Cleft Lip, Encouragement, Family, My Story

Meet Harvey

This sweet boy has already made such an impact on our family!  He decided to wait 2 hours after his big brothers birthday ended to make his appearance.  At 2:20am on April 1st, Joel and I got to meet this incredibly handsome boy!  Image Life has been a little crazy with doctor appointments, adjusting to life with 4 kids, and everything else that goes on in life, but Harvey has been an amazing baby (I just knocked on wood and realize that today will probably be the day all that changes). Image Kamden, Jade, & Garner LOVE him. He gets passed around a lot and loved on even more. Garner has adjusted well and is doing great as a big sister. She just adores him. Image I know so many have been waiting on an update so here goes! Harvey weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces when he was born. He started nursing minutes after being born and has been doing fabulous ever since. This is a HUGE blessing and something so many of you have prayed for me. We knew there was a good chance with his cleft lip that he might not be able to nurse but Praise The Lord he is doing well! He is gaining weight too, which is another blessing. As long as he continues to gain weight, I can keep nursing!Image Yesterday we were able to go meet with our doctor at Children’s.  Children’s has a clinic in Lowell, which is a lot closer for us.  Our doctor comes once a month to see patients there so we were able to do our first appointment there.  We found out that they will allow us to continue to come there for our monthly visits in Lowell.  Another huge blessing!   The doctor said Harvey looks great!  He does have a notch in his gum that looks to be a pretty good one.  We won’t know what all this will entail until later on.  It could effect a number of things, but right now we are not going to worry about it because they can’t fix it until later on. His surgery on his lip will be at 3 months which will fall at the first of July.  We will get a surgery date soon.  One thing that I was concerned about was his eating after surgery.  We knew that he could not take a binkie after surgery (so we decided not to give him one) but I wasn’t sure about feedings.  We found out yesterday since he is nursing, it won’t effect anything!  He gets to continue to nurse after surgery!  Another blessing!! If he was bottle fed, we would have to use a syringe to feed him. Image So, as of now, Harvey is doing great! {and he is absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself!!} He is eating well, his cleft looks minimal, and we just feel incredibly blessed!  Thank you all for your prayers, calls, meals, and visits!

Cleft Lip, Family, My Story, Uncategorized

Waiting for Harvey

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Today as I write this, I am 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  My belly is growing which means this little man is too!  He stays very active and is always letting me know he is there!  It won’t be too much longer before we are able to meet this precious gift and we couldn’t be any more excited!

I decided to post an update because we have had so many questions.  Right now I am not sure that we know much more then we knew when I first posted about Harvey but there is more that I didn’t share then.  First of all, everything is looking great at my prenatal appointments.  I am measuring about 2 weeks bigger, but had some extra amniotic fluid at my ultrasound so this is probably why.  They are not concerned about it which is great!

I am just going to try to answer a lot of questions that I am getting frequently.  Our plan is to deliver here, not at ACH.  There is not any reason for us to need to go elsewhere.  We will take him to Children’s when he is about a week old for his initial evaluation.  As long as he is able to eat without problems, we should be able to just go home like normal after birth.  So, really the answer to this question is, although there could be complications or issues associated with his cleft, we are not planning on any of them.  We are well informed but plan on a normal delivery.

What will life be like when he gets here?  We do not know the answer to that.  We have so much information and feel very prepared for the unknown- as strange as that sounds.  Until he is here everything is up in the air.  We have been given lots of “this could happen” cases, so we know what could be.  A few things we do know, his weight will be monitored very closely for the first 3 months, with weight checks weekly.  We will be working with the nutritionist at ACH during this time to adjust his feedings/calories to make sure he is on track for surgery.  His first surgery will be at 3 months.

There may or may not be more surgeries, it is all dependent on the extent of his cleft.  The first year of life is hectic, they were very honest about that.  There will be many trips to ACH, lots of appointments, I am going to guess lots of tears!  We know that this is a journey and one that won’t always be easy but we have the biggest peace about it.  We know God is bigger then this and we are just thankful to have so many amazing doctors caring for us!  We are thankful that Harvey is otherwise healthy and that my pregnancy has been healthy as well.

Most of you know I am a photographer but I tend to be terrible about planning pictures that include me.  I realized I really wanted a few good pictures of me pregnant with Harvey but I hadn’t scheduled any AND I am almost 34 weeks.  So this morning, Mr. Meinardi decided to humor me and attempt a few pictures.  I will say, a few turned out super cute.  Being the perfectionist (in recovery) that I am, I am trying hard to remember that he is not a photographer!  He really did do a good job.  Thank you honey!

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I think he found it harder to take pictures of all of us! But we captured the moment so that is all that matters!

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We used my Tripod and took one of us together.  I am hoping to get a few more of both of us in it later.

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I love these of Garner and I!  Probably my favorite.  She is only the baby for a few more weeks!

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Cleft Lip, Family, My Story

Our Baby boy

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I finally feel like it is time to share some information about our baby boy.  It has been something I have hesitated to share so publicly, simply because we just didn’t know enough.  But I truly feel a calling in my life to be transparent about everything, which is part of the reason I am starting this blog.

In December we had a routine ultrasound to make sure our little boy was growing properly and that everything was as it should be.  We were able to see that he had a cleft lip.  At that point we didn’t know much beyond that.  Suddenly a wealth of information was available.  There were so many “could be’s” and unknowns.  For 5 weeks we just prayed and ultimately gave it all to God.  We found out about the Cleft Clinic at Arkansas Children’s hospital and made an appointment for a prenatal consult.  We also were able to schedule another ultrasound for 27 weeks.

2 weeks ago we had that 27 week ultrasound and were able to see this precious baby more clear.  He is so perfect and beautiful!  We were told that ultrasounds don’t do a great job at diagnosing cleft palate, but from what they can see it does appear that he does not have a cleft palate.  His cleft lip also looks very narrow which is great!

Wednesday we were able to meet with the team at Children’s.  They were wonderful.  They had an overwhelming amount of information to give and we are thankful to have it all.  At this point there are still so many unknowns that we will not know until he is born.  We know the first year of his life is going to be a little crazy, full of trips to ACH, and at least one surgery.  There is so much more to a cleft lip/palate then we could have ever imagined.  The good news is, no matter what it is, they can fix it!  We know that the diagnosis could have been much worse and we are thankful that it is not.  We fully trust God with all of this!

Now we are just looking forward to meeting our sweet little Harvey Powell!