Well, Max is officially here. He was born at 3:17 pm weighing in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long, and everything is going very well.
We were able to spend about 5 minutes with him in the delivery room before they took him off to the NICU. I followed him to the NICU and got to see all the doctors and nurses in action. Vandy really does it right. We were so fortunate to have Dr. Walsh (chief neonatologist) as our attending and there were another 4 or 5 doctors in the room checking on Max. The cardiologist showed up about 10 minutes later and gave him an initial checkup before performing an echo and EKG. Max is really impressing everyone. His heart rate was in the low 80's and seems to be fluctuating between upper 60's and low 80's, which is great. He isn't on any oxygen nor does he need an IV at this point. He already has an appetite and I actually got to hold and feed him for a while today. They keep telling us that he is a completely healthy baby other than the heart rate, which we are incredibly thankful for.
So, what next? At this point, "next" is still completely up in the air. They will continue to monitor Max but there is a chance he will be able to go home with us when they discharge Amy...no pacemaker. Isn't that incredible? Max has come so far. A few weeks ago, we were told there was a 20-30% chance Max could go into complete heart failure and we were desperately trying to get to 32 weeks. Then the next goal was 36 weeks with the understanding that he would likely need a pacemaker at birth. And now, we hit 37 weeks and 6 days and we're talking about taking our kid home without a pacemaker. Wow! Do people really question whether there is a God?
I will say that we aren't out of the woods yet. The EKG wasn't completely spotless and they are going to perform another one on Thursday morning. There is still a chance that Max will need a pacemaker depending on the results from the various tests they will continue to perform. But, the doctors are very confident that he will respond well if they need to pace him. And we fully expect Max to have a pacemaker at some point in his life if it isn't right away. The tissue damage appears to be permanent and it's not likely his heart will just fix itself...that would be a miracle, but I do believe in miracles.
But this is a day of celebration. Amy and I are celebrating becoming parents and we are so proud of Max already for overcoming all the obstacles just to get here. And we couldn't be any happier. Well, Amy probably could...she is fighting the effects of major surgery right now and unfortunately hasn't been able to go see Max since delivery. We plan to wheel on down to the NICU first thing tomorrow and spend some time quality time with Max.
Amy and I can't thank you enough for your continued prayers for Max and our family. There have been so many people who have continued to reach out and offer encouragement, so thank you to those that have continued to send encouraging e-mails, and scriptures and have stayed faithful in the phone calls to check on us. You all are truly incredible family and friends and we love you.
And for the good stuff....here are some pictures of Max Thomas Muesch.
And after....he doesn't look too happy.
Give my my hat back...it's friggin freezing in here.
Jess and Meg. They spent 6 hours with us at the hospital...along with their husbands...very, very special friends. Meg and Nick adopted a baby girl last week (Lilly) and Jess and Thomas are due with Tripp in October.
Josh and Allison. Allison is due on July 21 with Walker....very, very special friends...and very photogenic. And they brought dinner...thanks guys.
My mom. She goes by Dede.
Time to eat
I have no idea what I'm doing here...I think I was trying to burp him...these things need an instruction manual. Lesson #1: How to Control the Bobble Head
I'm a sucker for baby feet
What a day! This morning I thought it was going to be a typical day. Swim all day, kick my mom a little bit, practice my karate. And the next thing I know, some lady is pulling me out of my little waterworld. Holding your pinkie doesn't make me feel any better, but thanks for the effort.