Okay everybody this is long and a lot of information. Hopefully once we are all educated and up to speed on everything Jimmie will be going through the posts will be less overwhelming.
Jimmie’s Respiratory Therapist (and everyone else) is very impressed with his lungs. Really the main reason he’s on the ventilator is because his chest muscles are not quite strong enough to work his lungs. But they have been continuing to adjust his ventilator settings in a good direction! Jimmie is taking more and more breaths on his own and is mostly on room air. What a fighter! I know everything we did medical (steroids) natural (TKM) and spiritual (prayer) has contributed to this miracle. He did have a small set back today- his blood gases (amount of oxygen in his blood) came back low so they’ve given him some oxygen and x-rayed his chest to see if the ventilator had maybe slipped and wasn’t in a great position. I haven’t heard an update on that, but we are hoping that’s all it is. They told Rachael if he wasn’t so tiny he’d probably be on cpap (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) now instead of the vent. He’s just still too small for the nasal cannula that goes with that machine.
Jimmie’s lungs look great and clear on the x-rays so we know this infection he is fighting is not in his lungs. The second white blood cell count they did on him came back even higher than the first one. So it is clear that there is infection somewhere. They are culturing his blood and doing testing on the placental and amniotic tissue to see if they can find more signs of infection. From what I understand if they can get some answers from these things they may be able to treat him more specifically and effectively. He is on antibiotics. It is quite possible that this infection was the reason she went into labor on Wednesday. And despite our desperation for Jimmie to stay inside of momma it may very well be that he is better off outside then in. Rachael’s body delivering him may have saved his life. This is conjecture at this point. But it hits me that what may seem like a bad thing may not be and that we can praise and trust God even when we don’t understand.
Please pray very hard that Jimmie’s body can fight off this infection and become healthy. And pray for the amazing nurses and doctors in the NICU as they take care of little Jimmie. And they truly are amazing. My mom has been spending a lot of time in NICU with Jimmie whenever Rachael and Justin need a break. She said that yesterday Jimmie’s nurse never sat down. She worked over him with focus and concentration the whole time. And whenever she did leave it was 30 minutes for lunch and a 15 minute break later. She would tell my mom, “Now I’m going to be gone for 15 minutes, but I’ll be right back and everybody else here will be watching him and his monitors closely.” Mom said that the magnitude of things they are doing to him and for him is really hard to keep up with. I’m sure we will learn, but right now what the doctors and nurses know is so much more than us that it’s hard to write details and I’m sure what I’m communicating here is a very simple and small picture.
Jimmie is under a light right now to break down his bilirubin (jaundice). This will help his liver function as it should. He is so small and premature that his eyes are still fused shut, but they are protecting them from the light with a little black mask. Mom says he looks like a little bandit or raccoon. (-: (I wrote this earlier and just found out he is already off the light. His bilirubin levels are better!)
Rachael is pumping her breast milk and this morning they heard bowel sounds so Jimmie got his first little bit of breast milk (colostrum) in a feeding tube that goes down his throat.
They are going to do some sort of scan on his brain today. One of the dangers of being this premature is brain bleeds and stroke. I hate talking about this, but it all has to be faced and prayed for. I believe after three days the risk goes down and then it continues to go down in increments- 2 to 4 weeks and then 4 to 6 weeks. Pray that his brain stays safe and healthy!
One other thing they are doing some tests to determine about a PDA (Patent ductus arteriosus)valve in the heart that doesn’t close on it’s own in preemies. It’s extremely common almost expected. They would try to give him an ibuprofen like drug to shrink the blood vessels so that it closes, but this does carry risks as all of his blood vessels would shrink a bit and could cause a few setbacks. But the only other alternative and their last resort is surgery. They said it’s very rare that this PDA valve is not an issue. Lets pray that Jimmie is very rare and this valve closes on it’s own.
The dangers to Jimmie are overwhelming and the seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated. Jimmie’s nurse asked Rachael yesterday when her due date was and Rachael told her end of May. Then the nurse said, “May will be a wonderful time to bring a baby home!” This was such a encouraging thing for Rachael to hear. This is very scary and she and Justin need hope for a miraculous outcome.
We are so grateful for your prayers! All things considered Jimmie is doing well and is a fighter. Praise God!!! We will all keep believing in miracles for this little boy.
P.S. Jimmie is 12 inches long.