As Amy and I sat in the waiting room for yet another BPP today, I won 2 games of solitaire on my cell phone. I've been in a bit of a waiting room solitaire slump, so I had a feeling today was going to be a good day... and my feeling was right.
Things seemed to be going as usual at first. Max was extremely active as always and practicing his karate moves on the ultrasound tech. As we started the BPP, we always ask if there are any signs of hydrops...and once again, there were none. After checking for hydrops, the ultrasound tech usually checks Max's heart rate and tells us right away, but she didn't tell us today. As she continued the BPP, Max continued to show signs of a perfectly healthy baby (other than his heart condition) and he passed again with flying colors. It was another weigh day, and Max continues to grow...he's up to 3 lbs., 2 ozs. So, as we wrapped up the BPP, I was curious about Max's heart rate but assumed it was lower than normal since she didn't tell us. So, I asked her what it was....drum roll please. And to find out, his heart rate was up and ranged from 69 - 76 beats per minute. Considering his heart rate has consistently been ranging in the upper 50's to very low 60's, this was really exciting news...and completely unexpected.
When we go in for the BPP's, we typically only see the ultrasound tech. Well, today the radiologist wanted to come down and check on Max as well. This is my first time to meet the radiologist, but Amy tells me he is very highly esteemed and has written several books. This is also the radiologist that diagnosed Max with 2nd degree heart block a few weeks ago when Amy thought she was going in for a standard ultrasound. As he is looking at Max's heart and taking measurements with the ultrasound wand thingy, he very casually tells us he still thinks Max has 2nd degree heart block and not complete block. What?! That, of course, was our first reaction. It's funny, you would think we would be jumping up and down, but that's where the cautiously ecstatic comes into play. Most people would say cautiously optimistic, but who are we kidding...we're crazy excited about the outcome of today's appointment.
Max gained weight, his heart rate was up and Amy is almost 32 weeks. We couldn't have prayed for a better appointment....and we certainly have prayed. At this point, we're not exactly sure what degree heart block Max really has and to be completely honest...it doesn't matter. What matters is that Max is continuing to develop and grow and we're getting closer to the next goal of 36 weeks. We won't really know the long-term effects of the heart block until Max is born. The treatment plan for 2nd degree and complete heart block are the same. So, nothing has really changed at this point but there are signs of real improvement, so like I said...we're cautiously ecstatic.
I truly believe in the power of prayer and I know that we have so many people praying for Max and our family. And it's because of your prayers, and ultimately God's grace that Max is continuing to develop. We meet with the cardiologist on Wednesday and we pray that Max's condition is improving.... and we ask that you pray for that as well. But if we find out that Max is still in complete heart block, it's important to understand that we will be totally fine with that as well. God has truly given Amy and I this unexplainable sense of peace and strength that continues to motivate us each day. And at the end of the day, we just want the opportunity to meet and raise Max...pacemaker and all. Thanks for all your prayers and please, please continue to pray for Max and our family.