One Amazing Little Girl

28 May

I don’t know how many of you have been following Olivia’s story or for how long.  I want you to read the beginning of Olivia’s blessed life & get a glimpse of the courage & faith her parents have shown for 3 years.  You can read the original post here (for the purist) or below where I’ve copied it from Julie’s blog (my apologies Julie for the blatant plagiarism).

From the Beginning (Part One)

Since we have had so many new people joining our blog, I thought I would share Olivia’s beginning. Many of you have heard her story many times, but I think it’s a miracle story that helps explain a little bit of where we get our strength and courage.

Back in January of 2006, we found out baby #3 would be joining us in early September. Things were going great and in April, we went in for an ultrasound. We took the kids so they could see their new little baby, too. When they escorted the kids out for suckers and brought in the doctor (we were seeing a midwife), we knew something was up. The doctor told us that the baby had something called cystic hygroma. This was a growth that was on the back of the neck. In all the cases she had seen, the baby hadn’t made it. She referred us to Peoria for confirmation.

We started seeing a perinatologist in Peoria for 3-D ultrasounds. The first visit confirmed the doctors thoughts. The perinatologist did ask if we wanted to consider terminating the pregnancy since the chances were slim that the baby would make it at all. With our immediate “no,” he said he would continue to monitor the baby and pray for us. He had seen a handful of babies that did survive during his many years of practice. In most cases, the baby died in utero from congestive heart failure from trying to fight off the cystic hygroma. Even if the baby were to somehow make it to term, there was a 50/50 chance for some sort of chromosomal disorder, Turner’s syndrome, and many other complications.

This is when the first of the miracles happened. We were at a loss. We were spending the first few days just waiting to lose her. What else could we do, but put our baby into the Lord’s hands.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139: 13-16
We would visit Peoria once every 2-4 weeks. For the first 3 or 4 visits, it was the same. No change. During the ultrasounds, the doctor would not speak to us, but would relay notes to the nurse and discuss his findings with us afterwards. In our June appointment, when he was dictating to his nurse, I swore I heard him say: cystic hygroma has dissipated. I’m no Einstein, but dissipated sounds a lot like disappeared. This is where the second miracle happened.
The cystic hygroma was gone.
The heart didn’t look quite normal, so we were sent to Olivia’s current cardiologist for an ultrasound of the baby. The baby was then diagnosed with AtrioVentricular Septal Defect. It would be repaired after the baby were born – hopefully at about 3-4 months of age. We could otherwise continue on with a “normal” pregnancy. We were discharged by the perinatologist and sent to a high-risk OB in Peoria because of the heart defect.
Fast forward to August 2006. We were scheduled to be induced on August 28. This way we could be sure to be in Peoria with all the necessary medical staff present for the baby’s arrival. On August 27, we first learned that our baby was going to have a mind of it’s own…
I’ll have to post part 2 later – this is getting to be a long story.
As you can see, we did put Olivia in the Lord’s hands long before she was born. Everyone wonders how we handle these things – how we take the bad news with a sense of ease. Often times, I would love to wear a big sign that says “I really do care what you are telling me, but the Lord is in charge and we are just waiting to see where His plan takes us next. ” He holds Olivia in the palm of His hand. She has never been alone in this, and neither have we.
From early on Julie & Zac knew their precious daughter’s life might not be long.  More importantly though, they knew Olivia’s life mattered.  Her spirit, her smile, her stubbornness, her joy touched so many people.  The world is a better place  because she lived among us.
Olivia Grace

Olivia Grace

Thank You, Julie, Zac, Jack, & Brooklyn, for sharing your precious daughter & sister with us.  May the courage & strength that only comes from God sustain you & may He give you His Peace.

With love & tears,

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