The highlight of the day was that Kate was able to do "skin-to-skin" with Maximus. Kate or I (or both) have been holding Wes almost everyday over the last week or so, but Max is still on the jet vent, and the rule of thumb is that kids on the jet vent don't get held. Not sure why exactly , I think there is just an inherent instability with kids needing a jet vent. The nurses have been huge advocates of Kate (or me) holding both kids whenever possible...but the doctors have the final say. The biggest fear is that if something goes wrong, the baby is not in the incubator, certain necessary tools are then out of arms reach, etc. - so they make double dog sure the kids are doing well before they get out of their "beds." Needless to say, Kate was loving it. She held him for almost 2 hours and Max did great. A few minutes after she put him back in his bed, his O2 dropped from 78% to 64%. They say that skin-to-skin is incredibly good for a baby's O2 needs...and I would say that was definitely the case today!!
One of our favorite nurses (Cathy) told us today that Wes is really the exception and that Max is following the "expected" path of a 24 week old micro preemie. In a way, that was really good to hear. For Kate and I, we were so proud of Wes, but also felt like Max was really lagging behind, and it worried us a lot. Now, with a different perspective from someone we trust, we can celebrate Wes' progress instead of letting our worry about Max "get in the way" so to speak. It is really crazy how a little perspective can change the way we feel about the boy's progress and change the way we pray for them. We are just so proud of them both. God's hand throughout this whole experience has just been so evident. From the timing of their birth, the five times they got to meet their Grandma Blauwkamp, the nurses that God has put in our lives, the support of our family, friends, small group, church and employers. My human side desperately wanted "normal" kids so they wouldn't be made fun of and they could play sports and have a "normal" childhood. Instead, God gave me extraordinary kids, regardless of the road that lies ahead. I do not think that I could ever have a fraction of the impact on these two boys as they have already had on me. They have changed my perspective. They have taught me what love really is...my love for them, my love for my wife, my love for my parents, my family, my friends...it is all different in a good way. Most importantly, they have profoundly changed my perspective on what it means to be a child of the King.