Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008 - Update

Although Olivia is getting better and better, she still has an aversion to using her arms. We often purposely put toys in front of her that require use of her arms, yet she finds a way around it. She just uses her feet! I don't know if it is just a quirky thing about her. . .if it's because she is a 23 weeker or if there is some other hidden cause.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008 - Update

I love my dadadadaddada

It's often hard to relive the day of Olivia and Logan's birth. What some people don't understand is that I never felt that I was "giving life" to my babies that day. I felt that their lives were being lost. Because of the skills of neonatologists, nurses, and RTs, the research of March of Dimes and the grace of God. . .Olivia's life was saved. The entire atmosphere of the room that day was not one of happiness and joy. Olivia did not cry at birth. . .actually, it took months before I could hear her cry. They didn't wrap her up in a blanket and hand her to me. I couldn't hold her for a month and a half. One time I got to hold Logan up in his isolette, but I never got to hold Logan in my arms. Here it is a year later and I still have no idea what to write in Olivia's baby book where it asks about mom and dad's reaction to her birth. Horror. . .disbelief. . .sadness. . .I can't write that. It's amazing to think that a year has passed since that day. At times it seems like a lifetime ago and at other times it seems like it was yesterday. I'm so grateful for Olivia and her life. I was robbed of the joy of her birth, but the joy that I have being her mother is beyond measure.

If you'll notice, I have added a new blog to my preemie blog list. I ask you to keep Rhys in your prayers. This is another family who finds themselves in the same situation. They lost their son, Bentley, shortly after birth and his twin brother, Rhys, is in the NICU fighting hard. Please pray for this family. My hope is that Rhys, much like Olivia, will make it home by Christmas.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Olivia On T.V

Did any of you catch Olivia on the news yesterday? I am an awful mom because I missed it. Grandma Mary spent the night Tuesday night so that I could get some sleep. Given the opportunity to get a full night's sleep, I just couldn't bring myself to wake up at 6 am. Thankfully, Shelley was an awesome aunt and she woke up to record it. I hear that Olivia and Grandma Mary were up to watch it as well.

Remembering Logan

A balloon for Logan
We released it by Logan's tree.

Thank you all for the amazing comments. Yesterday was a difficult day with so many different emotions. It's hard to feel so many emotions about one single day. Olivia is still fighting her cold, but thankfully it doesn't seem to be getting any worse. She is handling it in true Olivia fashion and is being such a trooper.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Olivia Paige!

A few days old
1 month - Fighting hard 2 months - Off the ventilator

3 months - In special care, ready to go home in a few weeks.

4 months - Home in time for Christmas

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

Can you believe that I'm one year old?

I have more that I want to write about for her first birthday, but with Olivia sick. . it's not going to happen anytime soon. So, I'm going to ask all of you to write instead. Because they had to put me out for my emergency c-section, some details of that day are sketchy. Even after waking up, I just remember needing to push the little button to give me more pain meds.

So, how did you find out about Olivia and Logan's birth? Or for those of you who came later. . .how did you find our blog? Please join me in wishing Olivia the happiest birthday that she can have while learning about what it's like to be sick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - Update

Did you hear? For my birthday I got a pony!

I knew it was going to happen eventually. At least we made it one day short of a year. It turns out that we are not invincible and our sweet Olivia is sick. (My week just keeps getting better and better.) We went to the doctor this morning and it seems to be just a cold. Please pray that it stays that way. We were up most of the night, but Olivia is in pretty good spirits today. Please pray that this passes quickly because her surgery is next week and I don't want to postpone it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008 - Update

This was not a good way to start the week. I had to have my rat, Lucy, put to sleep this morning. She started going downhill on Saturday and I didn't know if she would make it through the weekend. She was struggling for every breath, she wasn't eating and could barely move. Her right lung was completely collapsed. Every time I went downstairs to see her, she would use every ounce of strength to come see me. Lucy just wanted me to hold her. It was hard to see her like that. It must be frightening to have to try that hard to breathe.

With rats, you kind of have to forget every stereotype or preconceived notion that you have. Once you do that, you truly discover what amazing little creatures they are. I got Lucy 2 years ago after about 7 months of consecutive fertility treatments. I was defeated. I was sad. I needed something to nurture and love. Lucy helped fill that void. She was a "people" rat and would spend all day with you if she could. We usually called her Luce Goose and I was always amazed at how smart and gentle she was. She loved to drink out of the bathroom faucet in the basement. Lucy and Olivia the rat were the best of friends and I always worried how one would cope without the other. After cleaning their cage each week, Lucy would sort of sigh and then get to work building a little nest for them to sleep in. I don't think Olivia the rat knows how to make one and I don't know where she'll sleep. I have tried to help Lucy and make a nest for them, but she would re-do it every time. I guess I don't know how to make one either.

When rats are euthanized, they must inject them in the abdomen or heart because their veins are too small. Because that can be painful, they sedate them beforehand. I held Lucy while they sedated her and she fell asleep in my arms. It was hard, but I think the hardest part has been watching her struggle to breathe for the last few days. Finally, she could rest and she didn't have to work so hard anymore. I wasn't there when they actually euthanized her, although I believe that she passed away under the sedation. Ryan was kind enough to go get her during his lunch break because I didn't think I could take her back home. We wanted her to be buried with the rest of our pets: Exodia, Odin, Kirsten and Bailey.

Of course, losing a pet is nothing like losing a child. There are varying degrees of sadness, however, depending on the love that you have. I loved my little Lucy so of course I will feel sad. My love for Logan was immeasurable. . .my sadness overwhelming. Everytime I am sad about anything, my mind drifts to Logan and that awful sadness comes to light. Tomorrow I have to decide what to do for Logan at the cemetery as we remember his upcoming birthday. . .maybe some flowers and balloons. That's tough. But, Olivia gets me through it. I thought that her birthday party would be overshadowed by my grief, but I was completely focused on her and how amazing she is. It was truly a celebration of her life and I'm so proud of her. I know that Logan must be proud of her too. Thank you for letting me ramble on. I needed that today.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Pictures From My One-derful Day

Alex and Katie enjoyed the video games.
Kaleb enjoyed his yellow balloon.

Here is Rebekah enjoying the pizza.
Izzy liked the balloons even more than the stairs.

Julia was there
and Aidan was too!

A lone giraffe balloon animal.

The aftermath: A big mess

And one happy baby!

I will officially be one on August 27th! I can't believe it.