Saturday, June 21, 2008

Olivia's Birth Size Doll

Yesterday, we received Olivia's birth size doll from Wee Bundles. As many times as I tell people that her head was the size of a lemon and her legs were the size of fingers, I know it's still hard to imagine. Hopefully this doll will help people better understand the size of a micro-preemie. This doll was made to her exact birth size specifications and it is weighted at just 1 lb 1.5 oz. It was a little emotional receiving it in such a tiny box. I think Ryan and I even forget how small she was.
This is how small I was when I was born.
Here I am with my birth size doll!

Okay, I'll be serious for a moment.

I have definitely come a long way.

Okay, I'm ready to go wish grandma a Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008 - Update

Lately, we've been trying to get Olivia to use her arms more. One suggestion was to get a tray for her Bumbo so that she could bang on it and play with toys. Sounds like a good idea. . .we have TONS of interesting toys for her to play with, but when we put her in her Bumbo, this is what she does.

We put her arms on the tray and a second later, she pulls them back again. Any ideas about her tendency to do this with her arms? I'm also concerned because she is almost 6 months adjusted and is still not rolling over. I truly believe that she'll do things in her own time, but I still worry about her not progressing. I just want to know that I'm doing everything that I can for her. Everytime I meet with her doctor he asks, "Is she rolling over? Is she grabbing for toys? Is she sitting up?" I want to help her meet those milestones, but I also want people to realize the huge milestones she has met thus far. When you think about it, how can we even expect her to behave like a full term baby born in December? You can't discount everything that happened in those 17 weeks and pretend that she was still snug in the womb.

Check back later this weekend and I will tell you what arrived in this tiny box.

Tomorrow is also my mom's birthday, so Happy Birthday Grandma Sailing! The three of us can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow.

My Rats

Lucy the rat

Olivia the rat

This morning began with another trip to the vet. Let's see. . .do you want the bad news, the really bad news or the really, really bad news. As you know, one of my rats (Olivia the rat) has had problems with her eyes, she has 2 tumors and periodic bleeding. This trip to the vet, however, was because of my other rat, Lucy. This morning she was laboring to breathe and wouldn't eat. We found that Lucy has what is believed to be a tumor in her lungs. It is keeping her right lung from inflating properly and making it difficult to breathe. There is nothing that they can do for this. She may need to be put to sleep. We are just going to monitor her and make her as comfortable as possible.

Olivia the rat got a checkup as well. For as many problems as she has, she is still extremely happy-go-lucky. We have surgery scheduled for her on Thursday. The vet is going to remove her tumors and spay her. This will help with the bleeding. Our vet seems fairly confident that she will pull through this surgery just fine. The bad thing is, Olivia the rat would not do well without Lucy. Lucy is the mothering type. . .she takes care of her. She builds the little nest (of bedding and newspaper) that they sleep in each night and makes sure everything is tidy while Olivia the rat is goofing off and having fun. Both are just amazing pets. I know that many of you find that hard to believe, but I can't stress it enough. They're so intelligent and gentle and loving.

Part of me wishes that I didn't care so much, but I do. After Logan's death, I was afraid that I wouldn't feel anything. . .good or bad. . .ever again. Caring so much about animals gives me a glimpse into the person that I used to be. Good or bad, I don't ever want to lose that.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008 - Update

Look at my cute slippers! Thanks Grandma Mary.

I just had to share that we bought an Exergen Temporal Scanner (thermometer) today. Olivia thinks it is so funny! When we scan her forehead she just laughs and laughs. That will make taking her temperature a lot easier. The three of us have had a wonderful day together.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - Update

Read more about Ryan and Alex's video game afternoon on Kim's blog.
What a pretty girl!
Just lounging around. . .

I don't know who that baby was at our house last night, but it wasn't our sweet Olivia Paige. . We worried a bit about her being sick, but everything was completely back to normal today. Because Ryan has a few days off, he invited his nephew over to play some video games. I guess that is one of the best things ever for an 'almost' 8 year old boy because he had been looking forward to it for weeks. They had a really good time and as Alex said, "They got a lot accomplished." Hopefully, we can spend more time with our nieces and nephews. They are truly the best bunch of kids in the world!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What A Crappy Evening

All I wanted all day were cheese fries from Dog-N-Shake. After Ryan got home from work we went on a walk. (It was during this walk that I told him how I wanted the next few days to be stress free. . .pshhh) We then jumped in his pickup to get dinner at Dog-N-Shake. While waiting in the drive-thru line, Olivia started screaming bloody murder. Once we got home, it continued. Ryan went to pull his pickup in the garage and it wouldn't start. The battery went dead. He was outside dealing with that and Olivia continued screaming inside. I gave her a bath and she calmed down. . .until I took her out of the water. I gave her Tylenol, we watched her Praise Baby video, I tried feeding her, burping her, singing to her, rocking her, walking around with her, etc. She cried for over 2 hours! This is not like her at all. I'm now pretty worried about her. Finally, she went to sleep about 9 pm. So much for our record-breaking 28 oz. day yesterday. She has only taken about 16 oz today and hasn't eaten since 5pm. Oh, and my cheese fries?? They sat on the dining room table until they were no longer edible.

**When Ryan went to AutoZone to buy a new battery, he stopped by Dog-N-Shake and brought home. . .cheese fries! What a great husband I have! We are all incredibly exhausted.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - Update

We've been working really hard on getting Olivia to support herself more with her arms. I've tried to make it as enjoyable as I can for her. I've learned that she is happier during tummy time 1) without pants on and 2) with music playing. I know that all babies love music, but Olivia seems to want music playing all the time. She isn't even interested in toys that don't play music.

Today is Ryan's last day of work. He'll then have a 5 day weekend before beginning his new job on Monday. Please pray that the transition goes smoothly. I cannot thank his previous company enough for all they have done for us. They allowed Ryan to work from home during RSV season in order to keep Olivia healthy. To everyone at ICS who reads this blog. . .Thank You!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008 - Update

I'm going to take this off now, okay?

This morning, at her 8 am bottle, Olivia took 6 oz. It may not sound like much, but this is the most she has ever taken. Then, she took another 6 oz. at her 11 am bottle. What a record-breaking day. Plus, she hasn't thrown up in over 2 weeks. Things are good here on the feeding front.

Also, if you wish to learn more about other amazing 23-weekers, below is a story about Jake and Josh, now 6 years old. (Thanks Ashle, for the link.) Sometimes it's hard to describe just how many obstacles Olivia has had to overcome and how miraculous her life is.

She was on a ventilator for over 2 months. This scarred her tiny lungs, which is why we continue to keep her healthy. An illness could still send her back to the hospital. Like many micro-preemies, she too had a hole in her heart. Luckily, it closed with medication. Logan's did not and he had to have heart surgery (a PDA ligation) at just a few days old. She escaped NEC, which they monitored for very closely. She escaped brain bleeds. She had over a dozen blood transfusions. She will forever be scarred from the leads and monitors that were on her under-developed skin. Cerebral palsy, at least a mild form of it, cannot be ruled out until she is around 2 years old. Olivia was never reunited with her brother which is something that I dreamed about every day after they were born. But, after 105 days. . .we got to bring Olivia home. I will forever be grateful for that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Here's Ryan and Olivia in our game room in front of the arcade machine that Ryan built with the help of his brother-in-law, Kris. The game room is quickly turning into Olivia's play room. Just one of the sacrifices of fatherhood. :-)

Happy Father's Day to my dad, father-in-law, husband and all of the other amazing dads out there. I hope you have a wonderful day and take time to realize how truly blessed you are to be a dad. But, also how blessed we are to have you!