Ultrasound pictures are hard for me to look at, even of my own babies. It was on an ultrasound that we first discovered that Lucy was anemic and that my antibodies were attacking her. It was on an ultrasound that we watched Lucy’s heart stop beating. All of Liam and Asher’s ultrasound pictures are stored away somewhere out of sight. But there is one ultrasound picture that is displayed on my refrigerator right at eye level so that I never miss it, and it brings me so much joy. When I look at it I feel like I’m looking at a miracle.
This was Asher at 20 weeks, 1 day. Lucy died at 19 and a half weeks. She never made it to 20 weeks. The reason this ultrasound is so remarkable is that it could have very easily been Asher that never made it to 20 weeks and we never would have had this picture.
As most of you know, when I had Liam and Asher I didn’t have anti-kell antibodies so they were safe in my womb throughout the pregnancies. The way women get anti-kell antibodies (called being “sensitized”) is either by a blood transfusion (which I’ve never had) or by giving birth to a baby with kell positive blood. Many women give birth to kell positive babies and never become sensitized and rarely do they have such a strong reaction, like I did. But my body obviously had a strong reaction. Liam was never in danger because he was my first baby so I couldn’t have been sensitized before him. I could have been sensitized when I gave birth to Liam, though. We know for sure that Asher has kell positive blood, so he would have been affected by the antibodies. I don’t know why I wasn’t sensitized after Liam, but I know it was such a blessing.
I know I’ve already written about this story in What I Got for Mother’s Day, but I’m writing about it again. Sorry for the repeat. While I was pregnant with Asher we just couldn’t figure out what to name him. I had Liam’s name picked out before I even met Josh, but we didn’t have any ideas for Asher. I decided to pray and ask God what He thought I should name him. I felt like God showed me the name Asher and said it was the name of my baby. I loved the name and so did Josh. We decided to keep it a secret, so we didn’t tell anybody his name. Some time towards the end of my pregnancy my Mom was praying one day about my new baby and she felt like God said, “His name is Asher.” She thought she might be making it up, but was pretty sure she had heard God speak to her. I will never forget the day when she came up to me and said, “I know this sounds weird, but I was praying the other day and I felt like God told me that your baby’s name is Asher.” I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. She couldn’t believe it either when I told her that was the name we had picked for him several weeks earlier! I knew then that the name was a special message for us about Asher. It is a Hebrew name and it means “Happy, blessed, fortunate.” He is the most happy boy and was a happy, easy baby. But more importantly, I am seeing now why Asher is so very, very blessed. God let him live. He let him make it to that 20 week ultrasound all healthy and chunky and throbbing with a healthy heartbeat. That ultrasound picture is the first picture of many that might not have been. I’ve had him for three whole years and I have been blessed by every single moment I get with him. It is often easy to focus on all the things I am missing with Lucy, all the sweet pictures that never will be. But this ultrasound picture is on display to remind me of the enormous miracle that He did in letting Asher live.
God didn’t just let Asher live, but He gave me all the specific things I asked for. It was a long list. Since Liam had terrible colic as a baby and refused to eat, I asked God to give me a baby boy who was big and chunky, who loved to eat and didn’t have colic. I asked that my baby would be laid back and easy, with a sweet nature. I asked that he would be healthy and that I would have an easy delivery. God gave me all those things. Asher was 10 pounds 2 ounces and giving birth to him was less painful and easier than giving birth to my one pound baby Lucy. Not lying. He is a good eater, and he was easy to breastfeed. Since he was a baby he has had amazing command over his emotions. He knew how to self soothe since birth. I will never know why God answered all of my silly requests for Asher with a YES but He answered my one request for Lucy with a loud and resounding NO. I told God I didn’t care if she was brain damaged (severe anemia can affect the brain and heart.) I didn’t care if she had a heart defect or if she had to spend 3 months in the NICU. I just wanted her to live. That was my one request, the most important request a Mommy will ever have for her baby. And God told me NO. One day when I see the whole picture, I will be happy He said no and I will thank Him, but not today, and probably not in this lifetime. I am so very sad that He told me NO with Lucy but I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful yeses that He said with Asher. Today I am relishing all of those beautiful yeses. I am celebrating my blessings today, three years after meeting my healthy, LIVE baby Asher for the first time. What a good God. I am so thankful for all the days I have spent with my little Asher Caleb and for all the days to come. Happy third birthday big boy!
Deuteronomy 33:24,25 And of Asher he said, “Most blessed of sons be Asher; let him be the favorite of his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil. Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.”
Just had to add some FUN FACTS ABOUT ASHER:
- People usually think his name is Ashton or Usher.
- When he was born he was so big that he couldn’t fit into a newborn size diaper. They didn’t have a single diaper in the whole hospital that would fit him.
- His Korean name is Kang-He (Liam’s is Kang San)
- As a newborn, Asher was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly; both developed because he ran out of space in the womb
- He started walking at 8 months
- He still has that wonderful, sweet baby breath
- He asks me for two things on a daily basis: 1. Can I be naked? 2. Can I eat butter?