The stunning Olivia Hollier, Audrey (3) and Victor (1).
Olivia's motherhood journey began shortly before she and her husband had anticipated but they were happy to become parents. Her pregnancy went very well and she prepared to deliver in their military hospital. Olivia is an only child and even though her parents divorced when she was two, they maintained a close friendship and she is very close with them both. She was living on base in Tennessee while her parents were in Florida and had a difficult time being in a different city than her mom throughout her pregnancy but when she went into labor, her parents hoped in the car together and immediately drove to her. Her labor progressed rather quickly and her husband was there to support her and her parents arrived just 20 minutes after Audrey arrived, she says that everything was perfect.
As Olivia prepared for Audrey's first birthday they decided to celebrate in Florida with their family. She was struggling to juggle everything on her own but was trying to keep it all together and was greatly looking forward to visiting with family. Just a few weeks before they were scheduled to head down, Olivia got a call that her mom had hit her head and was in the hospital due to infection. Her mother was a nurse and though she needed a PICC line to deliver the antibiotics needed to treat her infection was discharged to treat herself at home. Things were going well and her mother was able to return to work but she developed a blood clot and passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly in her home and was found by a neighbor. Olivia got the call and was devastated. She returned home and planned and held her mothers celebration of life in tandem with her daughters birthday.
Olivia's father was a three time Non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor and her mother, as his friend and a nurse, had taken care of him through it all. While he was now healthy, fit and active, Olivia felt as if she had to step in and fill her mothers shoes. She now needed to learn how to mother without her mother and be there for her dad. Olivia's husband had been awaiting his military discharge so they could move home and it finally came in just after they returned from her mothers service.
Olivia got pregnant with Victor soon after but didn't ever really have a chance to focus on her pregnancy. Her dad went for a check on his cancer and got the all clear but soon after learned that as a side effect from all of the chemo and radiation he had developed leukemia. Olivia focused on his care and was certain that he'd pull through just as he'd done before. She visited her father in the hospital on the cancer ward even though the nurses told he she shouldn't be there but his health declined quickly and just before Victor was born, he passed away.
In just over a year, Olivia had unexpectedly lost both of her parents and struggled with finding her own place. She prepared to give birth to her son in a private hospital but they didn't have much help. As labor began, they decided to have a friend take Audrey which caused a lot of stress for Olivia as she had never been away from her. When they got to the hospital things weren't progressing very quickly and they decided to get some sleep so her husband left to bring Audrey home for the night and they gave Olivia Ambien to help her sleep. Soon after her contractions ramped up so her body was unable to rest and because she couldn't sleep, Olivia began hallucinating. She called a friend to come be with her but was very unaware of what was happening and couldn't make sense of anything. She hallucinated through her entire labor and the Ambien didn't begin wearing off until she nearly ready to push. She had consented to an epidural she hadn't wanted while in her haze and though Victor was born healthily and without complication the entire experience was very bizarre and not at all what Olivia had needed after already being in a heightened emotional state.
After Victor was born, Olivia's husband returned home with her daughter and she felt very alone. The private hospital seemed to have been set up for people who had a lot of visitors and support and because she didn't she felt very stuck. She was left in the labor and delivery room all day alone with her baby. She bled through her pads and her clothes and her bed sheets and no ever did more than peak their head in the room. One nurse told her that they didn't have a nursery but that if she really couldn't handle it they could take her baby to the nurses station, however the tone in which this was said felt very judgmental and shaming and so Olivia stuck it out on her own even though she was exhausted. They finally moved her to the mom and baby unit in the evening and at that point all she wanted was to go home. She was able to have an early discharge only to get home and realize her daughter had come down with a virus and was running a high fever. Olivia quarantined herself and Victor for a week but he still got sick. She wishes that there had been more support postpartum and that having
Olivia says that there is some beauty in her children coming in such close relation to her parents passing, however, she is still deeply grieving their loss. Coming into her own as parent without them has had it's positive aspects but it's never what she imagined her life would hold at this stage.
Body image has been a struggle for Olivia in a roundabout way. Her mother always complimented her beauty but never her own. She was told she was beautiful but watched her mother wish that she was too. She wants her children to grow seeing her lead as an example of how to love yourself while also hearing her tell them how beautiful, strong, and worthy they are.