There are so many things that cannot be conveyed through the blog. One such thing is how sweet Olivia is. She literally epitomizes the word. She's also very tiny. As she approaches 3 years old, she is still hovering around 23 lbs. I don't worry about it nearly as much. I figure that I'm doing the very best that I can and if that's not enough than someone (like a doctor) will have to help me. Olivia is also very active. That's the first thing people notice about her. . .that she is very busy. She starts gymnastics next week for this very reason. She's very social and loves to be around people. I don't think there is a shy bone in her body even though me and her dad have ample amounts of shyness. When I see Olivia, I often say "Hi baby!" I never realized I did that until I started noticing Olivia walking up to people and saying "Hi Baby!" She doesn't understand when I tell her that it may not be appropriate. And, last but not least. . .I cannot tell you how funny she is. She has this hilarious personality and just wants to make people laugh. When she sings songs in her cookie monster/gremlin voice, I don't think I've ever laughed so hard. When she hears a doorbell, she asks, "Are the boys home?" She loves to talk about boys. . should I be worried? :) Olivia seems to win the hearts of everyone she meets and I thoroughly enjoy being her mom.
I am finally able to post pictures more easily, so I thought I'd post a couple. Olivia has become very particular about what she wears. Izzy is going through a similar stage so I figured we'd have a few months before Olivia went through it. . . apparently not. Olivia will not wear dresses or capris. I think she is confused about whether capris are supposed to be pants or shorts. She will not wear jean shorts. And, she's at the point where she can take most clothes off, so it's hard to keep things on her that she doesn't want to wear. I can understand why she doesn't like certain clothes, but others are surprising. Sometimes I just have to let her pick something out. Some days, we don't match all that well but, if she's happy. . .I'm happy too.
Today, Olivia and I were outside and I asked if she wanted to go for a walk. Then, I asked her if she wanted to walk or get her stroller. She doesn't want to ride in her stroller much anymore, so I was surprised when she got excited about it. We went inside to get her stroller and Olivia took off down the hallway. She then came barreling towards the door pushing her baby in her baby stroller. She thought I meant THAT stroller! I didn't have the heart to dissapoint her, so we went for a walk with Olivia pushing her own baby. When did she go from being a baby in a stroller to pushing her own? She is still talking about how fun it was. :)
Please don't think I'm losing my faith in God. That is unwavering. I think you gain a deeper understanding of things when you ask questions and you delve deeper into the issues that you're struggling with. I am exceedingly blessed. So blessed that I'm scared to lose the things that I cherish so deeply. I'm scared for others to lose those things as well. At the same time, I know those things in life aren't what ultimately matters. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior who died on the cross for your sins to pave the way for your eternity in heaven. . .that is what matters. That doesn't mean that life still isn't hard. You can be angry. You can be human. That's how I've felt lately and I am blessed to be able to share that with all of you and gain your feedback. You all mean a lot to me and have helped me through many difficult times. My hope is that everyone has that support system too. Much love to you all!
I'm still upset about the news I received yesterday. I didn't sleep hardly at all last night and was up thinking about Tripp and his family. There is something fundamentally wrong with a child having cancer. After watching my own children fight for their lives in the NICU, I developed this belief that they were fighting the hardest that they will ever have to fight. The rest of their lives would be "smooth sailing." I've held fast to this belief that Olivia will never know the pain of losing a child or have to fight as hard as she did when she was born. She deserves to live a fulfilling and wonderful life devoid of anything causing her turmoil and pain. She has been through enough. Now, I know my belief is severely lacking in probability because God never promises us that life will be easy. That belief was quickly dispelled when I figured out getting pregnant wouldn't come easy. But, for some reason I can get through each day knowing that the worst is behind us. Then, I learn about Tripp, a 23 weeker just like Olivia, who is diagnosed with cancer. The news just affected me in a way that I cannot explain. That is not supposed to happen. Not to such good people who have already been through a lot. It just shakes me to the core and leaves me wondering what to cling to. It's hard to believe that God always wants what is best for us when you have to watch your children barely hang onto life in an incubator or hold your 1 month old deceased son in your arms for the first and last time or watch someone you love fight against cancer or. . .the list goes on and on. It's easy to forget what life is really about and I guess that's where I'm at. I want to teach my daughter that life is good and carefree, but how do you do that when there is so much suffering in the world? I don't know. I just don't know.
I really need to ask all of you for some prayers. As you know, the 23 weeker and micropreemie community is pretty tight. . .we all support each other because we know how hard our kiddos had to fight. I met an amazing family while in the NICU with 23 week twins born a month after mine named Tripp and Trinity. Tripp gave Olivia a run for her money in the NICU! I think he even went home before 105 days (Olivia's stay.) Olivia had her strabismus surgery the same day as Trinity. I enjoyed seeing them both at the March for Babies last month and they are an amazing family!!
I found out tonight. . .I can barely type it. . .but, Tripp was diagnosed with cancer. I believe it is neuroblastoma. I don't think I have ever cried so hard for a child who was not my own. As a 23 weeker, he has already fought so hard. Why would God place cancer in his path? And, for a child to have to go through chemotherapy??? I already know what this family has had to go through and now. . .to go through this seems unimaginable!!! Please ask God to cover this family with his mercy and peace and to help this little boy fight this huge fight ahead of him. He's already proven that he is one of the strongest of fighters. Please, please pray for this family and leave your comments here. I will make sure that they get them.
Why, you ask? For the first time EVER, she did amazing at her eye appointment. Usually, she starts screaming/crying the second that she catches a glimpse of her doctor. Olivia and I talked a lot about this appointment and how important it is to be a big girl. We talked about not crying and letting the doctor look in her eyes. We talked about the light being like a firefly. Grandma Sailing came along and talked to her about being a big girl. We brought along her trusty sidekicks, Gogum and Lily. I don't know if all of that worked or if she just decided that the eye doctor might be okay, but she did awesome. You could tell that she was a little apprehensive and she cried just a bit when he turned the light off, but. . .wow. She even said hi to him and snuck in a smile or two. She has never done that. I was so proud of her. . .I was beaming! Maybe we can stick with the ophthalmologist after all.
I thought I'd better write an update tonight. I have just been busy loving life and feeling blessed. Olivia is doing well, although she has an awful cough right now. It breaks my heart listening to her try to sleep while coughing uncontrollably. Luckily, she is acting fine otherwise so I hope this passes quickly. Today, we got ready to head over to my parents' house to see their new swingset when I noticed that my rear tire was completely flat. So, that's a migraine, a kidney stone and a flat tire in the same week. :) We had to unexpectedly deal with that today and luckily the tire could be patched. We did get to spend some time over at my parents' house and Olivia was the first to try out the new swingset. Izzy later joined her and they had a blast in the backyard.
Please pray for Olivia tomorrow because she has another eye appointment. I'm hoping to soon switch her over to an optometrist (instead of an ophthalmologist.) Dr. W. is the only pediatric ophthalmologist in town, but Olivia just doesn't like him at all which makes the checkups that much more traumatizing. We would still need him if Olivia has to have another strabismus surgery, but I'm hoping the checkups can be with an optometrist. I actually have an appointment with one this week and I'm going to talk to her about taking Olivia as a patient. But, for now. . .wish us luck.
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: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.