My sister, Olivia, gave birth to her third baby yesterday. Much like when every baby has been born into our family, my thoughts are happy and grateful. This baby brings with him an extra measure of gratitude though. He’s something of a miracle.
Olivia’s had pre-eclampsia with her two previous pregnancies. Her other babies were born very early…26 and 29 weeks (I think, my memory’s hazy). Her daughter weighed just over 2 pounds and her son was just under 2 pounds at birth. Also, Olivia’s heath was in grave danger both times, with things happening like her organs shutting down.
Her doctors told her she should not have any more children.
Silly doctors, they don’t know my strong willed sister. They don’t know that the best way to guarantee that she will do something is to tell her that she cannot.
I can’t succinctly characterize Olivia for you. She’s one of a kind. Perhaps this will illustrate her personality a little: from the time she was about 6 and could write, she’s written daily in a journal and read her scriptures. Because at some point she was taught that was important. It did not matter how late it was or how much trouble she would get into for having her light still on when she was supposed to be asleep, she persisted. I remember so many nights of my dad, the disciplinarian who scared me into submission with just a look, telling her to GO TO SLEEP and she would defiantly say, “I’m reading my SCRIPTURES. Don’t you WANT me to read my SCRIPTURES?” What could my dad say? Not a lot. Which was true pretty much her whole childhood. Once when she was fighting with our brother Enoch, my dad cautioned her that she should be careful, someday he would be bigger. Olivia said, “He will NEVER be meaner.” Enoch didn’t stop growing until he was 6’8” tall and I don’t think he ever did get any meaner so they were both right. She’s also the sister that sent me two folded twenty-dollar bills in the mail days after Adam lost his job. She was still in college and I know she didn’t have extra money. She really does what she wants though.
Even when it means having more children at personal risk.
Olivia, prayerful and wise, decided that she would have more children. She found a doctor, a high-risk specialist, who thought she could successfully have another baby and that was that.
I was worried. I didn’t want her to try. It was too risky and I love her too much. Finally I decided that I had to have faith in my sweet sister, in her beloved Dr. Draper and in her answered prayers. I started my own prayers on her behalf.
She was due towards the end of September and her goal was to make it to August. If she could stay pregnant until August, everything would be OK. August came. And went. At 37 weeks, on September 9, she gave birth to a 6 pound 14 ounce son who is healthy and according to her, huge. He can do all sorts of things like breathe on his own and eat without a feeding tube. He is a little miracle and further proof that prayers are answered.
I can’t wait to meet him.