Saturday, February 9, 2008

Olivia and Her Silly Friends

Good friends and a good story. . .could life be any better?
You are one adorable turtle!

When I get stinky, my mom and dad give me a bath. Do you get baths, Jimmy?

You're so nice and cuddly

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008 - Update

Mom and dad finally figured out how I like my baths so now they are a little more enjoyable.
Well, I'm still pumping. . .I know. . .you are probably wondering why since she is on Similac Isomil formula. One reason is because I am somehow maintaining my supply by only pumping 3-4 times per day. Because of the infrequency of pumping, it isn't too inconvenient. I am also hoping that after we get her off of the phenobarb, we'll find that was causing her discomfort and not something in my milk. Maybe I will be able to add some breastmilk bottles back in. Also when we start her on cereal, I will be able to mix it with milk instead of water to add more calories for her. The last reason. . . .many people probably won't understand. You see, my body seems to fail me time and time again. Not only did it not know how to get pregnant, but it couldn't stay pregnant. It does, however, know how to produce milk and that is just astonishing to me. My pregnancy isn't the first time that I've realized if there is some rare disease or condition that afflicts less than 1% of the population. . .it will probably happen to me. For example, when I was 15 years old I was hospitalized for Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. Have you ever heard of that? Yeah, me neither. . .I think they just kind of made it up on my behalf. I had a really rough year that year and within a month's time, I was held at gunpoint and lost a dear friend of mine in a car accident. We later had to testify over the robbery and it was just more stress than my 15 year old self could endure. I started having a lot of stomach problems and started vomiting and literally couldn't stop. Then, as a senior in high school I was diagnosed as having a tumor on my pituitary gland. Sounds threatening, but it really isn't. I remember sitting in the waiting room of the Center for Reproductive Medicine with my mother (which is where you go for endocrine disorders) with an eerie feeling that I would be back someday. Of course, they told me it wouldn't affect my ability to get pregnant and it didn't. . .PCOS did. And, I can't forget my trip to the ER in 2006 with a ruptured ovarian cyst. That was none too pleasant. I am really very healthy in the traditional sense. . .I just have really odd things wrong with me. I guess I should have told my OB to stop checking all of the normal things during my pregnancy and instead look for the abnormal. Then, maybe they could have determined that I would give birth at 23 weeks. Wow. . .I rattled on for way too long. I just remain in awe that my body does something that it's meant to do for once (and it doesn't hurt that it's good for Olivia too.)

March of Dimes Update

Well, we have raised $360 so far for March of Dimes. I did receive some brochures and if anyone would like some, please let me know. Also, each individual walker that raises $150 receives a 2008 March of Dimes t-shirt. There is a list of other incentives in the brochure and additional information can be found at

I was happy to see that Jacob "The Fighter" is the 2008 Local Ambassador. He is a Wesley NICU grad and I've had a chance to visit briefly by email with his mother. I hope that on April 26th, I will be able to meet a lot of other micro-preemie parents. Please be sure to find us and introduce yourself. Thanks again to everyone for your support!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008 - Update

Do you see something wrong with this picture? Isn't the mama supposed to be in the chair and the child playing on the floor? I sat her in the chair earlier today to spread her blanket on the floor and I looked back and found her like this:
Grinning from ear to ear. All those hours that I spent rocking with her in the chair. . .I thought she was happy to be with mama, but she was just happy to be in the chair. She didn't even want me in the chair with her.


The chair is mine!
Unfortunately, the chair was out of commission for a bit tonight after the poor thing vomited all over it. It's that phenobarb bottle. . .it causes her stomach to be so upset. I think it's been our number one problem all along. We go in Monday for her EEG in hopes that we can wean her off of it. Every night when it's phenobarb time, she cries and cries and cries. I just don't know what to do. They won't take her off of it, I'm sure, until her EEG comes back normal. The mother of my friend, Shawna, was kind enough to mail Olivia a Happi Tummi. We have it on her right now and it seems to be helping. That phenobarb is just some nasty stuff. . .

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - Update

Isabelle Sailing, aka Olivia's future best friend
Isn't life great?

Don't let go, daddy!

I spoke to my mother and as of 4 pm, all I know is that my brother was out of surgery at around 1:30 pm and they were waiting on him to wake up. My understanding is that he should be home by this evening. When I know more, I will let you know. Please pray that he recovers quickly. I thought that some pictures of his beautiful daughter on the blog might help speed his recovery.
*I spoke with my brother at about 6pm. He is home (minus his gallbladder) and is doing well. . . . .really sore, but well.

Rainbows came out this morning for Olivia's evaluation. Olivia showed them her whole bag of tricks and even flashed them her award-winning smile. Of course, they fell in love with her just like the rest of us. They said she was doing everything that she is supposed to be doing. They evaluate her as a 6 week old. . .not a 5 month old. Her muscle tone is good, she is tracking objects with her eyes and has great head control. They loved her double chin and chunky legs (well, chunky for a preemie.)They are qualifying her for services which means we will have access to a physical therapist, speech pathologist, dietician, etc. Because my degree is in elementary education, I fully understand the necessity of early intervention. . .for any child. I'm glad that we will have these for Olivia. At age 3, they will refer her to the Goddard school system. Overall, it was a very good visit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - Update

You're a cute little otter. . .would you be my friend?
I guess if I can't be held by mom all day, this is a close second.

Well, I don't want to brag, but my mom says I'm pretty amazing!

It seems I have unintentially taught Olivia that she has to be held all of the time. She lasts about 5-10 minutes in her bouncy seat, swing, crib or boppy until she realizes that she's not being held. I am trying to learn that it's okay for her to cry a bit and not rush in her room and grab her at the slightest whimper. So, when she cries. . .I am trying to evaluate what she needs to see if she truly needs me to hold her. It's very difficult because I want her to know that I'm always here, but I also want her to gain confidence in herself.

I have also started doing some sign language with Olivia. My two best friends growing up are hearing impaired, so I had the opportunity to learn it at a young age. Of course, I have a lot of freshening up to do, but Olivia seems very intrigued by it.
Please keep my brother in your prayers as he goes in tomorrow for surgery to have his gallbladder removed. Rainbows is also coming tomorrow morning for Olivia's evaluation. Hopefully, she'll show them all that she can do.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008 - Update

I am finally starting to be able to look back on my ultrasound pictures. For the longest time it was too difficult to do. . .okay, it's still difficult to do, but this is what triplets look like at 6 weeks. We heard all three of their heartbeats. Olivia and Logan were A and C (although we lost track of who was who.) I get great comfort in knowing that all five of us will be together again some day.

Anyway, I think my decision to postpone the shower was the correct one as I've received a lot of emails from family and friends who said they would probably not be able to attend due to illnesses. I am looking forward to the day that we can reschedule. Beautiful, warm days like today make me yearn even more for springtime. Of course, we had to go for a walk and enjoy the 65 degree weather.

I know how it would be easy to think that we are being over-protective, but we really aren't. The older Olivia gets, the more her lungs will be healed and better able to handle an illness. Now, April is not the magical time when this will happen, but the illnesses that would be most detrimental to her health will subside with the winter season. It will not, however, be a germ-filled free-for-all come spring. She will be able to spend more time outside the protection of the home with family and friends. Ideally, she needs to be protected up until two years of age and will receive her Synagis shot each winter season. Now, before Ryan and I became parents, we always believed that you should let your child get sick to build up their immune system and for most full-term infants this is probably true. Our situation, however, is different. Olivia did not receive any of the third trimester antibodies from the placenta (which is another reason why my breast milk was so important.) I know many of you are learning about prematurity right along with us. The fact that many of you have tried to learn as much about prematurity as you can has taught me the true meaning of love and friendship.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Shower Has Been Postponed

We have unfortunately made the decision to postpone the shower until March or April. I'm so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. There are just too many illnesses going around right now and I don't want to risk getting sick and bringing home something to Olivia. My mother is extremely sick right now and there are only a handful of times I can even remember her being sick (of course, this is after I made her get a flu shot.) My dad felt fine Friday morning and came home at noon from work due to vomiting, etc. Luckily, he was excluded from our house because my mom was sick, so none of us were exposed. I think this was the first birthday in. . . .oh, 30 years that I wasn't able to spend with my parents. I was looking so forward to my shower, but I need to place Olivia's health first and foremost. To do that, I have to remain healthy. Again, I'm so sorry. . .I feel just awful about this. My sincere apologies to Denise and Michelle for any trouble this causes. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please email me or Denise at

Sunday, February 3, 2008 - Update

Olivia and her first Cabbage Patch Doll perfectly named Callie Logan.
Olivia and her sock monkey

Sorry that my previous post was so depressing. It was late at night and I just heard on the news that the little baby at Wesley Medical Center died. From what I understand, the baby was hospitalized due to RSV and sustained injuries to his skull from his own mother. I don't understand how someone like that is blessed with a baby and my Logan was taken from me. I do have a strong faith, but that doesn't mean I don't question God sometimes. I think we must trust God's will, but at the same time. . .we are allowed to ask why.

Olivia is doing very well. We've finally figured out a bathtime routine that doesn't bring her to tears. First, the bath water has to be the perfect temperature, then I wash her while Ryan holds her head. Next, Ryan wraps her in a towel while I wash her hair. It seems to work pretty well. We have found that Olivia's phenobarb bottle and/or the bottle after that are the worst ones. We think that she has problems with the phenobarb. She goes in for another EEG on Feb 11th, so if it's normal, we can hopefully start getting her off of it. That's going to be a stressful day as her last EEG was pretty traumatic for her. We are supposed to not let her eat for 4 hours prior and they will determine whether to sedate her or feed her and let her go to sleep for the EEG. Any advice on babies and EEGs would be very appreciated.

Rainbows comes for their first formal assessment on Wed. Feb 6th. Please pray that she is doing everything developmentally as she should. Please also pray for my brother on that day. He was found to have multiple gallstones and is going to have his gallbladder removed on Feb. 6th as well.

I would also like to ask prayers for little Trinity. Trinity and Tripp are 23 week twins born at Wesley a month after Olivia and Logan. Tripp has been home for about a month, but Trinity is struggling with her bottling. She has surgery tomorrow to allow her to eat better. Also, be sure to visit Kaitlyn and Corinne's blog for some exciting news. As always, thanks for all of your prayers.