Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pics of Jacob

Here are a couple of ultrasound pics of Jacob E. The first one is a profile at 25 weeks and the second is from just a few days ago at 37 weeks. It is just his head and it's like he's laying sideways and looking right at you (forehead on the left side of the pic, chin on the right). You can see he has fat little cheeks! =)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

12 days and counting

Well, we had our last OB/ultrasound appointment in Dayton today. There was nothing new as far as the ultrasound goes. Jacob still has a big head, lots of fluid, large kidneys and club feet. We did set a date for the c-section (which I'm pretty freaked out about), which will be the morning of Wednesday, July 9th. We were also able to meet with one of the neonatologists whom gave us a better idea of what to expect and what happens after birth. There are still a lot of unknowns b/c it will depend on how he's doing after birth and such. He'll most likely have the shunt surgery that day or the day after. We're not sure quite how long he'll be in the hospital. I guess it just depends on how he does and if he has any other issues going on. It all seems more real now that we're down to the end and have an actual date set. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy this time and not become anxious. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Big Brother Brody

A little fun in the sun before the 4th wheel arrives! =)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We recently came across a cool parable that Jesus gave from the book of Luke about prayer.

Suppose you went to a friend's house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 'A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.' And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, 'Don't bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are in bed. I can't help you.' But I tell you this - though he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11: 5-10 NLT)

It had been awhile since we'd read this passage, and it made its way back around at just the right time. The way the New Living Translation uses the words "shameless persistence" and "keep on asking" has given us encouragement in the last week to not let up. We've had renewed fervor to keep on "badgering" God to heal our son. (and as always, we greatly appeciate your prayers as well.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Just a quick update to let you know about our most recent appts. We had an ultrasound on Tuesday, June 12th. It was pretty much more of the same. The fluid keeps increasing as well as his head size. His head is still about 5 weeks ahead, so is a little bit bigger than it would be at birth. His kidneys were still larger than normal but appeared to be functioning and not blocked or backed up with fluid. On Thursday we went for a visit with the perinatologist (a doctor of maternal and fetal medicine) in Dayton who will be delivering the baby. He is really nice and just went over a few things with us and gave us more of idea of what will happen after the baby is born. We'll go back to see him in two weeks for an ultrasound and then will also meet with a neonatologist b/c they'll care for the baby after he's born up until he's transferred to Dayton Children's for the surgery. When we go back in two weeks we'll schedule the c-section for two weeks after that, which will be when I'm 39 weeks. . .around July 9th. So we're getting super close!!! We're not getting too anxious (yet) and are just continuing to pray for little Jacob.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Choosing a name

OK, time for the big reveal ...So a lot of weight comes with the naming of a child. I can't think of a ton of responsibilities that carry this type of lasting weight. Name choices were crossed off the list based on how they sound with our last name, people we've known who have tarnished a given name, or potential nick names that they might some day become. With a last name like Zick, we don't have the easiest of tasks.

Well, we've decided upon Jacob Edward. We're not really deep into the meanings behind names. At least we weren't. I think our first son's name, Brody (full name - Brodyn Isaiah), means muddy water or ditch digger.... something like that. We just liked the way it sounded. Jacob's definitely not the most original name. In fact, it's the least original name for a boy in America for the last few years running, but here's a bit of our thought process on the choice. Originally, I just liked the name. It has a timeless quality. It's strong, and I don't know a Jacob I don't like. Over time, as we found out about the challenge ahead, the name made more and more sense.

There's a man named Jacob in the Old Testament of the Bible. If you've ever read much about this guy, you may know that he is said to have wrestled with God. After we'd already been leaning heavily toward the name (Kira wasn't fully on board yet), I was calling my oldest brother to tell him about the fluid on the brain that had just been discovered. He prayed for us right there on the phone and asked God to use this trying time to drive us to wrestle with Him just as Jacob had wrestled with God. When we re-visited the account of Jacob in the Bible, at first it made me wonder why anyone would want to name their child after this man. The name actually means "deceiver," and if you make the time to read about him, you'll see what a jerk he could be. ...So why give our son the same first name as this guy? Well, after Jacob wrestled with God, God chose to bless him out of his grace alone. Jacob was as human as any of us in his sin and in his faults, yet God chose him out of his grace and blessed him in a huge way. God transformed Jacob's name into the name Israel, and he became the father of the 12 tribes of Israel (Yeah, kind of a big deal). It's our prayer that God, out of His grace, would choose our son as his own and bless him to have an eternal impact on the lives of others.

The middle name, Edward, is a family name. It was my grandfather's name, and it's my dad's middle name as well as the middle name of two of my brothers. Some how, I got the shaft with the middle name of Allen. My parents still can't come up with a reason why they gave me that middle name. However, I'm convinced they were stumped for a name and either saw the name on a mini-carton of milk (Allen Dairy) at the hospital or saw it on the birth certificate (Allen County). So I feel grateful that Kira let me give one our kids the middle name I never had.

...This is random, but when we first got married, we would always map out our lives together with the four names we both loved - two boy names and two girl names.... a nice even number so that no one gets left out at Cedar Point. Well, 6 years later, our tastes in names have changed, and although the "mapping" out of our family was somewhat of a joke, we've been learning a great deal lately about whose plan really matters. We're so grateful to know this truth and to have trust in God's plan for us and our family.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

To give an idea of what all the fuss is about, here's an image of a "normal" fetal brain (courtesy of google images) on the left and our unborn baby's brain on the right. All of the black area is where the spinal fluid has built up and pushed the cerebrum out to be just a thin ring around the outer edge of the brain. Normally, there would just be two small black areas of ventricles, so you can understand why the level is considered severe (and why we're praying for a miracle). It's amazing that our neurosurgeon has seen success in cases even as severe as this. Once the shunt is implanted to regulate the fluid, often the resilient fetal brain will "reconstitute." Also, you can't tell very well in this picture, but, thankfully, the other important parts of the brain (cerebellum, brain stem, etc) seem to be doing OK. ...Praying for a miracle! It will be cool to see how God works in/through our baby.

...Next Dr's visits are June 10th and 12th. On the 10th we'll have an ultrasound check-up in Muncie, and on the 12th we'll go to Dayton to meet with the perinatologist who will deliver the baby.

...At some point soon, we plan to post the name we have picked out, and why we chose it. (The big reveal!) That way we won't always have to type out "our unborn baby" every time we refer to him on this blog:)

Thanks for your continued interest and support!