Rachael had been having a worrisome increase in cramping and contractions the past few days. In retrospect it was obviously the beginning of the end. After having painful contractions in the night they started back up around 12:00 noon yesterday every five minutes and never stopped. Despite what they said about not giving her drugs because of her blood pressure-- they ended up dumping as much Magnesium Sulfate into her as they do anybody. Her blood pressure remained stable. They started her back on the indomethacin, antibiotics, they put a catheter in so she wouldn’t have to get up. They did everything they could possibly do to stop her labor. When it became clear nothing was working they moved her to labor and delivery and when she started bleeding they cut the stitch out. After the stitch came out she was immediately dilated to 10 cent.
Mom (Andrea) and Justin were standing next to her and dad (Jay) Cathy (Justin’s mom) and I stood back in a corner. There were probably 8 to 10 medical staff present in the room half or more were for Jimmie. He came out in 3 pushes at 7:58 pm. His bag of water didn’t break until he was almost all the way out. So he was almost born in his bag of water. The doctor that delivered him was wonderful. He told Rachael I know part of you does not want to push and that you are scared, but this is inevitable and the best thing now is for him to be born. Rachael did not have any pain medication, had very painful back labor the whole time, but handled it all very well. Something we found frustrating was her contractions rarely showed on the monitors. She was in full on hard core labor and we were keeping track of the contractions with a piece of paper and a pencil for the doctors. We were praying until near the very end for it to stop, but when they had to cut the stitch. We knew we had to change our mindset and our prayers.
Jimmie made noises when he came out that sounded like a little baby kitten. His APGAR scores were 7 and 8. Term babies are usually like 8 and 9. APGAR stands for - Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration. It seemed like it took a long time to get him intubated. Justin said it looked like they may have tried twice before they were successful. I’m sure that it is very difficult with such a tiny airway. Jimmie would make a tiny little cry every once in a while which was both heartbreaking and reassuring. There were a lot of tears and prayers from all of us (family) in the room.
He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces. He is so incredibly tiny -- to see him is shocking and extremely overwhelming. He’s perfectly formed and beautiful. He is about the same size as his Angel sister Gracie Anne and his face definitely resembles hers. They brought him over to Rachael and she held him in her hands briefly, told him that she loved him and kissed him on the forehead before they took him to the NICU.
Last night they x-rayed his chest-- I don’t know their thoughts on those results. They performed a small surgical procedure and put a pic line in his umbilical chord/belly button. I believe this is their line in for meds. He was on 28% oxygen and on a ventilator that is breathing for him. They did some blood work and said his white blood cell count was high so they are putting him on antibiotics. This is distressing to us, but they said it’s not uncommon with preemies.
This morning- all I know is that he is now on room air and that they’ve adjusted the ventilator settings and he is taking some breaths on his own. Rachael can stick her hand into his isolette and hold his hand for 15 minutes at a time and then they have to shut him back in so he can maintain his body temperature.
The NICU has of course hit Rachael and Justin with the dangers of such a premature birth (we understand they have to do this)-- worse case scenarios that I do not feel like typing or talking about. We know of many good stories and outcomes and are believing in miracles for this little boy. Please just pray for him to stay strong and healthy in his entire body. This is going to be a very long road and we have been warned it’ll have many up’s and downs. They have told us to expect him to be there at least until his due date. (May 28th)
Now as to how Rachael is doing? I believe this will answer how Justin and the rest of us are doing as well. It is really hard for me to communicate but I’ll try and hopefully it’ll be close to the truth/reality. She is absolutely devastated and grateful. Yesterday was one of the worst and best days of her life. We were all hoping and believing for so much more time for baby Jimmie and it all happened so fast I think there is some shock. She is scared and hopeful. Most of all just completely overwhelmed beyond words. Many many tears . . . We don’t understand why this has happened to them. After what happened with their firstborn the pain is really intense about again not having the birth experience for your child that you hoped, prayed and dreamed for. We trust God though. We trust him to be with us in our pain and our joy. We are so grateful that she had the month that she did. We realize this could have happened 4 even 2 weeks ago and he wouldn’t have had the fighting chance that he has. And for that we praise God for helping her get this far.
I will now be using this blog for Jimmie and I will post daily updates for prayers for him. And as I said before my hope and prayer is that this will detail his beautiful journey to health. We thank you all so much for being our warriors.
Rachael begs that everyone please pray without ceasing for their precious little Jimmie. Pray for Rachael and Justin too-- they will need grace and strength to fight this new fight.
In Him. Love,