Earlier this week we shared that Olivia went on a few big adventures last weekend, making her way outside for the very first time! We visited the gardens, picked some flowers, and went for a few long strolls. We walked and talked and sat on the benches as a family, and obviously took countless pictures and videos to capture our trips.
Overall, we’re telling ourselves that Olivia loved it, seeing the trees and the sun and the blue sky. Feeling the warmth of the sun and the wind on her face. She kind of hated the wind, and cried every time we went over big bumps, but all in all she enjoy it.
In recent weeks, Luke and I have been having more and more conversations about Olivia’s fate. What will her life look like? How long will she be with us? Will she come home?
The possibility that she may pass away before ever leaving the NICU – no matter how unbearably sad that is for us to imagine – is real. And no matter how many times I’ve been encouraged not to get ahead of myself… not to think about outcomes yet… to stay in the here and now… I can’t. I don’t.
Ultimately, I go there. Usually multiple times a day.
I think about things like how she may never feel the fresh air, or feel the sun. I think about how she might never enter our home, never spend a night at home with Mom and Dad. She may never wear a Halloween costume, or see Santa. I think about all the friends and family members she may never meet. The places she won’t be able to visit with us.
Some things I think about are silly, like Halloween costumes and Santa. Some are sad, like meeting family members, and visiting places that are special to us.
Others are just downright innocent: the warmth of the sun, the feeling of sand beneath your toes at the beach, the way the air starts to smell differently in the fall.
And while not every innocent thing can be bottled up and brought to Olivia, some certainly can. So I’ve decided to do just that. Even if it means sneaking things in and breaking NICU rules. Dr. V – if you’re reading this, no fair telling on us!