Jimmie weighs 3 pounds 3 ounces today! He's also had a sleepy day so maybe he's growing. The last few days he's really been gaining.
Rachael really loves nursing him and she and Jimmie make improvements every time. We are talking drops though. Rachael makes sure she is fairly empty before they start so she will not overwhelm him. He is still so tiny that it wears him out rather quickly to suck and swallow, but he is so strong for his size and doing really well. It is logistically quite a challenge to breastfeed a baby in the NICU. For 1- there is no where for Mom to sleep and when baby should be fed every 3 hours well-- that becomes pretty impossible. And 2- it is harder to keep track of how much the baby is getting and that is very important with these little ones. And 3- bottle feeding is less work for the baby. (the milk comes out of a bottle quicker and easier) For these reasons most mothers do not choose to breastfeed. However Rachael really really wants to. I'm so rooting for her in this and know you all will too. Hopefully Jimmie will be one of those kids that will switch back and forth between the bottle and the breast as needed. So far he is really doing well at the breast and Rachael is encouraged and excited to continue.
One thing Rachael brought up today is that the oxygen hood Jimmie is in is starting to get old! It's awkward to work around. It makes it hard to get to him and it's starting to get crowded when Jimmie tries to get his hands up into his mouth. He is not far from 21% oxygen which is room air so Rachael wants us to start praying that Jimmie can be weaned from the oxygen completely! This would be so awesome!
A cannula with the prongs cut off may be an option, but Rach really doesn't want any air blowing right into his nose just in case that were to irritate it again. We want to keep his nasal passages safe at all costs. Rachael is putting a sign up on his isolette to not put ANYTHING in his nose. It is in his charts, but it is such a normal thing to put cannulas and feeding tubes and suctioning instruments in preemie's noses that it could easily get forgotten. I know that has almost happened at least once since Jimmie's "crash and bleed".
Hi- I'm Jimmie, I'm awesome. Please don't put anything in my nose. Thank you! (-:
The big news today is that Rachael spoke with Dr. Watts- the Doctor who delivered Jimmie and he reported that the pathology on Jimmie's placental tissue did show signs of an infection! He called it "chorioamnionitis". He said it would be termed a mild case, but that is most definitely why Rachael went into labor on Feb. 11th and had Jimmie. As far as whether or not this infection caused everything to begin with? That we will never know. It's that chicken or egg scenario. Did she start to dilate and then get the infection? Or did the infection come first and then dilation? She will be meeting with one of the Perinatologists to discuss future pregnancies. More than likely a preventative cerclage will be the recommendation. We'll see . . . I'll update you after Rachael has that meeting.
This news is sobering, but I think a relief for Rachael. At least having answers as to why she suddenly went into labor after a month of bedrest. She was so devastated that day, but now we know that her body responding to that infection as quickly as it did by birthing Jimmie very possibly worked out to save his life. Sometimes that type of infection can fester until it becomes severe and this is life threatening for both Mom and baby. I read this today, "A strong association is observed between very preterm infants dying when younger than 24 hours and chorioamnionitis."
So Lord- thank you! Thank you for your mercy and for your presence in Rachael. Thank you that Jimmie has thrived and is so strong. Thank you that You were there that dark night when Rachael gave birth to Jimmie and thank you for being our light.
When I think about how close we were to losing Jimmie in so many ways since that night at 20 1/2 weeks I can't help but cry. There have been many dark nights, but His light has always been shining bright for us to see. Like a beacon in a stormy sea. The words that have sustained us through this after all were Jesus' words to the storm, "Peace be still!"
I thank you all for your words of prayer and encouragement through this. Thank you for continuing to be our warriors!