Monday, December 30, 2013

Prayer for Alicia

Please keep Alicia in your prayers. On top of all that has transpired with Mikayla, we just found out that Alicia has a blood clot in her leg. Right now it is just a superficial clot, but we are concerned because she is already on blood thinners.

The Lord has carried us through this difficult day by his grace and we trust he will continue to carry us. We appreciate your prayers and all the sharing in our burden. We love you all. You have brought us before the throne of God and we know we have seen him.

We appreciate any verses and thoughts of comfort


Update Tuesday : we're going home today.  Alicia is going to need an extra shot of blood thinners for the next six weeks. We found out this morning that Belgrade Bible Church is going to be providing meals for us for the next while. We are so thankful. Thanks to all for your support and love.

Update Tuesday afternoon: I'm writing this from the pharmacy in Augusta. We are just waiting on a couple of prescriptions before we go home. It will be good to hug our girls and get some rest.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mikayla Jean McKeen

Born today (Saturday) at 31.5 weeks.  She weighs 2 lbs and 1 ounce.  Please pray for her development. We are so thankful for the chance to hold her hand and touch her hair. These are precious moments. There are going to be challenges ahead for all of us.
Thanks be to God for this great gift to us.

Mikayla means 'who is like God' and Jean means 'gift from God'. We are learning those truths more and more with every passing moment.

Update Sunday 9 am : Mikayla is not doing well this morning (Sunday)  her breathing is a serious problem..  There are many complications to fight at this point. We are praying for miracles.

Update Sunday 12:45 pm : We are waiting on some test results on brain and lung function. The machines are doing everything for Mikayla right now. Her heart has some normal premie issues that are secondary at this point, but could become a bigger problem down the road. Thanks to all for your continued prayers and support.

Update Sunday 5pm: Mikayla desperately needs to show some response. Please pray for her development. Most recent tests show some underdevelopment in the brain. We don't know what the effects of that are. Again, thanks for the showering of love and prayers. The Lord is sustaining us. We need a miracle.

Update Sunday 8:30 pm : they're giving Mikayla a steroid shot to help her blood pressure. She is maxed out on two other medications for blood pressure. God is giving great grace as we wait. We love you all and can sense your prayers for us. Thanks for all you are doing.

Update Monday 5 am : the nurse let us know this morning that Mikayla is maxed out on a fourth blood pressure medicine. She is still having a hard time maintaining her blood pressure. We will be seeing her shortly. Pray for our courage today. Also pray that Jodie, Kendra, and my parents make it down here to see Mikayla.

Update Monday 6:30: Mikayla is not coming home. Her blood pressure is not good and she is maxed out on all her medication. We are thankful for some time with her this morning. We will get to hold her and love her after we take her off her medicines and breathing machine. Thanks for your prayers.

Mikayla passed away this morning at 9:25. She is with Jesus. We got to hold her for her last minutes with us. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Your Prayers for Our Baby are Being Answered

Alicia and the baby have had normal two-week checkups for the number of weeks since we found out about the trisomy 18 syndrome. The baby's heart rate has been consistent around 160, and we have just continued to pray for miraculous healing for our baby girl. We have received many encouraging emails and messages from friends and family that are praying for us. There are a number of churches that we have had contact with that are praying for us and our baby.

Today we had an ultrasound appointment with a doctor from Portland. After the ultrasound technician took a bunch of pictures and measurements, the specialist doctor came in. Just for a little background, we saw this doctor when the cystic hygroma was first diagnosed. He was quite focused on the percentages that were stacked against us. When he came in he looked for a bit at the ultrasound of our baby, then said:

"It is abnormal when a baby with trisomy 18 has organs as well-developed as this."

The kidneys looked normal. The heart looked normal as far as they could tell. The hands and feet seem to be developing normal. the height and weight is average or just under average. The doctor kept saying things like, "this baby just isn't following trisomy 18 protocol" and, "its not normal". The technician kept saying, "I'm trying to find the normal anomalies for trisomy 18." She couldn't find them. The cystic hygroma (fluid under the baby's skin) has cleared up on its own. Finally, the doctor said, "I see no reason why this baby shouldn't make it full term and be born alive."

We were in shock for this good news! God has heard us and is answering our prayers. We are overjoyed to hear that our baby is developing much better than expected. We praise the Lord for his working and are just so moved to be a part of this miracle.

Our baby's future is not without challenges. The only thing that concerned the doctor was there is a possible underdevelopment in the front part of the baby's brain. It is still early--only 18 weeks--but please keep praying for our baby's growth and development.

Thank you for holding us up before the Lord. Your prayers are being answered every day! We are looking forward to continued answer to prayer and meeting our little girl!

"I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath dealt bountifully with me" Psalm 13:6

Thursday, August 29, 2013


We got to hear the baby's heartbeat on Monday. It brought us to tears as we listened. The Lord is good to us. Hearing this is a reminder to us that there is a little life inside Alicia's womb. We listen to it often to remind us of that fact. Thankfully, I was able to record it on my phone and share it with you all. Keep praying for us as we walk through this journey. We thank the Lord for all the support we have received.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:25-26

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cling to what is Good

"Cling to what is good." -Romans 12:9

We received news the other day of the full results of the genetic testing of our baby. Results confirmed the diagnosis of Trisomy 18 (T18). This is difficult news, but there was still some encouragement with the arrival of this news.

The midwife was able to tell us that our baby is a little girl. This is very encouraging for a couple reasons. First of all, we already have two beautiful girls that are a joy to have, so we look forward to having another one! Secondly, the chances of survival of a baby with T18 increase dramatically if the baby is a girl.

So we are thankful to the Lord for this news. We are clinging to what is good like a life preserver in the middle of a storm--not always comfortable to ride, but at least it keeps you afloat. Praise to the Lord for his hand at work.

Thank you all for praying and holding us up. We appreciate all the encouragement.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! –Psalm 27:13-14

We are sort of in a wait-and-see mode as far as the doctors are concerned. There is nothing that can be done to better the situation. The issue is not a pregnancy-related issue. It is not an issue that has to do with Alicia’s health. There are moments that it is discouraging to not be able to do anything to help. But God is using this to strengthen us and prepare us for the future.

 These verses from Psalm 27 put words to how we have felt the last few days.

There are moments when I feel like giving up. There are moments when I feel like drooping my head in despair. I’ve said to Alicia that I can’t imagine facing this without the Lord. That is exactly what these verses say. Our faith in the Lord is what provides hope for the future. We trust that the Lord will show us His goodness in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. The verse says that we will see His goodness in the land of the living. No matter the outcome, we trust the Lord will show us in this lifetime His goodness.

 Mom always asked us kids, “How’s your courage?” At times, these days, our courage is not good. When we look at our circumstance it overwhelms us. The situation is impossible. But when we just stop, wait, and look at the Lord He gives us good courage and he strengthens our hearts.

 So we face the days ahead doing our very best to wait on the Lord. All we can do is wait. And that is the best we can do because that is when God gives strength.

 Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. You are helping us bear this burden.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

McKeen Baby Update

On Monday, Alicia and I went to Portland for a test to determine if there were any genetic reasons as to why the baby is having the problems that are present. The full test results take about ten days to come in, but we were told that we should get a call either Wednesday or Thursday with some preliminary results.

Today we got a call from the genetic counselor. We were told that the baby has trisomy 18 syndrome. That means that the 18th chromosome has developmental problems. This is very difficult news. Only a very small very percentage of babies that have this problem are born alive. Of those that are born alive, less than ten percent will make it past their first birthday. Most babies with this syndrome will have severe developmental defects.

Please lift up our baby to the Lord with us. Our God is able to do anything (Job 42:2). Our hearts are begging the Lord to move His healing hand. Pray for strength for Alicia and I as we work through all this. We have never felt so helpless. The baby is so close to us, yet we can do nothing. The Lord is certainly teaching us to lean on Him through this. God’s will is perfect and His sovereign hand is working.

Thank you to all who have been praying. You have been a tremendous support to us.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Please Pray for Our Baby

On Monday Alicia had her first ultrasound appointment to see the baby. She is just over 11 weeks along. At that appointment we were told that we needed to go to Portland to have a specialist do an ultrasound. We weren't told much, only that there was a possible 'extra membrane'. We didn't know what that meant.

Today we had our ultrasound appointment in Portland. We found out that the baby has Cystic Hygroma. That means that there is fluid build up developing under the baby's skin. It is caused by developmental problems in the lymphatic system. This is a condition that is believed to develop in less than 1% of all pregnancies.

We were told that sometimes this clears up on its own and a baby is born healthy. However, it is more likely that there are underlying problems with the baby's development. We were told today that our baby has less than a 20% chance of being carried full-term and if the baby does survive the pregnancy, there will most likely be developmental defects.

I'm asking you to pray with us for a miracle. Our God is great and He is able to perform a miracle for our baby. It is our prayer that Alicia would be able to carry the baby full-term and that the baby would be born. Please pray with us. We want the Lord's will to be done, not ours, but we are asking that a miraculous birth would be a part of His plan.

Thank you for praying with us.