Here's an old picture of Olivia getting a hug from Johnny Chuck
Everyone probably wonders where Olivia's woodland friends come from. They come from the Old Mother West Wind series of books that Ryan's mom read to him as a child. I thought I'd share our favorite chapter from this book:
After this book, we began reading The Adventures of Johnny Chuck. This book has a very special place in my heart. You see, we began reading this particular book to Olivia and Logan each night while I was pregnant. It was in the middle of this book that I unexpectedly went into labor. So, we took the book to the NICU. We would read a chapter to Logan and then walk over and read the same chapter to Olivia. Sadly, Logan never got to hear the end of the story.
Today, Stacie met Olivia for the first time. It was so nice to see Stacie again (I think it had been since my shower in Dec.) She brought over a book that she made for me of every blog entry, picture and comment from the very beginning until Olivia's homecoming. It means so much to me and it's something that I will share with Olivia one day. Stacie is such a beautiful person inside and out. She is so special to me and I know that she will find a special place in Olivia's heart as well. I'm so grateful for all that Stacie has done for me.
It's too soon to tell if the Enfamil AR is working, but Olivia loves the stuff. I also think that it helps her tummy feel fuller longer because she slept until 5:45 am and then went back to sleep and slept until 10:30 am. That's my girl!
I'm going to stop commenting about how long Olivia has gone without throwing up because as soon as I do, it happens. As the NICU nurses know, Olivia does not like to be bragged on (she would desat everytime we talked about how good she was doing.) She threw up last night and twice today. I don't understand because we were doing so well. It's not as forceful or as much as she used to throw up, but it's still more than mere spit up. I haven't wanted to change formula on her, but we've decided to give Enfamil AR a try. It is thickened with rice cereal and is supposed to help babies who have trouble keeping stuff down. We'll see how it works, although I probably won't mention whether it helps or not until she's gone at least a month without any problems. Olivia just seemed to have a little rougher day. . .not too many smiles to share today.
My friend, Kerry, came over to keep me company today. It was really nice to spend time with her. She has been so supportive and empathetic throughout this whole experience. I have to say that the past few months have shown me what terrific friends I have. I hope all of you know how much you mean to me.
This is actually how Olivia prefers taking her nap. . .with each hand on a toy. That way, when she wakes up, she can continue playing.
We heard back from Olivia's doctor concerning her lab results. Her liver enzymes look good and the problem with her hemoglobin seems to be correcting itself. Her iron, however, is still low and that is after being on NeoSure and taking Poly-Vi-Sol. She was never able to keep the Poly-Vi-Sol down at night, however, so I kind of stopped giving it to her. She only got it in the morning. Now that she's on the Prevacid, I've started it up again at night. I'm sure the vomiting played a role in her iron being low. Olivia has only thrown up one time in the last six days. That is a huge burden off of my shoulders as I felt like it was preventing Olivia from eating and growing as well as she should. I kind of feel like we've turned a corner. . . .
I've got HAT-ti-tude (Okay, that one was kinda corny)
Many people probably wonder why I share my struggle with infertility. It is very private. . . . . until you begin to feel all alone. I don't want anyone to ever feel like they are alone. For years, Stacie and I tossed around the idea of starting a support group called 'Hopeful Hearts'. We even had brochures made up. It was based on the idea that no one should walk alone. Someday we may still start it up. . .although now I would be interested in expanding it to include miscarriage and infant loss as well. Like I've said, it's important not to forget those that struggle in their journey to motherhood. Sometime I'm going to post a list of things NEVER to say to someone struggling to get pregnant. "Just relax" may be at the top of the list. If anyone has any that they would like to add. . .send me an email.
At the same time, I know it was very difficult for those close to me to become pregnant when they knew how much I was struggling. It's a very difficult situation for everyone. They can't help the fact that they become pregnant easily anymore than others can't help the fact that they can't. We must always remember that as well.
I know Ryan and I have come to terms with the fact that we may just be a family of three. As if getting pregnant wasn't difficult enough. . .now I would have to have a cerclage put in, probably be on bedrest and worry every day about premature labor. Plus, I had to have a classical, vertical c-section with Logan which raises my risk of uterine rupture substantially should I go into labor compared to a transverse c-section. (They couldn't stop labor the first time . . .how do I know they could stop it again?) Because of my classical c-section, my doctor will not permit to have a subsequent vaginal birth. I just want to enjoy my life with Olivia. I don't want to even think about fertility (or my lack thereof) ever again! Who knows what the future holds. . .I am just thankful that I can call myself a mom and that God allowed me to keep my beautiful daughter.
Olivia has officially added playtime to her list of daily activities. She is getting more interactive every day and loves kicking her feet and grabbing at her toys. It's such a blessing to watch her grow up before my eyes. Olivia and I are both very lucky to have Ryan. He is an extremely hands on dad and because of that, you can tell that Olivia adores her daddy. And, of course, he adores her right back.
I unexpectedly gave birth at 23 weeks to micro-preemie twins on August 27, 2007. Olivia Paige weighed just 1 lb 1.5 oz and was 11.5 inches long. Logan William weighed just 1 lb 1.75 oz and was 11.5 inches long. Our sweet Logan passed away after 1 month and 1 day. After 105 days, we were able to bring Olivia home. She is our miracle, our survivor, our joy. . .
On November 20, 2012 we welcomed little sister, Abigail, into our lives. She was born at 35 weeks, but only spent 8 days in the hospital before coming home. We feel very blessed. To contact Ryan and Jodi you may email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You were the perfect little boy Of whom we always dreamed. Did you know we had your name picked out? All along or so it seemed.
You even had your daddy’s hands So miniature in size. In life we never got to hold you Or even see your opened eyes.
We had so many plans for you. Did you know you are a twin? I wanted you to grow up together. What a pair you would have been!
I wanted to take you to the park And push you on the swing. I wanted to teach you how to walk, And read and write and sing.
I wanted to show you a fire truck And let you ride upon a horse. I wanted to take you to the zoo To see the giraffes, of course.
I wanted you to watch cartoons And play video games with dad. And you and I would take a nap Oh, the times we would have had.
But, your mommy’s plans were not to be. “I have other plans,” God said. “You won't be playing in life’s playground You’ll be playing in heaven instead.”
And although I ache with sadness And in my arms I long to hold. I’ll see you again in heaven When my story on earth’s been told.
A thousand tiny fireflies Parading through the night Illuminate the starless skies With incandescent light They are miracles, here on earth So bold, so strong, so wise And bring to life a sense of worth For those who lack great size.
Some of this life’s smaller treasures Are the ones which matter more Than the larger joys and pleasures That we have grown to adore Volume is not as essential As the gift that lies inside Smaller souls with much potential Who shall never be denied.
A thousand tiny fireflies Parading through the night Illuminate the starless skies With incandescent light These children, while born premature Are testaments of worth Their spirits bold, their futures sure To ever bless the earth.