Monday, March 30, 2009

One Step Back

Over the years I have developed this theory that everything in life happens exactly as it should. Most of the time I can't really make sense of why life takes the course it does, but in retrospect, everything happens for a reason. I have learned to take something positive from every negative situation and doing so has provided me with the necessary tools to get through life. All of this seemed to start with the death of Paul's father. Although it was mostly Paul's journey, I learned a lot along the way. In the midst of the chaos, I vividly remember telling Paul's mother "I don't know what this is preparing me for, but it's preparing me for something." One week after Paul's father passed away, my uncle was involved in a serious accident resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury. Five years later, he remains confined to a bed or wheelchair, entirely dependent on others to feed, clothe, and bathe him. He really cannot even effectively communicate other than a yes or no response to basic questions. Thereafter, life went smoothly for a while. Then came the infertility. And then came the triplets. The 6 weeks of hospital bedrest. The 7 weeks in the NICU. And somewhere in there was Olivia's diagnosis. Although during most of my pregnancy there was no indication that anything was wrong with Olivia, I had this feeling that Paul and I would become parents to a child who needed more care and support than a "normal" child would. I knew we had the hearts to love such a child, regardless of her level of "normalcy"...and I knew we had the life experience to handle her needs with confidence and grace. If given a choice, we absolutely would have wanted Olivia to be medically perfect. But we weren't given a choice...nobody is given a choice. The only thing we are given are life experiences that provide us with every tool possible to succeed in handling all future life experiences. And so far, Paul and I have plenty.

Last night we were given the unsettling news that Olivia's temp had spiked. Immediately we knew this meant she likely has an infection. Well, long story short, this morning they think it is proably pneumonia. But as odd as it sounds, this is apparently good news. The bad news is that she is still on a ventilator and although they had hoped to have her breathing on her own by tomorrow, we are now delayed. The pneumonia has delayed the weaning process and for the next few days she will just have to remain completely sedated and on the vent. To combat the infection, Livy has been put on two potent antibiotics and they are using a heavy-duty suctioning machine to help clear her lungs. They have cultured everything, and will continue to do so until she no longer has an infection. For now, though, we worry...and we hope that this really is just a short delay in her recovery. We know how serious pneumonia is, but we must remain hopeful. Olivia is a fighter. She has more strength than she knows what to do with...and so while we all know she's on the sick side, you'd never know it by looking at her. As for her mommy, I just can't wait to see her little peepers again. I miss looking into her eyes, so much that it hurts, but I keep telling myself that it will just be a few more days.

Paul and I are doing fine, but only because we have had so much preparation for this. I thought our time in the NICU was rough, but seeing our little girl like this is so much harder now than it was back then. Had we not experienced the NICU, though, we wouldn't be so well-prepared for what we are experiencing now. So, in a way, we were blessed to have that experience. We are better parents, and better advocates for our daughter as a result.

Before I sign off, I just want to thank all of you who have been following our blog for all of your support. It feels so good to know that there are so many people out there sending positive thoughts and praying for our family. So thank you!


Surviving Triplets said...

Prayers are being said for sweet Olivia. Like you, I have learned every bad experience holds a good lesson.


Tracey's Life said...

I am praying for you and your sweet little girls.... May you feel God's love and embrace as he holds you close. I am praying that the next time you post, she is on her way back to health and you can look into her sweet little eyes.


Haymonds said...

What an amazing attitude you have developed. There are not better parents for this sweet girl. Your strength is an inspiration. We will continue to pray for you guys. Best wishes.

Raising Triplets in High Style said...

Olivia is in my prayers.


lar said...

I can not imagine how difficult this must be. You have amazing grace and strength. Sweet Olivia has that same strength. Please know she is in our prayers and we are holding you all in our hearts.

leslee and dave

Vanessa said...

Wow...alot has happened.

First of all, I am so amazed to hear the possibility of no more heart surgeries for Olivia. I wish we would of had a more experinced surgeon because Arianna is now without a pulmonary valve and will need more surgery.

I know how hard it is to watch your child in the PICU after heart surgery and nothing you do could prepare you for that. Olivia is dealing with some setbacks but she is strong and will be through this. Arianna spent 2 weeks in ICU after her surgery because of fluid in and around her lungs. She had an extra drain put in and that slowly helped. But it's still alot when your not expecting these things to happen.

I will be praying for you all. Give Olivia a big kiss from me.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

She'll pull through this with flying colors like she has everything else! I'm praying for her, and for you and Paul and your two other precious girlies!
Trisha (2WW)

mary said...

Praying for Olivia.

The Russell Family said...

Oh my gosh crystal you made me cry on this one, olivia is in my thoughts and I hope she gets better soon so you can see those little peepers again.

Scarlett said...

Keeping sweet Livy in my prayers that she has a quick recovery.