Happy News

Yesterday was a good day.

First of all, I discovered to my delight, that this top is a fantastic post-baby shirt. I’ve got a mean beach-ball-uterus-gut, and it was a relief to find something that didn’t highlight the fact that I still look 5 months pregnant.

We had our appointment with Primary Children’s hospital, and it went great. All the nervousness and stress that I felt going in was replaced with relief and peace coming out. Night and day, folks.  Our friendly doctor was confident that Tiny’s cleft is an isolated defect with no other major problems going on (woohooo!!!) We scheduled her surgery for January. She did fail her second hearing test, but the doctor said that he thinks it’s likely that her hearing impairment is just fluid pooling in her ears–like she’s hearing everything from underwater. So she’ll have a small surgery in a couple months to put in ear tubes. So everything looks good–and I feel good. I mean, how could I not when our doctor acted like her surgery was as easy as diving for pennies in a kiddie pool? It did wonders for my morale.

And then, to top it off, I received a surprise visit from a friend and neighbor who–get ready for it—GIFTED me a camera!!!! Como se WHAT?! She read my last post and decided to surprise me with her camera she wasn’t using anymore. Can you believe how nice some people are?! I didn’t even know what to say I was so surprised and thankful.  Thank you so much!!

Yesterday was a good day.


LeAnne B

Mim –

I am soo behind on blogs, and I just have been reading about Harper. My heart definitely skipped a beat when you mentioned cleft palate but knew that there were some updated posts coming up. I am so glad that things are looking so good for your newest little miss. I wish I lived closer so I could help you out in some way.

I am thrilled that things are looking so good for little Harper. I am also am happy you have a camera! That would be so hard not to have a camera to capture all the newborn moments.

Take care and take it easy. 🙂

Amy Morby

Miriam, I loe your guts. I am SO happy…so so happy. Lots of prayers have been coming your way, and I am so relieved that Harper is ok. She’s such a little champion. You guys are the best!


Hi Mim, wow congratulations on your beautiful girl. I love her name. I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you are going through right now. But what an amazing attitude you have. I would love to hear your birth story. I just had our little boy on June 6th and he was 8 lbs 10 oz too. My biggest baby and not so great delivery. I gave birth at home after 29 hours of labor. It was hard but everything has been fine since. Brand new babies are the best. Also, if you are looking for work, my husband works at Idaho Steel in Idaho Falls. He was saying the other day that they will probably be hiring more employees. I am not sure if they need another mechanical engineer right now or not but it might be an option. Of course you would have to live in Idaho again! But Idaho Steel is a great company and do lots of business internationally as well as in the states. Well I am so glad you are doing well and I will be praying for your little Harper and you. I wish I was closer so I could help you.
Love, Lisa


Great news all around! I’m so happy for you. Enjoy the decrease of unknowns, enjoy your “new” camera, and, most of all, enjoy holding your precious Harper, knowing things are looking up for her and your whole family. Yay!

Beth M. Stephenson

Hi Mim, you look cute. You get no points for belly hugeness when you look so good so soon. I’ll see your belly and raise you three!
You and Harper have been on my mind and I finally sat down and journaled a bit on my blog about you and how I felt about my sweet niece going through some of the same thing I went through with my girl. I think you’ll be interested. . .xoxo Aunt Beth


Beth, I’ve tried to comment on your last post twice now, once on Sunday and once yesterday, and I’m not sure if it’s going through or not..? Both times it’s said the comment was saved for approval, but anyway, just FYI. So, in case you didn’t get them, I wanted to say thank you for such a lovely post.


Hello, Miriam –
Haven’t read your blog for awhile and stumbled across your most recent posts and thought you could use even more encouragement. Congratulations on your beautiful new baby and I hope that things are settling down for you a bit. It’s always a little overwhelming to have a new little one in the house (even if you are a seasoned “pro”), but even more so when that little one comes packaged with a few challenges. My youngest brother was born 40 years ago with bilateral cleft palate and cleft lip – he basically had a hole in his face where his upper lip, upper jaw, upper mandible, and the bottom of his nose should have been. He was missing all of his hard palate and most of his soft palate. Back then, they hid those kind of babies from their mother. Mine INSISTED on seeing her son, even though the staff labeled him “grotesque.” After she got really angry, they then listed her as a “hysterical mother.”
Well, duh.
A candy striper took pity on her, brought him in, and was promptly let go for not following hospital protocol. My mother felt bad about that, as she could never track her down to thank her, but was grateful to her forever afterwards.
Long story short: she had much more difficulty feeding him than you can even imagine, as he had nothing in front to close down on a nipple of any kind. The medical staff somehow managed to create a hard palate that allowed him to nurse in fits and snatches from a specialty bottle. He had surgery after surgery – to build and rebuild his palate, his upper jaw & mandible, to fashion an upper lip and close the bottom of his nose, to stretch out that upper jaw (the amazing thing about building that upper jaw – it could not grow along with him), plastic surgery, bone grafts, skin grafts, etc. I cannot truthfully tell you how many surgeries & procedures & torturous expansion devices this “kid” had to endure over the years. All I can tell you is that he did so with an other-worldly grace, and in doing so, he became a hero to our large family and to our extended families & friend networks. He never complained. He never asked for pain meds. When he was 14 and he finally asked for Tylenol after a bone graft that became infected, my mother and the nurses who were with him sobbed because they knew how much pain he had to be in for him to even ask. He was just that stoic.
Fast-forward to today – the “grotesque” baby that one doctor told my parents to institutionalize because he “would never amount to anything” is now an artistic, sensitive, energetic, intelligent engineer who oversees a nuclear accelerator at Jefferson Labs in Virginia. He is happily married. He has experienced things that the rest of us would balk at – because he is so used to being brave. He is a gifted and amazing human being. And I am proud to have him as a brother.
I share all this with you not to frighten you, but to help you to understand the miracle that is your daughter. She is very fortunate that she is born in a time when there are far less invasive techniques to use to repair the cleft. She is very blessed that the lip, the nose, her upper jaw, and her sinus cavities were not involved. Since her cleft was fairly simple (if you can call it that), there should be no fear of the other “maybes” that the doctor listed. Those usually happen with children who have much worse clefts, and even then it is a small minority. The thought of surgery might be a little scary for you, but you have an amazing network of friends and family who will be there every step of the way for you to lean on. And she will come through it just fine.

She will bring many, many blessings to you and to your family. And she will definitely bless the world around her as she grows and becomes who she is destined to be. You will all be in my prayers.


Eileen, thanks very much for sharing such an amazing story with me. I have felt over and over how blessed we have been through the whole situation. Before she was born I had this moment where I was watching my kids play, and was thinking how much joy each one has brought to my life, and I knew that our baby would bring that much more joy to our family. It’s already proved to be true. Although I have and am struggling to adjust to the changes that come with her special needs, I feel this sense of awe and overpowering love when I take a moment to just hold her–she really is a special little spirit.
Again, thanks for sharing your story with me!


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