Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Levi

Tomorrow is Levi's 2nd birthday. I wasn't kidding when I said I would update this slowly... much slower than I thought! I figured I would take the opportunity to post pictures from day 4 (and maybe more) as we were leaving the hospital around that time, and getting to bring him home. A nice surprise, but also something we were not prepared for in the slightest! Not to worry, with three older brothers, I had lots of clothes on hand. The thing I wish I had more of were good hats. Some friends knit and crocheted him a couple, but there were some I liked more than others and he wore them 24/7. You'll notice from the pictures my favorite ones had a chin strap which helped keep the hat and his bandage on. Highly recommended in a variety of tiny sizes!
Here are some favorite pictures-

Seriously. COME ON!! Cutest Yawn EVER.

This peanut saw the world! Here we are by the Snake river with his aunt Fifi, the uncles, Gramma and brothers. And yes, we brought boxed wine. Don't you dare judge us. :)


Levi and Miss Suze, the maker of that adorable little hat.

Me and the little man.

Micah loving on his little bro.

Tomorrow morning we will remember Levi's birth by eating cinnamon rolls, a birthday tradition around here, and bringing flowers to his grave. Last year we all wrote or drew something that reminded us of Levi. The boys mostly drew pictures of Levi fighting dragons, but Larson and I wrote some of our memories and we put them all in an envelope. We'll do something similar this year, and every year, in remembrance of our much loved brother and son.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Levi!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Remembering Levi (in-utero!)

I have a couple days a year that are Levi's days, and today is one of them.
October 15th we had our ultrasound and learned that Levi had anencephaly. March 31st he was born, and April 16th he died.
Oh, and July 4th we found out we were pregnant with him, and so this picture has a special place in my heart -

It was taken that day, and as you can see... our hands were quite full! The news was overwhelming, but super exciting all at the same time. At the time, we had a newly three year old, one (almost two) year old, and a 9 month old!

Anywho, I just wanted to say to anyone who might stumble on this blog and has just had the day that I had 2 years ago, that you're at the worst right now. Weird, I know, but being pregnant and carrying this "news" was the hardest part. So much unknown, so many possible outcomes, and so soo much to worry about! The whole gig is tough, but I'm 2 years out and know that the pain I felt saying goodbye to Levi (which is what kept me up crying at night while I was prego) was very temporary or fleeting compared to the pain I remember feeling on Oct. 15th, and the duration of the pregnancy. It was chronic. It lasted 23 weeks to be exact. An intense, scared, deep sadness that was written all across my face. I couldn't be alone, because I never was - I was alone with Levi the baby I was going to have to say good-bye to soon, but I don't know when.

Me and Seth on Oct.18th - we had just found out:

Many people have felt that type of burden. Knowing your loved one is leaving, but you don't know when or how.
Everyone is leaving at some point, but when you know it's looming it is definitely a different type of grief and hardship. Someone said something to me that I really loved (sorry I don't remember who!) but they said that no amount of time is enough. I had far more time with Levi in my life than most people with anencephalic babies... and while I feel uber-grateful, it still isn't enough, because I loved him and am jealous for him. I want him with me. Not really too crazy a thought... just normal, right?
Well that's my story for now.
Me and Ziggy on my due date:

Top advice for grieving expectant mothers - get a big coat to wear in stores so you don't have to talk about the belly, and find a new awesome TV show to watch or funny book to read every night while you fall asleep. Thinking about it doesn't help. It doesn't - you'll do it anyway, and that will be plenty. Worrying about how it will play out won't do beans. And maybe take up knitting. Knit furiously a bunch of little hats for your peanut. It super therapeutic and you'll need those hats!
That's my advice, I wish I had taken it when I needed it!

Here we are freshly home from the hospital - the day we didn't think would ever happen!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 3!!

Levi's 1 year Birthday is tomorrow and to save myself from going through all these pictures and turning into a ball of mush then, I'll just do it now! Here are some pictures from Levi's 3rd day with us... still in the hospital, but not for long!

Jed came for a date with Mom, Dad, and Levi

Levi got a visit from Miss Rachel

We had a lot of this going on... uncles looking quite fishy and Gramma knows better!

Horrible picture, but we took about 10! They weren't getting any better!!
Mom, Dad, and our tiniest son.

Levi's famous smile! He always made this HUGE smiling face, especially when he was kissed by his brothers (Micah would kiss him over and over just to see him smile!) It was definitely a difference (can we say perk?!) of an anencephalic baby, other newborns just don't have the personality that this little bugger had... I would know, I've had 3 before Levi!!
So cute, I'm glad we got a good shot on camera!

More to come as we leave the hospital in the next post! Levi got around too... Snake River, Spokane, Moses Lake, and Easter Sunday... he's saw it all!! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 2 Picts

One year has passed since we learned that Levi had anencephaly. It has been a difficult year, fully dealing with the news we received, and losing some furry friends along the way, but here we are! We wouldn't change the outcome of our year for anything, it was an honor and a privilege to carry and to care for Levi.
Here are some pictures from day 2 since that is where I left this blog last, eh? :) Enjoy!

The Aunts and Uncles make it!

Uncle Weston forgetting that he was coming to Idaho in March... where there is still snow! :)

Love this floppy chicken shot!

Love those lips...

Micah (2 yrs.) is super affectionate with his baby bro.

Gramma with the tiny peanut...

with Dr. Minudri, the greatest doctor ever!


2 days old @ 5:30pm!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We gathered these flowers from the outskirts of town to put on Levi's grave- aren't they beautiful?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Levi's First Day

Here are a couple picts from the first 24 hours. We were still figuring out a good bandage/hat combo, so bear with us here... these aren't the cutest pictures. I had been in the hospital pumped full to the brim with drugs for quite some time now, and just had surgery. Larson had been sleeping (sort-of) on a couch and, well, looks pretty good- darn him. Enjoy!

This is how Larson slept:

Jared drove over from Seattle in really bad weather, really late at night, but we were awake (of course) and he came to meet Levi at 3 AM or so. Thanks Jared!

The Family all visited in the morning and each brother got to spend some alone time with us and baby Levi.

Mom = Tired; Levi = Adorable

Levi beat the odds as he cruised past his 1 day birthday!
(Posed by the clock to show the time being 24 hours from when he was born!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Levi's delayed arrival

Levi was due on March 9th. I had previously decided I would not just induce on my due date primarily because I felt weird about potentially picking his birth and death day, but also because I knew I had a history (Seth) of induction methods not working on me. But lo, labor did not start on it's own as we had been warned might happen. I was 42 weeks and 1 day when I went in to be induced.

With a healthy baby I would have done this as well purely because the chance of still birth increase significantly after 42 weeks. Two days and fully loaded with drugs I went home with no baby and definitely not in labor. We re-scheduled for a couple days later with the hopes that the drugs would kick start labor. No such luck. We went back in knowing that we were staying until Levi was out as I was 43 weeks at that point. Two more rounds of induction and I was 2 cm dilated. nice. We really didn't want a C-Section for the obvious reasons, but also because bonding time with a baby that may only live a couple minutes is hindered... I would be in surgery still and unable to hold him for at least 20 minutes while I am sewn back up. A serious sort of problem when that might be their entire life! None the less, our doctor offered his last idea to get me into labor and it was breaking the water. We had written in our birth plan that we did not want to break my water because it significantly reduces anencephalic babies chance of surviving childbirth. We wouldn't take that risk with our other children, and we weren't going to take the risk with Levi. We decided to do a c-section knowing it was not ideal, but neither were our other options. My husband made the final call to do it with the reasoning that this will help us heal after Levi is gone. We knew his condition and also knew that we didn't want to always look back on this time and wonder, "what if we had just done this or that?" At least now if he is still born or lives only seconds we could say we felt like we did all we could. We look back knowing that this was always God's plan for Levi, and I'm so thankful.

Levi Jachin Hicks was born March 31st 2009 at 5:30 pm and was baptized in the operating room moments later. We don't believe that baptism saves you, but we do believe that God promised us our children. We baptize in faith, putting the Lord's mark on them so that he will remember his covenant he made with us. Just as the Lord places the rainbow in the sky after it rains so he will remember the promise he made to not flood the earth again. Levi was a baby who would never "understand" his faith. He would never be able to "discern the body" as most churches require of their communicant members. But yet the Bible states that he too is an heir to all of God's covenants promised to his children... so now what? :) Read these books.
He weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. 18.5 inches long
He was covered in vernix, which none of my previous 3 had any of this goo, so I was confused what it was! But here is a nice gooey picture for you... very fresh out of the oven!

Proud Papa

Meeting the Fam

More to come!