Oliver the Great
Oliver has faced challenges but he received a lovey from our #spreadthelovey project that provides him with comfort. Here is his story:
"At our 20 week anatomy ultrasound on July 27, 2015, we were SO excited to find out the gender of our sweet baby. Turns out...it was a baby boy!!! We were so happy, as we have 2 girls already. But then we got some not-so-happy news. They saw some "soft markers" in his stomach and brain, that could be indicators of a chromosomal disorder, but most of the time, they go away on their own. So they scheduled us for another ultrasound 2 weeks later to re-check them, and get a better look at his heart since they couldn't see it well, due to his position at the time. 2 weeks later, we had our second ultrasound. We got good and bad news. The "soft markers" we're gone! We were so happy to hear that, but something told me not to get too excited until we talked to the doctor. When we went back to talk to the doctor about the ultrasound, she broke the bad news to us. Our sweet baby boy had a heart defect. She told us that they didn't have the best technology to be able to tell us more about what kind of defect, but she referred us to a high risk OB who could tell us more.
Our first appointment at UVA was October 6, 2015. We had an echo done on his heart, talked to the Cardiologist, and had an ultrasound. It was Tetrology of Fallot. They explained everything to us about it, and showed us a book that explained it with pictures. Basically they told us that they weren't sure about how extensive the condition was, and wouldn't until after he was born, but that he would most definitely need surgery. We were devastated. It's heartbreaking to hear that your baby will need to be cut open, and may not even live. It was the worst thing I've ever felt. The next few months of waiting, not knowing anything else, were awful.
We had a few more appointments at UVA here and there over the next 2 months. Had a few more echoes and ultrasounds done, and met with other people who would be part of the team that would take care of Oli after he was born, and toured the NICU and PICU of the hospital. We eventually set up a date for me to be induced so that we would be able to be at UVA when I had him, as opposed to going into labor on my own and having to have Oli transported there after he was born. Also, I had extra amniotic fluid, so we weren't sure how long he would stay in the womb, but we also wanted to make it as close to 40 weeks as possible so that he would be as healthy as possible. The date we set up was December 7, 2015.
The morning of December 7 came. We got to the hospital at 11 am and started the induction. After a long 17 hours little Oli finally made his appearance in the world!! Born on 12-8-15 at 5:57 am, weighing 8 lbs even, and just under 21 inches long. It was so amazing for him to actually be here! The room was so hectic though! There were about 20 doctors from different fields all around me, and all around Oli. Andrew and I weren't sure what was going on for abour 10 minutes. Finally someone told Andrew that Oli seemed to be doing ok, and Andrew reached over to him and Oli held his finger. He looked over at me, and with tears in my eyes, I asked if Oli was ok. He told me that he was. They brought him to me and let me hold him for a few minutes. I kissed him and took a picture of him with Andrew and myself. Then they took him to the NICU.
Oliver received his first lovey when he was in the NICU at UVA hospital after birth. He didn't really have anything that was 'his' because we weren't sure what to bring with us to the hospital. Having the lovey was special because it gave him something that made him feel comfortable in a scary place. I think that's very important, and I feel that it helps these little ones to thrive. Now Oliver is 9 months old, and he still carries it around. It's still quite a comfort for him, especially when he has procedures done, or doctor appointments. It provides a sense of safety and protection, and knowing he has that, makes it a little easier for me as well"
To read more about Oli's story and to follow his journey visit https://www.facebook.com/OliversHeartJourney/