Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Having trouble celebrating... but Asher deserves celebration!

I know it has been a very long time since I have posted anything. I actually have two written that I never posted. I have been struggling with memories and with decisions that I made in the past and how they have effected our lives.

Asher is a wonderful, beautiful miracle! We are so blessed to have him! He is our little (well not so little now) miracle, a blessing from God! So why is it that I end up in tears? Asher is healthy, and for the most part happy! He loves to dance and sing! He loves to blow raspberries and have them blown on his tummy! He is so smart...he says mamma, didi (a version Daddy), Daddy, Ney (short for honey), Hi, Hello, Bye, milk, more, no, amma (short for grandma), umpa (short for grandpa), Eric, and Laila. He copies more and more words every day! What a miracle that is!

He sleeps through the night for the most part and is a good eater now mostly eating solid whole foods like carrots, peas, meats, bananas, apples and other finger foods. He is very independent in eating and wants to be able to feed him self so he has been off the mushy food for a little over a month and a half now. Such a blessing to be able to cut up an apple for him for snack and have him sit there and eat it. To go from having trouble drinking at first to being able to do this is such a huge blessing and such a miracle. We know so many other NICU babies who are having trouble with this. What a blessing it is for Asher not to have any problems with eating now.

Asher really really really wants to walk. He didn't crawl until between eight and nine months... but now at 10 he sees others walking and wants to be doing the same. He picks himself up on anything he can. We even saw him standing up once just using some thing to push off of. He can stand for a little bit before his bum hits the floor... longer if he has one hand on something... shorter if he decides he needs to be dancing. His dancing is so cute... he does a side to side head bob and actually has really good rhythm! Such a good baby! He loves to be snuggled and snuggled he is!

The longest I have been away from Asher so far was to watch a movie with Chris. I am not good at leaving Asher. I think this has to do with losing so many others... especially baby Nels. I don't want to miss out on any time with Asher. I know that this is going to have to change eventually and that I will need to get my own life and not smoother his. But I want to treasure the time I have with him.

We have seen so many go through the pain of losing a child. It is heart breaking and devastating. Two years ago today I was put in the Hospital with baby Nels. I had gone in for a normal ultrasound because I was measuring big and was admitted to the hospital not knowing what was going on. I was 29 weeks along with him when we found out he had PUV. It would take weeks of hospitalization before we realized what this really meant for our precious little boy. We were told many different things... but one doctor told us straight up... if his lungs were too small he could not live. I hated that! I refused to believe that! We had people around the world praying for him for a miracle! I believe in miracles! I have seen them and wanted one so bad for Nels. During that time in the hospital I tried to stay positive and tried to do everything I could to give Nels the best chance of survival. We decided shortly before he was born that we would do comfort care with him because of the last ultrasound he had. It showed that his lungs were so small and not developed enough to support life. One doctor had told us that they could have kept him alive a little bit longer on machines but that it would be painful for him because of his lungs. I didn't want to put him through that pain.... but every day I wish that I would have had more then an hour with my precious son. Sitting here right now writing this I have a lump in my throat and tears streaming down my face. It has been two years.... I can't change anything. My precious boy is in heaven. All I can do is be thankful that I did have time with him. So parents do not even get that.

To make things a little worse... my hospitalization last year started on today as well! For two years I lived all of October and parts of September and November at the University of Washington Medical Center. Last year was a harder hospital stay with swine flu and preeclampsia. I spent two weeks alone in quarantine for something I got in the hospital. Then I had constant contractions until Asher was born. His contractions actually started in July. At first few and far between.... but then in September they became more regularly spaced... but too close together to do anything. I have this weird feeling inside right now that I am missing out by not being there this year. It is almost like a post-traumatic issue. It is hard to explain. I just feel weird being out in the real world this year.

Emotionally this year I have had my ups and my very low downs. I get excited for every new thing Asher does and then cry a little inside because baby Nels did not get to experience that. I hope that this doesn't happen for the rest of Asher's life. I feel bad because I wish that Asher and Nels could have known each other and I wish that Asher's twin was here with him so that he would have a sibling.

I decided long ago that I would not try to have any more children after 40. Now I am rethinking this. This year we (I) had wanted to try and have another child so that Asher would not be alone when we are gone. Chris doesn't think it is necessary for Asher but would like another child for the sake of having another child to treasure. With the loss of another in May very early miscarriage those dreams of mine were crushed. Since then I have not even had a period. I know that this is probably due to my breast feeding Asher but it bummed me out... because I turn 40 in December. Even if I did get pregnant again there is no way I could have the child before 40. I know that we have been blessed with our two children who were born Nels and Asher and that some people don't even get that blessing. I should be so thankful for that so why do I feel like something is missing.

I don't know what to do.... I do know what to do! I hate that I feel torn! I know that I need to just concentrate on Asher and celebrate his beautiful life. He is a precious treasure! I love you Asher! Mommy is going through some hard emotions right now but I promise I will be better soon. I know I have so much to look forward to in your life but I also know that I must treasure each and every step along the way! I love you so much!

Abba, Heavenly Father, I come to you with mixed emotions today. I am struggling to get out of the past and live here and now. Lord thank you for your blessings, both Nels and Asher! They are treasures that you entrusted me with. I am so blessed that you trusted me with them. Thank you for all you have done in our lives. Help me to be thankful and to celebrate Asher's life. Lord if it is your will we would like to have a sibling that is alive for Asher... but we know that it would have to be a miracle from you. Lord God heal my heart and help me to honor baby Nels and not bring shame by my sorrow. Lord I know that Nels's life, though short has made an impact on so many. I am so thankful that you have given us the ability to reach out to others through all that we have been through. Help me continue to be able to help others through things they are going through. Be with me, lead me and guide me. In Jesus name, amen!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Asher's 5 months post

Ok, so I am a bit late on this posting but Asher and I were quite busy at 5 months! At 5 months Asher weighed 17 lbs 4 ounces and was 26.5 inches long! He is sure growing fast now!

Some note-ables in Asher's life as he reached 5 months were that he was eating his cereal well and enjoying going out to meet others! Asher went to church on resurrection Sunday with us and grandma and grandpa. Then he got his picture taken with Tow Mater. That was a big thing for his daddy who loves the cars movie!

Asher is babbling a lot more now and trying to say words. I and you are still his favorite words. Every once and awhile he repeats something different though... like one day his uncle Eric came to visit and I kept saying uncle Eric to him. All the sudden he blurts out "Errrrraaac". That was cute.

Asher turned 5 months during our trip to Florida to visit Chris's grandma. Unfortunately the pictures we took on that day were on my big camera which got stolen in the Orlando airport on the way home. Such a bummer. There were some cute pictures of Chris's grandma holding Asher.

Asher started being able to reach the floor with his bouncy toy by 5 months. That is great. He really likes standing in it. Then he began to scoot backwards in his little walker car.

As far as food I will post that in a separate post. He has started eating veggies and loves them!

It is only 2 days from his 6 month day so I am going to cut this one short because I need to post a couple more posts before the 6 month one. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Asher's story is helping others!

In February I was contacted for permission to used Asher's story to help teach the importance of infectious disease control in hospitals. The University of Washington Medical Center where Asher was born wanted to use the information about me getting swine flu while in the antepartum unit to help teach others.

They requested pictures and information about our stay there. I was more then happy to help and share the pictures of Asher and I in the hospital and an updated happy picture of Asher at almost 3 months at that point.

The nurses and doctors at the UWMC did an excellent job taking care of me during the swine flu and managed to help me stay pregnant through that time. It was a blessing. I wanted the people to know that I didn't think it was a nurse or doctor that I got it from but more likely a food tray or something like that.

I just received a thank you note from the person who had requested the information. Here is what she said:

I want to let you know we enjoyed the pictures of you and baby Asher and told your story at our quality improvement meetings back in February. There were oohs and ahs upon seeing your picture with baby Asher. Thank you for being generous with your story and I want you to know it made a strong impression on our leadership staff of the importance of doing everything correctly to prevent the transmission of infection.

May you and your family have a wonderful Easter holiday,

I feel so blessed that Asher and I have been able to tell our story in a way that can impact others lives in a positive way. It is such a blessing to be able to share and such a blessing to have Asher in our lives.

With out God and the nurses and doctors at UWMC our story would have been much different. What a blessing it is that Asher is happy and healthy and that his story will live on in the hearts of others.

I have a feeling that Asher's story will some day be able to effect as many people as Baby Nels's story has. Both of their stories are so special to me. Each of their birth stories will be in my heart for ever. Though Baby Nels wasn't here for his little brother to meet I am sure he is proud of all the positive things he is doing! I know I am!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Asher's 4 month Post! :)

Ok, I seem to be getting farther and farther behind in my postings the older he gets! So what has been happening with Asher? Lots!

At 4 months Asher had his check up and got good reports on everything! He weighed 15 lbs 13.5 ounces and was 24 and 1/2 inches long. He went to the 71st % in weight and to the 39th in weight and the 30th in head circumference. What an amazing time of growth he has had. He is catching up in height and head and has surpassed his age for weight. It is simply amazing how well he is growing!

Sleep.... ahhhh sweet sleep! Asher began sleeping amazingly a week after he turned 3 months. He has slept pretty much 8 to 9 hours a night since then. It is wonderful for Chris and I to get caught up on sleep. Asher has his sleep routine down. At 7 he gets to breast feed and then gets his one formula bottle that he gets a day. Then he has daddy lap time... chilling on the couch with daddy. At 9 we all head up stairs with the lights dimmed. Chris and I pray over Asher as he breast feeds a little more. Then a few minutes later he lets us know he done by turning his head. Sometimes his eyes are closed some times they are not but we place him in his crib and he snuggles in with his sleep sac on. In fact he has been wanting to go to bed a bit earlier lately... he may work into going to sleep at around 8. That would be nice too!

He has been sitting up with assistance of the boppy and the bumbo. He also has been just sitting on the couch but hasn't mastered that yet.

Play time has been much more fun! He is more interactive now. He grabs toys and hugs them and puts them in his mouth. He gets excited when we play with his horsey or ducky. They are little squares of material with heads and legs on them and 3 little teething rings. The horsey was the first thing he really began to play with. It was easy for him to grasp and so soft and nice on the hand.

At the doctor's visit they said Asher could get rice cereal this month. He is not so thrilled with it. Since he doesn't really like it much we haven't been making him eat the whole amount. He is gaining enough with what he has had so there is no concerns there. Next month he will be getting veggies.... if he starts liking the cereal. I just don't think it has clicked for him yet. I am sure he will eventually like it and want more. Some people don't even start until 6 months so this is not a big deal right now. He can just explore how it feels in his mouth and when he starts to like it we will be ready!

Asher has been doing well with awake time during the day. He is getting more and more aware of his surroundings. He loves to go to target. Bright colors and lights everywhere. What more fun can there be. He also loves to go for his walks around the neighborhood in his slings or strollers. We have been getting lots of questions about his sling since that news cast about the dangers of slings...I have a lot to write about that but will save it for a whole other post.

I am so thankful for every moment with Asher. He is truly a blessing for us! We love him so much! God has blessed us greatly!

Thank you Lord God for Asher! Thank you for helping him grow and develop as he should. Thank you for entrusting him to us. We love him so much! Lord please continue to help Asher grow and learn. In Jesus name amen!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now we are having fun!

The last few weeks with Asher have been amazing. He is changing so much each day! He loves to smile and talk now and really enjoys his reality TV time with daddy. I know TV is not a good thing to get him used to but Chris has been holding him and watching "Amazing Race" and "Survivor" with Asher. They both seem to be having a good time doing it too!

Asher has kept his sleep going and only had one bumpy night where he woke up at 3 and didn't go back to sleep until 5:30. Other then that he has had 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night which is a true blessing for Chris and I. It is also good for Asher too! He is a growing boy!

On the last two weekends we have taken Asher to the zoo! Yay!!! What a wonderful family activity! Chris and I bought the zoo membership and aquarium membership for the year. That will give us lots of fun activity times with Asher. He will get to see the animals and learn all about them while he is young. Plus we will be able to spend quality family time together.

Last weekend we went with my college room mate Gail and her two kids. That was a lot of fun! It is nice to get out with others as well. Not having children we missed out on doing activities with other families quite a bit. Now with Asher opportunities to go out with others are opening up a bit more.

Asher is sitting in his swing playing with his new horse toy as I type. He is doing much better in the swing then before... although he still doesn't like it that much. He would prefer to be held all the time during the day. I don't blame him... I love the snuggle time.

My parents have been in Yuma for the past couple weeks so Asher and I have gone out quite a bit on our own. We went to the outlet mall a couple times, to target several times and to the bank. It is getting easier to take Asher out. He has a good nap time in the morning that makes it easy to get things done.

What a blessing he is. I am so glad that I have more time to enjoy him now. I praise God for my little one and for helping me to be able to have good time with him. Each day is a wonderful adventure and a blessing.

This week he will turn 4 months old. That is amazing! The first 3 months seemed to drag... but this last month has flown.

Lord God, I thank you for the blessing of Asher. I thank you that you are working in his life daily and that you are helping him to grow and blossom. Lord lead and I guide me as I help Asher to grow into the person you have created. Lord hold him in your hands, keep him safe and help him to continue to do well! In Jesus name, amen!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Asher is 3 months!

Wow 3 months already! I can't believe it has been a month since posting last! Asher was 14 lbs 2 ounces on his big 3 month day! He was close to 24 inches long... but we aren't sure on that because the measuring tape might have been a little twisted.

Asher went back to shorter hours sleeping after that last sleeping post. He had a growth spurt which had taken down the sleeping to a 4 hour and a couple two hours during the night. Then as soon as his big 3 month day hit his sleeping changed again. Now he is sleeping between 6 and 9 hours at night.

For a week he was at about 6 hours a night then the last 4 nights have been 7, 8 and 9 hours! What a blessing! Asher is so happy when he wakes up now. It is nice to see him smiling and cooing when he wakes up.

Asher's first valentines was a couple days after his 3 month day. He had lots of fun. We got him a stuffed lion and he wore an outfit that said mommy's prince on it with Kiss Me written on his feet. It was very cute!

Asher had a very busy month for his second month. He got to go to Seattle, Everett and Lynnwood a few times with mommy and daddy.

We had gotten several different types of carriers for him. He really didn't like the one Chris had picked out to carry him in. Then we went to a store in Seattle where we tried on several types. I wanted a carrier that would be easier to put on so I got a ring sling. Chris put his name on the waiting list for an ergo. But later decided against that one.

We went down to Oregon for the weekend the week before
his big day. He got to meet his great grandma Betty and got to take pictures with his dad and his family. They got a 4 generation picture of Asher, Chris, Joe and Betty. It was very nice!

That was Asher's first road trip! We Went out to lunch with Chris's family and then went shopping for carriers and walkers for Asher.

Then we went to Monika, Matt & Haley's new house to spend the night and have dinner. Asher slept 6 hours which was good for all we had done during the day.

The next day we went back to Lake Stevens for a super bowl party at my parent's house. Busy weekend for a little guy!

Asher has started to laugh and smile more too which is really nice! The colic behavior went away when we started to give him a bottle of formula at his 7pm feeding. I think he was just not getting enough from me in the evenings so he was unhappy. He actually still breast feeds at 7 before his formula but then eats between 6 and 8 ounces of formula on top of that. Hungry growing boy!

Well I better get going for now!

Dear Lord, I thank you so much for all you are doing in Asher's life. I ask that you keep doing good works in his life and bless him as he grows! Amen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Asher has learned to sleep!

I have been postponing putting this blog on because I did not want to jump the gun on the sleeping issue. As you all know Asher has had some challenges with sleeping. Some days he only slept 6 to 7 hours total. Well it seems as if a sleeping switch has gone off in Asher. He has been sleeping much better since the day he turned 2 months!

On his two month big day Asher slept 4 hours straight that night! We were amazed! Happy!!! And felt so blessed to get our 3.5 hours of sleep in a row! It was wonderful!! Then the next day.... he slept 6 hours!!! Wow we figured we had a really good thing going then! The day after.... 7 hours.... and he would have kept sleeping had we not woken him up to feed him at 4:30 am. Same thing last night 7 hours!!

We are praying that it continues. He seems to be much happier now that he is sleeping better!!! Praise God!

So how did the miracle of the sleep happen? Did we do anything special?

Yes, we did.

1. We put Asher back on his NICU feeding schedule but flexed it a little when he was extra hungry...or when we had other things scheduled.

2. We prayed over Asher during his 9pm feeding and read sleeping Bible verses over him.

3. We kept it darker in the house in the evenings to get him ready to sleep.

4. We have a sound machine in his room that plays rain sounds.

5. After his 9 o'clock feeding we let him sleep as long as he could until feeding him next. (up until a few days ago the most was 2.5 hours)

6. We kept feedings quiet at night with no playing afterwards.

7. We put him in bed while still drowsy but quiet so he would learn to self sooth a little.

8. We put him in his crib in his own room. He liked the mattress better then the bassinet one and slept better when I wasn't leaning over looking at him at every noise.

9. We made sure he was burped, diapered and happily fed before bed time.

10. After hi 6pm feeding we played cuddled and interacted with him... some times stories, dancing, singing or baths.

11. I took all known allergens out of my diet. No milk, soy, nuts, wheat, or fish.

Now I am not going to say that this is the perfect way to get babies to sleep more. It is simply just what has worked for Asher so far. We know that at some point we may have to make adjustments, but for now this is what is working!

Thank you Lord God for giving Asher the ability to sleep more! Thank you for helping him to get more and more rest and for helping him to be happier in general. Lord continue to help Asher to get the sleep he needs and in turn helping Chris and I get sleep as well! In Jesus name Amen!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In awe of some special mom's!

Lately I have found myself in awe of some very special mom's! After starting the PUV group I have met some very wonderful women who are taking care of their special little ones who have PUV. Their daily challenges are so much more then my little issues with Asher. They have some much more that they have to do to take care of their special little ones... and they do it with such grace.

True I might not get to see when they are really frustrated and I am sure they have their moments but these women are so strong.

Karen, you are a beacon of light in this darkened world! You have done so much for Matthew and have pressed so hard to get him the help and care he needs. All this you do while balancing your family life and spending time with your other son and your husband. Your journey has been so astounding to me. I don't know if I could have been as strong as you are. Your courage and hope brings be courage to press on with my daily tasks. I just want you to know that I think you are a great roll model for mom's everywhere.

Michelle, you are such a great mom! You take such good care of all of your children and have been such a great advocate for baby E. You have overcome much and keep pressing on to get the help your son needs so much. Even with more and more hurdles you have perservered. Your natural ways are so wonderful to me. Cloth diapers and breast feeding while soar is such a wonderful thing for your baby. I wish I could be as strong as you. I wish I was able to do things as naturally for Asher! I want you to know that I think you are so courageous in all you do pressing for help for baby E in a system that does not give you the help you need!

Stephanie, you have over come so much pain to be able to help so many people. You are a great mom to Vashon and I am sure that Vayden is so proud of all you have done in his name. I know that you have done so much to help others through their hard times. Keep pressing on my friend. I know you get frustrated at times but you are so strong! You are a great mom!

There are so many more mom's that I think have done such a wonderful job in the face of adversity and in their whole families. Some with PUV and some with other challenges. Georgi, you have done much to help others. Kelly, you are so sweet and even in your loss were strong. Jaimee, you are so good to your kids, helping them find an alternative schooling system when your schools let your kids down. Tessa, wow, advocate supreme. Lisa, I don't know how you do it with all your lovely kids! You are such a great mom! Stacey, you are a great roll model too. You have raised your boys well and now have been blessed with two little girls to raise as your own. I don't know how you do it.... but I am so glad you do. It inspires me to know that you are reaching out to others. Gail, you are such a good mom!

Please know that even if your name is not listed here and you are a mom, that I think you are wonderful. I never knew how much being a mom would tear at my heart strings and how much work it really was. I am in awe of any mom who has more then one child and don't know how you do it. I have a hard enough time with my one little one. Though I still wish I had both of them here with me today.

Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't add my own mom to the list! Thank you mom for all your help, support and strength. You are a wonderful and strong mom!

Thank you all for your friendship and strength!

Dear Lord, please hold all my friends and family who are mom's in your hands. Help each one to be the best mom they can be. Bless each one with strength, hope, love and perserverance. In Jesus name, amen!