Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Healthy Boy

Dr. S. Jimmie's pediatrician looked Jimmie over today and listened to Rachael intently. The great news is he found nothing wrong. He was very encouraging and complementary of Rachael. He assured her that she did the right thing by bringing him in. He reiterated it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Basically we'll probably never know for sure why Jimmie had such a bad time during his feedings the last few days. And it may happen off and on, but as long as he's gaining weight and having a good amount of wet diapers Rachael will try not to worry. It's quite possible Jimmie may just be starting a "fussy baby" phase. She's cutting dairy and chocolate from her diet just in case something in her milk has been bugging him. I think it could have been the antibiotics Rachael was taking for her mastitis.

Anyway Jimmie is healthy and totally adorable! Rach brought him over after his appointment and they hung out at my house this afternoon. Then Jimmie took his first stroller ride down to moms.







I am so happy to report that Jimmie has eaten well since yesterday!

Thank you so much for your love and prayers!

Love,
Amber

Monday, June 29, 2009

Post Traumatic Stress And Anxiety

Jimmie is doing pretty well with his feedings today!! Praise God. Rachael went to work and he took 2 bottles from Justin and did great. A little earlier this evening he nursed and did pretty good as well.

Rachael talked to Jimmie's Pedi today and he said because Jimmie was still having good wet diapers he really wasn't too concerned yet. They did make an appointment to look Jimmie over tomorrow to make sure he is not sick. Jimmie is not really throwing up much so it's unlikely that it is really bad reflux. Sometimes babies just do these things and we never really no for sure.

I think poor Rachael has been through so much in the last two years losing Gracie and almost losing Jimmie, then going through everything with Jimmie in the NICU- it's just really hard for her to have perspective sometimes. Understandably she has some post traumatic stress and anxiety. She knows it and is efforting to change her mindset and her outlook. It's also hard because they basically drilled it into her head in the NICU to take everything very seriously. One Doctor even told Rachael a story of a preemie that went home and got sick and the mom waited a few days before taking the child in and the baby ended up dying. The Doctor told Rach this to drive home the importance of keeping Jimmie healthy and reacting immediately to any concern. She has all of these horrible stories and worse case scenarios in her mind. The medical professionals pretty much have to do this, but it's really taken it's toll on Rachael.

Please keep little Jimmie in your prayers that he will not have reflux and that he can settle down and eat peacefully and comfortably. And pray for Rachael to have the mind of God!

I will definitely update tomorrow after Jimmie's appointment with his Doctor.

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words and prayers!

Love,
Amber

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Still Struggling

Jimmie is still struggling when he eats. There are times when he finally settles down and does okay but it is a huge, long and stressful ordeal. And he's not even really doing any better with the bottles at this point. So Rachael is pretty concerned. She'll be calling the Pedi tomorrow and maybe she'll take him in. At this point we are just going to need to rule some things out. Ear infection and reflux being the 2 more common things that come to mind.

Please pray for Rachael too. It is so hard for her after all Jimmie has been through, to not immediately go to the worst possible scenarios in her mind. There is unfortunately precedent for micro-preemies to suddenly stop eating or to have severe reflux etc.. that cause long term issues that are very overwhelming. I think these worse case scenarios are at the forefront of Rachael's mind and it's really hard.

Please pray for Rachael to have no fear and a sound mind. Pray for she and Justin and Jimmie's Doctor to have wisdom and discernment in this matter, and that little Jimmie can get back to good, productive eating sessions with his mommy. He is still so tiny. He is a month old today -adjusted age-- and just 7 lbs 1 oz. He really needs to continue eating well to thrive!

Thank you for fighting for Rachael, Justin and Jimmie!

Love,
Amber

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Prayers Needed For Jimmie

Jimmie needs prayers. Starting Thursday he stopped breast feeding well. He will suck for a few minutes and then pull off and fuss and squirm. He never settles down and really eats well. Rachael is starting to really worry this morning as it is now the 3rd day this has been happening. She has tried different positions, nipple shield, no nipple shield. Justin has given him a couple of bottles which he has taken better than the breast. At least that's an option, but this is just not like Jimmie at all!

The first thing that comes to mind is obviously that maybe her milk tastes weird because of the mastitis and the antibiotics that she's on. But the bottles Justin gave him were from breast milk Rachael had just pumped. Although they did add a probiotic to it. Anyway this is concerning because Jimmie's biggest problem from his prematurity right now is his low weight and small size. He really needs to be eating well.

Rachael did weigh him yesterday like she always does on Fridays. He weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce. Again right at about the lowest gain that the Doctors are comfortable with. It works out to be about 18 grams a day.

Rachael is going to call the pediatrician today to ask if they have any suggestions or opinions. If any of you have any wisdom please feel free to comment!

Lord- please help little Jimmie to nurse well and help his body to thrive on Rachael's milk.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

Love,
Amber

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Supermom Strikes Again

Rachael is still feeling pretty nasty. She is still running low grade fevers, experiencing body aches and burning eyes, having a constant ache in her breast with occasional shooting pains and is often nauseated. Justin's mom Kathy left work at noon yesterday and she and her mom- Grandma Paula went out to Odessa to help Rachael with Jimmie while Justin was on his 24 hour shift. I'm sure if Jimmie could understand he would be sad that his mommy is not feeling well, but all he knows is that someone has been holding him for 3 days straight! (-: He has been loving it! My mom went out to Odessa yesterday evening to work on (TKM energy work) Rachael some more to try to help her get over this faster.

Tuesday night as Rachael and Justin prepared to leave Rod and Kathy's Jimmie nursed and ate A LOT! Rachael said probably about 5 ounces. He was so full she decided to wait a while before they put him in his seat and made the trip home. She didn't want him to puke in the car. So they stayed until almost 9pm. That is usually his fussy awake time and this night was no exception. Well except that Grandma Kathy walked him around for an hour and a half to keep him happy. Rachael said he stayed awake for the entire trip home as well. He was a bit fussy in the car, but was able to be distracted and entertained by one of his little toy rattles. These little normal things mean a lot to Rachael. She was happy that he was seeing, interacting and interested in his toy enough that it kept him from fussing. This is a good indication that he is developing neurologically in a normal way.

Yesterday was a scheduled phone conversation with Jimmie's Neonatologist Dr. L. Rachael talked to his nurse and they discussed the status of Jimmie's oxygen and his sat levels. Rachael relayed how she had been taking Jimmie's sat levels over a period of hours and averaging the numbers and she also reported Jimmie had gained 4 1/2 ounces last week. The nurse relayed all of the details to the doctor and called Rachael back and reported that the Neonatologist was very impressed with Rachael's thoroughness and intelligence in this situation. I laughed when Rach told me that. She said, "I guess the doctor was really surprised and impressed with everything I relayed." I'm just thinking, "DUH-- Dr. L- do you not remember Rachael in the NICU? She was SUPERMOM, Jimmie's amazing advocate and practically a nurse in her knowledge of everything medical Jimmie was going through. She had at least two different requests by the medical staff to be on advising committees related to parents and the NICU. Did you expect less?" (-: I guess Supermom strikes again!

But anyway the super awesome result of Rachael's very well documented details is that Jimmie is now COMPLETELY off oxygen! He will no longer have to have it at night! We are thrilled! Rachael requested to keep the sat monitor (so she can continue to check his levels) and may end up keeping a small oxygen tank for the car because she hasn't really liked his numbers when he is in his car seat, but this is all Rachael's call and Dr. L is basically deferring to Rachael on these decisions. Go Jimmie go! You rock little man! And so does your mom!

Keep praying for Rachael to heal and for Jimmie to continue to thrive! Thank you so much for your care and prayers! God is good.

Love,
Amber

P.S. The info on how Rach was feeling was from yesterday. I just talked to her this morning and she seems to have improved quite a bit! Yeah!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Doing Better/Father's Day

Thank you all for your care and prayers for Rachael. She is doing better today. Her fever is lower and her pain is more concentrated. I think she did end up starting the antibiotics. I have (Janelle) heard that before about the Mastitis resolving on it's own in 48 to 72 hours. And you are right Rachael (and I for that matter) hates taking anything when she could do without. Unfortunately my history with Mastitis has been very severe. Maybe that spooked (us) Rachael into taking them. She definitely hasn't gotten as bad as I was. I had to be hospitalized for the better part of a week and put on i.v. antibiotics when I had it the first time. I was severely ill. The second time was hardly any better, but I stayed out of the hospital. Anyway . . . that's why I called it the Mastitis Monster. (-: Thank you so much for your advice and prayers! Rachael felt capable of taking care of Jimmie tonight so Justin took them home. He works a 24 hour shift tomorrow so Kathy may end up taking off work to go be with Rachael- who will definitely not be teaching tomorrow.

At least Jimmie is doing great. He has the normal baby fussy times and he is a spoiled little thing. He pretty much just wants, expects really- to be held CONSTANTLY. I'm sure he had a great last couple of days staying at Grandpa and Grandma Gravitt's because he pretty much had someone holding him all of the time! (-:

Hopefully Rachael is on the mend.

We had a great Father's Day. Rachael, Justin and Jimmie actually came for lunch at my house and stayed the afternoon! It was so awesome to all be together as a family. Mom, Dad, Evan, Nate, Eric and his fiance Rachel were all here as well.

I am so grateful for all of the wonderful Fathers in our lives!

Jimmie has an awesome dad! And in his honor here are a bunch of pictures of Justin and his boy!















Jimmie we are gonna love watching you grow to be the man your father is!

Love,
Amber

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mastitis Monster

Jimmie is doing great, but his mommy- not so much. )-: Rachael is suffering with mastitis (breast infection)! It came on fast last night and has progressed to the point today that she has called the doctor and has been set up with some antibiotics. Justin brought Rachael and Jimmie into town so they could have more access to help. They are staying with Justin's parents Rod and Kathy. Justin's grandma Paula is staying there right now as well so there are lots of willing hands to help with Jimmie. My mom has been there for hours as well doing TKM on Rachael.

Justin came over a little bit ago to pick up some supplies for the night for Jimmie. A bed (co-sleeper) that I had for my kids when they were babies and some other things. Rachael is still able to nurse him and she has plenty of milk pumped if she feels too ill to feed him.

I am unfortunately very experienced with mastitis and have passed on a bunch of wisdom I got from lactation consultants and the La Leche League, but if any of you experienced mothers have wisdom you'd like to share feel free!

We would appreciate your prayers for Rachael's quick healing. Little Jimmie needs his mommy strong and healthy.

Love,
Amber

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Way Too Cute

So Mom, Cole, McKenna and I went out to hang with Rachael and Jimmie this afternoon. Jimmie is doing great and is just so full of personality. He SMILED at me! REALLY SMILED! I was cooing and saying,"Hiiiii I'm your Auntie Amber..." He looked right at me and smiled. I wish we had got it on film, but instead I got these hilarious shots!





The following 3 videos are-Jimmie having swing time. Jimmie under his play gym. And my son Cole talking VERY cute about Jimmie.
video video video

Love,
Amber

Friday, June 19, 2009

Amazing Little Man

Rachael has decided to weigh Jimmie only once a week- on Fridays. This helps her to not worry about the little ups and downs all through the week. He is supposed to be averaging at least 20 grams a day. She was a bit more nervous today because if he had a dismal gain that could be an indicator that going without oxygen is too much for his little body. However- she didn't need to worry! Jimmie weighed 6 pounds 13 1/2 ounces! That is just barely under 20 grams a day. We'll take it!!! We are now assured that he is doing very well without his oxygen. She also took his pulse ox every half hour from 10am to 3pm today. She did that last Friday and he averaged 95% oxygen. Today he averaged 97%! Yeah! Go Jimmie go. I am so proud of our little man. He is just amazing!

Love,
Amber

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Friends And Mayhem

Our long time friend- Tiffany Best who used to dance with Rachael and I (before we all got married and started having babies) is in town from Colorado. Amazingly her 3 kids and my 2 kids are all healthy so Rachael bravely said YES-- we could all come over. It was so awesome to see Tiff and her beautiful family!

Josef-3 years old

Eva- 2 years old

Tiffany and Charlie- 6 months old


It was pretty crazy. Little kids running everywhere. We were trying to visit, but every 2 or 3 minutes one of us would go check on the kids that were not immediately visible. Kids can do A LOT in a couple minutes though. Jimmie's little room was completely taken apart by the time we left. Rachael wouldn't let us pick up because she is going to disinfect and wipe down every item that was touched. Which in this case happens to be every book in Jimmie's bookcase. He has MANY books. And every little toy and tractor in his room. And unfortunately at one point Cole went running through the house with his fruit punch bottle sprinkling. I think we got it all. Thank goodness the living room rug is shag because there are a few threads that are now mostly pink, but you can't really tell. It could have been worse, but next time I'll do better. I always forget how different my kids- especially Cole- act when they play with other kids. Something about their combined energies spur them on to surprising destructive heights.

Jimmie slept right in the middle of the mayhem for a while. He woke up to eat, bravely fought down a puke and then seemed just slightly amused by the kids. He and Rachael were both pretty cool and calm.

The funniest part was when we put them all on the couch for a picture.

(Yes that is my daughter wearing nothing but a diaper. She had on a beautiful summer dress that was involved in a bit of a poop fiasco.)







This is Jimmie's response to the craziness. "Let me stick my tongue out at you all! But especially at cousin McKenna- who, although the jury may still be out on her personality- seems to be a very feisty little diva."


Or - "let me express how boring this is. This is nothin compared to the NICU!"




The afternoon ended with an appropriate exclamation point! I looked for my keys for 30 minutes and there was talk of Justin hot wiring my car so I could leave. Rachael finally found them deep inside the couch.

I thought Rachael was rather brave to say "yes". Although maybe she didn't know exactly what she was saying "yes" to. (-:

Love,
Amber

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oxygen Update And Other Stuff

Sunday after church Jimmie went over to his Grandpa and Grandma Gravitt's (Rod and Kathy) to visit. His Great Aunt Karen and Uncle Kevin (that's who Rach and Justin lived with while he was in the NICU) and Great Grandma Paula (Kathy's mom) were there for some "Jimmie time". They got some good snuggles in with Jimmie and Rachael took pictures. I'll get my hands on those so I can post them soon!

Jimmie is doing great. His pooper is working good again and his tummy feels better.

The other day Jimmie was having tummy time on his boppy and he started sucking on his own arm. When Rachael picked him up she noticed he had given himself a pretty dramatic "hickey". Hahahaha. Rachael felt bad, but I think it's funny.

Today Justin is working so mom (Andrea) went out to Odessa to watch Jimmie while Rachael taught (ballet) for a couple of hours. Mom said they had a peaceful and sleepy afternoon.

Jimmie is doing well without his oxygen. The other day Rach took his pulse ox every 1/2 hour and he was averaging around 96%. He has a little more trouble keeping it up in his car seat. He was around 93% to 94% during their drive into town Sunday. Rachael had the monitor so she could keep an eye on the numbers and she ended up putting his oxygen on him for the trip back home. Overall he's doing very well. She's still supposed to be putting it on him at night. She does so faithfully, but often wakes to find it on his forehead or in his mouth, but his monitor shows him in the upper 90's despite that. Yeah! Go Jimmie go!

My kids and I are going out to visit Jimmie tomorrow so the next blog will have more pictures.

Love,
Amber

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Off Day

Jimmie is doing good. Sometimes he has off days where he is fussy and has tummy troubles. But not anything too dramatic. Today he's had one of those days. He hasn't had a poopy in a couple of days so say some poop prayers and hopefully he'll have an explosion. 0-: He seems to be acting like a normal baby, which is wonderful. And now that he is off oxygen he looks like a normal baby- until you find out he's 4 months old and not even 7 pounds. Rachael is very protective of him. She does not forget that Jimmie is not normal and needs special consideration. He clearly gets overstimulated and really worn out by outings so she tries to limit them. It's hard sometimes for their little family to just be stuck at home, but it's the right thing for Jimmie right now. Please pray for Rachael and Justin's patience and wisdom in Jimmie's care.

Here are some more of the pictures Rachael took on his 4 month birthday the other day.











He's just so cute!!!

We thank you for your continued prayers for Jimmie's health!

Love,
Amber

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dear Jimmie- Happy 4th Month Birthday

Dear Jimmie,

Happy 4 month Birthday! Your 4th month has been so beautiful!

This is you right after you were born.


This is you at 1 month.


This is you at 2 months


This is you at 3 months!


And this is you today!



Look at how you have grown next to your Rottweiler Puppy!








You showed your personality today. You did not want to do a photo shoot with your puppy.


And look how you've grown in your father's hands!






You have gained 23 ounces! That's 4 more ounces than last month. You are 6lbs 9oz!

You have grown 2 inches in length! You are 20 inches long!

Your head circumference has increased by 1 and 3/4th inches! Your head is 13 and 3/4 inches around.

You are almost completely off your oxygen! You receive a little bit at night while you are sleeping. You also are completely rid of your apnea and brady monitor. Mommy and daddy LOVE having you free of all of the tubes and wires that you have been tethered to since your birth. The first thing your mommy did when you were free was spin you in circles. What a fun and silly mommy you have.

You are working very hard to eat Jimmie and you are doing a great job. You almost exclusively breastfeed now. You take bottles from daddy whenever your mommy is gone. You are now taking up to 80ml! That's 20ml more than last month!

You got the "all clear" from your Eye Doctor this month Jimmie. We were so thrilled to hear that your eyes are now fully mature and healthy!

You achieved a huge milestone this month with your adjusted birthday. You turned 40 weeks May 28th. That was when you were supposed to be born Jimmie. You were born 107 days before you were due, 15 weeks early in the 6th month of pregnancy (the 2nd trimester). Someday Jimmie, you will understand what a living miracle you are. You are one special kid!

You have started seeing a Developmental Therapist this month Jimmie. She makes sure that you are developing in all the ways you should. She says you are ahead of the game and are already acting like a 2 month old! This is awesome because you are barely 2 weeks old gestation.

You have 88 followers on your blog! (2 more than last time) And your Faithfulness Video Montage has been viewed 2,319 times! That's 570 views this month. And you starred in a new montage called "Jimmie's Wonderful World". It has been viewed 292 times.


I downloaded something pretty cool on your blog Jimmie, a "stat counter". And since about 6 weeks ago your blog has been viewed 13,376 times! WOW! You have a lot of very cool people who love to check on your progress Jimmie.

Living at home has been so special.

You love chillin with your daddy.


And you love laying on your mommy.


You have had one very special outing this month Jimmie. You went to a special ceremony honoring your namesake- Great Grandpa Jimmie Gravitt.


And you visited Great Grandpa Jimmie and took flowers to your big sister Gracie at their grave site.


You are also attending church on Sunday mornings with your mommy and daddy. The church worked hard and cleaned and disinfected everything. They set aside a room just for you where you stay with your mommy. Everyone gets to see you outside in the parking lot. This protects you from germs.

You are such an amazing little boy Jimmie with a big personality.


Jimmie you have been through so much in your young life. Being born so early before you were ready to breathe and eat on your own. You have endured a lot of pain. You have had to fight for your life. I pray every day not only for your health, but for your heart, your psyche. I have a lot of faith that our Holy Father was holding you throughout your trials. I have faith that whenever your mommy and daddy could not be with you that you were being comforted by Him. I sense this inner peace and strength in you Jimmie that I know is His touch. Despite all of this it is clear to me that you do live in a wonderful world! I will forever be grateful that you were born such a fighter. Jimmie, you have enriched my life beyond words.

I will love you forever!
Auntie Amber