Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Today while waiting for me to pick him up for preschool, Tyler was chatting with his teacher.
She told him that he is a "smart cookie."
He responded, "I'm a walking chocolate chip."

Random! :)

Olive today...

It seems my parents should be arriving in Chiang Rai this evening. I'm sure they will be relieved to finally be reunited with Lynette and Rusty, and to meet Olive.

I have continued to be amazed and encouraged by the loving support that has been extended to Lynette, Rusty and Olive. My aunt Kathy has been great about keeping me informed if she finds out anything new...and my dear cousin, Melissa, called me to today to make sure that I had heard the encouraging news about Olive's day today...(I hadn't then, and it's always nice to get a heads up on good news).

Lynette's Facebook post today at 2:27 pm (2:27 am for her):

Another day without much drama...which is exactly what we were needing today. I was able to catch up on being behind with sleep while Rusty, Bethany, and Jan stayed at the hospital with Olive. Rusty was able to hold her for an hour and sing with her.

I came in from 3 pm-1am and had time singing to her, holding her skin to skin, and praying over her.

Our BIG prayer request is that she would have bowel sounds so that they can begin giving her the milk and colostrum that I have been freezing. She has only been on an IV with dextrose and some other electrolytes and is soooo little and skinny. The Dr. says that there are many factors at the moment for why she has to be NPO (nothing by mouth), but the biggest fear is that if we give her nutrition before her gut is ready, she may get necrotizing enterocolitis (

Please pray that little Olive would be free of this complication. Please pray Carrie's prayer over her...that her damaged cells would be reversed and replaced with new healthy cells.

She is also still anemic, hyponatremic, and jaundiced. The Dr finally ordered her to be on eye drops and eye ointment to prevent her eyes from drying since she can't close them on her own.

Libby is spending the night with her at the hospital and my parents will arrive tomorrow morning.

We are so encouraged by the number of people praying for her. The support we feel from each of you has literally been lifting us up when we are at our lowest points. Thank-you.



Here was a little note that encouraged us from Pastor Koemen...

"Our prayer is "O Live!" May the One who formed the eye, the ear, the tongue, continue to form the lungs.

Sunday in Bellevue CRC the text was I Kings 19: 7: The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched hm and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.

So Elijah ate angel food a second time, and in the strength of those two meals of bread and water, he was able to go for 40 days and 40 nights. God has sent his angels. They have human names, like Jan Boyd. They appear in your pictures. They are sustaining you. And they will continue to sustain you because, in truth, the journey is too much for you. What a beautiful thing! So, let them ease your burden and bear the load with you. This is how, sometimes, the hardest and most severe trials are also the places of deepest, richest, most priceless joys and blessings.

In Christ our Healer,

Pastor Koeman and Mrs. Koeman"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today at 2:31 pm

Lynette's Facebook update today:

Dear loved ones,

Yesterday was such a special day. We were both able to spend hours holding little Olive on our chests spending time talking to her and singing over her, We have been overwhelmed by the e-mails, phone calls, facebook messages, and visitors. We are being held up by the prayers of so many we know and love, and also by many who have heard the news who we don't even know personally.

Today has been like each day so far since little Olive Hope has arrived...filled with moments of joy, moments of fear, moments of uncertainty, sadness, hope and thankfulness.

This morning she had an ultrasound done to assess the level of intracranial hemorrhage that she had the other night. There are four levels--one being the least severe with little long term complications and four being the most serious and highest risk of long term complications. Olive had a level four intracranial hemorrhage. The doctors are telling us that if she makes it she will certainly have serious cognitive and motor damage..(mentally handicapped, cerebral palsy...and the list could go on). There is also a high risk of blindness due to the high concentrations of oxygen they have had to keep her on. She is also still anemic so she is getting blood transfusions. And this morning she was very jaundiced so we had to keep her under a photo-therapy light most of the day. Because of her brain damage she is no longer able to blink her little eyes. They remain open ALL the time unless we reach and blink them for her. They only have her on IV so far and say she can't have any breast milk until they hear bowel sounds. My milk has come in, so as of now I have been pumping and storing it in the freezer.

Our hearts are aching for this little one. We are willing and ready to care for a little girl with handicaps if Jesus chooses to give her to us. Part of us is also hoping and longing to see a miracle. Another part of us feels very afraid...of all the unknowns to come. She has had every possible complication and to the most severe level thus far...and yet there is something in me that keeps holding onto some sort of hope. And another part of me that doesn't want her little body to suffer any longer. Thoughts are going and coming in all directions.

We have been asked today if we want them to continue aggressive treatment measures, or if we would like to stop those treatments and simply let her go. Yesterday I thought we were feeling ready to let her go because of how much misery she was going through...and now we have been through two days of holding her and seeing her vital signs increase...and I'm not ready yet to let her go.

All this to say...decision making has felt difficult, but today has been a day when I am going to bed with hope for life for this little one...

And just enough strength to make it through this day by threads. And exhausted.

Jesus has indeed been drawing us closer and closer to Him through this journey...our only place to find any hope in this circumstance.

We can feel your love and support all around us.




I got off the phone with Lynette at 7 am this morning. My heart is breaking for them.

Their holding her skin to skin really helped Olive's vitals, but today she is jaundiced, so she has to be under the lamp. They got some tough news from the doctor's yesterday (during our night). On a scale of 1-4 (4 being the worst), Olive's brain damage from the rough night she had, the same night she had pulmonary hemorrhaging, is a level 4. She can no longer shut her eyes on her own. This is apparently due to pressure.They have to help her "blink." The hospital staff put gauze over her eyes, but when Lynette peeks, her eyes are still open. Lynette was crying as she explained this, her heart breaking for Olive.

The doctors were asking Lynette and Rusty how aggressive they want to be with treatment, which is a decision I can't imagine making. Lynette said the one doctor kept repeating that if she lives, she will be handicapped. They wish they could know how things will turn out. If she is going to be handicapped, so be it, they will continue aggressive treatment. If the treatment will ultimately be ineffective, she doesn't want to prolong her suffering. It's such a tough place to be and a tough decision to make. For now, they are continuing treatment, hoping & praying for a miracle, and preparing for the worst.

Thank you, Carrie, for your prayer for Olive. I find it moving, so full of love.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I've continued to follow this blog for regular updates on what is going on.

I also "borrowed" some photos from Lynette's facebook page. Here is Lynette, Ghan, and baby Olive.

Every time I see this picture, I just can't help but cry. I see a mother's deep love for her baby.

I love this sweet picture of little Olive.

Rusty and Lynette have both talked about the great support and love they have experienced.

Rusty's Facebook post at 09/28/09

2:30ish pm:

Made it thru another day. Lynette and I are headed to bed. Very hard to leave Olive. Bethany (our dear friend) gets here in the Morning. Norm and Carol (Lynette's folks) en route as we speak. Lynette and I just sat and read all your comments! You ...have no idea how much your support helps us! Thank you!

8:45 pm:

Olive made it through the night! Libby our dear friend took her through the night. Libby and Jan giving her skin to skin, praying and singing over her! Please pray as we meet with doctors today to understand what is going on in her brain. God touch her. Keep fighting Olive! And thanks to everyone fighting with us!

9:15 pm
I am overwhelmed by all of your prayers, love, and support. I wish I could respond more individually, but all of my time is either with her or trying to sleep. So grateful and thankful to have such an amazing group of friends and family holding us up right now.

I was chatting with Rusty tonight. He said,
"They are no longer trying to limit our time with her. We can be with her 24 hours. We are trying to always have her on skin to skin so we can sing with her and pray with her, and keep an extra eye on the monitors for the nurses."

Sorry about my random font in this post. I did a lot of copying and pasting from Facebook.

Mom and Dad were scheduled to leave yesterday at 6:30 am for Thailand. When they arrived at the airport, they were informed that Thailand would not allow them into the country unless their passports had at least six months before expiring - theirs expire in February, 2010. They had to stay overnight, and were able to get the passports they needed late this afternoon. They were able to get on a 6:30 pm flight out of Chicago tonight. I'm glad they're (finally) on their way.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Thanks to Rusty's sister, Stacia, I got my first peek at little Olive...


On Facebook, Lynette linked to this blog, which is doing a great job of updating what is going on. My heart is so heavy for Rusty and Lynette and little Olive.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update on Lynette and Baby Girl

I just got to talk to Lynette. It was so good to hear her voice. As I expressed my worries about her being alone, and feeling so bad that she is so far away - she reassured me that she has had a lot of friends there taking good care of her. She is doing well, other than not being able to get a lot of sleep yet. Lynette expects to be released tomorrow.

The baby (girl) weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces. She is in another hospital 10 minutes away from the hospital Lynette is at. It is the government hospital and they have a very strict [grrrr] visitation policy. She is only supposed to have 3 30-minute visits a day. Lynette was able to visit her twice today, but has been told she can come more often than that from now on. The first 72 hours are critical in predicting how she will do. She has a hole in her heart and obviously her lungs are not developed. And, of course, there are risks of other complications. During her awake period, she looks uncomfortable. Lynette said that it's hard to describe what she looks like - maybe like Lynette - but she just "doesn't look like she was ready to be born." Lynette will meet with the baby's doctor tomorrow morning for the first time. Lynette has had some frustrations with this doctor, but she is supposed to be good at what she does.

Mom and Dad fly out tomorrow to spend a week with Lynette and Rusty. Rusty should get there tomorrow. That's about all I know for now...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Please pray

My "little" sister, Lynette, and her husband, Rusty, live in Thailand. I got a call at work today that she just had her baby. I would guess she was about 29 weeks along. Rusty is in Chicago - he came back for a couple of friends' weddings, so he was not able to be with her - and from what I gather, that's tearing him up. They're talking about air lifting the baby to Bangkok. I'm worried sick for her and the baby, and I feel so helpless. I just can't stop crying for them. Please pray.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Regifting Robin

Someone forwarded me this link at work.

It's pretty amazing, and I am stumped as to how it works. If you figure it out, please let me know!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

short (random) update

Yesterday was a busy day between a dentist appointment, taking my car to the mechanic, work, etc. A highlight of my day was my 22-week doctor's appointment. My doctor assured me that we are having a girl. Apparently I had read a little too much (doubt) into the wording the tech used when she told us, "looks like a sissy." I've been feeling the baby move for awhile now, but in the past couple of weeks, I've really enjoyed feeling more definite movement. This week, she has been waking me in the 4 or 5 o'clock hour with all that moving around.

Yesterday, we also enjoyed Ted and Sue coming down to spend the evening with us. They started the evening by meeting Tyler at preschool. They got to meet the director, teacher and got a tour of his room. We enjoy hearing what he remembers from his day, which always includes the snack, and seeing what piece of artwork he has completed. Tyler continues to love going to preschool, which has been wonderful. It sure makes it fun to send him, instead of anxiety provoking!
Tyler has really enjoyed playing with two neighbor sisters, Baeleigh (8)and Braden (11)lately. Today, I was working on the yard, then cleaning the house. I kept catching Tyler standing in our yard or on the porch gazing longingly toward their house. He said several times that he hoped they would notice him, but they hadn't yet. I urged him to yell to them or go over and ask them to play, but he was too shy. So, when they came over to ask him to play, he jumped at the chance.

We've had a nice start to our holiday weekend.