Cleft Lip, Family, My Story

Harvey, 365 days later


Harvey is ONE! I never shared his birth story, even though I typed it out a few weeks after he was born so I have decided to share it now!

DSC_1930ccMarch 31, 2014…. It is Kamden’s birthday!  I woke up feeling a little like labor was in the air.  But I wasn’t really sure.  I had been in pain for weeks and sweet baby boys position had just made me miserable.  I had an appointment that morning.  I found out at the appointment I was progressing, and was in between a 3-4 and 50% thinned. (sorry for all of you who that is way too much info for, but this a child birth post).

I left and went to pick up a few last minute birthday gifts for Kam.  Then I ran to Walmart and picked up a few groceries.  By the time I got to the house to eat lunch with the fam, I told Joel I  was really thinking I might go into labor that day.  He reminded me that I had all the others at 38 weeks and 2 days, and waiting until Friday (it was Monday) was much better for his schedule.  Of course we both laughed at that, knowing we don’t have any control. 

I had already been praying that I could wait until AFTER Kamden’s birthday.  I did not want to miss his day.  I was able to go to dinner and Goody’s for dessert.  I was having a few contractions throughout the evening but they were not consistent however by 8:45 when we were at Goody’s they were pretty strong.  When we got home we got the kids ready for bed and I went ahead and made sure all the bags were ready.  By 11:00 I laid down hoping that I could just sleep.  I had contractions 10  min apart for an hour and decided I should wake Joel up.  By the time he was awake enough to know what was going on, my contractions were now 3 minutes apart and we both knew we had to hurry!  We got to the hospital at about 1:00am (had to wait for someone to get here, then we had to drive to the hospital)

It was a very rushed process with lots of skipped procedure (like being admitted before stuff starts happening) But I was between an 8 and 9.  They called my doctor and by the time he got there I was ready to have a baby!  We will skip all the fun stuff, and jump ahead to 2:20am, when this perfect little boy arrived!  He was so gorgeous and wonderful!  Funny how all the chaos disappears and you just fall madly in love with this tiny baby they just laid on your chest!  He came into this world 2 hours after his big brothers birthday ended, on April fools day!  We didn’t text too many people at 2am but I just knew when we told people the next day they would think it was a joke!  We sent photo proof with our text the next morning! 


For those of you who may not know, Harvey was born with a incomplete unilateral cleft lip and a notch in his gum line.  He had surgery July 2014 to repair his lip.  He was so incredibly perfect before and I love looking at all of these pictures of him before his surgery!  He is just as perfect now though and I kind of feel blessed he has two smiles!  Melts my heart!


This boy is so funny!  He loves to play with his big brother and sisters!  Everyone spoils him rotten though!  He is not walking yet, but crawling and climbing on everything he can get to.  He has not been a big fan of baby food, table food, bottle OR sippy cup (mom is his favorite!) but he is finally coming around to table food as long as we let him feed himself.  He loves pizza, peanutbutter sandwiches, and ice cream. He is obviously a health nut!


I have said it so many times over the last year, but this boy has taught me SO much about life!  I don’t know if I will ever be able to express all of the things he has helped me to see.  All I know today, is that I am honored to be his mommy.  To watch him grow and learn.  To be his teacher and guide through life.  I look forward to holding his hand as he walks, helping him memorize scripture and showing him what it means to love Jesus.


My prayers are big for this little guy.  I pray God gives me all the strength and wisdom I need to be the best mommy I can be for him.  That he knows our love for him always and knows he came into this world perfect in our eyes.  I pray that he knows Jesus deeply and knows how loved he is by Him.


I’m ending it with this picture, because right now, he points at everything and says “dat” but it is also a good reminder that he is really ONE!  Look how smart he is, holding up one finger- hehehe!

Cleft Lip, Family, My Story, Uncategorized

Waiting for Harvey


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.


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



Cleft Lip, Family, My Story

Our Baby boy


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!