Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Jimmie - Happy 7th Month Birthday

Dear Jimmie,

Happy 7 month birthday!

Today is also a day of remembrance for a very tragic event that happened in this great country you live in. 8 years ago today terrorists attacked our country by flying airplanes full of passengers into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and The World Trade Center towers in New York City. A 4th airplane also crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Over 2900 people died that day. Someday you will learn about that terrible event and understand it's significance. I pray for everyone who lost loved ones that day that they would be comforted. And I pray that our country would never forget...

Feb. 11th 7 months ago today we saw your beautiful face, Jimmie- for the first time!

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.

This is you at 4 months.

This is you at 5 months.

And this is you at 6 months.

And this is you today!

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

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

This month:

You have gained 1 pound 6 ounces. You are 10lbs 12oz.

You are still 23 3/4 inches long, but you've made up for that with your head!

Your head circumference has increased by 1 whole inch! Your head is 16 inches around.

Your eating issues progressed to the point this month- Jimmie, that you had to be hospitalized.

We were all very sad about that.

You had a rough time, but you are a very brave boy and we still enjoyed your beautiful dimples!

You had an upper GI test done while you were there and it showed only severe reflux. While you were there an occupational therapist consulted on your case and a nutritionist. You were in the hospital for exactly 1 week, at the end of which your Mommy told the doctors she was taking you home. You were mostly being fed by an NG tube and things were not progressing very quickly so your Mommy knew she and your Daddy could learn how to use the NG and live at home where there are less germs and chances of infection.

Your new home for the time being is with your Grandpa and Grandma Gravitt (Rod and Kathy). They have a nice big basement with 2 bedrooms, a living room, two bathrooms, and a little sink and fridge in a little kitchen like area. Your Mommy and Daddy actually lived there the first year of their marriage while they were building the house out in Odessa. They are very grateful to have such a nice place to live that is closer to the hospital and all of your doctors appointments. It's also closer to the volunteers who come over to help out with you by holding you and watching you so your Mommy and Daddy can rest or run errands. And of course whats not to like about living with Grandma and Grandpa!!! They love you so much and they help out by holding you every chance they can get! Your Grandma Kathy also does everybody's laundry. Whew, now that's love! (-: Me- your Auntie hates doing laundry. Also the wonderful ladies from your church headed up by your cousin Missy have been bringing meals to the Gravitt house. What a big blessing that has been for your Grandpa, Grandma, Mommy and Daddy.

You had a follow up appointment with a gastrointestinal specialist who wants to do a scope called an endoscopy to look at your insides to see if they can come up with some more answers and a solution for your problem. You'll have to be intubated and put to sleep for this procedure so your Mommy is nervous and not looking forward to it. The big news today is your endoscopy has been scheduled for THIS TUESDAY! We will all be saying a lot of extra prayers for you Tuesday morning Sept. 15th. You may end up being in the hospital again for a day or two following this procedure. If the hospital has a bed open you will be doing a 24 hour "ph probe study" as well. That's where they put a probe in your esophagus to measure your acid levels.

Over all your Mommy says all of the TKM she and your Ma have been doing along with the Prevacid has seemed to help your reflux a lot. You are not refluxing as much and when you do you don't scream in pain.

You still don't really eat by mouth. You are fed through a tube that is hooked to a pump that runs in your nose, down the back of your throat and into your belly.

You have been showing renewed interest in the nipple though and yesterday you actually nursed at the breast a couple of times!!! Not very well or for very long, but you really enjoyed it and so did your Mommy. We pray that this would continue and eventually that you would be able to take all of your feeds by mouth again soon.

Your Mommy has also experimented with all different concoctions of formula and breast milk. So far the results are that breast milk is definitely the best for your tummy, but you have a hard time gaining enough weight without extra supplementation.

As far as your lungs and O2: The general consensus among the doctors and your "family doctors" (as they affectionately called us in the NICU). Is that your little body was probably not quite ready to go without any oxygen support when you were taken off completely. That caused your body to work really hard in the breathing and oxygenation department and caused your digestions and eating functions to take a big hit. Your current struggles with eating started right when you went off oxygen completely. However the Doctors feel it would be better to not supplement you any O2 because your body needs to acclimate with all of it's systems. So your Mommy has taken you back off of the oxygen. Your lungs and sat levels have been and still are doing great!

You have 98 followers on your blog! (4 more than last time) And your Faithfulness Video Montage has been viewed 4,060 times! That's 648 views this month! Your "Jimmie's Wonderful World" montage has been viewed 526 times. That's 70 times this month. Your blog has been viewed 11,736 times this month for a total of 39,883 hits! You have a lot of very cool people who love to check on your progress Jimmie.

We introduced everyone to your very own real live Rottweiler puppy this month. Though you actually adopted him last month. (-:

His name is Mack. You love riding in your stroller everyday while you all take a walk with Mack.

You went to your first extended family gathering this month on Labor day. You hung out outside to lessen exposure to germs and no one but your Mommy, Daddy and Ma touched you. We all just stood around and looked at your beautiful self! (-:

You also got to experience a pool for the first time. Just on your feet though . . . Some day you'll be diving in.

I just can't get over how hilarious you look sitting like that, but still being so small. You are about the size of a 4 month old, but in some ways you have the strength and development of a 6th or 7th month old! Which is waaaaay ahead of the game Jimmie.

Your Mommy has been doing a great job as your advocate Jimmie. The Neo's at Children's Mercy were so impressed with her observations and documentation they said they could put her through school to become a nurse if she would sign something saying she would work for them for a few years! She'll think about it after you are older. The way she puts it is, "I have to get Jimmie on his feet first." And I'll add, "stay sane while getting Jimmie on his feet." (-: Your Mommy has taken some time for herself this month. She actually went on a little ladies day trip and left you at home with Grandpa, Grandma and Daddy. She and your Daddy have also spent some time praying with their pastor Brother David. Your Mommy also started back to work again this week. She'll be teaching dance classes 2 days a week for a few hours.

Jimmie you are getting so big! It is getting easier and easier to forget how small you really were when you were born. I have a flannel shirt on right now and as I look down at the pocket over my breast I realize you would have EASILY slid right into this pocket! I remember what your Mommy said through her tears the night you were born. She said, "I don't see how this is going to be OK. He's so small."

Well, Jimmie- by the power of our Holy Father it has been OK. It's been so much more than OK. Your life has been the most miraculous triumph that I will probably ever see in my lifetime. You are so healthy, strong and beautiful inside and out. Despite your eating struggles we remain so grateful for your ultimate triumph- LIFE! Not a day goes by, even the bad days when you are hurting and struggling to eat, that I don't thank God for your life. We all have our own pain and our own struggles and you are no different Jimmie, but that is life. And life is the most precious, glorious and beautiful gift. A gift- that because of your cousin Gabriella Keena, your sister Gracie Gravitt and you Jimmie; because of you- I will NEVER take life for granted.

I love you more than words can express Jimmie! I am so proud to be your Auntie.

Love you forever,
Auntie Amber


  1. Wow, that's a pretty awesome post, Amber. Jimmie you're pretty inspirational yourself! We love you all, and our prayers are with you!

  2. Once again, Amber, that was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Happy 7th month birthday, Jimmie!

  3. Happy 7 month birthday, Jimmie!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!

    Give your mama and daddy hugs and kisses for us!

    Adrian, Janelle, and Kids

  4. beautiful! i hope the endoscopy goes well. i have prepared myself now for all the birthday posts, i always end up with tears streaming down my face. they are emotional for sure. we will be praying AND we will be in KC in less than a week. I can't wait, I have missed you all so much!!!!!!!

  5. Happy 7 month birthday Jimmie!!! You are getting so big :)

  6. happy 7 months jimmie! we will be praying that he continues to show interest in nippling and that the endoscopy will lend some information. i know too well the stress of letting them take your little one and put him to sleep so i ache for you all during that time. he is so strong now though and will do fabulously!
    amy, josh and baby ben

  7. Oh, here I go weeping again. What a beautiful boy. Happy 7 month birthday, Jimmie. Amber, this post is incredible.

  8. Darn it all! I saw Jimmie and Rachel at the NICU reunion! I walked up to talk to the family right as she approached another group of people she *actually* knew (not just a blog "stalker" :)) and decided to wait. They must have slipped by me on the way out! Probably better - it would have been haaaaaaaaard to keep my hands off that little guy. :)

    I wish I could have hugged Rachel in person though!

  9. Amber, what a beautiful post. I am in tears as usual. Jimmie is truly loved by so many. We miss seeing you all at class, but enjoy keeping up on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to share the story with us.

  10. a heartwarming post. this post brought tears to my eyes. i remember six months ago when I first saw my baby; she was smallish, too. she still doesn't drink much milk until now but she got strong bones. i hope that in due time she would eat and drink ravenously. thanks be to God.

    i am happy for Jimmie. he's well-loved that's why he's traveled this far - a miraculous journey, indeed.

    thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, full-of-love story.

  11. My little Izy also has feeding issues and we have developed a very different way to feed her. I have a nipple shield that I put a feeding tube into and syringe the food into the nipple shield. She sucks a little bit and is able to get what she needs as long as she isn't sick. (: Let me know if you want more info, or maybe you've already tried it. We are praying for these LO's to stay well this winter.