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I've wanted to write about Asher's birth for some time now, but never seem to find the time. So let me tell you about the day of his birth. Well, days really. I wondered if that baby would ever be born.

We had an appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine late Friday morning. We had been there the week prior with bags packed thinking we would have the baby 5 weeks early. The docs at MFM said there must have been a misunderstanding and that they weren't planning on inducing that day. I was heartbroken. I had been a nervous wreck throughout the entire pregnancy. The further along I got the more worried I became. I know I should have just simply trusted in the Lord, but my flesh truly won that battle. I was scared. I didn't know how I could handle losing another baby. I had non-stress tests twice a week for over two months. So many times they would do the test and tell me that the baby wasn't responding or responding enough and rush me down the hall for an ultrasound. They would have to buzz my stomach in an attempt to get him to respond. I remember one time in particular. I was planning on heading out for my nephew's wedding after the non-stress test. Asher had other plans. He didn't respond "enough" during the test so off I went for yet another ultrasound. He wasn't responding for that either. I began to think that they would rush me for a C-section. He started to respond more but still not up to their standards. They said they were watching for his breathing activity and couldn't detect any. They said they were required to watch for breathing for 1/2 hour. I asked what would happen if he didn't breath during that time. They said they would send me home. WHAT??? So I could go home and have a nervous breakdown? I think not! I prayed my little heart out that God would make him breathe. Twenty-five minutes into the half hour he showed signs of breathing. Sigh... I was a basket case. I cried all the way home. I didn't make it to the wedding.

After all of that, when they said they would induce at 35 weeks I was ecstatic. No more worries. Then they claimed to never have said that. Grrrrr! We went ahead and did an amniocentesis that day to check his lung development. His lungs were not ready. I was devastated. Not only was I nervous, scared and apprehensive, but I was in excruciating pain. Living with lupus and fibromyalgia while pregnant is not an easy thing. So home I went with a very heavy heart.

Back a week later. We did the non-stress test. He looked good. I did enjoy all the NST's because I was not able to feel this baby move due to an anterior placenta. We then headed in for an ultrasound. The tech and I didn't talk much that day. This was unusual because I had seen them for both pregnancies and we always chatted up a storm. I think I was too tired and hurting too much to make conversation. The tech was concerned, but I didn't know this at the time. Next was talking to the MFM doctor. She said she wanted us to go over and get observed at the hospital. I questioned this because all appeared fine. She said it was just so they could monitor me longer at the hospital. Ooookaaaay!!!

So off to the hospital we went. I was actually starting to get excited. Could this be the day? My OB called and ordered Pitocin, and informed us that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck twice. This was about 1pm on Friday afternoon. Suddenly my husband started to get nervous and wanted to wait another week. To be quite honest I wanted to kill him. I had been pregnant for 76 weeks with only a 6 week break. I didn't even kind of want to wait one more week. They did tell us that the baby's lungs would probably not be ready. I didn't care. I knew that he would be fine. Besides, if the cord was wrapped twice around his neck how would I know if he was dead or alive during another long week? We talked, we ignored each other, we argued, and finally my tears took over and Jesse agreed it was probably best. :o) If anyone knows me at all you know I'm not a crier, so this isn't normal for me to burst into tears.

They started the Pitocin then and I had contractions on and off, but nothing productive. By midnight they stopped the Pitocin and started Cervidil and told me to get some rest. I sent my hubby home, and fell asleep until about 5am. The charge nurse asked if I minded moving to another room. They could have moved me to the roof...I didn't care. I was going to have a baby. She moved me to a huge corner room and we talked for hours. It was wonderful. She listened to how Uriah passed away, we talked about our adopted children, and finally about the upcoming birth. She walked to the whiteboard and wrote my goal. "A healthy, crying baby"...She got it...she knew what I NEEDED. I had never heard Uriah cry. I needed to hear Asher cry.

Jesse got there late morning. They were supposed to start Pitocin again around noon. It didn't happen until after 1pm. I still didn't have consistent contractions. I walked around a bit, used the exercise ball, and tried lying in different positions. Nothing... Finally, around 5pm contractions started to become more consistent. They weren't able to keep him on the monitors so they decided to do internal monitoring. I always said I would NEVER do that, but I did it. Boy, did I love hearing his little heartbeat on the monitor. It's how I knew he was ok. They came in and gave me an epidural which was the wisest decision I had made up to that point. Once it was placed the fibro and lupus pain was gone. I couldn't stop crying. I felt like such a big baby. What a wimp. I couldn't help it...I tried to make myself not cry but it felt so good to not have pain. Totally tears of joy. So by then the contractions were consistent and strong. He was coming, but not fast. I just wasn't dilating. The nurses repositioned me every 1/2 hour. At 9:30 they came in to sit me straight up. My wonderful nurse Julie said this always works. She walked out of the room and all of a sudden Asher's heart rate was hardly detectable. The nurse came rushing in and quickly put my bed back to a flat position. It didn't help. Some more nurses came rushing into the room and they got my numb body up on all fours. Still his heart rate didn't improve.

I'll admit at this point I wasn't acting very spiritual. I should have had all faith, but I had all fear. I started to sob uncontrollably. They threw an oxygen mask on me. The on-call doctor rushed in, checked me and headed across the hall to prepare for a C-section. I was crying, and my nurse put her arm around my shoulders. She whispered in my ear over and over..."Hannah, it's going to be ok...Hannah, it's going to be ok..." I cried and prayed. I remember praying, "Lord, I know I've been praying to do Your will, but right now I WANT my baby. Please let him live. I can't lose another one. Please Lord!!!"

They rolled me over and started to prepare me for the C-section. I had started to shake uncontrollably. They kept putting warm blankets on me but I couldn’t stop shaking. I could barely talk. Julie decided to check me once more and started to laugh. "You're complete...that's why you're shaking. His head is right here. Get the doctor in here!!!"

The doctor rushed in, got setup, and said, "Breathe Hannah...don't push!"

"I'm not pushing!"

Out he came...right into the doctor’s hands.

Then they placed him on my chest. I didn't get that with Uriah. Can I just say I have never been that happy in my entire life?!?!? He was squeaking. It sort of sounded like a mouse. I held him for about a half hour. Then they cleaned him up, gave him oxygen and took him to the NICU.

The Lord is so amazing. He gave me a perfect little boy. Yes, it was scary, but it caused me to rely even more on my Savior. What a beautiful gift He has given me AGAIN. This time He let me keep him. He may still take this baby, but whatever His plan is for Asher I'm content. I would much prefer never seeing another one of my children die, but God knows far better than I do what's best for me.

Thank you again for all those who prayed for us, and feel free to continue to keep us in your prayers.

For those who haven't heard, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful baby boy whom we named Asher. He was born about a month early and had a few lung issues, but only needed to stay in the NICU for a week. He's such a good baby. I never knew babies could be this good. He's such a blessing to my heart. My friend calls him my healing balm...I totally agree.

Have you ever watched a baby stare off into the distance and get a big ole grin on their face? It's the cutest thing. Asher does it quite often. I told my family that he sees the angels around us that we can't see. I sometimes wonder if it's really his big brother Uriah telling him stories of Heaven. I often whisper in Asher's ear to tell Uriah how much I love him and miss him.

Sometimes it's the little things like that that gets me through the tough days. I have to admit the "tough days" or my "Uriah days" are less now that Asher is here, but I still have them. When I look at Asher I don't see Uriah. I see Uriah's little brother. Asher is not a replacement because no one can ever replace another person. Asher has very straight hair compared to Uriah's curls. Asher is much smaller as well. They both have my mouth. They both have my hubby's nose. I wonder if Uriah would have had the shrill screech of a cry that Asher has. That's what I missed the most...Uriah never cried. In fact, while in labor with Asher the goal they wrote on the board for me was "A healthy CRYING baby." I couldn't wait to hear his little cry.

My husband and I have had a difficult time trying to decide what to do to celebrate Uriah's birth each year. Some people have suggested baking a cake, but no one in my house even likes cake. We thought about releasing balloons at his grave site, but now we live so far away we feel that's a bit foolish. So we have decided to write him letters every year. Letters from each of us telling him what we think he must be doing in Heaven, how we imagine he might be had he lived, and what we are doing in our lives now.

I wonder what will ever become of this book. I wonder how many generations will keep it up. Will my great grandchildren even know about Uriah? I hope that because of the book they WILL know him.

Happy birthday my precious son. I love you more than words can say. I miss you so much that it hurts. I cannot wait to see you and hold you and kiss you! I'm sure this past year has been truly awesome for you. You are with so many people that we love, but the most awesome part is being with our Savior. I wonder how often He has let you catch glimpses of us. Did you know Grandpa had a heart attack? Did you know we moved? We got a dog. Abner is doing great in school and with his guitar. Phebe is so beautiful and doing great on finishing up her schooling. Asher got your nickname as his middle name. Daddy did a wonderful job fixing up Asher's room. Uriah, enjoy every moment and listen to all the wisdom from all those around you. I'll be there before you know it, and we will spend eternity together.

I love you little Oliver. Happy birthday!

If I Could Ask God Anything” could be a good resource for parents and teachers, if used with a little caution. It covers questions about a variety of spiritual topics, including God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, the church, and others. I think it would be best used for devotions, as it makes for interactive devotions because the questions/answers invite discussions about them. I appreciate the numerous scripture references for many of the questions.

If you’re not going to use it for devotions, it would be best to read through the book yourself before giving it your child, as some of the questions/answers might not be a good fit for your Biblical beliefs. The introduction of the book says that it is “written for children of all denominations,” so this opens up the possibility of some of the answers containing incorrect doctrine. There were at least a couple of questions/answers that I didn’t care for. One of them was the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” The answer three-paragraph answer basically boils down to, “Because some people didn’t understand Him so they killed Him.” No mention is made of Jesus dying for our sins or of His great sacrifice for us. Other parts of the book talk about Jesus dying for our sins, but for some reason this one didn’t.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.