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. Here is our journey to parenthood...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Asher's 2nd Birthday... "I will turn the darkness into light before them, and make the rough places smooth." Isaiah 42:16





"And I will lead the blind in ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them. I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth." Isaiah 42:16

Darkness into light.

Rough places smooth. 

Those 2 lines summarize the last 2 years for us. Especially this last year…it has been such a refreshing year. Asher changed SO much in one year, and reached many milestones we weren't sure he would. It has been a healing year. 

This was a day we could not picture 2 years ago. Two years ago we could not picture this healthy, beautiful blonde boy running around while our friends and family watched and played with him. This is the Lord turning the darkness into light. Because the day Asher and his brother Titus were born was a dark day. A rough day. One of the most painful days of our lives to look back on. 

It was a day full of pain for me--physically. The emotional pain came later. I was getting shots all day to try to stop contractions. It was a medication that made my heart race, and made me shake. I had gotten it off and on the entire week before I gave birth, as well as one round of magnesium, which made me feel really awful! With a magnesium drip, your body feels like it's getting flushed with heat, magnesium  relaxes every muscle in your body in an attempt to calm your uterus as well. The first time I got it, it bought us almost a week. The 2nd time I got it was on the boy's birthday. Actually, probably just an hour or so before birth. It was quickly discovered that it was not working and I was in labor. I remember my doctor being there when they wheeled me out to emergency surgery and she told me twice, very firmly, to push. It took everything I had because I was in so much pain. I didn't have my eyes open because of the pain so I only remember what I heard.  Hearing her tell me to push was the last thing that I remember happening before I woke up to a different world. 

Titus was born first, vaginally, and then Asher was born via c-section. Because it was an emergency, I was completely under. I have no memory of either of my boys being born. Although that can be hard, I do think that's God's protection too. I never saw Titus alive, only Bryan did. The only baby I held the day I gave birth was my tiny Titus, who had already passed away.  I would not hold Asher for 5 more weeks. I was on so many pain meds. I don't remember anything about that night with clarity. I do remember knowing I was not "with it". That was something I had to mourn later, that I was so out of it that night and the next day. It really took several days for the drug cloud to lift. I saw Asher the next day, and I touched his arm and hand. I don't remember really processing what was going on. It was all too much--I'm sure a mixture of shock and pain meds. The next month we watched our baby suffer, but then over the next several months, we started to see him grow and heal. We felt the mighty hand of the Lord on him and all the many prayers said for him. Asher has come so, so far. Our hearts are full. He's a tough, funny little boy who is full of joy! 

And now, I can say that these 2 years while they had many slow moments, and many hard moments, really have gone fast! To be at his 2nd birthday is a deep sigh of relief-- we made it. We made it to 2. We can't fully put into words how thankful we are for all the Lord's done in Asher, and what He's taught us in having him as our son. We pray that the Lord continues to teach us more about His character through parenting Asher, and we also pray this next year will also be another amazing year for him!

His biggest goal would be to not need to his feeding tube and to eat more table food. He still gets whole milk and water through his g-button because he's not real interested in drinking. He is eating purees by mouth, and the table food he eats has been up and down. He's had weeks of eating really well as far as eating things we eat. And here lately, not so much. It is just part of the feeding issue roller coaster and the fact that he had to learn about eating in much different, slower way than most babies. And he has dealt with throwing up frequently for the last 15 1/2 months. His throwing up is a combination of having a really sensitive gag reflex and also not fully "choosing" when he is eating/drinking. (Because if it were up to him, he wouldn't!) It was really bad when he was young- like 4x a day. And when he was young, it was so painful on him. He would gag, turn red, and cry. It was not normal spit up. It was painful throw up, and it was so hard for us to watch.  Now it's more like 1-3x a week. We had one stretch of 1 month with no throw up from around after Thanksgiving to Christmas this past year, and it was amazing! It was also when he was eating a LOT of table food and I think that really helps.  A lot of times it happens when he gets hiccups, and then is running around or getting really rambunctious after eating, he will throw up what he ate. Even if it's been an hour since eating. It's one of THE MOST frustrating things to watch as a parent of a kid who hesitates to eat in the first place. It just doesn't make for a "good" experience with food. But enough about that. :) 

So our biggest prayer requests for the year would be no more throwing up, eating more table food, and drinking enough to get his g-button out! Just as his 2nd birthday was hard to picture 2 years ago, those prayer requests are hard to picture happening as well. But, we always remember where we got Asher's middle name. We named him Asher Mark because of the verse Mark 9:24, "I do believe, help my unbelief." So we believe and pray, Asher will love eating and drinking one day and not throw it up! One of my friends who deals with feeding issues too says we will throw our kids an " I Like to Eat Party!" when that happens. And we really will!! We are incredibly thankful for all the improvement he has made this year with eating. He went from being 100% tube fed with formula to only getting milk/water through the tube and eating the rest of his calories by mouth. He went from eating only about 0-3 ounces of puree a day to eating almost 20 ounces a day! He's been doing that consistently now for 8 months! 

We had a small party for Asher and it was perfect! He loved the attention, once he warmed up to it. He's so different than at his party last year! He was really little and just an 8mo old baby (developmentally). He wasn't even sitting on his own yet. So, this year he loved climbing on our friends, and running around and playing with his new toys! He played with his cupcake but would not taste any of it. I also gave him some pudding and he did lick that off his fingers, and he took a few bites by himself with his spoon like a big boy! It was a sweet time celebrating with friends and family. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. And thank you for your prayers! 


The Birthday Blessing…we love it! Look it up at www.thebirthdayblessing.com. 


Snickerdoodle cupcakes- YUM.



Party favor 

In Exodus 39:7, it talks about these stones of remembrance and they were made out of onyx, which is a black stone. So, this stone represents how the Lord took what was rough (how hard his first year was) and made it smooth as it says in Isaiah 42:16, and also it reminds us to think of all that God has done in Asher. It is an actual stone of remembrance. Joshua 4:20-24 is about the people of Israel wanting to remember what God did when they crossed the Jordan River…how he dried up the waters so they could cross safely. They got 12 stones to represent the 12 tribes and those were also stones of remembrance of what God had done. It talks about when the children ask their fathers what the stones mean, they can tell them about how mighty the hand of the Lord is. We feel the same about what God has done in Asher. He truly is Jehovah Rapha- the Lord who heals! 



These ladies…so thankful for how well they love on us and Asher. 



He loves to get on the level of cars and trucks and watch how they work. It's so cute! 

Slippers!



Waiting…


video
Singing Happy Birthday! At first he turned away like he was being shy, but then his true colors came out and he soaked in all the attention! (**Video won't play on a phone.)










Enjoying the "birthday" pudding! He even said "mmm!" Maybe next year he'll eat cake, we'll see!



Mama Gail and Dig Dig- we love them so much! 

Gammers and Papa - we are so blessed to have two sets of amazing grandparents! 

Uncle Clay

Aunt KK 



We took these pictures a few weeks before his birthday. It was so fun! Last year we had the hardest time because he couldn't sit up yet, so it was hard to get a good picture without showing whatever was propping him up. This year we couldn't get him to sit or be still at all! 






No sitting mom 




I had to compare some pictures from last year because it's just so fun to see! 


From 15 1/2 lbs to 24 1/2 lbs! 
And his clothes last year were are 3-6mo shirt, 3mo jeans, and 0-3mo for his shoes! 
This year 2T for the shirt, 12-18mo jeans, and size 5 shoes! We are so thankful for every ounce, every inch, and every pound. That is something we would have taken for granted if we had not had a 1lb 2oz baby! 


video

Here is the video I made for Asher's 2nd Birthday that shows him from birth to now! 
(In case you didn't catch it on Facebook.)
**Also, I think video can only be played on a computer.



"But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from His holy hill."  Psalm 3:3-4












3 comments:

  1. Love to all of you on Titus and Asher's Birthday. May
    God continue to keep his hand on all of you...........

    ReplyDelete
  2. Robyn,
    My family and I live in CO, but we love to listen to Matt Chandler's sermons online. Yesterday, I was listening to his first sermon on Galatians, where he asked for prayer for you and your family as you had just given birth to your 2 precious boys. My heart was so sad and a tear was shed over the news that Titus had only lived a short time. I was curious as to what had happened to Asher, so I googled your name. Up pops your blog with a posting about Asher's 2nd birthday! I can't tell you how I leapt for joy over reading your post. I am so thankful to read about the miracle God has done in Asher's life and continues to do with each passing day. Your story is a reminder to me of the sovereignty and faithfulness of our amazing God. I rejoice with you, as a sister in Christ, and lift your family up to the Lord today! Thank you for sharing your story.

    With great joy,
    Sara

    ReplyDelete