Twenty-four hours with Asher

Many of you have followed Asher’s story. In my writings I said that it was Lindsey’s story to tell and she would talk when she’s ready.

Well, she’s ready. It’s beautiful…full of hope…an example of courage in the midst of horrendous circumstances. I have not changed or added to any of Lindsey’s words. They are directly from her.

I know she would appreciate your comments and sharing with others who could be positively impacted by her story and Asher’s life.

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“As Joy so beautifully and eloquently wrote, my son Asher Knox, has a story. Our family has a story because of this miracle baby. Anyone who met our sweet precious boy, has a story…like Joy does. It’s because most people can’t tell stories of angels because they never meet one. I grew one inside me for 35 weeks and 3 day.
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Some outsiders may say Asher’s story is one of heartbreak, one of tragedy and that it has ended. I can see how that can be a thought as I would be lying if I said those thoughts never entered my mind. But when it comes down to the truth, Asher’s story is one of all-consuming love, a will to fight, and down right determination.
3F9B9571I will not go into the 9 months of details, but what I will share is that my husband and I found out when I was 15 weeks along , that Asher had a form of Skeletal Dysplasia—aka dwarfism. Since it was caught so early on, the many doctors I saw were confident that it was a lethal form…meaning IF Asher made it to term, he would not breathe and would die very shortly after birth. We were given the choice to terminate at that point, which is an awful place to be for anyone…PRO CHOICE or PRO LIFE. You are deciding the fate of your child to a certain degree at that stage.

I was never one of those people who voiced their opinion on PC vs PL as I figured I would never be in that position and I could see arguments for both sides. However, when it came down to it, we felt that if God didn’t want us to have Asher, then why allow us to conceive him? If he was not meant to be, God would end the pregnancy at some point but we could not bear the thought of stopping our child’s heart by choice. If he were to go, it would be when it was his time.
IMG_6172Fast forward to May 26, 2013 when I gave birth to the angel inside me. I had no expectations but hopes that I would be able to hold my son and have him look at me long enough to know I was his Momma. I got that moment. I got not only that one but 23 hours and 45 minutes of moments. Each of those seconds I spent with Asher were not filled with tears, but of hand holding, hair smelling, belly kissing, storytelling, and more cuddling and group praying than I can count. Because of Asher, my husband, Asher and I were able to feel more love from family, friends and strangers than I could EVER begin to imagine. We felt very blessed and still feel blessings entering our lives each and every day.
3F9B9263Yes, I said BLESSED. You may be thinking, “Why does this woman feel blessed if she carried her child to term, only to say goodbye less than a day later?” That’s just it. I had a day. Actually I had almost 36 weeks of enjoying ultrasound photos and kicks and somersaults. I got to watch my belly get bigger every week. I was able to be a MOTHER. How many people never get that opportunity? I truly believe there are many women out there that cannot get pregnant or carry their own child, and if given the choice, they would take 24 hours versus nothing.
3F9B0101To quote my favorite movie Steel Magnolias…..”I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” I have watched that movie easily 75 times in the past 20 years. How ironic that that quote would be something I would experience and believe myself when my son was created.

So what is life like now after Asher left to fly with the angels? It is tough, no ifs, and or buts about it. Actually tough is a kind way of putting it. Grief is a feeling that cannot be put into a definition properly. It consumes you at certain points. It hits you when you least expect it. Just when you think grief has left the building, it becomes the act on the main stage. I miss my buddy, every single second of every day.

Never would I have thought I would welcome the heartburn, the painful feeling of pressure from him pressing on my organs, the Gestational Diabetes and pricking my finger 4 times a day. That sounds like bliss because HE was with me, safe and sound.

I realize there will be no rocking to sleep, no report cards, no chances for me to leave notes in his Toy Story lunch box. My husband and I will miss out on teaching him to ride a bike and kiss booboo’s. No homecoming dances, no first haircut, no cliche Easter bunny and Santa Claus pictures. That’s the stuff that hurts the most~the things not only we, but Asher will miss out on.

I know I will see him again and that he is waiting patiently for us. This life is temporary and I am comforted knowing that at the end of the day, I have an angel baby that I will spend eternity with. I would never have that opportunity if we didn’t choose the road less traveled….carrying to term.

Again I say, I AM BLESSED. Everyone has darkness in their lives, but there is also light. You just have to look for it …or be open to it. My darkest days did not kill me. They may have knocked me down and I still have to take it one minute of every day at a time. But I choose to be happy. I choose to honor my beautiful son Asher by not seeing his life as a tragedy or one that has ended.

His story is just beginning. And so is mine.”

Baby Asher

Many of you have asked me the story behind the cover picture on my Facebook page. I want to tell you. I want you to know who Asher is. Honestly I haven’t had the words to adequately describe the experience.

So, I wrote him a letter in hopes to honor Lindsey and let her son know what a remarkable mother he has.

Today marks one week since baby Asher was born. He lived outside the womb for 24 hours. In that time, he was adored by all who were fortunate enough to meet him. No one treasured him more than his mother, Lindsey. I will never forget following her hand through the lens of my camera as she gently ran her finger along the contours of his little frame. She didn’t miss a single detail. She made sure she knew every line in his palm and wrinkle in his foot. She breathed in the smell of his skin. She delicately touched his head, feeling his baby soft hair beneath her finger tips. She memorized his face. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

I am one of the fortunate few who met this special child and told him how precious he was. I will not go into details about the time I witnessed of Asher’s life on this earth. It’s not my story to tell. When Lindsey is ready, she will tell it and eventually I will write more of this little one who left such a huge imprint on my heart.

Asher Knox MartindaleDear Asher,

One week ago, today, we were all anxiously awaiting your arrival. I had met your mom and dad only the day before, but this experience would bond us for a lifetime.

From the moment you came into this world, you were adored. Your mama had a head start on the rest of us. She had been feeling your kicks and movements in her belly for months. You were her constant companion. She loved you long before seeing you.

I had the privilege of capturing your daddy’s face the first time he saw you. He loves you so much, precious boy. It’s such a difficult thing for a dad to watch his child struggle, knowing he cannot step in and save the day. Because he would have, darling. He would have traded places with you in a moment. You could see it all over his face.

Here is what I want you to know, little one. Your mom is so brave. Her courage is more than admirable. She has fought for you from the very beginning. She knew that medical facts showed little chance you would survive. She heard the doctor’s words and knew the odds that were stacked against you. She also knew that she would carry you, in her belly, as long as she could. She would give you life and if only for a moment, hold you in her arms, sheltering you from the coldness of this world, whispering lullaby’s in your ear.

I was witness to incredible love, sweet Asher. Your mama loves you extravagantly.

She wants all who know her, and those who don’t, to hear your story and know your name. You were a little champion. I am so, so grateful to have met you. You were wonderfully made and your life has great purpose.

Your mommy and daddy miss you, darling. There are so many tears. There are also beautiful memories of a day filled with…you. Your life. Your story. Your purpose.

Your legacy will continue. Your name will be spoken in many circles. Your memory will outlive us all. Those who know your mom are forever changed by her courage, faith and unconditional love.

You are beautiful. You are loved. You are chosen. Now may you rest in the arms of the Savior who spoke life into being. You are safe. You are well. You are home.

Love and Light,
Joy
(the girl behind the lens)