8/27 NICU Day 4

 Happy 25 weeks...or 5 days? Kevin and I are still somewhat confused on how the doctors are measuring our sweet one's age. Either way, today was filled with celebrations. This is a long one (but seriously a good one) I apologize in advance. :)

The start of today I was not feeling as positive as I am now writing this almost 12 hours later. During rounds this morning with the doctors, it was reported that Olivia was having some episodes during the night and early morning called apnea...or times she was not breathing...and was requiring more oxygen. "No worries" the doctor would say, "they were brief but this may mean she will need the endotracheal tube again as we discussed". To the doctor's credit, they had warned Kevin and I many times that in a NICU stay we need to expect ups and downs, good days and bad days. The fact that Olivia has remained off the endotracheal tube and has been breathing almost completely on her own since Wednesday is huge in a baby born at 24 weeks. Hearing the news, though prepared, still broke my heart. I have been praying, (begging), God to show us that Olivia is in His hands and that He can and will still perform miracles. Needless to say I left the hospital this morning somewhat broken, overwhelmed, and worried. I couldn't help but think "she's had so many good days, is her bad day around the corner? Is it today?" But then, God started to show up and reminded me of how much He has done and what He is currently doing.

Later on in the day, my mom and I went to visit Olivia...and she was ready to teach me some lessons in doubting how strong she is! As my mom and I came around the corner to Olivia's incubator the nurse all but knocked me over in excitement. About midway through the day today, Olivia opened her eyes. A feat that we were anticipating would happen sometime next week. Even now it brings tears to my eyes. Not only that my baby is growing every day and beating the odds, but that this nurse who doesn't know me at all, was almost more excited than I was. I needed to post this event but chose this picture specifically because notice Olivia's finger holding the nurses hand? Nurses absolutely make a difference (and I'm not biased) in both the lives of patients and their family members. 

This same nurse then did something even more outstanding. Because Olivia had been stable all day, in fact requiring less oxygen than over night, the nurse checked to see if I could hold Olivia. I still can barely look at these pictures and videos my mom took without crying. 

I was able to hold sweet Olivia for an hour. Skin to skin. I was able to feel her little fingers and toes wiggle and feet kick and move just like they did when she was in my womb. While holding her for that hour the nurse was able to turn off Olivia's oxygen completely. She maintained her oxygen saturation at 99% on room air completely on her own. For me the whole world melted away. It was nothing but her and I. We did FaceTime dad, who I think was just as in shock as I was that this was a possibility. We didn't think that she was deemed stable enough for at least another week. Praise God is the only thing that I could say when I actually found words to say. That and I kept repeating "I love you Olivia". 

Pray requests for today I think are selfishly more for Kevin and I. We are both struggling with the thought of "impending downward trends" and worry. With worry creeps in doubt. Today God showed us that we need to be thankful and that we need to remember His goodness. I hate that I need that constant reminder and that it doesn't come so naturally. Prayer has been so powerful though and I sincerely thank everyone who has been praying and sending words of encouragement. Please continue to pray for baby Olivia and that God will continue to show us what we know to be true-that he is a strong and powerful God. He is listening! 

thank you Mason for the artwork :) 


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