We went to the OB again today. Max nailed another BPP...8 out of 8 and no sign of hydrops. Apparently, high drops are early signs of heart failure, so they look for this every time we have an ultrasound. His heart rate was 59, which isn't spectacular. But for a kid with half the heart rate of a healthy baby, he is incredibly active and is already proving to be a tough fighter. As soon as the ultrasound tech pushed on him with the wand thingy, he starts punching and kicking back and flipping around. It doesn't make the ultrasound tech's job easy, but it makes us feel a lot better to see him so active.
Max weighed in at 2 lbs., 9 oz., which is 9 oz. more than the last weigh-in 2 weeks ago. We'd like him to get to 6+ pounds when Amy delivers and we hope she get to 36 weeks (Amy will be 30 weeks on Thursday). Technically, Max is a little guy and we were told he falls into the 25th percentile...probably due to his heart condition. To be honest, percentages mean nothing to me at this point. God is in complete control of this situation... and always has been. It's funny how scary times like these are a reminder of how little we actually control. All that said, another week down and no further deterioration = win.
We're really looking forward to our appointment with the pediatric cardiologist this Friday. She will perform an echocardiogram aka "echo". I'm not 100% sure what all an echo entails, but I know the cardiologist will take a detailed look at the heart and check blood flow and heart valves and look to see if the antibodies are attacking the structure of the heart. This will be only the 2nd meeting with the cardiologist, so we're anxious to see if Max's heart has changed for better or worse or if the steroids are having an impact on anything other than Amy's emotions (completely kidding). Speaking of Amy, I need to give her tons of credit. She is without a doubt the strongest person I know and has handled this situation better than I could ever have imagined. She couldn't be a better mom already. We also hope to tour the NICU if we have time.
Now, it's time for some of Max's favorites. I want to remind everyone that we are so excited about Max and although this hasn't been the smoothest pregnancy, we aren't letting Max's heart issues take away from the joy of God's gift that is Max.
1. Dancing or karate - we haven't figured out exactly what he does all the time, but for those of you who know me...it's probably dancing....or high-kicking.
2. Lady Gaga - Amy, Max and I went to the concert in Nashville and Max went nuts. Amy says it's the hardest she has ever felt him kick - we're hoping he grows out of the Gaga phase very soon.
3. Sunday morning church music - eats it up.
4. Big meals...which he has been getting more of since Amy passed her gestational diabetes test.
1. Annie (Amy's dog) - can't blame him here. Annie and I have had our own issues. Annie likes to snuggle up between Amy and this huge body pillow called a Snoogle that literally takes up the majority of the bed. When Annie gets a little too close for comfort, Max lets her know and kicks and punches her until she growls, gets up and goes to the end of the bed....I like this kid already.
2. Ultrasound wand thingy - Max does NOT like to cooperate for the ultrasound techs. When they start poking on him, he pokes them right back. I don't know if Max is really getting 8 out of 8 on all these BPP's or if the tech's are just passing him so they don't have to deal with him anymore.
Thanks again for all your continued prayers. Here are a few things we are asking for specific prayer:
1. Max's continued growth... 6+ pounds would be ideal at delivery.
2. A lift in Max's heart rate. It's been ranging from 59 to 73...we'd like it to stay north of the 50's.
3. That the steroids fight off the antibodies and limit any further damage to the heart.
4. Continued peace and strength for Amy and I.
5. For the physicians that are currently working on Max...that they will manage his care wisely.
Thanks again. We'll keep you posted...