After they got Olivia and I situated, we were pretty much left on our own as a family to bond. (once you have 6 kids, they really don't bother telling you anything at that point cuz ya sort've already know the drill and as one nurse said I could probably teach them a few things! lol) I really love this hospital! It's a relaxing environment (as much as a hospital can be) and very family oriented. Everyone knows you by name, you're not just a number. Oh, I also liked the fact that the room I deliver in was the room we stay in the whole time.
My 6 amazing blessings!
We kept the news of Olivia's birth pretty quiet, only sharing with a few people. We were all on an emotional roller coaster by both her birth and it being Noah's birthday so we felt it was best just to spend this time as a family before telling everyone. I knew I would get overwhelmed by everyones response and just wasn't in a place to handle it at that point. We actually waited several days before telling the majority of people as well as announcing it on facebook.
Noah and Olivia on their shared birthday
Daddy & Olivia
Sarah & Olivia
Susan & Olivia
Hannah & Olivia
Erik & Olivia
Later morning Kevin and the kids headed home for a bit to get some rest as well as take care of the dog. So it gave Olivia and I some one on one time. I just sat there watching her and taking it all in. I couldn't believe she was finally here. It honestly seemed like a dream. (and it still does).
When the kids and Kevin came back, they brought with them pizza, a tradition we started when I was in the hospital with Noah. Actually, if I remember right, Kevin had also gotten pizza when I was in the hospital with either Erik or Hannah as well.
Anyway, we spent the rest of the day just being together as a family. Of course the kids couldn't get enough of Olivia and kept passing her around. At the same time that they were excited for Olivia, they were understandably a bit bummed that we weren't able to do the plans we had for Noah's birthday. There were even some tears shed by a few because they were afraid of disappointing Noah by not visiting him like we had planned. Like I said, it was and still is a bit of an emotional roller coaster. There is just no way to put it into words.
Olivia & I
We decided that Kevin would take them home for them to sleep overnight as we knew they'd sleep better there than in the hospital. They of course didn't want to leave. I felt bad for them. I admit I was teary as they left as I would've loved to have had Kevin and the kids stay as I wasn't really wanting to be alone at that point. But I knew it was best for the kids to get some rest at home. Kevin said when he got home a few of them had a bit of a tough time for a little bit.
When 9:06pm hit, the time Noah was born at exactly a year earlier, there I was sitting in bed holding Olivia. I sat there reminiscing his birth. Who would've thought that a year to the day I'd be sitting in the exact same bed holding his little sister? It was bittersweet for sure. Another totally "God thing" was that the nurse I had for Noah's birth who was my nurse until after he died, was also the nurse I had this night as well. What are the chances she'd be the same nurse on the exact same night a year later? She was a welcome sight, yet another connection to Noah. But once again, having her made it seem like just yesterday Noah was born.
I didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night as Olivia wanted held or fed. I was pretty exhausted by this time as I hadn't slept the night before due to being in labor. After the little bit of sleep I got, I was up again about 5am. When 6:30am came around, the time Noah was pronounced dead, there I sat holding Olivia tightly wrapped in my arms, in the same spot where I had just been the year before. Holding Noah surrounded by Kevin and the kids on the bed as his little heart stopped and he took his last breath. As I sat there watching Olivia, I was amazed at the similarities between her and Noah. She even posed in a way that Noah had that I was able to quick capture on my phones camera. It really makes me wonder what God has in store for her little life by tying hers and Noah's story so close together.
The kids and Kevin didn't come back till close to lunch time as Erik had football practice and wanted Kevin to take him since he was off work and hadn't gotten to see his practice yet. Once they came in, we ordered our "special" meal that the hospital provides for the parents.
(that's sparking juice lol)
I had decided I wanted to head home even though I technically could've stayed there for another day yet. We ended up leaving the hospital about 5pm, the same time we had left the hospital the year before. I admit, I had some tears as I left this time as well. Both tears of joy mixed with sorrow, wishing I had been able to take Noah home like I was taking Olivia. The pain of walking down that hallway exactly a year before with empty arms was still very fresh in my mind. I don't think that is something that ever goes away.
She was not too happy when I first put her in here.
Many people have asked the significance of Olivia's name. We actually chose the name when I was pregnant with Erik over 8 years ago as it was a name we loved and felt that it went along great with our other girls names. When we were pregnant with Noah, if he had been a girl, we again wanted to use the name. So this time, we felt even more of a draw to use the name Olivia because the name was tied into Noah's story. Both because he would've been named this, as well as what else I discovered during my pregnancy as I dug deeper into the meaning of this name. Olivia means olive branch. In the Bible, an olive branch signifies peace. After the great flood, the dove flew to Noah and gave him an olive branch to show him that it was the end of the flood, giving him a sign of peace. Our Olivia is the olive branch from God and even Noah (and her being miraculously born on his birthday is proof of that!) In the world of baby loss, she is also known as a "rainbow baby". Just like Noah in the Bible was given a rainbow after the flood, so were we given our rainbow....