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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Milestones: Can We Fast Forward Please??

Milestones. Holidays. Markers in time. I have never realized before this year how much holidays are markers in time. They really are a measuring point for where we are in our lives, where we've been, and where we hope to be. How many times have you thought about what you were doing last year at Christmas and wondered or hoped for what you might be doing or what your kids might be doing next year for Christmas? For our family, so much has changed since last Christmas. We've said goodbye to two family members who's deaths were just untimely...too soon, and unexpected... our tiny baby boy- gone before we knew him and my uncle- gone before any of us were ready to say goodbye. And we said goodbye to one family member who we had many years with, but still, it seemed too soon and untimely as well. I just wasn't ready for my grandpa to leave us. Just the other day I was talking to Asher, and something made me think of my grandpa and I teared up telling Asher about how his great-grandpa would have loved talking to him and making silly sounds and voices with him. My grandpa loved kids and babies, he had a special heart for them. So, this Christmas is the first one for me without a grandparent, the first for my mom without either of her parents, and the same goes for her sisters. It's the first for my cousins and aunt without their dad, her husband. It's a different Christmas for all of us.

And then, there is Asher. What a blessing to have him with us this Christmas! What a sweet picture God gave us this year of death and new life. Asher has provided so much joy and hope, not just for Bryan and I, but I think for many in our family. A new generation, a fresh start. It is a Christmas of mixed emotions. And, I'm's okay to feel mixed. I realized today that this week was the week last year we found out what we were having. And then over the next week and through Christmas, we shared the news with our family and friends. It was such a fun and exciting time, and we loved shocking everyone by telling them we were expecting TWO boys! No one had guessed that! And then today, I realized, it was just two weeks after finding out what they were that my water broke and I was in the hospital. Just two weeks. On New Years Day. And so, I became painfully aware of how close we are to our year milestone of being in on bed rest, and then of course, Asher's birthday and the anniversary of losing Titus. So, with February 2nd comes many many emotions. I have found myself really just wanting to skip over January and February and land in March. Like hibernating. I wouldn't mind hibernating until March. I'll just duck and cover and come out when it's over! Ha! But that's me. Not the best strategy, I know. When I am surprised or threatened, ( like when someone tries to sneak up on me as a joke) my tendency is to scream, and fall on the floor into a ball or the fetal position and cover my head and face. I'm serious. Ask my husband. It's just not the best plan of attack or defense!!  

So, I think I often approach emotionally hard things that way too. "Just don't look at it, just curl up, ignore it, and it will go away." Riiiiggghhhhtttt. When has that ever worked??  It's just I'd like to skip over re-living the events of the beginning of last year. But it's too late. Often when I go to bed lately, I find my mind re-playing everything. It's not something I am consciously trying to do. It's just there, in my mind.  And I "know" the right answers and fully embrace them most days. I know that I have SO much to be thankful for in all we went through. And I am. I also know, there is a division in how I reflect- it can go two very different ways. On one side there is reflecting with gratitude and peace, and feeling very blessed for all God has done and how much love He's shown us in the last year. On the other side is a longing for what will not be. Longing in a way that steals joy from today. That side is a little darker. On that side there can be thoughts like, " I want that-why don't I get that- why do they get that? It's all about me and what I want".  Not pretty. That's when I feel like I'm acting a bit like Lot's wife and I better be careful! So the line between these two sides can be thin for me sometimes and undefined. And other times it's very thick, clear, and defined and I have no trouble staying on the side where Truth reigns. As these milestones approach, staying on the side of Truth gets more challenging some days. 

I have heard after getting past the year milestone, things get easier. I look forward to that. I know that sounds a little lazy. God didn't promise easy. But, sometimes that's just what I selfishly want. I will never forget anything about last year, nor do I want to. But, I look forward to the trauma of it all being a little farther away in my mind. Not gone, or forgotten. But, just a little less tender, and a little smaller in my mind. And time will do that. I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for how time heals. It already has healed so much in a year,  physically and emotionally for all of us. It's cliche, but it's true. 

So, as much as I want to duck and cover.... I know I need to do something a little different. I still need to get low, but not in that manner. I need to lower myself in the way of kneeling in humility before an all knowing God. I need to ask for His peace and wisdom as I enter this tender season of reflecting. He knows what' s best for me. He knows what I need. He's not done teaching me. I've not reached my pinnacle of life lessons at the age of 31. As cool as that might be, I know that's not happening! I need to ask him for the courage to look at last year head on, and the courage to embrace and love my story- yet again. Because I'm learning I can't just do that once. I can't just embrace it once and cross it off the list. I have to do it again and again. Sometimes several times in one day. Please Lord, give me the courage to do Your work with my life and my story. Sometimes I feel too inadequate, too weak, and too unwilling. Thank you for your grace and mercy in loving me through that and patiently guiding me. Amen. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Months Old!

Asher turned 10 months old last week! He's just such a cute boy. I mean his facial expressions and sounds are the best! He's 6 months developmentally and that has always been the start of one of my favorite baby ages. I just love seeing his personality coming out. I love seeing him explore and play more. I love watching him turn into a little person. For many months Bryan and I wondered when we would see him be a baby like this. It's SUCH a sweet blessing to see. We thank the Lord for him everyday.  Here are just a few of his expressions!

Dear Asher, 
  Happy 10 months! This has been a BIG month for you! You have a new medicine that has helped you stop throwing up so much. YAY. AND you are LOVING your food now! You eat apples, pears, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and green beans. And pretty soon we will try something new. It's so fun to see you open your mouth and help put the spoon in your mouth. AND you got your FIRST tooth! It is on the top and it so crazy to see you looking like a big boy with a tooth.  You are also now sleeping with BOTH arms out. Mommy was nervous about this but you have been doing so well! And, you are sleeping flat for your naps during the day which is also a big deal because we were always worried you would throw up if you laid flat. We are SO proud of you! You are getting so funny! You love to giggle and make all kinds of sounds. You love to grab your feet and take your socks off and try to eat them. You also started using  new jumper toy and you love it too! We thank God for you every day. We thank him for healing you, and saving you. We always pray that He will protect you, help your eating skills, help your tummy feel good, and most importantly that He would draw you to Him as you grow up. We love you so much baby boy! 

Mommy and Daddy 

Here's a few more pictures of the big things you've been up to:

Wearing winter hats....

Sleeping flat and with BOTH arms out...

Big boy clothes...

Using a jumper...

Comparison photo for the month! Birth, 2mo, 4mo, 6mo, 8mo, and 10mo. 

You went out to eat for the FIRST time! You slept the whole time. We sat outside on the patio, when it wasn't busy. We are really trying to protect you this winter from getting sick. We want your lungs to continue to grow strong and stay healthy! It was really nice to take you with us to do this. We loved being somewhere as a family! 



Talking, playing and 1st tooth!