Rachael's (and mine and our family's) good friend Amy is here visiting from Canada. So Amy and I went up to the NICU this morning to see Rachael and Jimmie. They had taken the feeding tube out of his mouth so that Rachael could try breastfeeding without it to see if it would really make a difference. Then the Nurse realized she had forgotten to give him his supplements (iron etc...). So she had Rachael express a little bit of milk into a bottle and they put the iron in that and he tried his first bottle. He sucked it down so fast!! It was really exciting and encouraging to see how well he did with that. After he finished that little bit of milk from the bottle he latched on and breastfed like a champ- which was also very encouraging! It definitely made a BIG difference to have that feeding tube out of the way. The medical staff still seems to think he's too small to try all of his feeding by mouth though. So they put the feeding tube back in and Rachael will continue to breastfeed as much as possible with that thing *in the way* until Jimmie is ready to do all of his feedings by mouth. Pray that Jimmie will be ready very soon! I think he will be! Rachael said the Lactation Consultant has given her some options that really helped nursing him with the tube in his mouth. So that's good for now.
Jimmie's tummy has been much better that last couple of days as well so that's good news.
Justin and his Mom (Kathy) went to their home in Odessa today to clean. Kathy said it was surreal walking in there and seeing Rachael's Christmas stuff still out. When she told me that it just kind of hit me how unbelievable this whole thing has been. Rachael and Justin have been away from home for 3 1/2 months! They are both so strong and are coping so well with everything that has happened, but I imagine there will be a time in the future when they are home and trying to go back to some semblance of normalcy that there will be effects from this. Post traumatic stress or something of that sort. I mean with Jimmie still in the NICU and still not living at home I think they are still in survival mode. I also think the last two years for them- losing Gracie and almost losing Jimmie-- in some sense you are changed forever by stuff like that. Life will never be "back" to normal "so to speak".
They (we) are blessed with amazing family and friends and our Lord! That is what carries us through. Speaking of which Kathy has been doing Rachael and Justin's laundry for 3 months now. What a wonderful labor of love for them. And I've mentioned this before, but Karen (Kathy's sister) has opened up her home to Rachael and Justin ever since Jimmie was born. It has been such a haven for Rachael and Justin to be able to go to for sleep, food, showers etc... I know Rachael and Justin are so grateful.
Another thing I haven't written about yet . . . When Jimmie had his "crash and bleed" God gave us a miracle and we moved mountains! Jimmie's Dr. S. agreed to write and order for my Mom and Dad to do "The Ki Method" on Jimmie. Dr. S wrote it as "touch therapy". At the time nobody other than Rachael and Justin were allowed to touch him, so this was HUGE they got permission to do that. During Jimmie's bad week they worked on him numerous times from 9am to midnight. Now they are still working on him 5 or 6 days a week. Mom and Dad both do a session on him once a day and so does Rachael. Mom goes up in the afternoon and Dad goes late after he's finished working at 10pm or so. I'm sure this Ki method has contributed to Jimmie's unbelievable journey. Rachael and Justin are so thankful for this as well!
And since I'm on a roll with the "thanking" . . We are incredibly grateful to all of you our prayer warriors. They believe so strongly in the power of prayer and this gift you have given them is so amazing!
I'll leave you with some pictures. This is the absolute sweetness/Jimmie that you are all fighting/praying for.
Last night during Dad's Ki session Jimmie reached up and put his hand on his Pa's!
Dad took a shot through the porthole in Jimmie's hood.
These are some great shots that Amy took today!
Notice Jimmie has NO TUBE in his mouth! He still has some tape on his chin though.