Saturday, June 23, 2012


This song has touched my heart recently.

The line that has resonated with my heart has been “when the hurt and the healer collide”

It’s the place where I’m at right now.

I believe with my entire heart that if the Lord wanted to, he could have healed Seth.  He could have closed that little fistula and he would still be with us today.

But for some reason he didn’t.

So that’s where I am, my hurting heart colliding with a God who is all powerful, the great physician, the one who has a bigger plan for Seth’s life.  I’m trying to trust that His plan is good and a 1,000 times better than mine.

This is my heart’s prayer today:
Jesus Come and break my fear,
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find your glory even here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Healing {Physically}

It’s been 2 weeks since I gave birth to Seth.  Things are healing. 

All along I really felt like the Lord healed my body quickly.  I only had to take ibuprofen in the hospital after the initial dose of who knows what shortly after the spinal block wore off.  I was able to stand up and walk several hours after the delivery and spend the next day up and walking.

I was thankful to be able to be present for Seth’s life without being loopy on pain meds.  That was a gift.

But this physical healing is a funny thing.  Part of me is very sad that I’m healing.  It’s a very real connection to Seth and it feels like he is going way again.  As my incision doesn’t hurt as much every time I bump I sometimes I feel like crying wishing it hurt still more.

My stomach is gradually going down.  My heart longs to not look pregnant.  With the other boys I didn’t really worry about the weight loss right away.  I could proudly tote my precious newborn around, and my physical appearance was sort of a battle wound.  This time around how I long for my stomach to shrink as quickly as possible.  It’s hard to have to wait to exercise.

At the same time it’s where Seth was and every time I look in the mirror I remember him.  I fear that will disappear as I hopefully get thinner.

But my heart can’t take comments from strangers, especially as we look towards heading back home.  So even though it’s hard, I’m praying that the baby weight comes off quickly.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Seth's Celebration of Life

Celebrating Seth

We were so blessed to have our family and some pretty dear friends join us for a time to celebrate our sweet baby boy.  We know several of you would have loved be with us, so we recorded the time at the church.  You can listen to Seth’s Celebration of Life Service here. Seth's Celebration of Life

*One microphone didn’t pick up as well as the others, so you’ll want to turn your volume up all the way, I’d recommend using external speakers.

We also had our time of celebration photographed by the sweet Ashley with Kevin Keith Photography. You can view photos here.  Just simply sign the guest book with your email address and create a password and you’re in.

A sweet friend of ours helped us create Seth’s beautiful programs.  Thank you so much Janae, they were beautiful.  Silly things, like being able to have something that wasn’t a generic template was so special to have for our Seth.

Planning a funeral for your child is hard.

How I wish I could have been planning cute little birth announcements or planning for newborn photo shoots, but instead we were planning a time to celebrate his life.  The Lord helped us with the details.  We are so thankful for all of our friends and family who could make that time so meaningful.

The graveside service was so sweet.  I was not looking forward to it at all.  We decided to do what we do with our boys every night.  We sing a few songs, read from their children’s bible, and pray.  I think I’ve cried each night during our family worship time, missing having Seth there in our arms.  Tears flow quickly as I imagine what it would have been like if he was still here, juggling him, Micah and Calvin, trying to quiet him as we read and pray.  So I really wasn’t looking forward to it, but the Lord really held me through it.

At the end we sang He’s got the whole World in his hands and repeated it with Seth Asher in his hands.

Then we let go balloons.

We were so thankful for the beautiful Kansas sky.  As we watched all those balloons go up to the sky felt the L remind us of his promise, that even though Seth is not with us we’ll be together one day.  Oh how my heart longs for eternity.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saying Goodbye {Seth's Story Part 3}

When we got to the NICU on Sunday morning, Seth wasn’t oxygenating well.  When he was on the ventilator that was delivering the flo lan and he wasn’t able to get rid of the CO2, when on the oscillator he wasn’t able to get enough oxygen.

The doctors made sure we were close to him.  His nurses made space for us.

Someone was pulling air out of his chest manually every minute.

Things weren’t improving.

After consulting with the respiratory specialist the decision was made to attempt to deliver the flo lan through the oscillator that he responded well to.  It had never been done, but they decided to try.

After several minutes it became apparent that it wasn’t working.  He had several nurses working hard pulling air off his chest.

His little lungs weren’t working properly and his oxygen levels had been low for a very long time.

We eventually heard the words we had dreaded.  Things weren’t working; there was nothing else they could do for him.

We were given the opportunity to hold Seth.  I couldn’t wait to get my arms around him.  I finally had the chance to hold my sweet baby boy, to kiss his sweet cheeks.  It was bittersweet.

We were able to sing to him. 
Pray over him. 
Talk to him. 
Tell him how much we loved him. 
How proud we were of him. 
How thankful we were to be his parents.
How it was okay for him to run to Jesus.

It was such a sweet time and such a painful time.

We kept our eye on his numbers knowing our time with him was limited.

Eventually his doctor checked his heart.
He was gone.
He went from our arms into the arms of Jesus.
I didn’t want to let him go.
I wanted to hold my baby forever.
But eventually I was able to let go.

His nurses removed his tubes.  Told us that they would clean him up and bring him to us.

As we left the NICU I hated walking out of those doors without Seth.

That morning I made a playlist for Seth.  We quickly grabbed our computer and headed to a room they told us to go
While we waited I just poured my heart out to Jesus through songs.

Our nurses washed his little body before they brought him to us, his hair was so soft and the same color of his brother’s hair was when they were born. We finally were able to see him without any tubes.

My parents and sister were there and they were able to hold him as well.  Marvin’s brother, our sister-in-law and nephews were there too.  They were able to cry with us. 

When the time came to say goodbye Marvin prayed.

Seth’s nurse came in.  We had asked for his footprints.  She had already made a little mold of his footprints and handprints for us, but I wanted to have his footprints inked to put them in my Bible.

Then we had to give him to the nurse.  I think that was the toughest thing I have ever done.  Even though I knew he was with Jesus, completely restored.  It was so hard to hand him to her, knowing the next time I would see him would be in eternity.

But we did.
The Lord gave us the strength.
Seth forever changed our family.

Even though our hearts still long to have a different ending, we’re so thankful to be Seth’s parents.  We were so blessed to get to have him even for just a few days.

Going back just a few weeks ago, his name just feels so fitting.

Seth Asher….anointed and blessed.

Oh how we’ve been so blessed through Seth’s life.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The NICU…Seth’s Story part 2

Seth was immediately taken to the NICU after he was stable where his doctors quickly put drainage tubes in both sides of his chest cavity, to drain the fluid that had accumulated in his chest cavity.

His drainage tubes were working initially and doing their job.  They were also taking air out of his chest.
We were hopeful that things would improve.

We were very thankful to have our family there to meet Seth. 
Hold his little hand. 
Say hello. 
And share in our joy.

 He even opened his eyes for his big brother Calvin.

Immediately our doctors and nurses told us we could see him at anytime and truly made us feel welcome at his bedside.

He had amazing doctors and nurses.

As soon as I could I got my first peek at my sweet son, several hours after his birth.  He was so beautiful.  He even moved his arms around a bit

Part of me was overjoyed to be able to touch him, overjoyed that he was stable.
Part of me was aching that I couldn’t wrap my arms around him.

But my heart was swelling with love for this sweet little guy.

Since my body was still recovering from major surgery I had a tough time staying as long as I wanted that first meeting.  So I went back to get some rest, and woke up a few hours later to be wheeled down to spend some time with him in the middle of the night.

He was relatively stable that first night, and I just enjoyed soaking up all I could of Seth.  Praying my little heart out for him.  Begging God to heal his little body.  Asking Him to prepare me for the road ahead.  Praying that it would be a steady road to good health in the NICU.

The next morning, Saturday, Marvin and I both were able to spend some time with Seth.

Our doctor came in sometime mid morning telling us that his blood pressure was not stable and they needed to give him a transfusion and platelets to help get this to a normal range.  I remember trying to ask the doctor as many questions as I could think of and just praying that it would help.

It appeared to work, but as the day went on air was building up in his chest and second drainage tubes were placed to try to keep up with the fluid and air.

Throughout this we took little breaks from the NICU to rest.  I was frustrated that my body wouldn’t allow me to sit beside his bed.  I felt helpless to do anything to make things better.

Later that evening, Marvin came to get me.  Seth was not doing well.  The air that was building up in his chest was being manually drawn from his chest with syringes.  When I walked in there were a flood of doctors and nurses working desperately to help him. He was blue.  I was heartbroken.

The decision was made to try a new drug to regulate the pressure of his lungs, but he had to be on a different ventilator.  The respiratory specialist and both NICU doctors were there.  I remember praying and watching his numbers.  Praying they’d go up.  Eventually they did.  But this ventilator wasn’t one that Seth responded well to, so they had to keep switching him between the one which could deliver this drug and the oscillator.

His doctors had researched a new procedure that that had hoped would close the fistula that was leaking air to his chest cavity.

After lots of calls to various hospitals, many doctor’s consultations they decided they had to try a new procedure.  They injected this drug that would react with the fluid in his chest and hopefully act as glue to fuse this fistula closed.  They would know in a few hours if it worked. So Marvin and I tried to get some sleep.

I hated leaving him there, but I was exhausted and my legs were swelling by the minute and it was becoming very uncomfortable to sit by his bedside.  So we said goodnight and got some sleep.

The next morning we both got ready and headed to the NICU.  I remember praying that the Lord would carry us through that day.  I looked at Marvin and even said, “We can do this.”  We both were very scared, not knowing if it would be the day we would have to say goodbye.  Praying desperately that these procedures would work and that Seth would improve.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seth's Story-part 1

I’m not quite sure where to start. 
I’ve struggled with what to write in this little space of mine. 

Not quite sure how to adequately find the words to communicate what has taken place in the last two weeks.  I’m not sure I ever will, but Seth has such a sweet story and he’s forever a part of our family, even though he’s not longer with us.

So I’ll start on Tuesday with my doctor’s appointment……….

Walking back to the ultrasound I was shaking, I was so scared, but as I saw Seth on the screen not knowing what this all meant for his little body, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how sweet the Lord created him.  To see him as I felt him moving was so special. 

Then the doctor came in and shared with us the reality that Seth was very sick.  The pressure of the fluid surrounding his lungs and heart were causing his heart to overwork and causing cardiac failure.  Through tears I prayed as we received details about what would take place next.  Praying that this would work, praying that Seth would live.

I was quickly admitted to the hospital and began the process of getting prepped for our first drainage of fluid from his chest cavity.  Through tears I changed into a hospital gown, praying for the Lord to give me strength to endure whatever was ahead.

The first procedure went well, although Seth did not like it at all, he put up a fight as they poked him with the needle.  He also moved as they finished draining his left chest cavity, which nicked the placenta.  But we watched his heart respond well to the treatment and we were encouraged.  That night we prayed for no more fluid to accumulate, asking God for to heal Seth.

The next morning, Wednesday, I saw the doctor again and it looked just like the day before, all the fluid was back.  Thankfully his heart was doing well and still responding positively to the fluid drainage.  Since my placenta was nicked my doctor didn’t want to risk that happening again, so he decided to postpone another drainage until the following day.  I appreciated a day to recover before I had another procedure.

The next day my doctor decided he needed to drain amniotic fluid so that he could reach Seth with his needle.  I had so much fluid.  They ended up draining 2 liters of fluid before they went in again to drain more fluid off of Seth’s left cavity.  It was a long procedure, but everything went well and they were able to drain off most all of the fluid from Seth’s left side again, unfortunately they couldn’t get to his right side due his position.  That evening I recovered while Marvin spent the night with Calvin, and Micah at our apartment in Kansas City.

The next morning Marvin took the boys to my cousin’s and as my doctor came in and told me my appointment was earlier than planned I gave Marvin a quick call and he booked it back to the hospital.  He got to the hospital just in time to be there when the doctor came in.  Again the fluid reaccumulated, of course I was heart broken it wasn’t working.  Our doctor told us the day before I probably would deliver before 34 weeks but I had no idea it would be that day. 

I was shocked. 
Scared beyond belief. 
I so wanted so desperately for him to stay inside me for longer. 
I was only 32 weeks and 5 days.

My doctor felt that Seth was healthy enough for delivery and worried that the longer his chest continued to swell with fluid would cause more damage to his heart.  He was in a good place and hoped that draining the fluid off after birth would do the trick.

They decided to drain more amniotic fluid, and drain his left side again so that they only needed to concentrate on his right side.  They quickly began prepping me for a c-section.  Gave me magnesium to help prevent CP, a flurry of doctors came in to have us sign all sorts of paperwork.  Thankfully we had planned on Marvin’s parents taking the boys for the weekend, so a quick call to his brother they knew that Seth was going to be born that day.  My mom came up to help watch the boys and once we talked to my dad he was on his way too.

I was praying constantly.  So thankful for our sweet nurse who was a believer that was with me while Marvin waited for the c-section to begin. 

I’m so thankful that Marvin could be with me during delivery.

The entire time I was praying he would be born alive.

They finished up the two procedures.  Then Marvin was able to come in.

The room was surrounded with doctors and nurses.  The C-Section didn’t take too long.

Tears were flowing down my checks. 
Gripping Marvin’s hand. 
Praying to hear a cry.

At 2:13 p.m. on June 1, 2012 we heard the sweetest two cries in our lives.

Then doctors quickly went to work making sure Seth was stable.  Even though we had no idea what was to come we were thankful that Seth was with us and that he was alive.

His birth was filled with fear but it was such a beautiful experience feeling the Lord hold us throughout it.

Seth Asher you are such a gift.  I’m so thankful we got to welcome you into the world.

Friday, June 01, 2012

about Tuesday

As we were sitting in the waiting room for our appointment on Tuesday another woman sat down with her husband and I recognized the pain, fear, heartbreak in her eyes.  Oh how I knew all those things too well, I was experiencing all those things at that current moment.  I knew if I opened my mouth, the tears would come unleashed, so I prayed for her and what was to come for us in just a few short minutes when we would be seen by the doctor. 

I don’t think you are ever prepared for the words cardiac failure to be spoken about your unborn child.  Those words take your breath away.  But somehow the L allowed us to breath.  He’s helped get us through some very uncomfortable procedures, taken away the fear and given his shoulder to cry on.

A local believing friend in Nineveh skyped yesterday and her words brought tears to my eyes.  She simply said, “Hold on to the cross.”  How easy is it to take my grip off of the only thing that sustains us in our time of need.

I’m holding on tight today.
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble; He cares for those who trust in Him”
Nahum 1:7