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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

7 Months Old!

Asher turned 7 months old yesterday!! (3 months adjusted) Sometimes I feel like it has definitely felt like 7 months since he was born, and then sometimes I can't believe that much time has passed. This is his first time to take his monthly birthday pictures with nothing on his face! And what a sweet face he has. I could NOT get him to smile! He's much more aware of what's going on he watches the camera or my phone and is so interested in that instead of what I'm saying to him to make him smile.

Birth to now

When he came home to now 

Last month to this month

I love looking at these comparisons! I don't see these changes until I look at pictures and realize, wow- he IS changing and growing! I still feel like he will always be a tiny peanut! Looking at his birth picture to now brings a lot of emotions out-- sadness, unbelief, happiness, and overwhelming gratitude to the Lord... to name a few. 

Asher has been doing well after his g-button surgery...the first week after it was very rough, we could just tell he felt bad. But, he's gotten better, and back to being a pretty content baby. He still doesn't want to eat though. It's been 1 month since he stopped eating by bottle. But we hope to be working back toward that soon. We still have to feed him slowly (over 2 hours until this week and we started going back to an hr and a half) to help him with not throwing up. We are working on shortening that time little by little and hopefully allowing him to feel hungry again- which may motivate him to eat! Getting fed slowly means he's got food in his tummy almost all the time, so he never feels very hungry. It's a balance to get him what he needs, but also try to create a schedule that will help him get back to wanting to eat. We start feeding (called speech) therapy this week at Our Children's House, and we excited about that! We are praying for patience for Asher as we work with him on this, and we are praying that his little brain will "forget" all the negative things he's experienced in his mouth and throat-so we can rewrite his experience with eating. 
I was with a nurse last week who was checking the g-button site, and she said "How old is he, 6 weeks?" I said "Um, no..he's 7 months, 3 months corrected...he's a 23 weeker." She said "Oh wow, he's a blessing, do you know how lucky you guys are??" I said "Yes,  I know, it's just this eating thing we are dealing with." She said "Well, when he's a grown up- he'll be eating...he'll be just fine." Now, sometimes I get offended when people belittle what we are experiencing with Asher's eating. It' s a loss to grieve when your child can't eat like God created him to. But, in this moment- I needed to hear that. I needed to be reminded that he doesn't have a disability that will be with him the rest of his life. He will have to have his esophagus watched and stretched probably until he's a toddler, but most likely that will be resolved after that. He did have many medications that all had risks of developmental delays, and much of that we won't know how he will be affected until he's older- but by God's grace, right now he has the opportunity to be a healthy little boy, kid, teenager, and grown man one day. (Hard to imagine!) Sometimes I need people to tell me they are sorry, and they can understand these days are hard, and then sometimes I need someone to say- it won't always be like this, things WILL be different one day! It's just hard to see and believe when you are right in the middle of it. That's true for anything hard. 

So, thank you for reading...and thank you for praying for this sweet boy. He is where he is because of God's grace in how He's responded to the MANY MANY prayers said for Asher. 

Dear Asher, 

Happy 7 Months!! You are getting so big! And you are getting so aware of things around you. You really like looking at things, phones, remote controls, things outside...lots of things catch your eye these days. Even your own hands! You watch them move as if they are so cool, and I don't think you know yet that they are part of you and you control them. I think you are slowly figuring that out. You are still cooing and trying to talk to us and your toys, and lately you are doing an very soft "growl" when you are playing. Your dad says you know what a lion says because you often growl when you are looking at your lion toy. Smart boy! You are moving a lot too! You love to kick your legs and move your arms in the air when you are playing. I think it won't be long before you will roll over on your own. You really like putting your hands by your mouth, and even in your mouth now. Doing that often calms you down and comforts you. You still don't like eating, but we are working on that! You are such a patient boy. You can play by yourself for a good amount of time before you want some attention. We love you so much and we are so proud of you for being strong, and patient with what you've had to go through. We can't wait to see what else God will do in your life!! 

Mommy and Daddy 

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