Sunday, November 8, 2009


Unfortunately that "amazing" does not refer to Jimmie's drinking. He has fallen off the last couple of days and is not interested again in the bottle. Rachael is thinking they will probably have to get aggressive again and pull the tube.

I have mentioned a few times the strict diet Rachael is on. A couple of months ago when she first saw the Naturopath they decided that Rachael should stay away from soy, wheat, gluten, corn, cheese and milk. These foods can easily cause allergies and Rachael has a history with some of them herself. The thinking is that since Jimmie is still being fed her breast milk that perhaps he has some food allergies that are causing or at least exacerbating some of his issues with feeding.

Rachael has noticed a big difference with Jimmie and even with herself. The biggest thing for Jimmie has been a significant reduction in his puking. His reflux is all but non existent now. He was even off of all drugs. Although Dr. H. has put him back on zantac while they wean, just to make sure Jimmie's gastritis doesn't act up.

Jimmie has also been receiving regular probiotics and enzymes.

Rachael visited the Naturopath again last week because the results from some blood work were finally in. Rachael's blood work showed abnormal levels of yeast. The yeast levels were just into the "too high" range. There are many symptoms that an over growth of yeast can cause including emotional disturbances.

There is a high probability that Jimmie's yeast is too high as well. Both Jimmie and Rachael received a staggering amount of antibiotics while they were in the hospital.

So the Naturopath recommended that Rachael also go on the Candida Diet. This consists of staying away from all sugars, yeast and vinegar among other things. The end result is that with this diet along with the diet Rachael was already on- eating is a huge challenge right now.

It's pretty depressing as both of these diets ideally should go until Feb. That is through Thanksgiving and Christmas folks.

I asked Rachael are you sure you want to add this Candida diet on? I mean is there proof that this diet will really help you and Jimmie enough for this sacrifice to be worth it?

Her response, "When I was first hospitalized losing Jimmie, I said I would do EVERYTHING in my power to help him be ok." "If there is a chance this could help Jimmie in some way I'm going to try to do it."

It has been really hard though. Eating is expensive and very very boring right now for Rachael. She has committed to 2 weeks of the Candida diet and then she will re-evaluate if she can handle this right now on top of everything else. Rachael has (understandably) lost quite a bit of weight in the last two months as it is and really shouldn't lose too much more.

Rachael's commitment and sacrifice for her son brings tears to my eyes. I remember that dark day in the hospital when the Doctor laid out Rachael and Justin's options. The choice between the cerclage and just letting things be and hoping no more dilation would happen was one of those choices that seemed like "damned if you do, damned if you don't". The doctor said, "it could all pretty much be over with today if her water breaks while I'm trying to stitch her cervix shut. But the odds that if left alone she'll make it long enough for baby to live are VERY low." Rachael was only 20 weeks gestation.

I remember who all was in the room. Rachael laying in the hospital bed, Justin sitting in a chair next to her with his head in his hands. Mom, Dad, Kathy, Eric (my brother) and myself. After the Doctor left the room to give us privacy and time to make a decision there was complete silence. Except for the quiet tears. After a bit I remember saying, "this is an impossible decision." I just couldn't believe this decision had to be made. I remember dad saying, "whatever is decided you cannot look back. The choices are basically the same. Just pick one and don't look back."

I remember Justin suddenly speaking up and saying, "I think we should do the surgery." I remember my mom quietly saying, "I'm going to play devils advocate not because I disagree, but just so this thing is truly flushed out in our minds."

Then there was quiet discussion. Then Rachael finally spoke and said, "Ok, can you all leave Justin and I alone . . ."

We all went out in the hall. I was praying Lord please be here! I'm sure everyone else was praying too. Kathy tearfully called Rod who was at home sick.

As dad and I were standing in the hall in silence a social worker came up and said, "so how are you guys doing?" We kind of just looked at her. I couldn't even get words out. I said something like, "I can't believe this is happening again, they lost their daughter last year." She said, "well how did you guys get through that?" I thought, "what do you mean? I don't think I'm through that." but I couldn't speak. Then my dad, rather shortly said, "what do you mean how did we get through that!? We don't have a choice- you just put one foot in front of the other!"

I think the poor girl got a clue that her timing was not great and she graciously gave us her card and walked away.

After that Justin called us back in the room and Rachael said, "We've decided, but first- we have named him. His name is "James Douglas" and we are going to call him "Jimmie" after Justin's grandpa." We all smiled through tears. Then she said, "if the worst happens and we lose Jimmie we know we can do this, we've done it before." Then, "we've decided to do the surgery." Rachael then explained, "I can't just sit here and do nothing. I have to do something. I will do anything in my power to help Jimmie be ok...."

Almost 9 months later Rachael has not lost sight of that moment. She made a promise, she is still fighting for her baby.

Amazing . . .

Thank you for fighting with her with your prayers and support!



  1. I cried and smiled. Thank you so much Amber for keeping us in touch with all of this. I lift Rachael, Justin and Jimmie to our amazing God in my prayers.

  2. We'll continue praying for all of you. Rachael, can you drink kefir? Although it's made with milk, the lactose is already digested out of it, so if lactose is the problem with milk, it's not a problem with kefir. It would give good nutrition, good probiotics, and would probably help tremendously with the Candida. Just a thought. If you need kefir grains, I have lots that I could get to you...

    Anyway, know that you're in our thoughts and prayers. I have a whole new respect for all that Rachael has done for Jimmie. I can't imagine a whole month on super strict bedrest in the hospital. These past two weeks of bedrest have been sooooo hard, and I'm in my own home, on my couch, and not quite as restricted.

    Thanks for all you do for my little baby cousin! =)

    We love you all so much!

  3. You brought me back to September 15, 2008, the day I was losing Henry. We made it, you made it...and we all will continue to "put one foot in fornt of the other". Thank you for this beautiful post...truly, an honor to every Mother and the love a Mother has for her child.
    We continue to pray, especially for Jimmie's quick weaning from the tube and Rachael's food woes.

  4. Wow - that is heckuva a lot of dietary restrictions. What an amazing Mommy - I wouldn't be able to do it. Praying for Rachel's strength and hoping this is what they both need - but that if it becomes too much and she is forced to discontinue, that it doesn't weigh to heavily on her heart.

    What a heartbreaking "decision" to have to make regarding Jimmie's birth. I am so happy that, even though Jimmie was still born so very early, THIS is a decision they can look back on and know they did everything they could.

    Still praying for your family. Take care,

  5. Rachael, you are an amazing mom. Jimmie is so blessed to be your son.