Saturday, December 8, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007 - Update

Wanted to move this to the main page so everyone could read it.

Hey everyone...Jodi's Dad here...Jodi said that she could not reach Stacie right now, so she gave me permission to update everyone. I'm honored! Olivia took 55 cc's at 1:00 and 4:00 this Saturday afternoon! She has been doing very, very well! They have her feeding now at 3 hour intervals instead of four, and that has made all the difference in the world. Her next feeding is at 7:00 we're praying that she continues to do well. Pat and I went up to see Olivia this afternoon....what an amazingly beautiful baby she is! And I'm not just saying that because I'm her Grandpa! She really is!! You can ask Jodi!!! Jodi just called me while I was typing this....I mentioned to her that there may be people concerned that the blog is going to stop....she wanted me to assure everyone that the blog will continue until Olivia is 25...and then Olivia will take it over!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007 - Update from Stacie

After speaking with Jodi tonight these are the highlights of our conversation.

* Jodi and Ryan are now up at Wesley with Olivia. They are in a satelite room, just the three of them. Ryan and Jodi are getting to practice with all the feedings, medicines, monitors, etc. with the help of nurses if needed.

* As Jodi posted earlier, she was pretty excited to get up to the hospital. She was in such a hurry that she packed all of Olivia's books so they could read to her - but - she forgot her own pajamas! :)

* They were able to give Olivia her phenobarbital and Olivia did not like it one bit! This was the first time Ryan and Jodi gave Olivia this medication.

* Jodi shared that Olivia is still not taking her bottle very well. Jodi says that when Olivia is done eating or if she doesn't want to eat - they really cannot do anything to make her eat otherwise she has a's and b's. Jodi asks for prayers in this area.

* Olivia lost a bit of weight tonight. I did not get the exact amount, but Jodi states Olivia has to be gaining weight in order to go home. Eating more consistently obviously plays a role in this.

* Olivia will be sent home on a oximeter instead of an apnea monitor.

* Olivia passed her car seat test while on oxygen.

I will speak to Jodi tomorrow to provide more updates. Tonight she is frazzled, excited, and nervous. Please pray for the doctors, nurses, and specialists that will make the decision as to when Olivia will go home. Pray for Ryan and Jodi to feel His peace in the midst of their excitement and anxiety. Pray for little Olivia. She needs to continue to gain weight to go home.

More tomorrow.

Friday, December 7, 2007 - Update

I’m scrambling to get ready and head up to the hospital for family care!! I wish I could write more. Olivia, Ryan and I should be home in a couple of days. God Bless all of you. Thank you for being a part of this wondrous miracle and for continuously praying for this wonderful day.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Update

Today was not one of Olivia’s better days. They’ve had trouble getting her to take her bottles all day and most of the time she’s only taken 25-30 ccs. She was just extremely exhausted. . .when we got there, we had never seen her so sacked out. She had been off of her oxygen and taking every feeding by bottle for 2 days and it just wore her out. Her doctor wrote the order to keep her on continuous oxygen to see if that helps. When I was there tonight, she took 95 ccs for me, however, so maybe she is feeling a bit more rested. Depending on how she does tonight and tomorrow morning, we may be going to family care tomorrow night. Like I’ve mentioned, we’ll spend about 3 days/nights there to make sure she is feeding and growing. I just think that she needs the continuous oxygen and I’m in no hurry to take that away. When I think back to the day that Olivia and Logan were born. . .that was one of the worst days of my life. I feel like I was robbed of a wonderful birthing experience. . . you know, when they wrap up your baby and hand him or her to you. I mean, I never got to hold Logan and I didn’t get to hold Olivia until she was over a month old. I want Olivia’s homecoming to be our special moment with her. . .I think Ryan and I deserve that. I can’t wait to give her a tour of her new house. We are in no race to say, “Well, my 23 weeker was only the in the hospital for this many days.” I want to take our time and make sure she’s ready to come home. I would feel more comfortable with her going home on continuous oxygen.

We had our apnea monitor training tonight and I’d better not say anything more about that for fear of saying something I regret. Some people just rub me the wrong way. I would feel more comfortable with a pulse oximeter, but I don’t know if that’s just because I feel the need to always know what her saturation is. I would rather know if her sats are going down and do something about it then instead of waiting until she hasn’t taken a breath for 15 seconds. Her doctor may consider the pulse ox instead if she is sent home on continuous oxygen.

Please know that during our stay in family care, I will not have access to a computer and will be unable to post an update. I will, however, try to contact Stacie and give a verbal update that she can relay to all of you. I appreciate all of your support over the past few months. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have shown how much you care.

Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Update

Well, Olivia did not pass her car seat test last night. They will most likely retry her with oxygen. Sometimes, they send babies home in a car bed, but I really want her to be able to go in her car seat. And, let me be the first to say, as Olivia’s mother, I don’t think she’s quite ready. This is from someone who wants her home more than anything! I may be wrong, but I was right when I knew something was wrong and then went into preterm labor. If the nurses are reading this, please try to allow us until at least next week. And, do you know what the weather is supposed to do this weekend? Please don’t make us take her home on icy roads. I just want to feel more confident that the time is right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Update

Olivia is doing well and her feeding schedule has been changed from every 3 hours to ad lib, but she can’t go longer than 4 hours between feedings. I bottled her at 6:00 pm, however, and she only took 30 ccs. When she is done, she cannot be forced to take anymore. I tried to get her to take a bit more tonight, against my better judgment and she desatted. She will be having her car seat test tonight. They will monitor her heart rate and saturation for an hour and a half while in the car seat. I’m guessing it will still be a few days before we’re moved to family care. I would personally like to see her go a few days without a brady first. Also, her bloodwork today showed that she is slightly anemic again, her GGT (liver enzyme) is elevated again and her alk-phos is higher than ever. I would like to learn more about what that all means before I’ll feel comfortable taking her home. Now, I know I will probably never feel comfortable right at first no matter how long she waits to come home, but I’d like to have a little peace of mind. I’m also hoping that someone can help answer this question for me. On Monday, she had a pretty bad brady and became unresponsive. We finally got her breathing again with more oxygen and stimulation, but in those kinds of situations. . .how do you know if you should begin CPR? How long do you give her to come back up? It just terrifies me. Ryan and I have decided that we want 2 people with Olivia at all times. So, if one of us has to leave we would love it if someone would come over for a while. (Of course. . . you must be completely well with hands thoroughly washed, etc.) I also would love if someone would go with me to her doctor appts if Ryan is unable to. I don’t know how I’m going to do it all by myself with her carrier, diaper bag, apnea monitor and oxygen tank. . .in the wintertime. Plus, what do you do if you’re driving down the road and the apnea monitor goes off? Can you tell I’m just a bit apprehensive today? As much as I’m dying to have her home. . .I just pray every day that God will let us know when the time is right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Harley

Olivia’s wonderful nurse, Holli, fosters dogs and is looking for a forever home for Harley. His life got off to a rough start, much like Olivia’s.

It looks like Harley may now have a new forever home. We wish Harley and his new family the best!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Update

So, Olivia continues to take all of her bottles. We were instructed to bring her car seat tonight for her car seat test. She could go to family care as early as tomorrow!!! She could be home by this weekend!! Ryan and I are kind of freaking out. I’m not going to go up to the hospital until tonight, unfortunately, because I have a million and one things to do. I am pretty much in crazy mode right now. .wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Picture

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 - Update

God bless the Dr. Brown’s bottles. Olivia has taken every feeding by bottle (every 3 hours) since 9 pm last night. I don’t know if something finally clicked or if those bottles are really that good. Or, maybe Kerry was right and she was just waiting for my baby shower to be over with. I have noticed that the bottles drastically reduce her amount of gas pain. She doesn’t turn red or grunt or look utterly miserable when she’s eating. She just simply takes her bottle. We could be in an advertisement for those bottles. . .”How Dr. Brown helped bring Olivia home. . .” I did try breastfeeding today, but it seems once we get her positioned and snuggled up with me, she just falls asleep. We can’t seem to keep her awake enough to try. She has had two bradys today, but she is doing so fabulous that we’re hearing talk of family care. That’s when Ryan and I room in with her at the hospital for about 2 days/nights. She’ll be hooked up to the home monitor and it’ll give us a chance to take care of her ourselves with a nurse close by. If she keeps continuing to do well on her bottles. . . she could be home as early as Monday!! Can you believe it? She is also coming up on a big milestone tomorrow as she will be 100 days old!!

She did not have an eye exam today. Because it has remained stable, they wrote the order last week to have it checked every 2 weeks instead of every week. Our little girl is growing up before our eyes. . .getting stronger and stronger everyday. Just thinking about her coming home makes me giddy!! I envision her swinging in her swing, sleeping in the pack-n-play in our bedroom (yes, she’s not going to be more than a foot away from us for awhile) and I’ll cuddle with her while I catch up on my soap. The day is coming and I cannot wait. Please pray that her feeding continues to go well and that she’ll be ready to come home!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007 - Update

Today I went up to the hospital to meet with lactation at 9 am, but the speech/feeding specialist was able to meet with Olivia at 9 am and that kind of took priority. The speech/feeding specialist bottle fed Olivia to evaluate her progress. One of the things she saw is that Olivia has a great rooting reflex and her suck is extremely strong. . . . almost too strong for her own good. She sometimes gulps in too much and then doesn’t breathe or swallow. Next time you take a drink of something, try drinking without swallowing or breathing. . .it doesn’t work too well. They’ve tried pacing her and feeding her with slow flow nipples as well and it doesn’t help too much. She doesn’t have too much rhythm or organization. She has taken some bottles beautifully and other times she doesn’t even want to open her mouth at all. She also has a lot of pain from either gas or reflux that interrupts her feedings. She turns red and grimaces and about breaks my heart. Anyway, they tried some different positions and I went out and bought a Dr. Brown and an Avent bottle to see how she does with those. They are also starting her on some Mylicon, although it hasn’t been tested with preemies. Tonight we tried her with the Dr. Brown bottle and I can’t say whether it helped or not. She might have just been having an off night. Normally, we don’t get too freaked out anymore when she has a brady, but tonight she had the worst one that we’ve seen in a long time. She turned blue and became completely unresponsive. Her oxygen got turned up and we tried stimulating her and finally she came back up. I’d never been so happy to hear her cry. Tomorrow I am meeting with lactation to try breastfeeding again. It seems some of her problems could possibly be solved with breastfeeding, so please pray that it goes well. Any advice on the topic of feeding would be appreciated. Also, please pray that her eye exam goes well tomorrow. We’d love to see the ROP regress, but we’d be happy to just see it remain at Stage 1, Zone 2.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Romans 12:12

Monday, December 3, 2007 - The Stacie and Jodi Show

I thought I would take a moment to tell you all a little about Stacie and me. Since everybody has grown to love her, I thought I would tell you about how we met. To do so, we must travel back to the early 90s. . in 8th grade journalism class. I was the new, quiet girl in the front and she was the loud, crazy girl in the back. Somehow we became instant friends. We spent most of our days either out on my paddle boat or recording silly videos (like The Stacie and Jodi Show) with my grandpa’s camcorder (not everyone had them back then.) I can’t even fathom how many times we spent the night at each other’s houses and decided that we should go to bed because the sun was coming up. We didn’t just go through all of the good times together. We were in a car wreck together, we were robbed at gunpoint together and had to testify in court. We went through countless boyfriends and breakups. She was the friend that pulled my ex-boyfriend’s picture from my locker the day after we broke up without me hardly noticing. She thawed my milk for me in Spanish class (okay. . only Stacie will understand that one.) How many people actually have a best friend who is a marriage and family therapist? She was my matron of honor and is one of the few people who can tell my fake laugh from a real one. She is one of the few people that can make me laugh even during my darkest days.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I knew of Stacie’s fertility struggles long before I had my own. Oddly enough, we were given the same diagnosis. . PCOS. How many friends can say, “I understand” and truly do? Like everything else in our life, we went through infertility together. Up until the day that I buried my son, telling her that I was pregnant was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I felt like I was leaving her behind. I have often likened infertility to standing in a long line. You wait patiently and it seems like everyone is cutting in front of you and as much as you try, you never seem to reach the front. Yesterday, I had my baby shower and it was something that I had waited my whole life for, but thought would never come. As I sat at my baby shower yesterday, I couldn’t help but pray for the day that Stacie gets to have hers. I just want to ask all of you for your prayers. Stacie deserves to reach the front of the line.

Thank you, Stacie, for your friendship over the years. I can only hope that someday Olivia meets her “Stacie” as no girl should grow up without one.


I don't mean to intrude on Jodi's blog - but I wanted to respond to her post.

As I said at her shower yesterday, Jodi and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember. We have been through so many of life's ups and downs together. When I needed a shoulder to cry on, a laugh, or just needed someone to understand - she was there. No friend has ever 'been there' like my Jodi.

God never promised life would be easy for any of us; fortunately I've been blessed with a friend like Jodi. I know that no matter what - she will always be there. When we were younger we used to talk about how we would be in each other's weddings, how we would grow older together, and how our children would be best friends too. We've kept every promise made - and I don't want to let her down now. I pray for the day our children can laugh and play together. I know that day will come and I cannot wait.

Many of you have come to know what I've always known about Jodi. She is a caring, compassionate, and thoughtful person. She is a devoted daughter, friend, wife, and now mother. I have been blessed to have her in my life and I know many of you have been as well. The many memories that she and I share can never be taken from us and I know that the future holds many new and wonderful memories just waiting to be made.

"Stacie and Jodi are here ... so listen to our cheer!"-that's all I'll share of that one! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007 - Additional Pictures From the Shower

Stacie, Katie, Julia, Me, Rebekah and Savannah

Me and My Girls

Carol and Lindsay

Shelley and Izzy

Erica and Stacie. Stacie is the one who is responsible for this blog.

1...2...3.... LIFT!

And, I leave you with the best picture of the day ... Olivia and Grandpa Sailing

Sunday, December 2, 2007 - Update

Boy, I have so much to talk about today. First of all, Olivia made it to the 5 lb mark last night!!! I had my baby shower today and you had never seen so many people and so many gifts at a baby shower. It took me almost 2 hours to open them all! Thank you to everyone who attended. I feel like I hardly got a chance to visit with anyone. Thanks to Pam Kirk and Charlene Kenneford for hosting the shower. Thanks to Stacie Watts for keeping track of all the gifts and who they were from (that was a chore!) Thanks to Shelley Sailing for taking pictures and thanks to Julia, Rebekah, Katie and Savannah for helping me open all of the gifts. It was a wonderful shower.

Afterwards, my dad and I headed up the hospital. My poor mom started getting a scratchy throat and decided not to go for fear of passing on something to Olivia. It is most likely just allergy drainage, but she wanted to be cautious (what a considerate grandma!!) My dad was able to hold Olivia, however, and he had been waiting for that moment for a long time. Olivia was also visited for the first time by her Aunt Kim and Uncle Kris. Their household had a few illnesses going around in the past and they had been unable to meet her until now (what a considerate aunt and uncle.) She showed them how well she could take a bottle and how she sometimes forgets to breathe and turns blue. That’s still scary no matter how many times she does it.

Overall, it was a great day and it was also the birthday of Olivia’s aunt Laura. Happy Birthday, Laura!! What wonderful friends and family I have. One day Olivia will find out how truly blessed she is.