It’s difficult to find words to even start this post. It’s been on my heart for a while to share more. To open up my heart and share the tough stuff. It seems silly to be writing this to an audience that I’m not even sure exists…but I feel like this is the right, good thing to do. I want people to know about my first baby, about how Jesus met me in my grieving.
Today would have been our first baby, Asher’s birthday. I want to tell you about him and celebrate who he is.
(In case you are just jumping into the story now or we haven’t met before, we had a miscarriage in November of 2014. Soon after, we got pregnant in March of 2015, and we welcomed a happy little boy, Lucas, into our family on November 27th, 2015. I will be sharing more about that to come!)
I wrote this a long time ago, and I share this with a little nervousness, but also so much joy.
(photos by my sweet friend Jenny Haas Photography)
some of you may know, but we wanted to let you know our little baby is in heaven now. it is weighty and it is tough. my heart has hurt in ways i didn’t know it could. i want to tell you about him and our story.
i had been nervous to carry a child; i thought it would be tough to conceive; i thought, for some reason, pregnancy was going to be difficult for me. i found out i was pregnant on july 28th, 2014, one week after our two year anniversary. i couldn’t believe it! i was shocked it actually happened! but immediately overcome with joy. we were going to be parents! i was going to be a mom! i immediately went to the store to buy another test to confirm it, and drove to ben’s office, tested in his work bathroom (lol!), and then anxiously walked to his office to tell him. I told him through tears and we cried together with happiness.
(side note: one of the nice men that works in ben’s office accidentally interrupted us as I was in the midst of telling Ben the news. He didn’t hear what i said, but he did see me in tears. he later asked ben if we were getting a divorce! lol.)
the next few weeks were filled with joyfully sharing the news with our family and dear friends. every time i told a family member or friend, i experienced more joy and the weight of what was happening set in more. such a joy filled time. i wouldn’t trade the celebrations, happiness, or vulnerability for anything.
on november 13th, 2014, ben and i went to my doctor together; we were going to find out the gender of the baby! we were so, so excited! this was going to make the reality of having a child even more significant and real. before we went in to the appointment, i read over psalm 46. i remember thinking, “well, i don’t really have anything to worry about, but this is a nice little piece of scripture”. we were going into our 19 week appointment, well beyond the recommended “safe zone” of sharing the news and at a place where losing a baby was highly unlikely.
as the doctor looked over the ultrasound, concern grew more and more clearly on her face. at the time, i had no idea and was happy as could be. several minutes later, she gave us the grave news; our baby did not have a heartbeat. i remember looking at her with the most confused face, in complete shock. I didn’t understand what she was saying. then time started moving in slow motion as her words sunk in. she gave ben and me some time to process and left the room. we wept together; bitterly. i have never felt so vulnerable and confused. she came back in and told us our next steps, and said we could talk more tomorrow after we had some time to think. i definitely appreciated that, as i was not thinking clearly whatsoever.
we met with an amazing specialist a few days later. he gently, and so kindly, walked us through our next steps. one of the most incredible moments, which brought such peace to us, was having one last ultrasound of our baby. the ultrasound was super high tec so we got a very clear picture of our baby. they were able to tell us it was a boy. my heart stopped. my sweet baby boy. he had his hands clasped together and was curled up in the most peaceful way. i’m overcome with joy just thinking about this image.
the coming days were precious and also quite a blur. ben and i had time to process and grieve. these were the hardest, yet most beautiful few days of my life. in the next few weeks, we did nearly everything together. we ate all our meals together, we prayed together, spent time with the Lord together, hung out with dear friends together. we reminisced about our sweet, sweet four months with our baby together. we thought about all the cool things the baby got to experience. we thought through names of the baby. we settled on asher emmanuel. asher means happiness, and emmanuel means with God. when i think of my son, i think that he is happy with God. what more could a mother want for her child?
at this point, ben and i had been married for about two and half years. most newlyweds will tell you the first year or so of marriage is tough. and we had our own fair share of fights and disagreements. it’s pretty much a fact – when you merge two different lives and personalities and backgrounds and opinions together, there is bound to be some friction.
i can’t tell you how beautiful our relationship became over these next few months. we just needed each other. we needed each other to hold the other one up. we needed each other to point each other to christ. as our intimacy with christ grew, so did our love and affection for the other grow. i would never want to relive those months, but the blessing this time had on our marriage was such an amazing gift. i am so, so thankful for ben. he was such a warrior and so strong for me, for us.
the biggest gift that asher brought to my life was reviving my relationship with christ. before asher, my walk with christ had become monotonous, boring, something i was required to do. there was no life or heart in it. the moment we found out about losing him, i realized my ridiculous need for jesus. i literally felt like i couldn’t breathe without Him. and the most glorious thing – He met me in my mourning.
i have learned countless other things from the Lord during this time. Asher was a gift from Jesus. never mine. we love when the lord gives, but we are so uncomfortable when he takes away. i am learning to be more openhanded, and realizing that the things of this world are momentary and fleeting. i get to spend eternity with jesus, and my son, asher. that is the greatest gift of all. i can’t wait for heaven.
i am so blown away by what God did for us by sending His Son, Jesus to the cross for us. He gave up his son. his one and only son. the magnitude of that love is crazy. that means something to me now that i could have never understand before asher. because of what he did, i get to spend eternity with my son. his grace is more real to me now.
to my sweet son,
i had plans for you. good plans. i was excited to meet you and be your mommy. but I know that God was the maker of your life, that he loved you so, so much, and his plans were better than mine. that he must have wanted to be with you so, so much, that he brought you home much earlier than had ever occurred to me.
i won’t get to hold you on this earth, but i know your heavenly father is rocking you and caring for you.
we won’t get to laugh with you or hear your giggle, but i know the Lord is filling you with an incomparable joy. (psalm 126)
we won’t get to see your little personality develop, but your daddy is sure that you are getting into some trouble up in heaven :)
i know i don’t need to be sad for you; you are safe with the Lord, the best Father you could ever have.
i know one day we will meet, and i cannot wait for that beautiful day. the Lord will wipe away my tears and we will rejoice together. (isaiah 25)
i’m so thankful for what Jesus died on the cross, so i can be with you one day. our life on this earth is but a fleeting moment, and i know heaven is not far away.
you are my son. and i love you so much. the time we had together on this earth is precious to me. you are precious to me. heaven is a more beautiful place to me because of you, and Jesus is more real to me because of you. your daddy and i ache for you, but Jesus is comforting us. we can’t wait to meet you and hold you.
Asher Emmanuel, we know you are happy with our God. and that is enough for me. that is good and beautiful. I am deeply sad, but deeply filled with joy. I love you Asher.
Love you always and forever,