Thursday, August 23, 2012

A weekend in Indiana

Last weekend, Mom, Max and I took a trip to Indiana to visit my grandparents and aunts. We had a great time and Max had a blast. Here are some photos of the weekend...

Max playing with Grandma's toys from when he kids were little

Max loves Uncle Keith. He is lovingly referred to as the "Baby Whisperer" because babies love him so much. 

Max got some good cuddle time in with Aunt Paula, too. 

Grandpa put up a swing for Max and he spent a good portion of the weekend in it. He loves to swing!

What a sweet picture! I think both, Grandpa and Max are having fun.

Max getting tickled. I remember when Grandpa used to do that to me when I was little. I would laugh until I couldn't stand it anymore.

Just hanging out in a tree

Max loves his Mimi!

Playing with bark from the tree

Uncle Keith and Aunt Christy invited us over for brunch Sunday morning and it was delicious!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cardio Max and the Pacemakers

A few months ago, Tyler was approached by Regions Bank to lead a team in collecting donations and support for the American Heart Association's 2012 Nashville Heart Walk. He felt honored to be asked and he absolutely said "yes." We are so blessed to have such an amazing little boy named Max and he probably would not have survived if it had not been for the technology, research, and physicians that helped him when he was born. Because of this, we want to give back to the community and help raise awareness, funds, and support for the American Heart Association so they can continue to help others in need. So, at Regions' kickoff meeting for the event, Tyler was asked to tell Max's story. He did a great job and we immediately started gaining support for our team. If you would like to support our team, we would love for you to do so by walking with us on the 5K Heart Walk on Saturday, October 6th. Max will be there and we have named the team "Cardio Max and the Pacemakers." If you cannot make the event, you can also donate to our team if you would like to. Please see the story Tyler told below.

As you may know, our son Max was born with complete congenital heart block and had open chest surgery at 7 days old to have a pacemaker implanted. We are participating in the 2012 Nashville Heart Walk on 10/06/2012 and raising funds to support the American Heart Association and eradicate heart disease in our community. I think probably all of us have been affected by heart disease or a heart related issue to some capacity, whether it is a friend, family member, or yourself. Please support our fundraising efforts with a contribution! We would also love for you to join us at the walk....Max will be there.

Click this link to go directly to my personal fundraising page where you can give a secure online donation.


Max's Story:

After 28 weeks of what seemed to be a perfectly normal pregnancy, we hit a roadblock. We went in for a routine ultrasound and discovered that Max's heart rate was in the 60's, when it should be in the 150's range. After an initial diagnosis of 2nd degree heart block with the potential to treat and reverse the damage through steroids, we were once again floored a week later with the news that Max was in complete heart block. This added a 30% mortality rate and all but guaranteed a pacemaker as our only option. Based on this news, the goal was to monitor Max with 2 ultrasounds per week and an echocardiogram every other week and try to make it to week 32 before he was delivered. He did great and blew past week 32, then week 34, then week 36 until we was delivered at roughly 38 weeks at 5 lbs, 9 ozs. The delivery went well and 7 days later, Max had a 45 minute surgery at Vandy to implant the smallest pacemaker in the world in his abdomen. Surgery went perfectly and we took the little guy home 24 hours later. 

Today, we continue to monitor Max through a machine at home every 3 months and take him to his cardiologist at Vandy every 6 months. He is a perfectly normal, healthy 1 year old today but he will continue to have surgeries to replace the battery and upgrade the pacemaker over time. We hope his next surgery will not be for at least another year or so. We are so thankful for the technology that's in place today that allows a 7 day old baby to even have a pacemaker and then to be able to monitor that pacemaker at home. Amy and I are both passionate about heart research as we are directly benefiting from the results of the research to date. 

Please support Max, Amy and I with a donation today and come join us on October 6 to walk in support of the American Heart Association's work to fund groundbreaking heart and stroke research. 

With the click of a mouse you can make a secure, tax-deductible online donation. You will not only be supporting me, you will be funding the fight against the No. 1 killer of Americans. The link below will take you to my personal donation page. If you prefer, you can also mail me a donation directly.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support American Heart Association - Nashville, TN

Thanks so much for your support!

Tyler, Amy, and Max

13 Months Old

No more monthly onesies. Max is now 13 months old.
He has been very busy this month learning to cruise, trying new foods, and practicing walking and new words. He's changing so rapidly right now and I can tell he's on the verge of making a lot of changes to his routine. He's not walking yet, but he cruises all around furniture and will occasionally walk behind toys (mostly only if he sees his friend, Walker, do it). Last week, Walker came over to play and walked behind a push toy. Max watched him and then immediately popped right up and walked behind the same toy all the way across the room. Just like that, like it was nothing. He had never done that before, and it was amazing to watch. Only mothers know what I'm talking about. If you don't have children, then you probably think I'm plain crazy that we celebrate all the little things. Oh well, they're exciting to us.

This month he learned to climb the stairs and it's now one of his favorite games. Uncle Eric taught him how to do the "indian call" and also how to give "high fives." Now he does both of them all the time. He also loves to play "chase" and "peek-a-boo."

He no longer likes his baby food and refuses to eat it. Instead, he wants to eat whatever you are eating and he wants to feed himself. He gets frustrated if you try to feed him. His favorites right now are turkey sandwiches, pot roast, cheerios, and strawberry/banana bread. His taste is changing and things he used to love, he no longer wants. 

He is also close to speaking some words. He clearly says Mama and Dada when he wants us, but he doesn't clearly say any other words yet. I can tell he understands so much of what we say, but just can't verbalize it yet. Instead, he babbles all day long, just like he's carrying on a conversation with me. 

A few weeks ago, Tyler and I went on vacation to Tampa with my family. We have not been on vacation together in about 3 years, so we were very excited to go. We had a great time and we're so thankful that Tyler's parents were able to come watch Max so we could have a vacation for ourselves. Dede and Pop are so good to Max and they had a lot of fun together. They don't get to see Max as often as my parents do since they live in Memphis, so this was a treat for them to be able to spend so much one on one time with him. I don't think Max even missed us while we were gone because he had so much fun. 

 This is Max's favorite toy to play with at Walker's house. He loves to open and close the door and crawl through.

Max and Tripp playing together in the pool at Walker's super fun first birthday party

He's getting more hair and also starting to look more like his daddy

Playing in my rocking chair from when I was a baby

Another favorite toy right now, "Jack in the Box." It's like a new surprise every time and then he likes to stuff the monkey back in the box.

He also has discovered a love for trucks.

Pal made him a fort of pillows. He crawled inside to play with his truck.

Playing the piano with Mimi

He also really loves to play the piano with Mimi.