dear willow,

dear willow,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Levee's Story

Friends have told me to keep a journal of this time, and the only thing I could think of is Why in the world would I want to relive this?? But it's been on my heart the last couple of days to write this down, because I don't ever want to forget this life changing event and how God used this to work tremendously in our lives.

{I've added a few pictures to this. We want to share him with you. But although Levee is absolutely perfect to us, please know he was born at 24 weeks so he doesn't look "full term" and they may be difficult for some to look at and that's okay!}

On October 4th, I started having a bit of extremely light spotting, not enough to even make me question it. I mentioned it later to W and to my mom and of course did the google search. For once, Google put me at ease and I was convinced it was just a urinary tract infection since I'd had one pretty much my whole pregnancy with Willow. I was still feeling movement from Levee so I was content. I told W that if it was still going on the next day, I would call the Dr's office. It was, so I called as soon as they opened and left a message for the Triage Nurse. She called me back almost immediately and told me to come right in. Willow was in her nap so I assured W that everything would be fine so he should stay home with Willow. This was the first appointment he'd missed. We did the routine weight check, blood pressure check and the whole time I was joking and making small talk with the nurses. I was still feeling movement from Levee (or so I thought). The sweet sonographer came and got me and again, I was smiling and laughing with her. I just knew things were fine. She first checked my cervix and that was fine. Then she put the warm gel on my growing belly and thats when I heard the LOUDEST sound of my entire life. Complete silence. My chest got tight. I didn't see that familiar flicker that I always hold my breath for. I said "I don't see a heart beat, do you??" and she said "I'm so sorry, I don't". I always thought if I were in that situation, I would be strong. But I covered my hands with my face and started to sob. She kept searching and I was pleading with her "But I just felt him move" and with tears coming down her face she kept saying "I'm so sorry". After what seemed like both eternity and mere seconds, she said that she was going to go and get Dr Wooley. That just made it seem so real to me. He came in and for the first time, he showed real emotion. He just said "Oh Kimberly, this is not good" and put his hand on my leg. I was just sobbing so hard and then I thought, maybe HE will find a heartbeat. They both looked at Levee and took measurements but of course there was nothing. I was watching the screen the whole time and when she would scan his face, it was so hard to look at. I asked Dr Wooley if there was ANYTHING I could have done or shouldnt have done and I could tell by the look in his eyes that he meant it when he said absolutely not. He said it looked like it had been several days based on his measurements. They both stepped out so that I could call W. That was the hardest call I've ever had to make. He answered and said that he was already on his way. I was crying and said "I'm so so sorry" and he assured me it was okay, then something in his voice changed and he said "What is it?" and I told him that there wasn't a heartbeat. Again, in the voice of a hero, he said everything was going to be okay and he'd be right there. They took me to Dr Wooleys office and I sat there and cried while I waited. When W got there, we hugged so tight and cried hard together. I was so so happy to see Willow and I knew I had to be brave for her. Dr Wooley came in and explained everything to us and that he would be discussing with his colleagues what would be the safest route for them to take.

We were completely numb. I crawled into bed when we got home and went in between feeling blank and feeling so so sad. I told W that I didn't want them to take Levee out of me but at the same time it was so hard carrying him knowing it was just his tiny body. I carried him for 3 days knowing he wasn't alive. My mom had flown out that morning to Pennsylvania but shortly we arranged for her to come home to be with me for the surgery. My dad came over that night and my fill-in mom, Ms Alicia. I laid a blanket out in the back yard and laid out there looking up at the sky for hours and just felt so much peace.

It helped so much that they were there that night just to visit. In the next few days, my best friends from childhood informed me that they were coming to me. Liss had lined up people to take care of Willow the whole time we'd be in the hospital. Em made food for us and grocery shopped.

On Thursday, we met with Dr. Sullivan who would be doing the surgery. We had to have another sonogram which was awful. Of course I thought maybe just maybe there would be a heartbeat this time. But she was looking at his positioning so she could have her plan. I also had blood taken in case I needed a transfusion. They let us know how risky the surgery was for me and I was afraid. I asked the Dr if I was going to die and she said that Dr. Wooley had hand picked her because she was a great surgeon. Fair enough :)

Friday morning October 7th, we got up early. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30. I was so thankful I wouldn't have to wait all day. It was quiet in our car as we drove into the Labor and Delivery parking lot. I was still being brave. Then we got off the elevators on our floor and I saw the sign for the Well Baby Nursery. It hit me that Levee would never be in there. We stood in the hallway and hugged and cried and then my parents came out from the Waiting Room to be with us. Ms Alicia was there too. We all walked in together and I checked in. I changed into my gown and got in the bed. The nurses were SO kind. None of them could get a vein to start my IV so they had the Anesthesia nurse come in. Poor guy says "You ready to have a baby today??". We felt so bad for him and when he realized he was almost in tears. There was a shift change at 7 and in walks a pretty nurse with curly blonde hair. Everyone said how familiar she looks but it wasn't until she and my dad run into each other in the hallway that we find out they had just gotten home from a mission trip to Colombia together. What a blessing to have her with me the whole time!! She comes back with her OR gear on and then prays with me before we go in. My precious friend Jenny was there by that time to take priceless pictures for us. She took one last picture of my tummy with Levee in it. I will cherish that one.












The epidural went in without a hitch. They even said they should've video taped it to show patients how its done. They got everything draped and after a few adjustments and tilting, i was finally numb. I started to cry and told the sweet anesthesiologist that I just cant believe he's not going to be alive. She put her hands on both sides of my face to catch the tears. Then she gave me some medicine that helped to soothe me. I let the team know to keep an eye on W because for a while, we were nervous about seeing Levee. So they put up an extra drape. He came in and the emotions were so drastically different than when he walked in to the OR to meet Willow. During the procedure I noticed a song was playing. I later learned that it was "You lift me up" by The Afters. I also learned that there is NEVER music in that OR and that nobody knew who turned it on. I know :) I remember the moment that the Dr said "he's out". My heart sank. They had taken my son, it was over. After they cleaned him up, they brought him over to us and he was SO precious and tiny. I remember commenting on his little tiny toenails.

My next memory is being in our room and them bringing Levee in to us. He was wrapped in the "love pouch" that had been made for him and the fluffy white blanket that Liss had picked out.













I'm told we spent several hours with him but I was in and out from the medicine so time isn't clear. I remember taking him out of his blanket and holding him in the palms of my hand. He had on a little white crocheted hat with a blue ribbon. He was perfectly formed. He has 10 fingers, 10 toes, you could count his ribs and see that he was a BOY ;)













I wrapped him up before it was time to say goodbye so that we would be warm and snuggley.















The peace that was covering our room is indescribable. I thought it would be sooo traumatic letting him go. It was hard, so very hard, but we also knew without a doubt that he was healthy and happy with his Heavenly Father. The next morning when W and I woke up, he said "do you feel different?" and I asked if he meant, do I still feel at peace? It was amazing because we were just under this big blanket of peace and we had just lost our precious son. God is so incredible. W and I have been through so much in our short time together and God has used these things to being us so much closer and make us so much stronger. W said it best when he said he feels like we are literally stitched together. It's also brought us so much closer to God. And the comfort of knowing we will see our baby again someday is what gets us through the dark moments.

We had him cremated. I couldn't bear to see a baby coffin. His ashes are still on my bedside table but eventually we will plant a tree for him. He will always be our son, Willow will always be his big sister and one day we will all be together again. O glorious day ;)

















16 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I prayed for you when Kristi put it on her FB. I know what it's like to lose a child in the womb. I never knew what the sex was. If you get a chance, look up Angie Smith. I was at a Women of Faith Conference and she spoke. She lost her child and has a blog and has a book or two out. She has helped many hurting parents. God Bless.

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  2. what a BEAUTIFUL post Kim and a beautiful tribute to sucha beautiful baby boy. i can sense your strength and think it's wonderful that you are clinging to the Lord through all of this. I think of you very often and wonder how you are. I know with losing someone so close to you, people move on and forget, but it will remain with you forever...heaven is that much closer to us my friend. and frankly, i am in the same boat you are, I can't WAIT to get there. :)

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  3. i'm in tears. beautifully written, kimmie. love you!

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  4. I love you guys, so much and havent known what to say but by reading this I know that you are truly a blessing to both Willow and Levee. You are a heroin as much as William is a hero, and Willow your sidekick. I have been praying for you and levee.

    Love,
    Gigi T

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  5. Kimmie, you did such a wonderful job writing his story. You and William have honored his precious life through every detail. I am so proud of you, and you are definitely an inspiration to me. God is going to give you so many chances to minister to other hurting moms and this story is just one way He is going to be glorified through sweet Levee's life. I love you to pieces.

    Love,
    Liss

    P.S. Tell Willow Kate I'm singing her favorite song right now :)

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  6. Missy4msu@hotmail.comOctober 26, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kim. It opened my eyes and made me more grateful for the many things that I take for granted on a daily basis. William and Willow are so lucky to have you for a wife and mother. I know sweet Levee is smiling down on you. God bless you.
    Love,
    Missy Inzer Amacker

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  7. Kim,
    GOD blessed you with so much courage. The sharing your story was sweet and touching. You perfectly honored Levee. Thank you for opening your heart and telling your story.
    Kathy

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  8. Kimmie, Thank you so much for sharing. Levee and Willow have an amazing mommy.
    Love, Brittany

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  9. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. Your family is truly blessed. You all are in my prayers.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sending me your blog link. I completely understand the feeling of silence being the loudest thing you have ever heard. I will pray for you for peace.

    http://mckinleygrace.blogspot.com

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  11. Thank you again Kimberly for sharing this. I read it again today and it just touches my heart and makes me cry of both how sad it is but also how much it moves me the way God gives us such comfort and peace that passes all understanding.
    Dacia

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story. I know how hard these stories are to tell, but I'm glad you did it. I hope and pray that you feel peace, even in the hard times know that you are never alone! If you ever need to talk or email with someone who has been there, please know I'm here.

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  13. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story which I know must have been very hard for you. Continue to leave it in His hands. I pray that he continues to provide you both with a sense of peace even when times get tough. God Bless.

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  14. What a sad but also uplifting story. Thank you for sharing your grief but also your strength.

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  15. Wow, this gave me chills. I am so sorry for your loss, but I praise God that you seeked His comfort during your difficult time. I pray that you will continue to see God's loving embrace through this.

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  16. I couldn't stop the tears from falling. What a beautiful tribute to your son. Amazing display of love, hope, peace and faith. Thank you for sharing, as hard as it must be.

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