Sunday, July 22, 2012

Olivia's Many Faces

We have had a wonderful week with Olivia. She is eating very well, sleeps like a champ, and is happy to just hang out wherever we decide to set her down. Reid and I keep asking each other how we got so lucky... She is the perfect baby.

I thought I'd share the many faces of our Olivia Bain - Enjoy!




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Olivia's Homecoming

After three months in the NICU, we were told last Monday that going home was just around the corner.  We were so excited we couldn't stand it! The doctor told us that he would send her home on a little bit of oxygen and a monitor, but there were still things that needed to happen - the biggest one being that she needed to start eating all of her feedings by mouth and gain weight while doing so. We really buckled down all week and I was diligent about being at the hospital for as many feedings as possible. By Wednesday the doctor was really pleased with the strides Olivia was making and with her weight gain. (To give you an idea of how well she did, on Monday, July 9 she weighed 5 lb 10.6 oz and one week later on the day we were discharged she weighed 6 lbs.) Her doctor told us to plan to room-in (stay in a room at the hospital with her for a night) Sunday night and that if all went well we'd get to take her home with us on Monday. Obviously, everything went perfectly! She's HOME!

Leaving the hospital was much more emotional than I had ever imagined. There were so many "full circle" moments during those last couple of days. When we roomed-in we stayed in the same room they took us to when Mary Grace and Madelyn passed away. Many of the weekend nurses who were there the night the girls were born were also working on Olivia's last night there. The doctor who discharged Olivia was the same doctor who visited me in Labor and Delivery just days before the girls were born. He was the same doctor who told us how sick Madelyn and Mary Grace were. The elevator we left in was the same one I rode to be admitted into antepartum nearly four months prior. I think the Lord knew I needed closure and that's just what those moments brought. 

We were also able to say "goodbye" to many of our incredible nurses. Women who cared for our children. These nurses ministered to our family in such a tangible way. They gave our girls, what we, as their parents, weren't able to. When someone cares for your child like that, you automatically feel a special bond. Our whole story was in Olivia's file, and not once did any of them ever bring up what had happened. Reid and I have often talked about how special it would be for Olivia to want to be a nurse when she grows up. Our experience taught me that nurses are truly the heartbeat of medicine.

On Monday, when it was finally time to go home, Reid and I decided we needed to make a stop along the way. Olivia needed to visit her sisters. It hit me when we pulled up that it was the first time they'd all been together since March 28. And then, I couldn't think of a more perfect way for their little sister to be welcomed home.




"...The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
(Job 1:21 ESV)

Monday, July 16, 2012

38 Weeks: She's Home!

Olivia is home!!! Our sweet little girl is doing great - and Reid and I couldn't be more proud of her! We can't thank everyone enough for your love and support over the last 101 days. I plan to post all of the coming home details over the next couple of days. For now, I'll leave you with a glimpse of our daughter...

Olivia Bain Grandle

Born on April 6, 2012
1 lb 5 oz
12.4 inches long

Home on July 16, 2012
6 lb 0 oz
17.5 inches long






Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dates

We made it through another month of "dates." I wish I could say those days get easier but they just don't. I told Reid that sometimes I wish I could re-live the whole experience just to get to have time with our girls again.

As we get closer and closer to bringing Olivia home the reality of our loss has really set in. The past few days have made me wonder, if all of our babies had survived, who would me coming home first? Would they come home just days apart or weeks? Would they all have been laid back like Olivia? (probably not :) )

Last week, on July 11, three months after we found out Mary Grace wouldn't make it, I went and visited our girls' grave. I hadn't been since the week before Mother's Day and had been thinking about the three of them quite a bit. The last arrangement we need to make is to finalize the stone that will sit above their grave. We've put it off for months now. It seems like that decision makes everything so final and real. I would give anything for that part of our story to not be real.




When I got back in my car to drive home, the song 10,000 Reasons was playing on the radio (I don't think it was coincidence at all). I've heard the song a million times before but these lines gave me chill bumps all over.


The sun comes up, 
it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul 
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am for Olivia. The hand of the Lord has truly been upon her over the last three months. I was talking with another NICU mom at the hospital whose son was born at 23 weeks (Olivia, Madelyn and Mary Grace were 23w4d). The mom told me that her son is 33 weeks and is still on the ventilator because he keeps getting infections. My heart broke. The only 23 weeker I've ever met is my daughter. She's all I know and, to me, her progressing from CPAP to a nasal cannula, all before 33 weeks, was normal. I realized there was a different scenario being played out for another baby right down the hall from mine. It made me so grateful that we've come so far. Will you join me in praying for the 23 weeker who is still on the vent? I don't know his name, but God does and I know, now more than ever, He hears our prayers.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Little Lovey

My heart could burst...




Monday, July 9, 2012

37 Weeks!

Olivia is 37 weeks gestation today! She is so close to coming home that everyday is beginning to feel like Christmas Eve! Oh, the anticipation!

Our Livi girl is an absolute dream baby. I can't get over how sweet she is! She is content and happy almost all of the time. Hardly cries unless given a reason - don't make her mad. :) She still hates diaper and clothes changes and her breathing treatments.

She eats every three hours and has been awake and looking at her new mobile a lot more. She is a breastfeeding champ, and we are still working on bottle feeding. She does fine as long as she's awake enough to eat. Who knew that learning to suck, swallow and breathe would be so tiring?! She's on a micro-flow of .06 on the nasal cannula and doing so great with it! I think they'll wean her a little more today or tomorrow.

No definite homecoming date has been set but I know we are so close. I'm sitting here at the hospital snuggling her right now and I have to pinch myself that this is real. I'm a mom. Reid is a dad. And, our baby will be coming home soon!

















Saturday, July 7, 2012

Three.

Our little girl is three months old. Three months old! It's gone by so fast and so slow all at the same time. The last three months have been the hardest of my life. But, at the same time, they've been the sweetest. My love for this child knows no bounds.




Olivia,

Three months ago, nearly to the hour, I saw you for the first time. You and your sisters were the smallest babies I had ever seen. When I look back at pictures it terrifies me to think of how fragile you were. You had lots of dark hair and beautiful, tiny hands. Your eyes, still fused shut, held long eyelashes and your little lips were just beginning to form. Looking at you that night, I remember thinking you were absolutely perfect. You are still so perfect in every way. I couldn't be more proud that God chose me for you. Your daddy and I love you fiercely, sweet girl.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, July 2, 2012

36 Weeks via the iPhone

Olivia is 36 weeks adjusted gestation today! It's crazy we are already to July and that her original due date is just around the corner!

Reid went back to work last week and I've been spending the majority of my days at the hospital. I get here in time to feed her at 11, hold for a little while after, eat lunch in the cafeteria, pump, go back to hold and feed again (Reid tries to meet us for this feeding), head home for a few hours, eat dinner, and come back to the hospital with Reid for her 8pm feeding. I'm thinking about adding her 8am feed to the mix to try and get her to be able to breastfeed as much as possible.

Olivia is doing great breastfeeding. If she eats longer than 15 minutes they consider it a full feeding and don't supplement through her feeding tube. She has been eating for 17-19 minutes on average and is leaving her nurses very impressed. She took a bottle for the first time last night. I thought we would use Dr. Browns bottles but she wasn't a fan of the shape of that nipple. So, we bought a Tommee Tippee bottle yesterday and she loved it. We are working on bottle feeding with OT again today and I can't wait to tell them that we figured out why she wouldn't take the other bottle! :)

On Saturday, Olivia was moved to the "red team" which is the doctor who will see her home. We are one step closer! They turned down the flow of her nasal cannula again today. They are slowly weaning her and so far she's done well!

Here's a glimpse of life lately via my iPhone.




























And we can't leave out big brother!





Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Big Day!

It has been a big day for our little miss! Baby dedication this morning (thank you to our amazing neighbors, Christen and Don, for being there with us at church today!), drinking her first bottle (thank you mommy intuition and the Tommee Tippee), getting a new big girl crib, and hitting the FIVE POUND mark!!!!

She wore her little self out!




Mommy and Daddy are SO proud of you, Olivia!

Olivia's Baby Dedication

Today, Olivia's picture was put up on the big screen at church along with 23 other babies born this year. It was so special for us to get to share her picture with the hundreds of people who have prayed for us over the last few months.

We took some pictures of her last Sunday at the hospital to submit for the dedication. Her nurse insisted that we take all the sticky stuff, nasal cannula, and feeding tube off when she found out what the pictures were for. We were finally able to capture ALL of her sweet face!

Today, I'm reminded, yet again, of God's faithfulness and sovereignty over Olivia's life. How far we all have come in the 12 weeks that she's been here. All the memories we've made as we have gotten to know our precious little girl. We are so very blessed to have such a tangible reminder of just how BIG and gracious our God is!




"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for HE who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23