Journey to Parenthood

I want to be purposeful about journaling during this time in our lives as we watch our miracle micro preemie, Asher, continue to grow and thrive. I began this blog during my month of bed rest at the hospital while I was pregnant with Asher and his brother Titus. We continue to hope and trust the Lord for Asher's future. This blog begins with the story of how both of our boys came to be. They came about after many tears, many prayers, and many months of crushed hopes. On February 2, 2012, our boys Titus Bauer and Asher Mark were born at just 23 weeks and 2 days gestation. My water around Titus broke at 19 weeks, so his lungs were very underdeveloped. Titus lived 45 minutes and is now living a perfect life in heaven as he watches over his little brother Asher. Two and a half years later God redeemed our story of hurt with a precious full term baby brother for Asher. We are humbled by how the Lord has loved on us in our journey through parenthood.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Big Moments and Letting the "Mysteries" Nourish



We've had a big week! First, Bryan held Asher for the first time and we got our first family picture! Then, today when I walked in...I noticed Asher was not on Cpap anymore! He has what's called a nasal canula which is a another step down in the oxygen assistance world. We are so blown away at how the Lord has blessed us in one week. During the hard days after surgery last week, I really prayed for some refreshment. Isaiah 49:10 says:

"They will not hunger or thirst, neither will mirage (mislead) or scorching wind or sun smite them, for He who has mercy on them will lead them, and by SPRINGS OF WATER He will guide them."

So, I read this at one of my lowest points last week, and just asked the Lord for something refreshing..a "spring of water" in what was beginning to feel like a vast, overwhelming, depressing desert. I had had a dream the night before that Asher couldn't breathe anymore and Bryan had come to tell me that it was just too hard for him, and he didn't make it. I can't explain to how vivid my sobs and the pain I felt were in the dream. I've never had a dream like that. I've never dreamed of losing my life or anyone else's. I've never really struggled with that type of fear. This is when I knew I was really operating in a state of extreme stress, worry, and anxiety. I took a walk that morning an just prayed the entire time. I felt weak, and defeated. And then while I was walking I felt God pushing me to "get up and get to work." He was nudging me to go up there to see Asher. Moments before that I didn't want to go up there because I was afraid of what I would see, or how bad it would be..and I just wanted to avoid getting more upset or afraid. And now, I was feeling He was saying "don't be afraid- get up there and pray and be faithful and trust Me." And that's what I did. And when I went up there, Asher's oxygen level had improved. My mom and I prayed with him, and I felt much more peace after being obedient to what God was telling me to do. Imagine that! This was last Friday, and by early Sunday morning Asher was back on the cpap, and now on Tuesday he's stepped down again by being on the nasal canula! Again, the roller coaster of the NICU. I was dreaming he died on Thursday night and then just 2 days later he made a MAJOR improvement. Gosh, this boy is going to give me gray hairs for SURE. :)

On the same theme of the "desert"...I was reading the book One Thousand Gifts and the author was talking about the Isrealites in the desert and how God nourished them with manna. She said the word manna literally means "what is it". So, she talks about how the Isrealites were choosing to let something that they didn't even know what it was, a mystery, nourish them and sustain them. And when they did eat it, they described it as honey on their lips. So, she talked about all the "mysteries" in her life that she had refused to "eat" or allow to nourish her. She was saying at some point in her life, she had not allowed herself to see or experience the good that came from the hard things. So, what are the mysteries in my life that I need to let nourish me? All the things that cause me to ask "why" or things that I can sometimes say "I don't know what this is" . Obviously all the hard things that have happened the last 2 years, but especially the extremely premature birth of my twins, and the death of one of them. It is not a complete mystery to me why this happened, but it definitely has elements of mystery in it in that I don't know all the answers or reasons why. So, I was reading this and feeling God say "eat the mystery, and let it nourish you". What does that look like? Well, here are some ways I/we've been nourished by accepting our story, and attempting to glorify God in it. We have been blessed by so many people in their messages, gifts, and service to us during this time. We've received many sweet, very thoughtful gifts with our sons names, or initials on them...just amazing gifts that have blessed us immensely. We've had delicious meals left on our doorstep..something as simple as eating a home cooked meal together at home is something we've been incredibly thankful for. It has nourished our souls to have people tells us with tears in their eyes that our story is changing them and people they know who've read our story, or are following it on Facebook. To have moms tell me my story and experience has changed how they mother their children or view their role as a mother. To have complete strangers tell us their relationship with Christ is different and changed because of what we are experiencing and sharing. To have sweet conversations with new friends about the hard realities of infertility and loss. If those things are not "honey" on our lips I don't know what would be. If those stories don't nourish our souls, and soothe the aches deep in our hearts, I don't know what else could. THAT is what God does through pain. He makes the ugly into the beautiful. Ashes to beauty. Those are powerful moments and in those moments Bryan and I look at each other and we don't say it, but we are thinking.. "Really? We had that affect on someone? Really?" By the grace of God alone is that possible! We are two really sinful, messed up people! ;)

Another book I read a little from recently is called When I Lay My Issac Down and in this book the author talks about how before Jesus dies, he compares himself to a wheat germ seed. The book talks about how the seed has to leave its familiar seed covering, be buried in dirt and in the dark, and then hope that new life will spring forth after that. Even lush life. The verse is John 12:24:

"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."

The author goes on to say "in the same way, we need to be willing to give up whatever is most familiar, comfortable, and precious and allow ourselves to sink in the darkness, and trust God will bring life out of what feels like death." I was forced to give up something comfortable and precious to me, a normal pregnancy and the life of my son, Titus, and I had to allow the darkness of that reality to be in and around me- to accept how dark and hard that was (and I will have to continue to do this), and then trust that God would bring life from it, and good things. The Lord has already brought good things from that darkness and that loss of what's normal and comfortable and precious. And I pray He continues to show Bryan and I more and more of His perfect purpose in all of it and that new "life" continues to come forth, and even lush life!! What great hope there is in thinking about that. That makes me so excited to see what God will do next. I need to come back to that Truth, and these words in the hard, discouraging moments!

This first video is our sweet boy with no mask or anything else covering his face! We haven't seen him a whole lot like this..where we can just truly take in all of his face and features..another blessing!! Just getting to LOOK at our son, and take in all the details of how God physically made him is a treat. And then, the second video is from last night when I caught him sucking on his paci like a big boy! The nurses have told us they really don't develop a sucking reflex until 34 weeks. He was 30 weeks yesterday! Another thing to be thankful for.



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6 comments:

  1. Robyn, though I've never met you I've followed your story. First and foremost he's absolutely beautiful! Second, you, your husband and your babies are my heroes. The story of Titus, though out breaks my heart, is a story of pure love. One doesn't ever have to set a foot on solid ground to leave a footprint in peoples hearts nor to serve their purpose on this Earth. Asher is such a champ I can't help but be humbled and obligated to make him a hero and you and your husband for being so firm in your faith and holding nothing but love in your hearts! Please do me one favor, give Asher love from me and my family and tell him to keep up the great work because I have an 8 month old son who loves meeting and playing with new friends!

    Love,
    Lynne

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    1. Thank you, you are so sweet to post and say that!

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  2. Robyn,
    We are complete strangers and I have to tell you how much my heart aches and celebrates for you and your family. I have followed your story since your loss of Titus. In December I had my first child and it was a complicated delivery and her first week of life was hard. She would quit breathing and had a battery of tests ran. She was eventually put on seizure medications and we have had follow up appointments that haven't given us the clear that she is ok and doesn't need them anymore. While our stories are two completely different scenarios, I feel your pain as a mother. Your story has made me stronger in times I felt weak and hopeless for my LO. Your faith has inspired a new faith in me. I want to reach out and hug you and tell you everything will be OK. You have prayers coming from McHenry, MD. What an adorable family you have! I admire your strength and I hope you know you are an inspiration to many women. Just wanted to Thank you for being so open with your journey. God Bless you and your family and GO ASHER GO!!!!

    Katie

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It's amazing to read posts from people I've never met! Thanks for sharing your heart and some of your daughters story. And thank you so much for praying, we are so thankful!!

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  3. I am sitting here holding my precious 11 month old baby Zachary in tears as I read your posts. Sometimes at night I rush to check on him because I have this fear that he is not breathing. I pray on the way "please Lord, don't let him be blue". I can feel the physical pain in my gut as if he is gone forever. I am so sorry for your pain. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. Please know that you all are loved and cared for.

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