Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dear Jimmie- Happy 22 Month Birthday

Dear Jimmie,

Happy 22 Month Birthday!!

This you right after you were born.

And this is you today!

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

Look at how you've grown in your father's hands!

Here is your special "Watch Me Grow Montage"!

You have gained 3 oz this month! You are 17 lb 14 oz. That doesn't tell the whole story though. You actually broke 18 lbs at one point this month, but you got sick and lost weight. )-:

Your height has increased by a whole inch!! You are 32 1/8 inches long! You are the definition of the term "Growing Like A Weed". (-: You are tall and very very skinny.

Your head has increased by an 1/8th inch to 18 & 1/8 inches around!

You have 124 followers on your blog Jimmie! That's 1 more than last month.

Your "Faithfulness" Video Montage has been viewed 14,503 times. That's 624 times this month!

Your "Jimmie's Wonderful World" Montage has been viewed 983 times. And your "High Places" Video Montage has been viewed 714 times!

Your blog has been viewed 4,446 times this month for a total of 118,211 hits! You have a lot of very cool people who love to check on your progress Jimmie.

Physically you are doing well. You can now reach up and take things off the counters in the kitchen! You love to help your momma unload the dishwasher. There have only been a few things broken. (-:

You have 11 (almost 12) teeth now!

Sleep has been a huge issue the last few months. Your momma thinks that you have finally become aware that you are by yourself in your bed. It seems to be causing you a lot of anxiety and upset. This past week- your momma has given up fighting you on this and you are sleeping MUCH better in your mommy and daddy's bed. Your momma is not settled about this though, she is not sure that's the direction she wants to go- so we'll see.. (-: I co-sleep with your cousins so I'm not much help on this front.

Communication is moving along. There is still great suspicion that you have "Apraxia" like your cousin. You have so many signs your momma can't even count how many. The only words you speak spontaneously that sound consistent are - "dog (buf buf), cat (meow), tractor and truck (tu tu)". You will say, "mama" on request. You learned this month that your daddy works on a fire truck! So now whenever you see a fire truck you do the sign for "work" and "dad". You are so smart!

This month you celebrated Thanksgiving! And boy did you celebrate! Here is a quick video clip of you dancing with Ma. Your arm swinging like crazy is so funny!

We totally failed and nobody took pictures though. So I'm going to post the totally awesome ones from last year. We posed you to match a picture from your daddy's first Thanksgiving.

This is you Jimmie!

And this is your daddy!

This is your daddy!

WOW! You look just like your daddy!

You also like to "be" just like your daddy. You put his shoes on the other day and walked around in them.

You are spending A LOT of time at home right now Jimmie because it's "cold and flu season". Your mommy and daddy try to play with you, but lets face it- being cooped up has it's consequences. One day you arranged all of your various balls around you on the couch. Your momma found you like this. It was not just fun and games.
You were very serious about it.

Your momma took a video of the incident.

Um- yeah, you need to get out more! (-:

Thank goodness you did get out for a whole weekend! You went with mommy and daddy down to the lake with Grandpa and Grandma Gravitt. Branson at Christmastime is wonderful.

You really "lived it up" Jimmie.
The goats filled you with joy!
You were adopted by a nice snowman family . . .
Grandpa made you tall so you could see a snowman sing.

You watched a Christmas Lights Parade.

And then you fell asleep in the car looking at more beautiful Christmas lights.

The biggest thing that happened this month for you Jimmie is your g-tube went "bye bye"! Saturday November 13th your Grandpa and mommy removed it with the doctor's permission.

Here it is before . . .
It's gone! There is a tiny hole in it's place . . .
All bandaged up!

This was a huge milestone for you Jimmie on the road to full health and normalcy. You have come so far and you have overcome so much. Thanksgiving inspires us to proclaim what we are thankful for . . . Jimmie, I am thankful for you!

Someone said to me recently with great love, prayers and support, that they felt so sad or sorry for us (me and your mommy) for all we'd been through with our children. I'm happy to say that I responded with a smile that I am not sad or sorry for us. Now don't get me wrong Jimmie, I am sad that we lost your sister Gracie and I am sorry that you were born so tragically early. However on this journey we have met others, we have connected with many who have suffered in similar ways. This has given us a perspective that will never allow us to feel sorry for ourselves in a "pity party" way. There are certain "hurts" that we have to learn to live with, but with a "thankful" heart it is possible to live with joy!

You bring me great joy Jimmie!

I will love you forever!
Auntie Amber

On The Mend

Jimmie is finally doing better. Check back tomorrow! His 22 month post should be ready...


Monday, December 13, 2010

Jimmie Is Still Sick

Jimmie is struggling with this virus. We think it's the same one. He is running low grade fevers, has lots of snot, is not eating well and of course not sleeping well.

He turned 22 months old on Saturday! We will get his 22 month post up. It's just been a rough weekend with sick kids. )-:

Thank you for your prayers.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Jimmie And Jon Miguel

Update on Jimmie and Jon Miguel:

Jimmie- It's been a very rough 5 days. His high fever went away, but he has not been eating or sleeping well. Saturday he ate next to nothing. Yesterday was a bit better. This morning Justin and Rachael are weighing the pros and cons of taking him to the Pediatrician.

The sleeping situation has been rough for almost 2 months. He seems to have developed a bit of separation anxiety and even though his crib is in Rachael and Justin's room a few feet from their bed, he wakes up screaming and refuses to calm and go back to sleep. Of course being sick has made this even worse. Rachael and Justin are stressed and exhausted! Prayers are needed!

Jon Miguel- Little Miguelito has made major improvements. He is breathing with no support, his lungs are clear, he spent a day under a bili-light, but his levels are already normalizing. He is also breast feeding well! So now he just has to finish his i.v. antibiotics and he'll be free to go home. I think that will be Wednesday or Thursday. Amy and Jorge are doing as good as they could possibly do crammed into a tiny room with no private toilet and no shower- while trying to adjust to the major life change that just happened with the birth of their first born son. They have inspired me with their attitude. God has given them much grace to get through this week. Truly all that matters to them is that Jon Miguel is doing well! Of course!!

I was thinking about how Amy came to visit the spring Jimmie was still in the NICU. She spent 2 whole days with Rachael in the NICU. Now I know that could not possibly have prepared her for the birth of her own son and subsequent hospital stay, but at least the incubator, oxygen, heart monitors and the whole setup was not foreign to her.

Speaking for myself- knowing what Rachael and Justin have gone through with Gracie and Jimmie has at the very least provided me with some major perspective when dealing with my own kids.

I will update again later if Rach and Justin end up taking Jimmie to the doctor. Rach was encouraged this morning- because he was eating.

Thank you so much for your care and prayers!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jimmie Update & Pray For Jon Miguel!

Okay- first Jimmie! He is doing better! His fever is low grade and he seems to be feeling much better. Yesterday was hard for Rachael. He was so lethargic with the high fever. Jimmie never stops moving so it was really scaring Rachael to see him like that. Keep praying that he heals from this virus quickly.

Second- Our best friend Amy (Remember we were in her wedding in Vancouver last year at this time.) had her firstborn baby boy- "Jon Miguel" yesterday at 40 weeks. From what I know the labor and delivery went well. He is 8 lb 2 oz and BEAUTIFUL! However he is having trouble with his lungs. From what I understand he is in the special care nursery in an incubator on oxygen. It seems he may have aspirated some fluid. They told Amy to expect him to be in the hospital for 5 days. So we ask that everyone please please pray for baby Jon Miguel! Pray also for Amy and Jorge!!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jimmie is SICK!

Update: 10am -Rachael gave Jimmie some motrin a little bit ago and it has definitely made him feel better, so that's good! If it were something more serious that would usually not be the case.

It is likely a virus as we have had heard there is something going around that presents with a high fever and a rash. Jimmie did have a weird rash this weekend. So anyway we are feeling a bit better about things now. It's so hard, especially with Jimmie- to not let the worse case scenario rattle around in your head.

Jimmie has been able to drink about 8 oz and eat a little yogurt.

Thank you for praying! Keep it up!

Original Post:
Rachael called this morning pretty concerned for Jimmie. He is running a high temperature and is very lethargic. My mom is on her way out to Odessa to help. Rachael is talking to Jimmie's Pediatrician. He doesn't really have any other symptoms other than a molar trying to come in. His temperature is over 102 under his arm which is too high for teething. And he's never run a fever cutting teeth before.

Jimmie is not getting out of bed. He's just laying there moaning.

So we are concerned!

Prayers would be very appreciated!!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halloween 2010- By Jimmie Gravitt

Hi Everybody,

Auntie is letting me tell you about Halloween. My mommy had the idea to make me a Dalmatian Puppy. I was pretty awesome.

I felt a little funny at first, but I got used to the ears and the tail. My Halloween was full of fun.
Fun at Great Grandpa and Grandma EuDaly's house.
Fun playing with these cool old wooden clothes pins.
I had fun making Auntie Amber laugh while...
I panted like a dog . . .
Um- yeah you all didn't see that . . .
The fun STOPPED though when mommy and auntie tried a photo shoot with my cousins...
I was not and I mean NOT going to go through that again.
That Fall Photo Shoot we had was not far from my mind . . .
I posed perfectly the whole time for that shoot. . .
while my cousins messed around . . .
So this time I gave them a dose of their own medicine . . .
What?? You want me to smile and pose for the camera . . .?
Not gonna happen . . .
Is there a way out of this . . ?
Cause I'm finishing this before it gets started . . .
There was one great photo . . .

This one right here . . . It even includes Ma's dog's rear end. HA HA!!
And that's when mommy and auntie gave up.

The fun continued when I trick-or-treated Great Grandpa and Grandma Hester and last, but certainly not least . . .

Grandma and Grandpa Gravitt!!!
Grandpa is . . .
always FUN!!!

So that was my happy Halloween!

Jimmie Jim Jim

P.S. Auntie wants me to tell you my doctors visit Tuesday went great. My g-tube site is healing wonderfully. It's pretty much closed up already. I have no bandage, my tummy is free and bare!! Woohooo!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

G-Tube Adieu

A lot has happened since my last post about Jimmie's g-tube!

Rachael received this letter of referral from Dr. H.

"Dear Dr. S.
I am referring James Gravitt to have his G-Tube discontinued as he is no longer using it. More specifically, his mother discontinued using the G-tube in mid-July, and James even managed to continue oral intake though a gastrointestinal illness in August. He is maintaining his height growth. While he may be falling off a little in his weight growth, mother professes she is unlikely to resort to the G-tube. Rather she will optimize even more the food choices she is offering (wheat germ, peanut butter, fortifying his milk, etc.) as he does eat pretty well.

Removing his G-tube now, before the winter season seems more prudent than waiting.

Please give me a call if you have any questions or concerns."

Dr. H."

Rachael was a bit chagrined at this letter. She wasn't sure she liked how it read. It seemed to place it ALL on her. I laughed out loud when she read it to me. I told her to take it as a compliment. Dr. H. respects her. He did not try to talk her out of this line of thinking. He did put the responsibility squarely in her lap. I'm sure he has to. This is not the normal mode of operation with g-tubes and kids like Jimmie. (here in the states-anyway) I think Rachael has reconciled herself to the tone of the letter. She has fiercely advocated for her son. She has done all of her own research and found a doctor who would work with her not against her. This is what she wanted and she got it. I think there was just a little bit of last minute second guessing herself. Of course that's understandable, but she does not need to doubt this!

So Jimmie was scheduled for g-tube removal November 16th!

Amazingly the last few days have just served to encourage her and bring her peace with this decision.

First and foremost - Jimmie has been eating like a HORSE!! AND-- he's gaining weight!

Second - His g-tube has been having trouble. It hasn't been rotating like it should and Jimmie hasn't wanted Rachael to touch it at all. On Friday it started coming out on it's own. Justin refilled the inner balloon thing with a few mls of water and tried to get it back into place. Friday night Jimmie had a horrible night. His g-tube was making him uncomfortable, the stoma looked really red and inflamed and by morning it was starting to come out again. So Rachael called in to the clinic and they gave her permission to take it out herself and dress the wound/hole. They told her to keep his removal appointment so they could check everything out and make sure the healing process was starting properly.

Unfortunately Justin was at work yesterday so Rod and Kathy drove out to help Rachael remove Jimmie's g-tube.

Here it is before . . .

It's gone! There is a tiny hole in it's place . . .
All bandaged up!
Here is Jimmie holding the g-tube . . .
The end!

This is so exciting for us! While Jimmie's time in the NICU was relatively easy, his reflux and resulting eating issues once he was home were very very challenging. The months of Jimmie screaming in pain and refusing to eat were probably some of the darkest months of Rachael's life. A lot of stuff caved in on her during that time including hormonal/mood issues, post traumatic stress and extreme exhaustion. Exhaustion that was not only physical, but also emotional. A complete weariness of fighting what felt like a constant state of crisis involving her child. And all this while still trying to recover from enduring the death of her daughter only 8 months before the crisis with Jimmie began.

Rachael sent me her thoughts about yesterday:

"I did not realize how aware I was of the tube. It is so freeing to not have to worry about it when he slides off the couch, or when I pick him up, or when he is naked. I don't have to watch him constantly making sure he's not pulling at it. It has been a great day. I thought I would be apprehensive and scared. I wasn't!! I was so happy and proud of Jimmie at how hard he has worked and how much he has overcome. We had the G-tube for less than a year! I let Jimmie run around today without a shirt! I know it sounds silly, but it was huge for me. When I see him eat and drink I get teary because he is eating! We take these things for granted until they are taken away. As we were preparing to remove the g-tube I explained to Jimmie what we were doing. The process did not seem to bother him at all. He has been very happy and comfortable today."

It feels wonderful to say "goodbye" to the g-tube! It is symbolic I think to that time of Jimmie's crisis. I am so grateful to our Holy Father for His presence, His leading and wisdom for all of us during this. God is truly our Shepherd!


P.S. Please scroll down and read the next post! Jimmie's 21 Month Birthday Post!

P.S.S. Little Gideon is being released to go home with his mommy and daddy tomorrow!! After 16 weeks in the NICU he begins this new part of his journey. Pray for Reghan, Kaleb and Gideon as they adjust!