01 March 2016

My Dear Sweet Lucy,

It took both time and perspective to write about the very special season in which you entered our family. Deep joys mixed with hurt surrounded your birth. And while the stories of each of my babies births are intimate and unique, I have found yours to be supremely so.  

I found out that a new baby was coming shortly after the new year. That baby was YOU. We were surprised and excited (and a little nervous about baby #3!). We began planning for and anticipating another Wauhop little. If you would have told me that nine both short and long months later I would find myself in another state, not my home, not my doctor, not my hospital...not my plan... Let me back up a little.

One of the sweetest and most godly men that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, my father-in-law, Daddy's dad, and your Poppy was very sick. He was dying of pancreatic cancer. Grammy told us it was nearing the end and that we needed to come now. I was 38 weeks pregnant with you. All (almost five!) of us were packed up and in the air, bound for Northern Virginia within about 4 hours of Grammy's news. 

Poppy was in the hospital the first day and a half we were there. Then he came home on hospice care. Days passed. They were long days full of friends and family coming and going, saying goodbye to your sweet Poppy - he was so loved! It was a really special time, but it was hard, too, because I was large and uncomfortable and taking care of Maggie and Charlie away from home and in a delicate environment. Things didn't change much that first week. However, it became increasingly obvious that a new little life would soon be among us! Everyone would comment on how they couldn't believe I was going to deliver my baby away from home. People's comments ranged from, "I can't see your angel wings." to "Isn't that going to be hard?" 

I can honestly tell you, my dear, that it was. It was really hard. I had yet to fully come to grasp the fact that I was not going home to give birth to my newest baby. Everyone had such high hopes for the joy that would come with you. Everyone felt they could bear the weight of this trial, because of the great excitement that comes with a new baby. And they were so right. But inside i was struggling. Here, arguably two of the weightiest events, literally life and death were staring us in the face and your daddy and I had to decide what to do. 

Who plans these things? Only God. Only a God who orchestrates everything according to his perfect will, each event, each life, each death...! 

At the time, and even still in my flesh, it is easy to see how much was taken away from me. I didn't get to have those last few weeks and nights alone with my husband. I didn't get to finish my "nesting." I didn't get to bring you to our home. I didn't get to spend time recovering. We didn't get the family time I had planned on... On top of all of this, my husband, my best friend, was losing his dad! A he was a really great dad, your Poppy. Every choice seemed wrong. No choice could be made without a profound sense of loss. But looking back, thinking rightly, I can see so much that was gained! 

The Lord so richly blessed us with you - a perfectly beautiful and healthy 7lb 2oz baby girl with deep blue eyes and my nose. Wow. I am as sure of God's sovereignty and his goodness as I am of the fact that you are my daughter. It is only by his grace that I was not crushed under the heartache and trial of those weeks. He is so kind. 

And you, my dear, have been such an indescribable joy to this family. These last five months you have grown into the most beautiful, round little treasure. I am always saying how I think that one day your perfect cheeks might explode with pink hearts and rainbows because you just smile so big. Goodness. I could eat you up, my littlest love. 

We miss your Poppy. But we trust in God's perfect grace and timing in all things. And although you will never know him in this life, I sometimes think about how you might be like him - I pray that the joy of Lord is always on your lips, as it was for him. And maybe you will love music and my chocolate  chip cookies (a trait which I couldn't say comes solely from Poppy, but still 😉). We will see!

I could write for days about you and your birth and the weightiness of it all. But this I know is true: God is good. He reigns. And He is for us - what better thing could ever be said of us! To God be the glory, great things He has done! 


  1. This is absolutely beautiful, Ashley! What a sweet tribute for your father-in-law. I admire the strength and honesty that you open up about in this birth story, and it is so precious how you write it to sweet Lucy. I'm honored to be able to watch you as a role model all of these years wanting to have outfits like yours, to sing like you, have faith strong like yours, and look up to you ever since you used to play with me while I was in after school day care and we would figure skate around on the fellowship hall floor. What a blessing you've been to me to have you as one of the few from our school to still be a good example of following the faith, being a wife/mommy and watching your grow and share your experiences on your blog and facebook. I'm truly inspired with every picture, every message you post as you are part of my generation that is going through the same struggles and yet coming out so beautiful inside and out with your life story. What an amazing God we have, and I'm thankful He placed you in my life for such an encouragement and inspiration for someone to follow.

  2. So sweetly and beautifully written! ❤️