Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jimmie's Birthday

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,


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this picture of how yesterday transpired. We are praying, praying, praying -- and TRUSTING!! Blessings to the whole family~

  2. We have been praying alot!
    And we will keep praying- and believing for
    Jimmie- and for Rachel!

  3. Be brave, Rachael! Take courage! (Acts 23:11)God loves you and He goes before you into this battle. Our God is faithful and He will leave Jimmie. We will be alongside of your family in unceasing prayer for Jimmie as long as the battle lasts.

    You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created Jimmie, and by Your will he was created and has his being. Revelation 4:11

    Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Psalm 95:6-7

    You will keep in perfect peace Rachael whose mind is steadfast, bacause she trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

    With so much love,
    Jennifer and Hannah

  4. My heart is with all of you. Let me know what I can do to help. You all are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love you,
    Aunt Leanne

  5. I am so glad that they are letting Rachael and Justin touch him. That's wonderful. I love all of you guys, and wish I could be there to hug you and cry with you through all of this. You are in my thoughts and prayers always.

  6. Here in India, we are a day ahead of you, so every morning the first thing I do is login to this site to check on the status..each time praying and hoping for good news.

    my thoughts and prayers with the family

  7. I am and will continue in prayer. I even woke in the middle of the night and found myself praying for all of you.
    I too was born early (6 weeks) and had a line in my belly. I was also born after my mom had 3 miscarriages (at 3,4 and 5 months) between me and my older brother. When I was born they said I would not make it. I almost died many times. I was later diagnoised with CP and told I would never walk but now you just know me as your dancer friend have HOPE our God is most certainly a God of miracles. He is so capable of keeping little Jimmie safe. Your families testimony of Faith in this most difficult season has been so powerful. I know it has probably be so difficult but know Christ is shining through you. You are such a blessing. WE LOVE YOU, Anita

  8. We are continuing to pray for your precious boy!

    Denny & Erin Sheafer

  9. I will pray continuously for little Jimmie (I love the name), Rachel and Justin. I trust God will guide you all.


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  11. (sorry --had a big typo)

    I was praying all last night during church, and I found out why when I got home. This morning I keep thinking "I will praise you in the storm" and repeating it to myself over and over (and singing and listening to the Casting Crowns song). He holds our tears! He knows even when we don't understand.

    We love you so much, Rachael, and we will continue to pray fervently for you and Jimmie, the doctors and nurses, and all of your family.

    The Tandys

  12. Praise God for bringing Jimmie into your loving arms! He has a plan that we cannot see but your trust is awe-inspring, all of you! We will pray without ceasing for peace and serenity for Justin and Rachael and for continued strength for little Jimmie! Also for all the grands, and rest of family.

    Love you so much!

    The Micheal family

  13. Welcome to the world little Jimmie! You were born into a strong and loving family. You have the strenght of your mother, I am sure you will be a survior! You are surrounded by prayers and love, I know you will want to stay with your mom and dad. Keep fighting slugger!

    Kathy Barnes (friend of Kathy & Rod Gravitt)

  14. Rachael and Justin- we will continue to pray for your families and of course your sweet Jimmie. It sounds like he is already a fighter! Liam says prayers for baby Jimmie at night as well, they say prayers from children are heard the loudest : ) Be strong and hopeful!
    Much Love-
    Amber, Guy, Liam and Ella

  15. I just wanted yall to know that i have been keeping up with this blog, and i am praying for baby jimmie! I know how devastating it is what everyone is going through.. but from the grace of god, jimmie was given those 2 more weeks till he was viable! God works miracles, and i hope that they all can stay strong for baby jimmie :)

  16. I don't know you, but I am praying and believing that God will indeed work a miracle for this little boy and your family. I praise God that you are able to rest in Him. He won't take His eyes off any of you for even a single second!!!

    Believing Him ~

  17. You're in my prayers! I beleieve God is going to work a miricle in Jimmie and I pray that He will strenghthen you and your family in this time of need.
    Much Love and Prayers,

  18. I just stumbled across this post on the TCOYF website and read this blog. I don't know any of you, but I am in such a similar stage (preterm labor at 21 weeks, am now in my 25th week and my cervix is shortening) and I am finding so much hope in this story! Thank you for making it accessible to everyone, even people you don't know. The courage, strength and trust in God is encouraging and I am so praying for little Jimmie and for Rachael and the whole family!

  19. Happy Birthday to Jimmie! He sounds like a beautiful strong boy. God keep him strong and be with his caregivers until his parents may take him home!

    The Salmonds (Lily, ballet 1)

  20. I am a friend of Janelle's and we are praying. my husband is a minister and we are the parents of soon to be 8 children.....i am following this blog and we will pray. I promise you that. GOd bless.

  21. Hi Rachel...
    "Commit your way to the Lord (roll and repose each care of your load on Him); trust(lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass."
    Little Jimmie was a fighter within the womb and with God he will continue to be a fighter in this world. Just have faith that God bought you to it and he will most certiantly bring you through it. God did not bring you three thus far to let you down. I will continue to pray with you!

    Be Blessed
    Kasiha (Coworker of Kathy)

  22. i am praying for your little jimmie rachael. the lord has truly blessed him.

    with every hope and prayer,
    hannah ostrander

  23. What a little miracle. I am so glad that he continues to do well!