These past few months have been a whirlwind to say the least. In case you missed it, we have been keeping a journal of events on our facebook page. We are thrilled to annouce a new home for updates and information about our journey and our sweet Beckham. We would love for you to check out www.beatsforbeckham.com and let us know that you stopped by. Be sure to take some time and watch our video as well. We are ever grateful for your love and support. xo
I am so excited to finally share Beckham’s room! I had hoped to share it before he was born, but then he surprised us all by coming 4 weeks early! After our 7 week hospital stay and adapting to our new life at home, I finally feel like we are finding a routine. :)
When we started thinking about designing a nursery for Beckham we knew we wanted something fun, whimsical, and filled with color. We wanted a place Beckham could grow into. Putting his room together was definitely a labor of love, but oh so worth it in the end! We started building his room from a neutral base. We tested about a dozen paint colors before landing on this perfect shade of gray. From there we found his crib at Pottery Barn Kids and his chair and rug from West Elm. The rug was on back order for quite a while, and we weren’t sure we would get one. While we waited on the rug, we found this great dresser at our favorite thrift store. Beto painted it pale aqua. Choosing fabrics was probably the most difficult task. In November my Mom and sister were in town and they helped me make a decision about these fun, bright, patterned fabrics from City Craft. Beto’s sister made the bedding and curtains, and we love how they came together! All of the prints above his crib were found on etsy. Beto built the shelves above the dresser/changing table. For now we have them merchandised with books, a goat stuffed animal after Beto’s favorite soccer team (the Chivas!!), Beckham’s Beads of Courage from Children’s, and other fun items. We love all the sweet handmade items that fill his room. So many friends sent us quilts and blankets. His set of felt woodland creatures are also made by a friend, and I hope to make them into a mobile asap.
We couldn’t be happier with how Beckham’s room came together! We are so incredibly thankful that he is finally home so we can enjoy spending time in it together. There is nothing better than rocking our sweet boy!
Kendall Crib: Pottery Barn Kids
Dresser/Changing Table: Thrifted
Graham Glider: West Elm
Zigzag Rug: West Elm
Wooden Shelves: handmade by Beto
Crib bumper, skirt, and curtains: handmade by Beckham’s Aunt Ceci
Dot Crib Sheet: Pottery Barn Kids
Colorful Fabric Banner: Twenty29 Freckles
You’re Getting Very Sleepy print: Sycamore Stree Press
You Are So Loved print: Jessica Swift
Fox print: Milk and Cookies
Heart & 10 Mil Besos print: The Big Harumph
Polaroid print: Candidate
Dallas Neighborhoods print: David Anthony Harmon
No Whining Print: Hammerpress
I think every woman anticipating pregnancy wonders about the birthing process. There are so many unknowns… how many hours will it take, what will it be like, will the pain be that bad, will I be able to handle it, will I fall in love immediately?? So many questions to ask oneself. I know I did. I always wondered. I always hoped it would be like my Mom, 7 hours of labor, 30 minutes of pushing, and instantly head-over-heels. Over the past couple of years when I imagined the perfect birth story and began making a birth plan I saw myself at home. I knew I wanted a completely natural birth experience, and I am definitely a home-body. It is where I am most comfortable and feel the safest. I knew it would be perfect. When Beto and I found out we were expecting a baby (Mother’s Day 2012!!!), I started creating a mental to-do list which included finding an amazing doula and midwife for my eventual home birth. Around 20 weeks I met Autumn. Oh wonderful, beautiful Autumn. Without her I am not sure I would have made it though the pain. She is my chiropractor – which I highly recommend to all pregnant women – and my doula. While in the process of selecting a midwife we learned about Beckham’s heart defect. Due to his diagnosis I was unable to have the home birth I so deeply wanted, but I was determined to have as natural and beautiful of a birth experience as possible. Beckham’s cardiologist wanted me to have an elective C-section at 38 weeks, his surgeon didn’t see the need for that and encouraged me to at least make it to 39.5 weeks, and my doctor was willing to do whatever needed to be done. Let me just add that Dr. Kurian is the most amazing obgyn. She was on my side from day one. She wanted me to have a natural birth, and I trusted her 100%. On Wednesday, December 19th we finally decided to set an induction date for 39.5 weeks. My parents bought plane tickets for that weekend. I was stressed about it. I wanted a natural birth, and I felt pressured into something I was very uncomfortable with. I was scared on a lot of levels. I was worried about my body, but even more, I was worried about Beckham. With a mandatory countdown to his birth, I was terrified to let him go from my safe womb… to let him enter this world and face so much difficulty. Oh how glad I am that things happened so very differently.
At 1:30am on Friday, December 21st I woke up for a normal pregnancy occurrence, the late night potty break. I was worried that my water broke. But no… there was no way… I would be FOUR weeks early!? I went back to bed and Beto was still asleep. He rolled over and I said, “I think my water just broke.” His response was, “no…zzZ.” So I laid there feeling crampy every 5ish minutes and starting to freak out a bit. Around 3 I got up again, and this time there was no denying that my water had indeed broke. This time Beto jumped out of bed wanting to know what we should do. I asked him to start the shower for me. After I got cleaned up a bit we decided to call his sister, Ceci, first. She was filming the birth, so I knew we needed to let her know. Ceci said to call our doula and then the doctor. Beto and I had just met with Autumn on Wednesday night and she gave me her emergency numbers, it took 3 tries to get a hold of her since she wasn’t expecting a call this early. She told me to call the doctor, head into the hospital, and she would meet us there later. In the mean time, Ceci came over to help us pack. Being 4 weeks early, I didn’t have a thing ready. I had not washed any of Beckham’s things, packed a bag, or written out any type of birth plan. I walked around the house like a zombie unsure what to pack and feeling light contractions every 2 minutes lasting around 45 seconds. We left the house around 4:45 in the morning and checked in at Baylor a little after 5. The first time I was checked I found out I was 4cm, totally effaced, and -2 station. I was definitely in early labor at this point. I was talking through contractions and making phone calls to my family. My parents had just booked their tickets to come down (for dates when I was supposed to be induced in January) less than 48 hours before I called to let them know I was in labor. They tried to change their tickets, but couldn’t due to the snow storm in Chicago and Christmas. Instead, they packed their bags and hopped in the car. The best part was the my middle sister, Alicia, had the week off from work and decided to ride with them. So, my parents left Michigan and picked Alicia up outside of Chicago, and they were on their way.
By 8:00am Autumn arrived as well as my good friend Rachel. I asked Rachel to be there if my Mom couldn’t make it. I’m so glad these two women were there with me! They walked laps around labor & delivery with Beto and I. Every time a contraction would come they would hold me in their arms and coach me through it. Their calm and steady voices helped me relax and better control my breathing. Autumn would say, “let it go, let the pain go, breathe it away.” The pain was increasing with each lap we took. At 9:00am Autumn let me get in the bath. Oh, that glorious bath! It felt amazing and definitely lessened the pain. I was pretty emotional and wanted to get checked. I was sure, based on pain, that I was at a 7 or 8. My bath lasted a mere 15 minutes, and Autumn had me back up and walking. At 9:30 I finally got checked again and was almost to 6cm. I was discouraged. I thought for sure I would be further along. It was also around this time that my youngest sister, Jenna, arrived as did my friend and birth photographer, Sara.
Beto had Bon Iver playing on the room’s sound system. We had wanted to make a birth playlist, but that was another thing we had yet to prepare. The music was very calming, but eventually I didn’t even notice the music or the people in the room. The pain got so intense and consumed all of my attention and focus. Every so often the nurse would check Beckham’s heart rate. I remember thinking it would be more relaxing to lay in bed — wrong! At that point everything was painful and no position was comfortable.
At 10:00 Dr. Kurian arrived to L&D. My entourage and I were walking the halls yet again. When I saw her I fell into her arms and sobbed. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so glad she was there! She was so much a part of our lives this past year. I couldn’t imagine her not being a part of Beckham’s birth. My sobbing must have been a sign of transition, and the pain definitely increased. I couldn’t walk any more. Dr. Kurian came in to check me at 10:45 and I was at 8cm. Autumn wanted to try walking again — we didn’t even make it halfway down the hall. We came back to the room, and she had me labor on the birthing ball. This was incredibly painful. Instead of leaning forward for each contraction like I had been doing thus far, she wanted me to lean back into Beto’s arms. This was easier on the ball than standing, but oh so painful. Next, we moved to the bathroom before getting back into bed. It felt like we stayed there for a long time. The contractions were incredibly painful and close together. When it was time to push I got back into bed. I pushed and pushed for what felt like forever, but was only 40 minutes. I was completely unaware of anything going on around me. Apparently, at noon the NICU team and the doctor pulled out the table with tools. The pain was incredible and intense. I felt like he would never come out. I was so tired, drenched in sweat, and feeling frantic. I thought I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t focus on anything except the ceiling. Autumn would look me directly in the eyes, and tell me I could do it, and I had to do it. She would say, “this is exactly what you wanted. There’s only one way out.” I would focus on her voice with each contraction, “hold your breath, curl your body around the baby, and push through the pain… again… do it again… one more time… now breathe it away… that contraction is gone and you are one step closer to meeting your baby.” This lasted for what seemed like forever. I was exhausted. Beto was right be my side the entire time. I felt like we were a team. He was beaming with joy, pride, and excitement. He actually believed I could do it. I don’t think he doubted for a second. At 12:22pm Beckham was finally born! Holding Beckham was incredible. We weren’t sure we would ever be able to hold him before surgery, and holding him in that moment was the first of many amazing things to come in his journey. It was a beautiful moment. We were overwhelmed with love right from the start.
I cannot believe that I am almost 34 weeks pregnant!? Less than 6 weeks to go – since I’ll be induced a bit early for the surgeon, cardiologist, NICU teams at both hospitals, and my doctor to be ready. I am SO incredibly grateful to our friends Sara & Rocky for taking these amazing photos of us (at 32 weeks)! Despite Beckham’s HLHS diagnosis and the changes it has brought to this pregnancy and his life, we are full of joy! Beto and I love feeling him move, guessing who he’ll look like, and we cannot wait to hold him in our arms and kiss his sweet face! These photos perfectly capture the love Beto and I have for each other and our little one. SIX MORE WEEKS!!!!!
If you would like to follow our journey and receive updates about Beckham’s progress, please join our facebook page – www.facebook.com/groups/beatsforbeckham/. We’ve also been using the hashtag #beatsforBECKHAM anytime we post to Instagram or Twitter with posts related to him. We would love it if you would do the same!
To our clients: We will be taking maternity/paternity leave for the first couple of months as we settle in as a family of 3 (approximately the middle of January-April). We will be almost completely disconnected for the first month while Beckham is in the CVICU at Children’s. After we are finally home, we will be available via email to our current and potential clients. We are accepting local wedding commissions starting with May 2013.
Beto and I sat in our favorite greasy spoon, pancake joint sipping coffee and thinking about the future. We were a month away from finding out if we were having a boy or girl, and we knew we needed to get serious about names. I’ve always had a list of favorite girl names from the time I was little. Of course they have changed over the years, and I have thrown out those that unfortunately turned ridiculously popular. Boy names, however, have been a different story. In all of my life there were only 1 or 2 names I even considered. Those names didn’t last. Over the last 7 years being married to Beto, he has never mentioned a boy name either. That hot July day, as we sat sipping coffee and reading through countless lists of names, we happened upon one name that made us both look up and smile. Beckham.
Neither of us has ever known a Beckham (except for that guy David, of course). It was a first name we never considered, given that most of the world recognizes it as a last name. We continued down the the alphabet of names, but we couldn’t stop smiling at the idea of a little Beckham running around. It was new and unique to us. It fit. Like it was always meant to be. Right away we knew the perfect middle name. A name to honor Beto’s Mom who passed away nearly 8 years ago. A name with sentiment, and oh how I love sentimental things. West, Beto’s Mom’s maiden name. Beckham West. Our little one. We call him lil Becks.
We told our family his name about a week after the gender revealing sonogram. They loved it! Beto and I originally wanted to keep the secret a while longer, but given our recent news we wanted everyone to know. For those that pray, we hope you’ll pray for him by name.
We want to say a huge THANK YOU for the outpouring of love we’ve felt this week. Once again, it is difficult to put it all into words. We felt so alone before writing the first blog post. Like we were the first to hear this news, or the only family to process what HLHS means for our future. We now know that we are not alone on this journey. So many of you are thinking, praying, and sending love from all over the world. On top of that, we have been given names of countless people that are walking this same road and are willing to share their story. We could not be more grateful for the confidence these success stories have given us. As we continue to grieve our previous expectations and process what will be, we are filled with hope. Thank you to the community of friends and family that have already surrounded us, we need you. Beto and I made a commitment to our future a few years back, that we would not walk alone. That we would seek out and embrace community. We knew our deep need for relationships. We are realizing just how true that need is today. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! xoxo