Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007 - Update

Today was a HUGE day for us. Almost three months of pumping for this special day. . .Olivia and I tried our hands at breastfeeding. She was extremely tired tonight and barely opened her eyes while we were there, so it wasn’t the best time to start. But, she did latch on and sucked a few times before falling back to sleep. I was really proud of her. We’re both new at this, so I figure we’ll just learn together. I will begin trying this once every day.

They also wrote the order today to move her up to special care. This means that she could go at any time once a bed is available up there. We had our tour of the special care nursery tonight so that we’ll have some idea of where we’re headed. It’s not what I expected and I’m a little reluctant to have her leave the NICU, but I guess it is one step closer to home. Ryan and I also take our CPR class Wednesday night which has to be completed before we can take her home. We’re getting closer and closer to that day!

Ryan did some Christmas shopping for me today and picked up a few things for Olivia as well. While at the mall, he walked by a store that had a little stuffed giraffe that walks around and turns its head. Of course, he had to buy it for Olivia. Later, he was in Borders and saw a giraffe hand puppet that had to be bought as well. Both of us can envision hours of entertainment with that. The other day I bought a ‘My First Christmas’ sleeper at Target and I can’t wait to take her picture in it on Christmas morning with all of her presents. I am so excited for everything that awaits us in the future!

Please say a prayer for Ashton, one of Olivia’s micropreemie friends who had a rough night the other night. You may want to visit his blog and be sure to send support and prayers his way. Please continue to pray for all of the babies in the NICU and those whose time in the womb was cut short. Olivia reminds me every day that miracles do happen and we’re so grateful for all of your prayers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 - Early Early Morning Update :)

I had the share the good news. Olivia passed the 4 lb mark tonight. She weighs 1825 grams (when she was born, she weighed 498 grams.) My little girl is growing up. Once babies pass the 1800 mark, they can get moved to an open bed. I’m not sure I’m ready for her to leave her isolette. I guess like any parent, I have to let her grow up. Boy, am I one proud mommy! I did skin to skin with her Friday night and she did wonderfully. In fact, she only had 1 A & B all day on Friday and that was at 1:50 am. She’s doing spectacular!

Congratulations Olivia on reaching this milestone! You grow stronger and more precious with each passing day! Your life is a blessing to so many people. You are greatly loved!

I’m writing this update at 1:30 am. I just can’t ever seem to get to sleep before 2:00 am. I have all my great ideas at this time of day, however. Yes, I guess it’s the Sailing in me because my dad is always coming up with weird ideas/inventions too. My mom, however, said that she thought of pull-up diapers way before they were ever heard of. Anyway, I’ve thought up a lot of great inventions like the ‘Wait Awhile Baby’ doll and a garage door opener that records when you last shut and opened the garage door. No more trying to remember whether you shut it or not. Some of my ideas aren’t too great, however, like the time when my feet were freezing cold in bed. I told Ryan, “They should invent something that you can use to keep your feet warm.” He looked at me and said, “Honey, they’re called socks!” Anyway, I thought up my greatest invention ever. . .a way to pump. . .hands-free. Well, I googled it and found out many other people have had this same idea, but I used an ace bandage and it’s ingenious!! It really works. Think of all the things I can now accomplish while pumping! Okay, so I probably shouldn’t write any more updates at this time of day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007 - Update

So far, Olivia continues to do well on the nasal cannula and 30 minute feeds. They have even taken the prongs out of her nose for 30 minutes at a time and she does well. Last night she really needed her daddy after her awful eye exam. She stayed awake for her stories, but then couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer. Daddy even told her all about Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, she received her first Thanksgiving card yesterday from the same lady who made her the quilt. We have it taped onto her bed. Olivia truly has won the hearts of many.

Stacie told me something last week that really helped. People always get told, “I’m sorry for your loss.” I know that losing Logan was one of the worst things I could possibly imagine, but in truth. . . he is not lost. I know exactly where he is and we’ll be together again. In a sermon one time, the pastor had us picture a string being strung all the way around the sanctuary. This represents our eternal life. The life that we live here on earth is just maybe an inch of that. I don’t get to spend this short time on earth with Logan, but I’ll have eternity with him. In her last comment, Abby hit the nail right on the head, though. It will never get easier. It will just get more familiar. She understands as Hallie lost her twin named Olivia. Everyday I think of what it’ll be like to take my Olivia home. It’ll be so exciting, but it scares me to death. I told Ryan that I don’t want to take her home if there is any ice on the road or if it’s during rush hour. I thought maybe we could get a police escort. Just kidding. . .well, no not really. Come on, someone has to know someone who can set that up.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007 - Update

I’m writing the update early again today. I’m unsure what to report on Olivia. This morning she was doing fantastic and had not had any As or Bs. They even had her off of the nasal cannula for about an hour and she did very well. At 9 am they switched her to 30 minute feeds every 3 hours and she did fantastic. She did well for her next feeding at noon. As you know, she had her eye exam today and I guess that was the last thing in the world that she wanted to do today. She screamed and cried and they had to use a speculum to keep her eyes open. Ever since the exam, she has been having problems with her saturation. I don’t know if she’s responding to the feeding change or if she just really hated the exam. We’ll see how she’s doing later today when we go up to see her. We don’t have the official eye exam report, but it seems that she is still at a stage 1 zone 2. It has spread, however, within zone 2. I believe that’s still pretty good news, but I’m not sure.

I had a really rough night last night. Is it ever going to get easier? I started thinking back to when I was pregnant and when I went in for my ultrasounds. I cannot look at the ultrasound pictures. . .that is one of the very hardest things for me to do. I just remember looking at them when I was pregnant and so full of hope. I had so many dreams for my family. This isn’t the way things were supposed to be. Logan should still be here. Olivia should not have to be fighting so hard. Some days are just so very difficult.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - Update

My day started with a massage and ended with a special baby in my arms . . .it was a good day. I tried kangaroo care/skin-to-skin with Olivia again and she did wonderfully. Lately, we have not been able to hold her for over 45 minutes because of her apneas/bradycardias. I held her for 2 hours tonight! She was pretty content with mom and her pacifier. She was sucking on it so vigorously that she was making all kinds of grunts and snorts that could be heard across the room. We got it on video and it is adorable. She’d fall asleep and I would take it out. When I did that, she would open her eyes and look at me like, “Why did you do that?” Even when she was asleep, she wanted it in her mouth. When I was pregnant, I remember thinking that I didn’t want my child to rely on a pacifier. Now, I think Olivia deserves anything that makes her happy.

She continues to do awesome on the nasal cannula. They are going to try the 30 minute feeds tomorrow, so please pray for her success. That’s a big step and a precursor to bottle feeds. She also has her eye exam tomorrow and we need a lot of prayers about that. Poor thing has another diaper rash that they are treating and she’s still having discharge from her eyes.

As I was holding her tonight, I wanted to remember everything about her. As much as I’d like to forget this whole NICU journey, these are the first few months of her life and I want to remember them forever. Olivia will never be 3 lbs 14 oz again (she gained another 25 grams tonight.) Thank you for watching her grow with us. Thank you for just allowing me a place to talk. Sometimes it’s very therapeutic for me and I’ve really needed it. Thank you for caring about her and praying for her. Ryan and I thank you and someday Olivia will thank you as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - Evening Update

Olivia had a very long day today with all of her tests and x-rays. She was so tuckered out tonight that I don’t think she even knew we were there. We were unable to hold her because she had to have another blood transfusion. We used to get pretty upset when she had a transfusion, but after 10+ transfusions we almost consider it a good thing. She has been borderline anemic for awhile now and today her hematocrit numbers were finally low enough for a transfusion. The extra red blood cells should help carry the oxygen through the body thus helping her stay more saturated. Because of the transfusion and the fact that she was extremely tired, we didn’t get to spend too much time with her tonight.

Her blood work did not show any sign of an infection, so they’ve pretty much ruled that out. They also did a sonogram to look for a pocket of fluid that usually occurs with an infection. They did not find any and are now thinking it is most likely a fracture. How she got the fracture? We don’t know. We have not heard the results from the full body x-ray that was done. The bone doctor (is there an official name for bone doctor?) has not read the x-rays yet. We should know more tomorrow. Even with all of her tests today, she is doing fantastic on the nasal cannula. If they turned her oxygen down any lower, they would just have to shut it off. She is saturating beautifully. She is beautiful. . .all 3 lbs 11 ¾ oz of her!!

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the
darkness because it shows me the stars.”
- Og Mandino

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - Afternoon Update

I wanted to send a quick afternoon update and ask for prayers for Olivia. First, I’ll start with the good news. She’s continued to have no As or Bs on CPAP and they have moved her back onto nasal cannula. She gained 60 grams last night which puts her at about 3 lbs 11 ¾ oz. Now, a few days ago when they did an X-ray of her bowels, they noticed something suspicious on her left femur. If you remember a few weeks ago, she had a bruise there and they did an x-ray and it was fine. That is now coming into question again. They did another x-ray of the femur and noticed that indeed there was something there. It could be one of two things. It could be a bone fracture of her femur. This could be caused by rickets of prematurity. Premature babies can get this because of being on the TPN fluid (I.V. fluid) because there is no way to get enough calcium in them this way. She was not on TPN that long and her alk-phos level was never that high. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of the risk factors for rickets, however, this seems to be the most logical explanation. It could also be an infection either in the bone or the joint. A bone infection would be treated with a long-term course of antibiotics. If it were a joint infection, they would have to surgically open her up and drain it. She does not have any other signs of an infection. Sadly enough, the best that we can hope for right now is a bone fracture. They will be doing a full skeletal x-ray to check for any other fractures. She will also be having some blood work done. Her doctor would also like to do an MRI of her femur. An MRI cannot be done while on CPAP, so she would have to tolerate the nasal cannula well enough to go down for the MRI. A nurse and an RT would be with her. She will most likely not have her eye exam until Thursday. Please ask God to be with her. She’s gone through more in the last 2 ½ months than any person should go through in a lifetime. She’s just a baby. . .she shouldn’t have to go through all of this. Please continue to pray for her.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007 - Update

Olivia has officially fallen in love with her pacifier. She loves to suck on it, but hasn’t quite figured out how to keep it in her mouth. Someone has to hold it in for her. I was trying to do that plus change her diaper at the same time. . .it didn’t work too well. It fell out and she was trying with everything she had to get it back in her mouth. She was sticking out her tongue, turning her head and even trying to use her hands. You could tell that she was getting frustrated and would start to cry. So, I spent most of the afternoon holding her pacifier in for her. It’s nice to be there when she falls asleep and then still be there when she wakes up. I hope she feels mommy’s presence. Olivia had a great day today with no As or Bs. I don’t know whether that can be attributed to the CPAP or the Reglan and the stopping of the caffeine. She was on room air for most of the day and is only on a PEEP of 4. I’ll be curious to find out what the doctor thinks. Please remember that Olivia has her next eye exam tomorrow so please pray for positive results. At this time, we just don’t want to see it progress.

Last night, my dear husband cleaned out the deep freeze to make room for my milk. We have officially run out of room. Milk was falling out of the freezer every time the door was opened which wasn’t fun to deal with in the middle of the night. This doesn’t even count the milk at the hospital and the bottles that we have stored at Joel and Laura’s. I could feed a small nation! Poor Olivia. . .she’s going to be pouring it on her cereal someday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007 - Update

Olivia had to go back on CPAP today. She had numerous As and Bs in a row which was what prompted them to make the decision. When they checked her diaper, however, she had a very large stool. It’s possible that she was just trying to pass it. I don’t know about you but when I’m having “stooling issues” I have to hold my breath too. They also skipped one of her feedings, did an x-ray and started her on Reglan. When Dr. Dorn mentioned Reglan, Ryan and I already knew a lot about it because it is a medicine that our guinea pigs have used numerous times. It helps them with digestive issues. He said, “I didn’t know they used it on guinea pigs” to which we replied, “I didn’t know they used it on people.” We’ll just have to see how she does with the changes that were made. I know that she’s had only 1 A and B on the CPAP today as of about 7:30 p.m. I’m hoping that we see a decrease because no matter how many times you see her do it. . .it doesn’t get easier. Thankfully, she doesn’t seem too uncomfortable on CPAP this time. I was also able to rock her for a little bit tonight as well. Let me tell you, she’s a beautiful baby.

She did lose 32 grams last night, but she had gained quite a bit in the last few days so we’re not too concerned. Tonight her weight stayed the same and with her feeding changes, that’s probably okay since we actually expected a little bit of a loss. Please continue the prayers during this time. We really don’t feel that it is too much of a setback. They are just trying to determine whether the As and Bs are caused by apnea of prematurity, reflux or something else entirely. Please pray that they find the answers that they need to help Olivia continue to improve. I know that I often complain and cry out “Why me?” But, there’s never a day where I am not thankful for my daughter. I realize how lucky I am to have her. I wish Ryan and I did not have to go through all of this, but if it’s what we have to do to get our baby girl, then we’ll gladly accept the challenge. Our love knows no boundaries!!