I was just thinking how quickly time flies! My little baby is now 18 monts old! It is our "walk season". We started with the JDRF walk (which I have done almost annually since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after my 11th birthday) in late April. This year we decided to do another walk that was just as near and dear to our hearts: the March of Dimes walk.
As most of you know, Olivia was born 8 weeks early. I was terribly sick, and was taken by ambulance a hospital an hour away from home that was better suited to take care of my needs. After being there less than 24 hours, my kidney's shut down and that is when they decided that it would be better for both Olivia and I that she be delivered immediately. Within a few hours I was prepped for a c-section since Olivia was breech. I remember being terrified, not caring about my own health, just thinking it was too early for Olivia to come. It was about 9:00pm when they came in to tell me that there was one woman ahead of me and then it was my turn. I told them that I would refuse the surgery until after midnight. You see, my grandpa, who was like my dad to me passed away on November 11, 1999, and if they waited until after midnight, Olivia would be born on November 11, 2007,and in my mind that would keep her safe because grandpa would be her guardian angel looking over her.
My wishes were granted and Olivia was born at 12:55am on November 11, 2007. The best thing was that she came out crying and breathing on her own. Toby was allowed to cut her cord and hold her hand while they were cleaning her off and examining her. She weighed in a 1820 grams (4lbs) and was 16 3/4 inches long. I was only allowed a quick peek before they took her to the NICU. They told Toby that he and my mom could come see her in about 2 hours, they just needed time to get her hooked up to anything she may need and thoroughly evaluate her. In that time, my insides were put back in, I was stapled closed, and taken to recovery.
Exactly 2 hours after her birth Toby and mom went to see her and took her first picture (since Toby forgot to bring the camera into the O.R.). Olivia was doing amazingly well. She was always able to breathe on her own, she was just on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to keep her lungs open and clear. When she was about 2 days old she became our little smurf after being put under the blue lights for jaundice. That lasted about 3 days. Then on Friday November 16, we were finally able to hold Olivia!!!Since this post is already getting long, I will try to wrap it up. After a few setbacks (heart murmer, an air bubble in her intestines, a minor infection, 2 spinal taps, and many xrays), Olivia was deemed healthy enough to come home on Monday December 5, 2007 after just 3.5 weeks in the NICU! She weighed 4lbs 8 ounces and was just a tiny little peanut, but we were SO happy to be able to bring her home. After I was released from the hospital a week after Olivia's birth, we made the hour long drive EVERY day to see our little princess, so to be able to bring her home and be able to see her whenever we wanted, and hold her with no tube connected was the most amazing feeling in the world.
We were told that since Olivia was 8 weeks early, we should expect her to be behind developmentally and be smaller than other kids until she is about 3 or so. Apparently Olivia did not hear when the doctors told us this because she is not behind on a single developmental skill! She was walking before her first birthday, and meeting every milestone a "normal" baby should. We could not feel more blessed.
Today she is 18 months old, 22lbs 7 ounces and 30in. We have started potty training, she talks a mile a minute, loves to read books, play outside, swim and she definitely has her daddy's appetite!
When we took her to one of my favorite places, Disney World, I just thought how lucky we were to even be able to take her. There are many babies born just as early and sadly don't make it. This is why we decided to walk for March of Dimes-for our little miracle, and hoping that someday all preemies, will have just as good chance at life as a baby born full term.