mentioned another baby that was admitted into the NICU. Sadly, she was another precious child that God called home. Please pray for the family of that baby. I was also greatly distressed to learn that Olivia’s little neighbor had to have surgery today. This little girl was born about a week after Olivia and is one of the few babies that have remained in the NICU throughout our stay. Please pray that she is able to recover fully. You are not supposed to pay a lot of attention to the other babies around you and for good reason. It’s hard, however, not to notice the babies around you because their condition greatly affects the atmosphere of the entire room. I just want every baby there to be able to go home with their family. I wish Logan would have been able to and I pray every second of every day that Olivia will be able to in the near future.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007 - Evening Update

It’s official. . .Olivia takes after me and loves to rock in a rocking chair. When we got her out tonight, she was crying and crying and the second I started rocking she was fine. She’s doing great, our little Bo PEEP of 4!! Yep, they turned her down on the CPAP again and she’s doing great, although now she probably can’t wait to get off of the CPAP. While rocking my daughter, I was able to feel like a real mother. I’m sure that after being swaddled in a blanket and cradled in my arms. . .Olivia was able to feel like a real baby.

It was a tough night in the NICU. They had a new baby admitted who seemed to be struggling quite a bit. After we had put Olivia back in her isolette and got ready to leave, Olivia kept crying. It’s hard to leave your baby when she’s crying, so I had my hands in on her trying to calm her down. The new baby’s condition quickly worsened and we were advised to promptly leave. I feel like I didn’t get to say goodnight to Olivia and I didn’t want to leave her when she was upset. Of course, I understand all too well about the hardships that happen in the NICU. It was very difficult for me remembering back to that awful night on September 28th. I just wanted to be by Olivia’s side and never leave. Because of everything, I’m just not doing too well tonight. I want my Olivia home with me so very badly. My prayers go out to the family of the baby and I hope and pray that they were able to get her stabilized. Nobody should have to go through any of this.

Anyway, that’s all I really feel like writing tonight. I meet with the physical therapists tomorrow to further discuss Olivia’s progress. Please always keep my little girl close to your heart.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need…
Colossians 1:11

Sunday, November 4, 2007 - The Giraffe Tent

Ryan and I went over to my parents’ house for lunch today. We walked in the door and found this. . .a giant giraffe tent for Olivia and her cousin, Isabelle. Grandma and Grandpa Sailing can’t wait for the day that Livi and Izzy (as they’re affectionately called) get to play together.

Saturday, November 3, 2007 - Update

Well, Olivia has started to develop strong opinions about what she likes and what she doesn’t. We learned that CPAP + skin-to-skin = very angry baby. I don’t think she liked it because she had to lay her head against the tubes on the side of her face. We turned her on her back, swaddled her in a blanket and daddy held her like that. That seemed to be what she wanted. Olivia is getting some force behind those lungs and will cry and cry to voice her displeasure.

It was kind of hard for Ryan to hold her the way that he did because that is how we held Logan the night that he died. It brought back some painful memories. It was even more difficult when she decided to stop breathing and started turning blue. That’ll age you about 20 years. She went from an oxygen saturation of 100 to about 40 in just a few seconds. Nobody should have to see their baby start turning blue. As much as we want her home as soon as possible, we want to make sure that she is ready to come home. We’re stressed when she has an apnea in a hospital. I can’t imagine if that happened at home. We think she just got too comfy again and forgot to breathe. We think that she also had a bad dream while she was sleeping. She’d been out for about 30 minutes and then all of the sudden she let out a cry that only lasted about 2 seconds.

Overall, however, she is doing very good. She is still on a PEEP of 5 and was on room air for much of the day. I’m so proud of her. I was talking to Ryan earlier today about all of the new moms that I see out and about with their newborns. Those people don’t realize that I’m a new mom too. I told Ryan that I also want to show off my new baby. He reminded me that I do get to do that. I just do it in a little different way. . .on this blog. Thank you for allowing me to do so. It helps me more than you know.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2