Saturday, August 23, 2008

A First Birthday Party To Remember

I rode Mr. Giraffe before the party started.

My dad made giraffe balloon animals!

I'm ready!

Did you see all of my presents?


This was my own special cake.
Mmmm. . .
It's yummy!
We had a wonderful first birthday party for Olivia. Wow, she got a lot of presents. I don't know where we're going to put them all. We are all exhausted. I have more pictures and I will write more tomorrow. Thank you to everyone for making it such an enjoyable and memorable day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008 - Update

I love the Fall. I love everything about it. . .the weather, the changing leaves, the clothes, football season. I don't watch a lot of football, but Ryan always gets so excited about it that it makes me happy too. We didn't have a fall last year at all. Every day for 105 days, I went from our garage to the hospital parking garage without even stepping outside. Every day from summer until December, which is pretty much winter in my book. It was impossible to enjoy the season when my childrens' futures were uncertain. The cooler weather that we've had lately has me eagerly anticipating fall and I'm looking forward to enjoying it this year. Today has been a little warmer than I'd like, but it's still nice for August. Olivia and I have been thoroughly enjoying our morning walks.

We are having her first birthday party tomorrow. I can't believe it's already here. I don't think I've mentioned that Olivia officially has her first tooth (with a second one on it's way.) She is also finally sitting up unassisted for a limited amount of time. She's probably been able to do it for awhile now, but she always crosses her feet which makes it difficult. And. . .she likes to rock back and fall over. What a silly girl!

Be sure to check back this weekend for all the birthday party pics!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008 - Update

My teacher suggested that I try Cheetos. They're easy for me to grasp (and they're yummy!)
I love them!

On this day last year, I was about 22 weeks pregnant. I knew that something was not right. It felt as if the babies had dropped. My back was killing me. . .not just my lower back, but my mid-back as well. They believed that I had a rib out of place. I only got relief when I was laying down. On the day that Izzy was born, I stayed home from work because I just felt that my body needed a rest. Ryan and I did manage to go up to the hospital to meet Izzy. . .little did I know that I would be back the next day.

On August 21st, I got up with every intention of working that day. I had only been at work about an hour when I started spotting. I had never spotted throughout my pregnancy, so I was concerned. I called Ryan who shared my concern and decided to call the doctor. Since it sometimes would take hours to get a call back, Ryan had a better idea. He worked basically across the street from my doctor, so he headed over there to talk to a nurse himself. They called me while he was there and said to either go home and rest or go to the hospital to get checked out. Throughout my pregnancy, Ryan and I were overly-cautious. We had been dreaming of these babies for so long. . .we tried to do everything right. So, we went to the hospital.

I still get angry when I think about that day. I didn't feel that they took me serious enough. Something was wrong. . .I just knew it. And, they sent me home. Of course, they sent me home on bedrest, but I don't think it was because they felt something was truly wrong. I think it was more to cover themselves if something did in fact turn out to be wrong. Maybe it was supposed to happen the way it did. I would have been a lot more stressed on hospital bedrest than at home. But, this was the first day that I look back on and question whether a change could have helped my babies stay in a little longer. Maybe the outcome would have been different. Olivia wouldn't have had to spend 105 days in the NICU and she could have grown up with her twin brother. I would give anything to raise them together, but as time goes on I'm starting to accept that it wasn't meant to be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - Update

I write this post with a heart full of gratitude. I can't believe that Olivia's birthday is in a week. For awhile I was struggling with her upcoming birthday for many reasons. It was as if I was taking the worst day of my life, buying a cake and celebrating it. Ryan told me it wasn't about me, it was about Olivia, but. . .I don't think it was a good day for her either. I've come to realize that it's not about celebrating that day as much as it is celebrating her life this past year. What an amazing life it is and that is definitely something worth celebrating! Of course, it's Logan's birthday too and I've struggled with remembering him in a way that doesn't overshadow the joy of Olivia's day. Someone who has become a dear friend of mine also has a daughter who lost her twin brother. She directed me towards a book called Mommy, Please Don't Cry that is just an amazing glimpse into what heaven might be like for our babies that have passed before us. In this book, it talks about how they have parties and the best chocolate cake ever. So, each year for Olivia's birthday, we decided to also have "the best chocolate cake ever" for Logan. Again. . . .a wonderful idea from that same friend. Who knows. . .maybe as Olivia gets older, she can help pick out a cake that she thinks Logan would have liked.

Her birthday party is on Saturday and we worried so much about who to invite. Our guest list was too incredibly long, so in an effort not to hurt anyone's feelings or leave anyone out. . .we decided it would just be immediate family only. That was already 26 people. I would love to share her day with all of our extended family and friends as well, but it just wasn't possible this year. You'll never understand the part that you all have played in helping us get through this difficult year. Thank you for the comments (all of you fellow bloggers know that you can never have enough.) Thank you for the 200+ visits each and every day. Thank you for allowing me to brag about and show off my daughter in a way that doesn't expose her to illnesses. Thank you for the generous gifts and cards. Thank you for being a light at the end of a dark tunnel. I appreciate you all very much.

Today is Izzy's birthday and we want to wish her the best of everything. I've been able to spend more time with Izzy lately and let me say that she is one special little girl. She is so in tune to what other's are feeling. She is so smart (did you know that she has used the potty a couple of times?) and when she flashes her smile, it just melts your heart. And, I won't even go into how cute she is (you've all seen the pictures.) I'm sorry that her first year was clouded with so much sadness in our family. There are brighter days ahead and I can't wait for Olivia and Izzy to grow up together. Happy Birthday, Isabelle Ann!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - Update

8. . . 9. . .10. . .Ready or not, here we come!
I'm going shopping with Izzy!

I am going to con my mom into buying me lots of stuff. . .heehee.

After a not so good night (that I won't go into) we had a pretty good day. We met Shelley and Izzy for lunch and then we did a little bit of shopping. Those two are going to be the best of friends. Olivia was complaining quite a bit in Old Navy and Izzy was so concerned. When I picked Olivia up out of her stroller, Izzy had to be carried around by her mom as well. We even ran into one of our old NICU RTs while we were there. Olivia even tried to teach Izzy how to roll her r's. Pretty good day. . .let's just hope our night goes better tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008 - Update

Family picture (Johnny Chuck symbolizes our sweet Logan.)

Olivia was seen by her physical therapist today. . .not quite as much good news to report. Her PT feels that by almost 8 months adjusted, Olivia should be showing a bit more interest in moving. She is perfectly content to lay on her back (after rolling over from her tummy) and play with her hands. We all believe that her vision is playing a bigger part in this than we first believed. We are working with her to get her to crawl and she cries the whole time. Now jumping. . .she could jump all day. I am going to have to tell myself that it's okay if she gets upset when I'm working with her. I tend to stop and let her do something that makes her happy. Without getting frustrated, however, she may not be motivated to progress to the next developmental step. For instance, I put her Gerber puffs in her hand to get her to put it in her mouth. She sticks her fist in her mouth, but can't seem to get the puff out. She cries with her mouth wide open so I put it in myself. I guess I need to let her get a little more frustrated and try harder to do it herself. That's hard for me to do. Please continue to keep Olivia in your prayers as she grows and develops.