Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | Bereaved Parents Awareness Edition July 2022
Losing Our Miracle Child Asher
Written and Photos by Julie Drey
I struggled with PCOS, diabetes, and being overweight. So it really wasn’t a shock to me that Eric and I struggled to get pregnant. After a year of trying, we went to see a specialist who said she wouldn’t help me until I lost weight. At that point I gave up hope to ever having a baby. The funny thing is I didn’t even know the first 8 weeks I was pregnant but after having some weird cramps, I took a pregnancy test. My heart stopped… there it was… 2 pink lines. I ended up taking about 15 pregnancy tests until I got my ultrasound to confirm I was indeed pregnant. We just couldn’t believe it was true.
When we saw that little heart beating on the ultrasound machine, I cried tears of pure joy. We had finally done it, we were pregnant. Eric and I were shaking when we left because we were so excited. We were giddy with happiness. I still couldn’t drive by the hospital without an ache in my heart remembering the happiness of that day. Silly me thinking that, that was it. In 9 months I’ll have a beautiful baby and live happily ever after. For the next almost 2 months, Eric and I talked of nothing but baby this, baby that. We were just picking out nursery themes and looking forward to the 20 week ultrasound that would tell us if we were having a girl or a boy. My mom came up from Nebraska with plans for my reveal party, all was perfect in my world.
And then it happened… the unthinkable… I was at work, humming to “sweet baby Drey”, and this gush (putting it mildly) just came running out of me. I had no idea what was happening, I just knew it was bad. That day, we finally heard our little babies heartbeat. We never could hear it before that day. We were flooded with false hope that all was ok with that strong heartbeat. A few hours later, we got the most devastating news. My water had broke, and there was nothing they could do for a 19.5 week baby. I had to wait 24 hours before they would induce my labor. We went home that night completely numb, and scared for what would come next.
The next day, we went to the funeral home and made arrangements. I remember sitting there and wondering how the heck did I get here. Less than 4 days earlier, I was putting up pink and blue paint swatches on the wall, getting ready to paint, and now I’m sitting here picking out an urn. The time finally came to go back to the hospital and give birth. Of course his little heartbeat was strong and steady, which made me feel like I was giving up on him, that I failed him completely as a mother but the doctors told me there was nothing that could be done. I asked for an epidural. I didn’t want to feel any of the pain, since there would be no happy ending after. Unfortunately, my epidural didn’t work, and for 9 hours, I felt every contraction.
Finally, at 4:32am on Friday, July 19, 2019, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy born sleeping. We could finally name him (we didn’t even know the gender until this point), Asher Patrick. He was 9 ounces and 9.5 inches long. He was and will always be the most beautiful baby boy. He will forever be loved and missed. There isn’t a day that my heart doesn’t ache for him. I have memorial gardens, shelves, and a chair for him. This is my new reality. Our family will forever be broken, forever missing a piece. I buy items for his memorials, and that puts a bandaid over that gaping hole in my heart. My only comfort, is that someday, when it’s my time to go, I have Asher to look forward to.
We now donate teddy bears every Christmas to our favorite charity IRIS. They are the reason we have pictures of him, hand and foot prints, and his baby clothes. We also love Faiths Wings on Facebook. They have been a tremendous help to us and all who have lost a baby. Asher has had the honor of being the Angel mode for their yearly photo shoot example with Santa, the Easter bunny, Mother’s and Father’s Day. These are the way that Eric and I cope. We found groups and organizations that get it and understand what we are going through. We have found family in them. I part with my favorite quote: “Always at heart, never to part, angel of mine”.