If you haven't visited www.5MinutesforMom.com, take a minute to check it out. It's written by twin sisters, Susan and Janice, both of whom were expecting baby girls in October.
I say were because one sister, Janice, gave birth to baby Olivia last week! Congratulations! Baby Olivia was warmly welcomed by her family and the blogging community, everyone thankful for her safe arrival. Every birth is a miracle unto itself and the wonder of it all never ceases to amaze.
I have a miracle Olivia too. That's her picture as Princess Olivia. She's my little 4 year old granddaughter, as active, fearless and rambunctious as they come. But there was a time when Olivia's life was at risk. Early ultrasounds revealed that she had a condition known as gastroschisis. In Olivia's case this meant that her tiny intestines had not been enclosed in her body; they were resting outside her body. I'm sure that if this had happened back in the 70's when my children were born, baby Olivia would not have survived long. In fact, I didn't even have ultrasounds for my first two babies! But in 2003, there was a procedure available to insert her intestines back into her body through her umbilical opening. She had to be heavily sedated for the days prior to and after the surgery and there were all the risks that any neonatal surgery entails, not to mention the complications that could follow.
Olivia was delivered naturally, amazingly enough. You would think a C section would be less traumatic for her, but the doctors said not. Her parents said "hello" to her in the delivery room and then she was whisked away. She wouldn't get the newborn cuddling until she was recovering from her surgery and I know she missed it. After she came home, she would snuggle into your arms so tightly, as though she just couldn't get close enough. Sure, her system was sensitive, but by and large she sailed through her first year without complications.
Olivia's parents took pictures of their little baby before, during and after her treatment. They were uncertain whether they should.....and whether at a later date they should even show Olivia the photos of her newborn condition. The only sign that she had this lifesaving surgery is her navel that is a tiny bit larger than most. Maybe it's best just to leave it at that.
I should mention that Olivia is an absolutely fearless child.....she jumps off decks, swings from playground equipment with utter abandon, runs like the wind. I think she doesn't know fear because she has already seen the face of God. And she will tell you that she knows she wasn't alone when she was a little baby. She doesn't have a face to go with the memory, but she recognizes a scent. Every once in a while she will ask, "Mommy, what is that smell?" Mommy doesn't know but Olivia will tell her that it was the smell she remembers when she was being held when she was born. Yes, a miracle.