Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007 - Update

I'm Olivia ... who are you?
Is my cannula on straight?

Today, Grandma and Grandpa Sailing came over. Ryan was able to go out and finish his Christmas shopping and my mom helped me get caught up on some things around the house. Now, if only I could get caught up on my sleep. Last night I was up with horrible heartburn. I never get heartburn. . .I think I’ve only had it a few times in my life. Luckily, Ryan had some medication on hand and I finally got to sleep. I’ve been going to sleep around 5 am every day and Ryan takes over after that (so don’t call and expect me to pick up anytime before 10 am.) Sometimes I get about an hour in between 11 pm and 5 am. I am unable to fall asleep quickly and between that, feeding Olivia and pumping. . .I just don’t sleep much. I truly think Olivia would sleep through the night if I let her because she’s usually as tired as I am. Right now, I want to make sure she gets all of the calories that she needs. She was extremely tired all day today and didn’t really fully wake up until her 4 pm feeding. At that time, we were able to play with her quite a bit. What a joy she is in our lives!

Thanks to all of you who have sent us Christmas cards. They mean so much to us. Each year, Ryan and I usually do a lighthearted Christmas collage that depicts the past year. Due to the circumstances of this year, it didn’t seem appropriate to do. Plus, we haven’t had any time. In past years, we’ve had our guinea pigs pulling us in Santa’s sleigh, working in Santa’s workshop and visiting Whoville. Instead, I will dust off an old Christmas poem that I wrote a few years ago. Sometimes I think all of us need a silly break from the realities of life. This was my first attempt at a children’s book. If only I could find an illustrator. . .

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Jodi Glunt

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Each guinea pig was sleeping, as quiet as a mouse.
Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that someone would put treats in them there.

The piggies were nestled all snug in their hay
While dreaming of eating red bell peppers all day.
And Bailey atop his house and I, in my pigloo
Thought the night was no different than others we’d been through.

When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter
We all started wheeking wondering what was the matter.
From out of the pigloo, I peeked (just in case)
And saw Exodia with a confused look on his face.

The light of the kitchen glowed into the room
With a bang and a bong and a creak and a boom.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a jolly old man with veggies coming near.

He wasn’t our owner, it was too early for that.
I knew it was Santa in his red and white hat.
He needed our help and he enticed us with carrots.
With him were rats, bunnies and ferrets.

“Now Bailey! Penelope! Now Exodia and Morgan!
I won’t forget Taryn, Sephs, Harrison and Kirsten!
My reindeer are sick, now it’s up to you all
The cats and the dogs wouldn’t answer the call.”

We were lead out of our pens and fed a good treat
The treat made us fly (I thought that was neat)
So, up the rooftops we flew without wings
And saw all kinds of new, interesting things.

We flew around the world delivering toys
To all little girls and all little boys.
As cool as it was, I thought about home
And cuddles and snuggles and the pen where we roam.

There were thousands of piggies, you wouldn’t believe!
About every kind that you could conceive.
Abyssinians, Peruvians, and Agouti
After awhile it got kind of rowdy!

All of us were given a job based on ability
Quickness, intelligence, strength and agility.
I got to arrange the gifts under the tree
Because if you want tidiness, call Penelope.

Taryn and Harrison kept a lookout, Kirsten kept all in line
Persephone and Morgan were just being divine
Bailey was there if we needed a way out
And Exodia made sure we stayed on the right route.

Soon we were finished, we had done such a good deed.
(Except for on Santa’s lap, some of us peed.)
He took each of us home and put us in our cages
With spinach and kale and hay as our wages.

Our owners woke up to find us just as we were
With no idea what we did, that’s for sure.
For rodents don’t get a whole lot of respect
That’s okay. .it’s something we’ve come to expect.

But, we love and we cuddle and we do tons of cute things
We even met a piggy that dances and sings!!
Our owners they love us and we love them too
Saving Christmas this year, we just had to do.

So, when you open your presents this year, keep in mind
That some of us wanted to be left behind.
A family, for some, seemed too good to be true
You might get a new pet. . . Merry Christmas to you.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007 - Update

Olivia and I just laid around and did nothing today. . a lot of snuggling and sleeping and playing. She has done great with her bottles today. We have been doing a lot of tummy time and her neck and head control is getting better every day. Ryan and I have discovered that she seems to be developmentally around a 2-3 month old. She is awake more and more everyday. Today I put her in her crib after she fell asleep and when I came back in to check on her a little later, she was wide awake and looking around. She is constantly observing the world around her and doesn’t want to go to sleep and miss out on anything. I still can’t believe what a good baby she is. She is an absolute joy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007 - Update

Olivia continues to do very well. She had her first pediatrician appt today and it went really well. Boy, it was a chore trying to get her in and out of the house, though. She’s gained about 4 oz and is now up to 5 lbs 9 oz, so she seems to be gaining weight at home. We always knew that she had scars from the patches that were put on her during her first week of life. In the doctor’s office today, the lighting showed just how bad they were. I bet she has 10 scars all across her stomach and chest because her skin was not fully developed. The patches they put on to measure her vitals generated enough heat to burn her skin and removing them caused her skin to tear. Of course, it was what was necessary to save her life. I’ve attached a picture that shows how fragile her skin was. Please pray that those scars heal as she gets older. We also learned from our doctor that this is an extremely bad RSV season, which scares me to death. Please pray for Kinnick as she is back in the hospital on CPAP with RSV. You may want to visit Kinnick and Carver’s site to send prayers their way. They may also have to be traveling back to Detroit for additional eye surgeries.

We gave Olivia a bath tonight. She didn’t like it too much, but she loved the baby massage afterwards. I continue to fall more in love with her everyday. Holding someone else’s baby is never the same as holding your own. Sometimes only a mother (or father) can calm their child and it’s wonderful to know that Olivia just wants me. I can calm her just by being there and that’s a great feeling.

Also, many people have wanted to send us a message, but have not wanted to post publicly. So, I’ve decided to post my email address. You may want to put Blog in the subject line, however, so I don’t accidentally send it to my junk mail folder.

As this post will be moved down the page quickly with other updates I have posted Ryan and Jodi's email address under the Reasons for this Blog heading on the left side of the screen.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 - Angels on Earth

I wanted to somehow say thanks to all of the neonatologists, specialist, nurses and RTs, etc who helped bring Olivia home. I looked and looked for a poem to express how I felt and I couldn’t find one, so I had to write one myself (don’t you hate when that happens?) Anyway, along with my poem are some of the faces of those who helped save Olivia’s and other babies’ lives. We will never forget you!

Some of you have expressed your desire to thank them yourself, so I thought I would pass along their address:

Wesley Medical Center
Attn: NICU
550 North Hillside
Wichita, Ks 67214

Angels on Earth

Thank you for being with my children
At times when I could not.
You experienced firsthand their fragility
You know how hard they fought.

I wish we’d never had to meet
In this journey so long and wild.
How do you possibly thank someone
For saving the life of your child?

Please accept this poem I wrote
As thanks for what you do.
And I speak for all those who can’t
Whose lives depend on you.

You must endure the sadness of death
And yet see the miracle of birth.
Daily performing God’s wondrous deeds
You truly are angels on earth.

- Jodi Glunt

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can You Bring Harley Home For Christmas?

Harley is looking for his special Christmas family. Are you that family?
Harley is still looking for a loving home to spend the holidays and his everydays with.

If you are interested in Harley - please post or contact Jodi.

She will get you in contact with her caregiver.

If you are unable to take Harley but know someone who would love to cuddle up with a loveable puppy - then look no further than this sweet doggie.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - Update

I'm a happy baby.

Look at the pretty butterflies!

That's pretty funny, Mr. Bear!

Me and my new friend.

Hey, we're having a private conversation here.

Aren't I cute?

Well, things are going great. Olivia seems to be just thriving at home and taking every bottle. She’s taking all of her medicine like a champ. We’ve been busy distinguishing all of her cries. . you know, her “I’m hungry” cry, “I’m gassy” cry, her “I know I like to wriggle out of everything, but I got my hands out and now I want them back in” cry. Plus, her most famous cry. . .“Why should I sleep in the crib by myself when I could sleep in the recliner with mom and dad?” It’s amazing. . .105 days of sleeping by herself all day and now she can’t seem to fall asleep without being held. Ryan and I are kind of struggling with that as we don’t want to spoil her to it, but at the same time, doesn’t she deserve to be spoiled a bit. Hasn’t she had enough pain and sadness for one lifetime? I also thought babies were supposed to sleep more. When she doesn’t want to be held, she wants to swing in her swing or sit in her bouncy seat or have tummy time or just stare at mom and dad. She’s an extremely happy and content baby. I’m completely exhausted, but it’s the greatest kind of exhaustion.

Ryan and I have figured out a nighttime feeding schedule. We originally were going to have her sleep in the pack-n-play in the bedroom with us (we need to be near her sat monitor.) What you don’t realize is that we can’t just pick Olivia up and take her to the next room. We have to take her and her oxygen and her sat monitor. That wouldn’t be pleasant every 3 hours. So, after her 10 pm feeding, daddy goes into the bedroom to sleep and mommy sleeps in the recliner in the nursery. I feed her at 1 am and at 4 am. Then, I kick Ryan out of the bedroom and he sleeps in the recliner until he gets up. I sleep better in the mornings anyway. He’s going to feed her at 7 am since he’ll have to be up for work anyway. This will let me sleep until 10 am. . .well, that’s if Olivia stays asleep between feedings. Now, I just have to work pumping in there somehow and we’ll be set. That has been a struggle these last few days.

Overall, things are going wonderfully. She has a pediatrician appt tomorrow, so we’re hoping that she’s been gaining weight. She’s no longer on the high calorie human milk fortifier from the hospital. She is on 6 bottles daily of breastmilk with 2 bottles of Similac NeoSure. I just want to thank you all for your support and prayers. You have no idea how much they have meant to Ryan and me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - Look How Far I've Come!

This is when I was still in mommy’s tummy. I only got to stay there for 23 weeks and 1 day.

This is right after I was born. I only weighed 1 lb 1.5 oz and was 11.5 inches long.

My eyes were fused. My skin was almost transparent.
My head was only about the size of a lemon.

My legs were only about the size of an adult finger.

But, I knew Mom and Dad were there every day.

I was on the ventilator for over 2 months.

Some people don’t consider a baby born as early as me even viable.

But, my mom and dad put their trust in God and gave me a chance.

I couldn’t wait to get off the ventilator. But, little did I know that meant
I had to go onto CPAP. I didn’t like that one bit.

Finally, I was put on nasal cannula. I didn’t mind it so much.

Here I am practicing my karate. . .because, I’ve heard everyone say that I can kick butt.

I finally was able to be wrapped up like a baby.

And, I found out about pacifiers!

I had to learn how to take a bottle before I could come home.

I’m now learning all about what home is and I’m loving it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuesday, December 10, 2007 - THE Update!

It wasn’t the day that I expected. It was a lot more stressful and emotional than I had planned it to be. It made it all worth it to drive up and see a pink Welcome Home Olivia sign. I still haven’t found out who put that up, but it meant the world to us. Rocking Olivia in her own room is one of the best things in the world. . .even better than sleep which I have had only a few hours of since Friday night. She is the most precious, most wonderful baby in the whole world. . .and she’s finally home with her mom and dad.

Number of months it took to conceive her: 32
Number of weeks I was able to carry her: 23
Number of days spent in the NICU and NSCU: 105
Finally taking her home. . .Priceless

In her crib for the first time.
Grandma Sailing holding Olivia for the first time.

Aunt Laura holding Olivia for the first time.

Olivia's first snuggle with Uncle Joel.

Olivia enjoyed tummy time during our time in family care.