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)

15 comments:

Julia said...

Welcome home Olivia!
It's always such a blessing to read your blog MV!!
Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

Sarah Pope said...

So beautiful. I'm very happy to hear that you are home and that Olivia had such a short NICU stay! I have rarely heard of a micropreemie going home so quickly! My son Samuel spent a full 125 days (nearly 5 months)in the NICU before coming home. Your little girl is obviously a rockstar! Way to go Olivia. Way to go mom and dad...you did it!

kate said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Welcome home, Olivia!

Linda Chapman said...

Beautiful Postt! What a perfectly appropriate thing to do. Prayers for you, my dear. You are a special lady - to so very many people who love and pray for you and many whom you have never even met! But I am certain you can feel the prayers of your friends!

Val @ It's Always Sunny in Somerville said...

That is a heartbreakingly sweet picture. One Olivia will treasure always. Congrats to you on getting your sweet girl home - welcome home, Olivia!

Angie said...

The picture is just too precious for words. I could not hold back the tears. God will continue to bless you with strength.

Kathy Stephenson said...

my heart is full to overflowing, the tears come, you and reid are rich with wisdom, mercy and love.
i love you sweet girl.

Melissa said...

I think i cry every time i read your blog. I know i don't know you, but i have become good friends with Linds through the blog world & i eventually found your blog through her. I can't imagine going through what you've gone through & i am SO THANKFUL to see that Olivia got stronger & stronger & that she has come home!!! :)

Love what you said about nurses too. I have several friends that are nurses & though i have never seen them "in action", they are some of the most caring people i know.

Jen said...

You are such and amazing family! May God continue to Bless you all! Congratulations on bringing little Olivia home!

Caitlin said...

I've come here via The Fountain Family. What a beautiful story your life is and your attitude is a testament to faith and trust in God despite heartache and trials. So glad that you took your little girl home today. I hope you are having lots of fun with her as you adjust to life at home with a baby!

Anonymous said...

I cant even tell you how I came about your blog, but what I can tell you is I am so happy for you and your family. Olivia is such a little blessing and when I read that she was able to come home it brought tears to my eyes. I have a 3 month old little guy and a three year old little girl and can not imagine what it was like for you to go through this. Your strength in the lord is amazing. Enjoy every second! Oh and the last photo on this post with Olivia and her sisters in one of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen!

Anonymous said...

The tears are streaming down my face- and how grateful I am for the life of Olivia and the answered prayers for her to have survivied such an early arrival! I can NOT even imagine the heartache you bare of the loss's of your other daughters- may HIS hand hold you tightly, and gently, while you walk through the toughest times and lean on His wisdom. His mercy IS sufficient for the day.... my love to each of you- you have touched SO many lives!

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful Olivia is home, many wishes for continued blessings.

Anonymous said...

So happy Olivia is home. Enjoy waching the Olympics with her.

Kathy

Linds said...

I somehow missed this post. And now I'm crying as I read it. I'm so glad that the Lord was able to bring closure for you in those little things, and yet, at the same time, I wish that you didn't even have to have reason to have closure. I love you so much and am praying for you guys to continue to adjust well as she is home.

Post a Comment