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Baby Max is HOME!!

Oh you guys, it feels so good to be home!  Baby Max was discharged about a week ago from the NICU, and oh my word, those 11 days in the hospital feel like such a blur.  Thank you SO MUCH for all the well wishes, prayers, and emails…..we have felt incredibly loved!  (More about Max’s birth and NICU stay HERE.)

I actually feel like his first day of life started AFTER his long blur-of-a-hospital-stay….because everything has been very normal since then.  Just like any other baby we have brought home.  SO grateful for that.  And I’ve been meaning to hop on here sooner to share pictures and give an update…..but our stinkin’ internet has been down and so finicky for about a week.  But today, it works on my laptop.  Still nothing on my desktop.  Or wi-fi for my phone.  But my laptop somehow has special powers, I guess….so I’m going with it! ;)

Anyway, Max Emmett Johnston is exactly 3 weeks old today (but these pictures were taken at a little under 2 weeks old).  And is home, right where he belongs! :)

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I mentioned in the last post that Max had an infection in his lungs and wasn’t breathing very well, etc…..and that’s why he was in the NICU originally.  But while there, they found a heart murmur (that is expected to heal on its own) and then also had a couple episodes of a racing heart rate, that kept him in the hospital even longer.  However, if we hadn’t have been in the hospital for the lung infection and hooked up to all those monitors, we wouldn’t have caught his heart rate up in the 300’s so quickly and figured out that he had SVT, a condition that causes a super rapid heart rate and requires medication.  So really, what a miraculous series of events that helped us to figure out a bigger problem with his heart….instead of it happening at home and having no clue what was wrong with my newborn baby.

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Max is now on medication 3 times a day and will follow up with a pediatric cardiologist in a month.  We’re hoping it’s something that will regulate on its own and we won’t need medication forever.  But if not, we’re just grateful that something as simple as an oral medication keeps his heart happy!  (And possibly a surgery to fix it later on.)

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And how does Max feel about being home???!  Well, he can’t talk yet to tell us how he feels….but he sure can DAB!

I guess that means he’s happy about it! (Haha….couldn’t resist! ;))

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For some reason, Max struggled with eating while in the hospital.  I think some of that had to do with him being tube fed for the first 7 days of his life, so he didn’t have that gradual muscle building that babies gain each time they eat, starting on day one with just tiny drops of milk.  But all the sudden, when they took the tubes out and he tried sucking from a bottle for the first time (because he had to master that before nursing), it was a lot more milk than babies usually have to eat on the very first attempt.  So feeding time became such a chore to force him to eat “enough” with a bottle before getting too sleepy, every 3 hours.  Blah.  But now that we’re home, Max has gotten SO much better at nursing (woah, that took some figuring out too!) and he has now created his own little schedule…..and eating time is much more pleasant.  Hallelujah!

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Max is still a little backwards with his nights and days…..and forgets that his longer stretches of sleeping should be at night, not during the day.  So, even though many of the pictures shown here are with his eyes open…..he can most commonly be found looking like this. Ha!

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Oh, and this little boy could possibly be the most loved baby in all the land.  I have loved holding all my babies, and have soaked them up as much as I could….but Max is probably held more than any of my others.  But not only by me.  He has 4 other little people in this house who beg to hold him any chance they can get. (In fact, right before this picture….Connor was cranky that Ellie was holding Oliver for the picture and not him. Ha!)

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Not bringing home Max right away was really tough on Ellie, Connor, Chloe, and Oliver…..and was the cause of many tears (especially by a very frustrated 6 year old, Chloe).  They asked every day if it was time to bring him home yet…..which was hard because we never knew an exact date to tell them.  They also really grew tired of me only being home briefly in the morning before school and then for maybe an hour or so after school, before leaving again to stay with Max at the hospital through the night.  I really hated it too and felt so torn.  But now that Max is home, there is a whole lot of holding and loving going on around here!  (Especially by our oldest Ellie….my goodness, she thinks that baby is hers! But they all fight over whose “turn” it is, even Oliver!)

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I guess it’s true….the youngest tends to be spoiled.  But I’m okay with that.  And just want to soak in as much as I can.

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Including these HUGE feet!

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And these suuuuuuuper long fingers!

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Sweet little Max… are such a joy!  And even though your daddy gave you the nickname “Mad Max” in the hospital (probably because they tried a trillion times to put an IV in you one night at the hospital and your veins kept collapsing….and you kept screaming), I just don’t think that name works for you anymore.  Because you are sweet as sugar.  And extremely mild in nature.  And have this entire household wrapped around those cute little fingers! :)

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Anyway, thanks again for hanging in there and checking in on me/us, while my posting schedule has been so irregular!  I sure appreciate you all….from all over the world! :)

I do have several things to share with you this week, that I worked on for several weeks before having Max….and have been itching to share!  And then there are so many baby boy things that I have been wanting to show you all too.



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Emily says:

    So glad Max is home and doing well! What a champ! My twins were born at 25 weeks and spent 110 days in the NICU, so I can relate to how hard it is leaving your baby behind! I hope you are recovering well too!

  2. Bethany @ 4SonsPlus1 says:

    So happy for you all. What a sweet, precious baby boy, and what a relief that he is now home where he belongs! My ten year old daughter still thinks the baby is hers…a year later, ha ha ;) Enjoy this special time.

  3. Liz MacGill says:

    So happy for you. Your baby is home with his family now and yo are all together in one place. What a relief for you and your husband. Good wishes for the future.

  4. Eva Kampi says:

    Um lindo baby, parabéns! Rogo ao Senhor que lhe dê saúde, sempre. Felicidades!

  5. MJ says:

    Such nice pictures of your children. Congrats!

  6. Erica says:

    OMG! OMG! Max is the cutest baby boy i have ever seen……..When i was small there was a fight in holding the baby . we resolved it by putting turns for people each day maybe u can try it Ashley

  7. Bonnie says:

    What a sweet little face. Your kid let’s look so much alike! Love it.

  8. Louise says:

    Congratulations to all of you, it looks like Max will have no trouble getting someone to pick him up! YOu are so blessed to have such a beautiful family. Glad your home and things are foiling well.

  9. Kim N says:

    So glad Max is home! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with all of us. Each child is a unique and precious gift from God!

  10. Maree says:

    Awwww… So glad cute lil Max is home and what adorable pics! Wish I could hold him as well. Best wishes all the way from Maldives to your very lovely family.

  11. Lynette Ballard says:

    I am so glad he is home and you are all adjusting! My son had a really hard time nursing in the hospital, and as soon as we got home he picked it up quickly. I think babies know when they are really home or not! :)

  12. Mary says:

    Beautiful family! Welcome home little Max! Enjoy all that holding time because he will grow far too fast!
    Blessings to you and your clan.

  13. Tamara says:

    Best “dab” ever! Welcome home cutie patootie. Enjoy him!

  14. Sarah says:

    I had my own little boy (my first) two weeks before yours! It must have been so stressful with the NICU stay and everything… glad he’s home and doing well! Looking forward to more boy projects in the future as our wee lads grow and grow! All the best! Sarah

  15. Regina says:

    You have an amazing family! God Bless all of your children; Max is a beautiful little boy and looks like he’ll have more hugs and kisses than he can handle lol!

    Blessings to all of you!

  16. Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing and Crafting says:

    What wonderful news, Ashley! I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been for your family, but finally the wait is over… and I’m sure it was worth it! You have an absolutely gorgeous family, congratulations! :) Lisa

  17. Anonymous says:

    So glad to hear that Max is home and doing well. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  18. Eliza Kaschel says:

    Congratulations! Beautiful family. Greetings from Poland !!!!

  19. gigi la chti says:

    tu as une bien belle famille toutes mes félicitations

  20. Jennifer says:

    That’s great to hear that he’s home. And what a cutie he is!

  21. Trish Elliott says:

    What a beautiful baby. Max, you are a blessing and God has a plan!

    I am sure sll are better now that Mom is home.
    Lifting you and your beautiful family up in prayers!❤

  22. Stephannie says:

    Darling, darling baby. Thanks for the updates. (I always love to see photos of your oldest son. He appears to love his siblings so much. (Either that or he’s a great poser.)) Congrats on your 5th child. Such a blessing!

  23. Irena says:

    So happy for you all. god bless you

  24. Deanna says:

    Hang in there with the SVT. My daughter had surgery at 12 and has lived healthy and medication-free ever since. Best of luck to you. Modern medicine does miracles daily.

  25. Cynthia Petrey says:

    So glad he is home and doing well. I was anxiously awaiting to read news about this sweet baby. He is perfect and I totally can see how much he is loved by his siblings. What an absolute blessing. He has been in our prayers and I am so glad to know you are all together now.

  26. T. Webb says:

    God Bless you all. What a lovely family. I am so glad everythng worked out. Will keep all of you in my prayers.

  27. Kay says:

    Beautiful family. He is adorable and he has a loving family. Welcome home baby Max. God bless you all.

    Grandma of 13. Kay.

  28. Catherine says:

    He is beautiful! God bless your sweet and loving family! I’m so glad little Max is well <3

  29. Elaine says:

    Aaah so precious! Congratulations!

  30. Nancy says:

    I remember when Oliver was born. Each baby is a gift to your family, and the older ones certainly enjoy sharing in the miracle.
    I wish you all the best!

  31. Angie g says:

    Welcome home baby Max!!! So happy your little guy is safe and home.

  32. Artemisa says:

    Thank God Max is fine, I hope he has a long life and a lot of health.

  33. Susan says:

    Beautiful baby and family.

  34. Lorraine Manns says:

    Wow! Massive congratulations to you all…what a beautiful family. Sending our love from Cheshire. UK. xxx

  35. Noreen says:

    Such a blessing ❤

  36. Sharon Arnold says:

    Welcome home Max to your loving family! God Bless and keep you all in His tender loving care!

  37. Anonymous says:

    He is beautiful. Such a lovely family..congratulations to all of you

  38. Phoenix Richards-Bingham says:

    You have a beautiful family.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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