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, November 5, 2012

9 Months Old!

Can we really be 3 months away from having a 1 year old? I don't believe it! Happy 9 months Asher man! (5 months corrected)

Asher has been doing really well and we've been soaking up watching him start to talk more and move more! He has had a BIG month with eating. He started eating puree's not long after turning 8mo (4mo) old! He started with oatmeal cereal (video below) and did great! I couldn't believe how well he did and his therapist was really pleased too. It was a relief to learn that he has all the skills he needs for eating. You would never believe what all goes into a baby, or any of us really, when it comes to eating. It's not as simple as you might think! Our therapist decided that was can lay off trying the bottle for now, and focus on food since he's doing well with that. He never has sucked on the bottle again since stopping in late July/early August. We have tried a LOT to get him to suck again and he's just not into it. So, she said he doesn't need to suck for life, it's not a life skill but eating and drinking from a cup are. So, around 6mo corrected, or when he can sit up more on his own, we will start introducing the sippy cup and see what he thinks. It was sigh of relief to let the bottle go. It had really begun to beat us down because we just didn't see much improvement. So, we are slowly introducing new foods. We've done oatmeal and now sweet potatoes this week! And he's done great with both. It took him about a week to get used to food. At first he'd look at us like "what did you just put in my mouth?" Now, I think he understands more and doesn't grimace or look so shocked. So, the plan is to keep encouraging food, keeping eating a positive and social experience and hopefully after he's a year old (probably close to being a year old corrected) we can see about reducing his tube feedings of milk if he's eating enough by mouth.  We will see, that's what we are praying for!

Other than that, Asher is just trucking along, growing pretty well. He's had a week here or there where he didn't gain much over an ounce, but after we looked at the whole month, his gain was perfectly fine. He still struggles with throwing up frequently. And I saw throwing up because it is NOT spit up. I have learned what I think the difference is based on what I've seen and what doctors have told me. Asher rarely has a regular spit up. He gags, chokes, turns red, and wretches until whatever is making him uncomfortable is out, and it's often an ounce to 2 ounces that he looses. Sometimes more. (He gets a little over 4.) It's heartbreaking to watch. Lately his eyes have been tearing up too when he throws up, just showing how much force and hard his body is working to get it out.  True spit up is pretty effortless and just comes up- he has that every now and then. We try little things here and there to try to help with throw up. Right now we are trying a new medicine that seems to be helping a little. I pray a lot too..I pray we'll outgrow this phase soon. It seems EVERY mom I've talked to who has a child with a g-button, they have struggled with throw up as well and it seems as the baby gets older, it gets better. Some moms and doctors I've talked to think it has something to do with making the process so mechanical. Normally, we feel hungry, then we eat something. So, we make the choice, and then we chew, swallow..all part of the digestive process. G-button babies don't get that whole experience. They get milk pumped in their bellies whether they are ready or not! So, that's even more so why I hope Asher enjoys food and can start playing a more active role in eating, enjoying it, and understanding how it works.

Overall, we are so thankful for how WELL he is doing! He really IS such a miracle boy. I can't believe how much he's changed and grown into a beautiful, healthy boy. How humbling and amazing to see the work of God everyday at home in my son. I don't appreciate this as much as I should!!

He is starting to roll some...not on his own, but if we put him on his belly he will NOT stay on his belly. He immediately kicks his legs so that he turns back to his back. It's really funny. I can't get him to stay on his belly and prop himself up with his arms because he just starts kicking the moment I turn him over!

The elephant picture....again?! 

This is Asher's first time to eat food! This was about a week after he turned 4mo. 

Sweet potatoes 


Dear Asher,
      Happy 9 months! This was a big month for started eating FOOD! And, you started rolling on your own! You had oatmeal cereal first and you did really well. At first you looked at us like "what are you doing to me?" and then you got used to it. You eat 2-3x a day before you get your milk and right now your goal is to eat 1/2 oz of food 3x a day (or eat an oz at one feeding and 1/2 at another) . We just do oatmeal cereal or sweet potatoes right now, but next week I think we might try apples! Sometimes you like eating and sometimes you don't. We think you LOVE the social part of eating. You like it a lot when you get cheers and lots of attention! We will keep working on it and we are praying you will keep liking it and you will understand that we eat to fill our tummy's and that it feels good to do that. You started rolling too! You roll from your tummy to your back. In fact, you won't stay on your tummy at all when we put you on it. You start kicking your legs right away so that you can flip back over. It's really funny! You are getting so strong and turning into SUCH a cute little boy. We love looking at your facial expressions. For so long, we watched you in a plastic box in the hospital and wondered when you would be a baby with smooth white skin, a baby who could smile at us and make noises, and a baby who would do what all the other babies do. And now you ARE that baby! You are one of God's most precious miracles and every time you do something new, we are reminded of how truly amazing you are and God is for creating you and healing your tiny body. You are also trying to giggle! I've only heard it two times but we are going to keep trying to make you laugh. We can't WAIT to hear you giggle. What a sweet sweet sound that will be! We love you and are so proud of you for being strong through all you have been through and are still going through with your tummy and eating. Happy 9 months baby boy!! 

Mommy and Daddy 

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