We found out I was pregnant in the middle of May 2008. So that meant that I was due about January 20th. We were so excited we could only keep it a secret for about a month. The end of August I had an ultrasound and found out our baby was a little girl. I was working in Pocatello at a pediatrician’s office and was planning on working there until the first week of January. Things never seem to go as planned. On October 25th Aaron and I went down to Logan to watch a Utah State football game, meet up with his sister and her husband, have a nice dinner, and then go to the pumpkin walk. Everything was going great except I was having some painful cramps. That night I woke up about every hour not feeling well and the next day was the same irregular pattern. I didn’t know what was going on and I wasn’t even thinking I could be in labor, I was only 27 weeks. We decided to go to the Malad ER to see if they could help. They discovered I was fully dilated. I was then life flighted to the University of Utah hospital were I had Olivia an hour later. She was born October 26th weighing 2 lbs 13 oz and was 14 in. long. She was doing great for being so little. They told us that she will be in the NICU for a while, probably close to her due date. That meant around 3 months. We decided it would be best for me to stay in Salt Lake with her and that Aaron would drive back and forth for work. We were lucky enough to have family to stay with. We stayed with Aaron’s sister Toni and her husband Ron while Aaron was down, and then I stayed with my cousin Krystal until he got back. We are so grateful for them and their grate support. Olivia lost some weight at first (2 lbs 7 oz) and then gained it back. She was in an isolate were they could monitor her humidity and her temperature until she could do it herself. This first picture is of me helping with her cares in the isolate. She eventually had trouble keeping her oxygen levels high and her heart rate strong. The doctors thought it was due to her PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus). Prior to birth, the baby gets oxygen through the placenta, not from its lungs. The ductus arteriosus allows the fetal blood to bypass the lungs and go directly to the placenta. After birth, this vessel is no longer needed and must close to establish normal blood flow. Olivia’s vessel did not close making it harder to oxygenate her blood. They waited for a while to see if it would close by itself, and when it didn’t they tried to close it with medication. Nothing was working so they had to turn to surgery. On November 18th she had the surgery. It was probably the hardest time for us. She had many IVs, blood transfusions, and she was intebated for about five days. The next picture is me holding her probably for only the 3rd time. It was taken probably a week after her surgery. My family came for thanksgiving and that was about her turning point. She was gaining weight and was now big enough to go to an open crib. She could now wear clothes. It was an exciting time. She now just needed to learn how to eat from a bottle, control her oxygen levels, and keep her heart rate from dropping. This picture was taken a couple weeks before Christmas. Finally on December 30th, after spending Christmas with her in Salt Lake, we learned that she would be going home soon. On January 2nd we got to take her home. She came home on oxygen and monitors which makes caring for her a little harder, but it is defiantly worth it. We love having her home. She is growing stronger and bigger. She went to the doctor on January 5th and we learned she now weighs 6 lbs 12 oz and is 19 ¼ in. long. During all of this we have had great support from our friends and family. We love them all and are so thankful for all they have given us, or have taken the time to visit. This last picture is at home and I was switching her nasal cannula so we took some pictures of her without any tubing on her face. She is doing better on her oxygen and can breath room air for the most part. She just needs a little help sometimes, like when she eats.
4 weeks ago