Well the holiday weekend is almost over...it started off for me to be quite an emotional ride. Thanks so much for the comments and emails. I find it so comforting to hear from people. The beginning of Thanksgiving day was super difficult I had a difficult time giving thanks. I am a planner and I don't like when things don't go the way I planned, something I know I need to work on, obviously God knows that too! But I was so set on the 19th of December that the possible change in plans sent me spinning and it was, jeez...just a hole mess of emotions. Luckily and blessed that I am, my family came through and pulled me out of the doom and gloom. Then as the day progressed I began to let go of the despair and I rested in my blessings. Because I am blessed and thankful. I wouldn't trade Max's life for anything, even if his life may only grace me for a short time. I also wouldn't trade my family or husband or even my dog for any one else's. I thank God, as I clearly see his provision in my life. I do have so much to be thankful for...even though the road I am on now challenges me at times to count my blessings.

By the way I went in yesterday so we could monitor Max's heart rate, just so I could make sure he was fine, his heart rate was back up to a healthy range 120-150. I am still thanking God for that!

Dustin and I decided that our decision on delivering Max next Friday will be based on our appointment on Monday. If Max has not grown at all, or if his heart rate is not healthy we will discuss with our doctor about Friday. But if he has grown and his heart rate is well we will wait another week. I just pray for God's will in the situation. I will post on Monday and thank you for your continued prayers.

God bless,



Please Pray!

This morning I received a call from my doctors office, after reviewing Max's growth my Doctor thinks it may be best to take Maxson by c-section on the 5th of December. She is looking at the big picture and thinks that it will give us a better chance to have time with him. She is looking at this medically where I appreciate but understand that there is also my view. Which is, Max is only going to be 37 weeks if we take him the 5th and if he is doing good like he is, he's just not growing too good, than who is to say he will be ready to breath on his own and many other worries that seem bigger to me the earlier we take him.

On the other side if we wait he may pass in utero and that would be very difficult to live with...ahhhhh. I need a clear answer, I know like everything else I may not get one but I need one... now more than ever. I don't know what choice to make. At this moment we have time. We are going in on Monday and I may go in sooner to have him monitored and checked again. I am hoping that this will give me an idea of what to do. Please pray and please if you have been through this give me some of your wisdom. I am just so upset that I have to make another choice that is life altering to our lil boy. Pray for strength and peace cause right now I feel like I am hanging by the end of the rope.




Today's appointment

Alright, Max has not quite gained a pound, but just under he now weighs approximately 3 lbs and 9 oz. That could be off a half pound either way, he is still growing and I guess that's what counts. He passed his biophysical but his heart rate wasn't as high as usual but my doctor thought it was passing due to all the other great signs, it was low lining at 110 and topping at 140, where in the past they told me a healthy heart rate was 120 - 160. So please pray for his heart to keep doing its job and to not go any lower!!

I feel like I am now constantly holding my breath...when I wake up I hold my breath till I feel him kick, today I held my breath until I saw my doctor, because I noticed that his heart rate wasn't quite as strong as it had been on the last tests...its just such an up and down road. Like on the contrary I have many hopeful moments; today Max was sucking his fingers or at least had them in his mouth. And his pinkie and pointer finger were up. I did tell my doctor and I don't know if it is an accomplishment or not, but heck I'm taking it as one, GOOD JOB MAX! He also was practicing with his lungs better than any test in the past. So I take in the good and the bad and still don't have any guarantee, right? Yeah, I guess that is how life works I'm just not used to dealing with that reality in my face in other areas of my life...NOTHING IS GUARANTEED (I yelled that even if it was just in my head)! If you want, email me and let me know what is, cause right now I can't think of anything, except...no, actually nothing.

So please, Max desperately needs your prayers, he has to pass 3 more tests in the following weeks and then he will have to pass my kissing him a million times test!

with love,



Biophysical and Max's Birth Plan

Tomorrow Max will have yet another biophysical. Last week he passed again with a 10 out of 10. I will request tomorrow that they also measure him. His last measurements were taken in MN and he weighed then just under 3 pounds... So flash forward about 4 weeks and hopefully he has gained no less than 1 pound. I will post after we find out, so please pray!

I am trying to help his weight gain by enjoying fattening treats!! Yes, that is the only reason...well, okay I have a great sweet tooth as well!!

Today Dustin and I wrote out Max's birth plan this will be given to all the hospital staff taking part in his entrance into this world. I am going to post it below, as it may be useful to someone going through this in the future. And we had to really research and seek out exactly what we wanted to have in our plan for him. It was difficult to write but now that it is done I feel so much more prepared for that day. Please continue to pray for us and please pray that Max continues to grow and that his heart will heal. As the time draws near (about 3 weeks away) the need for your prayers increase. Thank you to all. Dustin and I can't express enough how much it means to have all you out there praying on our behalf. The fact that you are sharing this journey with us means you share in our love for Max, thank you.

We love you and give thanks for you.

Trish and Dustin

Maxson Linwood Hagen Birth Plan

At 20 weeks our son was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. As of now we know that he has a VSD, an overriding aorta, a kidney that is not functioning, two cyroid cysts on his brain, a cleft foot, clenched fists, and low set ears. This is our first pregnancy and our son was conceived using fertility, he was prayed and longed for long before this time. Considering the diagnosis we have made the decision to carry our son Maxson Linwood Hagen to term with the understanding that he may not have a long life. We firmly believe that Max is a gift from God and we will treasure every minute we have with him. He is deemed “Our Miracle Max”, we are praying for a healing miracle, but do understand we have already received our miracle in his life alone.

Below is a list of choices we have made in regard to Max’s delivery and life, we hope that the list will help in the experience we desire with our son.

We are planning on inducing labor on December 19, 2008. Dr. Tong will be delivering Max. We wish to try a natural birth, but will revert to a c-section if Max shows any sign of distress, this will be under Dr. Tong’s discretion.

Trish does not wish to have an epidural because it may slow down the delivery process. However, she is open to other forms of pain management, including drugs that will not affect her experience. Hydrocodine is a drug she has taken in the past that has not given any side affects.

Dustin wish’s to cut the umbilical cord. He will also be by Max’s side at all times. Dustin will also be making any decisions that may come up regarding Max’s life.

We wish to keep our room open to family and friends up until otherwise requested by Trish or Dustin. We would appreciate a nurse or staff member to give updates to family and friends that are waiting.

We would like for Max to be monitored throughout the labor and delivery and to be immediately informed if Max is experiencing distress. If there becomes a point in time where it appears that Max could possibly die during labor, we want to have a C-Section to get him out and prevent that from happening. We would want to take the time to properly medicate Trish, via spinal block, so she does not have any pain during the procedure, but at the same time, we want to ensure that she is alert throughout the procedure and that Dustin is by her side at all possible times. We want Trish to have the best physical outcome possible, but our primary goal is to ensure that Max has every chance to meet us and that he is protected from unnecessary pain and suffering. We have come so far in our journey to meet him and then let him go, that we will want to do whatever we can to prevent missing out on that chance.

Following the birth, c-section or vaginal:
· If Max is not breathing immediately after birth, we ask that stimulation be used to initiate it. If oxygen is needed, we agree to its use and other forms of non-invasive methods. We do not want extraordinary measures taken to maintain his breathing.
· If Max’s heart is not beating at birth we wish to have him wiped, wrapped and handed to his mother and father.
· If Max passes during our hospital stay, please notify staff members as applicable, and please allow us space to grieve without abandoning us.
· Dr. Kemp will be assisting Max’s care and is working with us to set up hospice.
· Our goal is to have Max home with us on Christmas but until we can leave we wish that Max be kept in our room at all times.
· Trish wish’s to try to breastfeed Max if he shows interest.
· If Max cannot orally feed we request other measures be discussed with us at that time.
· Dustin would like a second bed put in Trish’s room if possible so he can stay with her and Max at all times.
· We would like to perform kangaroo care with our son along with other methods of comfort care.
· If Max needs any type of drugs that will relieve pain we are open to discussion.
· Please do not make visiting hours an issue, as time will be of the essence for us and we do not want to have any avoidable regrets or missed opportunities.
· If Max passes during our stay, we wish to keep Max with us until the funeral home comes to get him, also, please help us gather mementos. Here is a list of those things, if there are others that you think we may want, we would be grateful for your suggestions.
1. Bassinet card
2. Hats
3. Baby blanket
4. Photographs
5. Hand and foot prints
6. Hand and foot molds
7. Lock of hair
8. Hospital bracelets
9. We want to bathe and dress Max at an appropriate time
· There will be no autopsy done on Max.
· We have chosen Fulkerson Funeral Home to take care of funeral arrangements.
· There will also be a professional photographer that will be standing by to take photos when needed.

We may have only seconds or minutes with Max alive, but we may also be blessed with hours or days. Whatever we are given, we intend to make the most of it, and we ask for your help and support in accomplishing that. We ask that everyone refer to him as Max or Maxson. It is our wish that for his birth and during his short life; Max be surrounded by a loving and caring environment.

This is a very difficult time for all of us, including you, as you work to support us and care for us throughout this part of our journey. We truly appreciate your help and support, and ask that you understand if we seem indecisive or experience a variety of emotions at times. We also appreciate and find great comfort in your expressions of grief and joy, be it through tears or even through humor, so please do not hesitate to cry or be sad in front of us, if that is how you feel.
We have tried our best to prepare for this short time with our beloved Max, and we want to be able to spend as much time with him as possible. Thank you so much for helping us and supporting us through this celebration of our son’s short but precious and meaningful life.



Loving on Max

Tomorrow we will have only a month to go until we bring Maxson into this world. With so many unknowns of what that day will hold I am trying my best to enjoy every moment with him now. His kicks, and the different ways I can love on him now...I play his bunny quite a bit and hold my stomach thinking he can feel that he is held. I talk to him and eat yummy treats that I hope he can taste! Obviously I feel limited on the ways I can mother him now. I do have that nesting feeling but preparing like everything is normal is just too difficult so I am crocheting a blanket (I taught myself to crochet a couple months ago). I am trying to remember I can be sad later and that now I just want to really take in his presence in my life.

Dustin has been a really terrific Dad. Every night he waits to feel Max kick; he is so proud of his son I can tell by the way he talks about him.

I read this article on MSNBC health network today that talked about families who find out that their child is terminally ill in utero. I found it alarming that only 10 to 15 percent of families decide to continue the pregnancy after learning of such a diagnosis. The article then stated some reasons why a parent wouldn't want to continue the pregnancy. They stated that some believe that parents that continue a pregnancy are only delaying grief and thus just adding more torture. Others felt that by continuing the pregnancy it was bringing more suffering to the baby. The article also stated these reasons for continuing: religious reasons and wanting to meet baby.

Well, I do want to meet Max, I want to love on him as long as God gives me. I found it crazy that the percent of parents who end the pregnancy was as high as it was, honestly when I first found out about Max I didn't understand how I was going to make it through, it seemed impossible to go another 20 weeks with the understanding my son would die. I have always believed only God has the right to give and end life but this road definitely tested my beliefs. Now I thank God everyday for the day he has given me with my son. I pray that he doesn't allow Max to suffer. And now I also feel blessed beyond measure that God has given us this baby, even with all the pain this has brought there is also so much love and joy that I have never felt before. I am not torturing my self by continuing Max's life and I am not just adding more suffering to his life. I am just trying to be the person God intended me to be, a mother who loves and comforts her son.

We are choosing to only give Max comfort care, meaning the only medical measures we will take is to keep him as pain free and comfortable as possible. Thus far the medical field has guided us on the prognosis of such a diagnosis, they have led us to make some of the decisions we have made. We know that extreme medical measures in a baby with t18 will only add suffering and that the babies. So we won't do anything that adds suffering to his life and that would be in vain, however, if Max shows signs that he is strong enough we may change are minds.

So far we know this.... We know that we want Max to be as comforted as possible. We also know we want to make as many memories here on earth with our son as God allows.


The plan

Maxson, God willing will be arriving on December 19th. That is the plan, we will be inducing and will try a natural vaginal birth, he will be monitored so if he shows any signs of distress I will have a c-section.

I thank you to all who sent prayers up for us, for God to give us peace about our choices. Today as Max was being monitored for his biophysical which he passed again 10 out of 10 thank God for that, I for the first time had a good sense of peace about our choices, which we basically finally decided today. I feel such a peace right now that God is going to give us time with Max and that he has his hand on Max's life.

Here is the flip side to that great plan...Max at the moment is breech. He moves so much that one week he is breech the next he's in position but he has now been breech for two weeks. If he is breech at the time we will go ahead with a c-section. I am not afraid of having a c-section, actually the vaginal birth scares me much more than a surgery. If he is breech and I don't have to do labor there may be some weight lifted off my shoulders...so I'm not asking for prayer here!

Maxson has been so active, I can't tell you how much I treasure his movements I am going to miss this so much...ahh I can't even think about it.

He is so busy moving that today we had such a difficult time monitoring his heart beat. He would kick the thing that was recording his heart rate and then would move. I spent a good part of the appointment chasing him around my stomach with the... I don't know "thing that takes his heart rate". It has been really difficult to get any pictures of him, the last two ultra sounds he has had his hands and feet in front of his face and the umbilical cord. I know it sounds terribly uncomfortable but apparently he enjoys this position. But the few glimpses we had were great, I now understand how most parents find their kids to be the cutest cause from a 4d pic I can honestly say I think he is just the cutest lil baby ever!! I caught his mouth opening and closing today. And Max practiced with his lungs better than past appointments, this is very important!!

Not that it was part of his appointment but I asked the technician to measure his foot and it is a little over two inches. I don't know where this measurement stands but to me it sounds pretty big. I am hoping the reason he has his legs over his head is because he is just too darn big.

If you can't tell thus far I am gushing over him just a little today. He has given me so much to gush over today!!

I can't express how much already Max's beautiful life has taught me. To enjoy every moment, to be grateful for every moment he is here; he is here now that is what I am given tomorrow has not been promised. If I could just learn to transfer this realization to all my relationships and by practicing the effects that this understanding brings would change all the relationships in my life for the better. Life is something we all take for granted, time with each other is overlooked as expected not as a gift.

Praise God for today and pray for tomorrow




T18 Foundation

Hello, I have been praying so hard to have peace in one way or the other, c-section or natural birth. I haven't had that confirmation of what is best for Max. It's so difficult...I just thought I would ask for your prayers in finding peace with whatever decision we make. 

I am having one of those days when I am on the verge of breaking down every other minute. Breaking down sounds so severe, I mean just crying. The days vary much and today that ache is on my heart. 

Max has been very active, which is very comforting; he is letting me know he is still doing just fine. The days he is not as active leaves me holding my breath for every movement, it's just that from here out is so fragile. I thank God numerous times each day that Max is still with us. Max is so strong and is a great fighter, one reason I know this is he has quite a large hole in his heart and for him to be here now means he has beaten the odds stacked against him. Trisomy 18 babies generally miscarry in the first trimester. His odds of being born to begin with were 10 percent. He has passed that now he is on the upside, his odds of being born alive are 90 percent. His odds of coming home with us....ahhh I hate playing on the side of odds, the odds of having a baby with any chromosome problem are less than 1 percent...so playing on odds isn't for me.  His odds of coming home to be with us are GREAT! With all of you praying and asking God for Max's stay here with us to be at least as long as holding him on Christmas at home, and because I know my son is a fighter, I will say the chance is good, very good!

If anyone is interested in what to give to this Christmas Trisomy 18 Foundation (trisomy18.org) is selling a beautiful ornament that posted above there $30 includes shipping and would be a great way to support life and to support an organization that reaches out to families with information and research. 




Back so soon..

I know I posted just a short time ago but as requested I have to post a picture of Max's foot. Baby's feet are always so cute...and you can count he has 5 toes!! Dustin had to throw that in there at the appointment...he said it more like this "oh good, he has 5 toes!" Okay well I laugh... I married him I better find him funny!! So count um out! 


Back from MN

We got back late last night and I was planning on posting then but I was way too exhausted. Traveling this big in a tuna can of a car is just not so fun. My feet were swelled up so big I lost my ankles I had cankles!! Anyway no more 10 hour road trips for me and Max. 

We had such a great time with family and friends. We miss them already...it was great to be able to be with them and share Max in the belly with them. 

The doctors appointments were not as great. First off we really didn't learn anything we don't already know, and second I really hate the way doctors treat Max's life even though I am in agreement with most of the care we are choosing for him. We did learn Maxson weighs just under 3 pounds and that overall he is running around two weeks behind. He is where they would expect him to be given this disease.

I had my arsenal of questions ready for them and the first doctor I saw was very willing to answer my questions as where the second doctor was more like why are you asking that it doesn't matter...when I wanted to  say to him really just throw me a bone here and give me as much information as I am seeking to the best of your ability, that's all I am asking. You wont set up false expectations by telling me because his cerebellum is right where it should be it may help him to breath and swallow better.  I guess in this Doctors eyes the end is the same so why does the time in between the beginning and the end matter. Well, it does to me and Dustin and everyone who is waiting to share that time, that in between time matters greatly. So overall we really didn't need to see the doctors... but then we would have wondered, so its a good thing when I weigh the two out. Its funny cause I swear the machine they use for ultra sounds here is better than what they have at a professional place like Abbott. They did give us a bunch of profile pics not 4D pics but none the less I will scan them later and post some.

Saturday night many good friends of ours prayed with us and for Max's life. It meant a great deal...one of their daughters Sophie found a verse in the bible and her older brother Nate read it aloud while we prayed. The next day Sophie told me that she opened the Bible to that verse and then closed it and prayed to God and then opened it again to the same verse, she is such a sweet girl and at nine she has the most sensitive beautiful spirit about her. So I will leave you with that verse that God gave us during prayer and petition to him for Max's life.

We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your miraculous ways.
Psalms 75:1