I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mason Asher Rachul

Mason Asher Rachul was born on September 29th!

On September 28th at 12:ooam I woke up and had to go to the bathroom. Now this is something that I have been doing for a few months now so you would think that is was no big deal, except that when I got out of bed I had no control over what my body was doing. I raced to the bathroom and called to Nathan to tell him that something was different. He asked if my water broke and I told him that it couldn't have because I was 5 and a 1/2 weeks early. We sat in the bathroom for awhile as I came to accept that my water did in fact break. I was not having any contractions though and so we went back to bed. As I lay there I began to think that we should probably go to the hospital to find out what was happening and what to do about it.

When we got to the hospital a nurse led me to the maternity ward and had my lay down on a stretcher so that the fluids could pool together to be tested. When she tested me there was no question about whether or not my water broke. This led to many decisions. Nathan and I had to decide where to deliver and when I should come into the hopital to start the contractions. As we had been talking previously about the decisions we had to make, Nathan and I already decided that if Mason came early he would have an even lesser chance of surviving and so we would deliver at Boundary Trails Hospital so that we could hold our son. Mason obviously knew that we were struggling with this decision and so he helped us along by coming early.

Now if you have noticed a pattern already good for you! Nathan and I must be a bit slow because Mason's early arrival surprised us, but we should have known that he has always been full of surprises and is probably stubborn like his parents so he was going to come when he was ready, not when we or the doctors were ready. What a little character!

We went back home after it was confirmed that I would be having Mason in the next while and we slept restlessly for a few hours. I kept in contact with Dr. Dixon (my family doctor) throughout the morning and Nathan and I packed our stuff and called our parents to let them know what was going on. I also had to call my sister to make sure that she would also be with us and to hold her little nephew when the time came. This meant a lot to me!

At noon on Monday Nathan and I walked into Boundary Trails with our suitcase, camera, and two pillows. We took the elevator ride up to the second floor and announced at the desk that we were there to have a baby. The nurses gave us a half smile as well as a look of sympathy as they already knew our situation. We were led to a room and I was told to put on the gown that was folded on the bed. I opened the gown and began to laugh because it looked like a sheet with a bunch of snaps. Nathan looked at me questioningly until he saw what I was holding. Then we both laughed as he tried to figure out how to put this thing on me. Apparently two male ends on snaps do not go together! We finally got that very flattering piece of clothing on and I waited patiently for a nurse to arrive with further instructions.

When the nurse arrived she explained that she would be giving me an IV to begin an induction. I warned her that I am an extreme whimp when it comes to needles and I squeezed my eyes shut as she began inserting the needle. Apparently my veins are too good and the first one burst because there was too much pressure. I was in so much pain! She found another vein and carefully inserted the IV successfully, apologizing profusely the whole time. I made it until she had the IV in and then I threw up a couple of times just to feel better. That poor nurse was so concerned and felt so bad! This was honestly the worst part of my whole experience in giving birth!

My contractions only began at 5:00 pm so Nathan and I had a lot of time to kill. He went home to get some cards and a couple of movies. We began thinking of who we could call to come visit us and then I began feeling the wonderful pain of contractions. A nurse brought me supper. Guess what it was? The one thing that I just can not eat, fish! We thought this was kind of funny so Nathan ate my food and then went down to the cafeteria to buy me a salad. That was a really good salad! As the evening went on my contractions kept getting harder and closer together. I knew that I wanted an epidural because I fully admit that I have a very low pain tolerance and and am willing to use drugs to prevent any unnecessary pain. Nathan was getting hungry and so he began texting his brother to bring him a Big Mac meal. There were many texts that went back an forth among them as to whether or not they should come, but in the end Nathan got his way and the food arrived. Of course, as soon as it did Dr. Klassen came in to give me my epidural. This was at about 10:30 pm. We finally got some company and then things started happening! Now, I recommend an epidural to all of you who ever decide to have a baby. It is amazing! I felt no contractions and was even able to sleep for awhile.

At about 4:00 in the morning my nurse asked if she could check how dilated I was. When she did this she found that I was already at 7 cm. About 2 minutes later I told her that Iwas feeling a lot of pressure and so she checked again and I was fully dilated. At this time I had two nurses in my room getting ready and telling me to push when I felt like it. I started to push and I kept on pushing for about an hour.

At 5:19 am Mason Asher was born. He didn`t make a sound and he didn`t move so I thought that he wasn`t alive. I asked Dr. Basson if he was, he said yes and he put Mason in my arms. I started crying uncontrollably as I looked at my tiny son and saw how perfect God made him. Nathan stood beside me and wept as well. I held him so tight and told him how amazing he was and how beautiful he was. The doctor and nurses were unable to tell us right away if Mason was a girl of a boy because of the omphalocele so after Nathan and I held Mason for a few minutes we let the nurse take him and clean him up as well as do all the measurements and other things. There she told us that he was a boy and I immediately told her that his name was Mason Asher. She told us that Mason weighed 2 pounds and 12 ounces and that he was 14 inches long. What a tiny little man! She wrapped him in a blanket that was way too big for him and handed him back to me. Nathan and I just looked at him and talked about how much hair he had and how his nose and chin looked like Nathan and how his hands were definitely like mine. He had such long fingers! We saw Mason`s mouth open and close a few times and we saw his chin move. This is how I knew that he was still alive.

At 5:44 am Mason took his last breath and went to see Jesus. We then called the rest of our family into the room and they all got to hold there grandson or nephew. It was a very special time for everyone. We took many pictures and shared the physical similarities that Mason had to his family. Kristel Bueckert also really blessed us by coming in to take pictures of Mason. That has meant so much to us.

Eventually all family left and Nathan and I got to spend time alone again with our son. We told him stories about his time with us and we told about the dreams that we`d had for him. We also told him that we loved him and that he was so beautiful as often as we could.

The nurse took Mason for a little while to make his handprints and to wash his hair. She even found the tiniest shirt that she could to fit him. He was so handsome!

At 10:15 am Jake from Wiebe`s Funeral Home came to our room to take Mason away. I handed our son to him and cried so hard as he gently placed him in a box and carried him away. All I wanted to do then is hold my baby. A nurse came in shortly after and I asked to go home. It was so hard to be in that room with so much of Mason still there. She let us go home at 11:00 and I think I almost ran to the car.

We got home and took a long hot shower and then slept. I woke up crying as I seem to be doing everyday now. Nathan has been comforting me so much! We got up and called the family to come over for the evning so that we wouldn`t be alone. It was nice to talk about Mason and to use his name in conversation.

We had the funeral on Friday evening. So up until then I was super busy making arrangements for it and preparing the best service that I could possibly give Mason. It was a beautiful service that our families courageously helped us with. Thank-you so much again for everything! Pastor Paul and Pastor Randy did a wonderful job in sharing about God`s love for Mason and for us. This was a very hard service for me to sit through but it blessed me in so many ways. After the service Nathan and I went to Mason`s grave site and buried him. I have never felt so helpless and sad in my life. That was the hardest moment that I have ever had to face. After the burial we joined our families and friends for fellowship. That helped to give us strength to get through that evening.

This has been the best and the worst week of my life. I will never forget my precious son and will love him forever! One of Mine and Nathan`s greatest fears is that we will forget parts of the time that we had with Mason. I have written a letter to Mason that I would like to share with you as well:

Dear Mason,

My precious son! You have been a part of me now for eight months and I have cherished every moment. Your Daddy and I are very much in love and you were created out of this love. Please always know that! When we found out that you were going to be ours we were so ecstatic that we could hardly keep from telling the world about you right away. On the same day that we found out about you, your Uncle Devin and Auntie Amy told us that they were getting married and we were so happy to be happy for them and secretly be happy about you too.
That first doctor’s appointment where your Daddy and I heard your strong heartbeat put the biggest smiles on our faces. That is when it became real that there really was a baby living inside of me. On April 24th I decided to have all of your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents over for supper to announce that you would be joining our family. There was so much excitement that evening and we felt so blessed to share you with the world. Your great grandparents found out about you the next day and were also excited to see you soon!
On June 26th I had my first ultrasound in Winkler. Your Daddy came with me because he also wanted to see you and watch you move. This was one of the hardest days of our lives because we found out that you had some problems. Following this ultrasound came many more in Winnipeg. We have cried so often over knowing that you were sick. We had been expecting you to live with us for a long time.
We had many dreams for you. I thought that you would be waking me up at night because you were hungry and I thought that it would be so hard to lose sleep over this. Now I wish more than anything that I could lose some sleep for this reason.
Jesus brought you to us on September 29th in the morning. You were a few weeks early, but you have always been full of surprises and so we should have known that you would surprise us again. We also knew that you were stubborn just like your mommy and daddy and so we should have known that only you would decide when to enter this world. You were so good to me. You never made me sick and you never gave me any aches. You were very gentle with your movements and when you decided to join us you made Mommy’s labour and delivery very easy.
You were with daddy and I for 25 minutes and those have been the best 25 minutes that we have ever had! We got to hold you and watch your slight movements. We got to tell you how much we love you and how much you look like us. You have the most beautiful hair that I have ever seen and I’m sure that you Auntie Tiffany would have loved to cut it many times!
Thank-you so much for sharing your short life with us! We will always love and remember you. We will see you again soon in Heaven! Please play with your tractors and combines up there so that you can show Daddy and your grandpas your fields when they get there!

I love you!



  1. What a beautiful little boy! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. That is the most beautiful post and letter I have ever read. I am bawling right now. You are so strong and it just shows how close God can be to us during difficult times.
    Thinking and praying for you often.

  3. Tears are falling as I read your post and letter to your son, Mason.
    Mason was a beautiful boy!
    Joy and Sorrow...how is it that they can be so very intertwined...Only by the grace of the LORD.

  4. I am crying so hard that I am having a hard time even typing this. I didn't realize that he was alive in the beginning. God is so amazing that he was able to give you a short time with Mason. I can't even imagine what you are going through, and I am praying for you every single moment I think about it. Mason was so beautiful.

  5. He is indeed beautiful. My prayers are with you.

  6. Crystal, my heart hurts so much for you guys right now. You and Nathan did the most difficult thing any parent should ever have to do. I'm sure in Mason's short time here, he could feel so much love from his mommy and daddy. Mason is such a special little angel, and the service you guys planned for him was absolutely beautiful. Keeping you guys in our prayers...

  7. What a beautiful story. God is so awesome and you are so blessed. You got to spend some precious time with your little boy and experience the emotions that every parent feels at the birth of their first born. Of course I'm crying as I read your post because it hits so close to home for me, having just gone through the birth process my self exactly 5 months before. I pray that God comforts you in the coming days and have no fear for the future, He already has that covered.

  8. I am profoundly blessed by your story and your vulnerability. May you find peace in the midst of sorrow. Thank you for sharing your heart and Mason with us too.

  9. My heart aches for you guys. What an amazing post. Thank you for sharing all the details with us, as well as that incredible letter.
    I pray that you will feel God beside you in the days weeks and months ahead.

  10. me again.. I have some friends going through a similar difficult time and they shared this poem this morning... made me think of you. wanted to share.

    Like The Water by Wendell Berry

    Like the water
    of a deep stream,
    love is always too much.
    We did not make it.
    Though we drink till we burst,
    we cannot have it all,
    or want it all.
    In its abundance
    it survives our thirst.

    In the evening we come down to the shore
    to drink our fill,
    and sleep,
    while it flows
    through the regions of the dark.
    It does not hold us,
    except we keep returning to its rich waters

    We enter,
    willing to die,
    into the commonwealth of its joy.

    Praying peace for you today.

  11. Praying that you will make it through today. One day at a time.

  12. Found your blog through Wenona's a while back.
    I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I can only imagine what you are going through, I do understand the pain of coming home to an empty house. I will pray that God will lead you day by day and that with each day there will be more healing.

    - Liane

  13. Crystal, this is Jonathan Thiessen from Border Valley. My wife and I heard about your little boy, and just read your blog this evening. We both cried together with you. We have a 7 month old daughter, and it's hard for us to imagine the pain of burying someone so precious and so small. Your strong faith in God through all of it is remarkable, and I can't help thinking of Hannah in the Bible. God took away one son (yes, in a different way), but blessed her many times over in years afterward. May God be ever so near to you and Nathan through the next weeks and months. Jonathan

  14. I am definitly praying for you guys as you go through this hard time and am blessed by your hearts and attitudes through this all. I will never say that I know how you feel, even though our siuations in some ways feel so similiar, but I do know that what you are going through is hard and only God can get you through it. It does get easier, it may take awhile, but it will get easier and don´t worry, you won´t ever forget. You might not think about him every second of the day after awhile but you wont ever forget. God blessed you with an amazing beautiful baby and eventhough it was hard saying Good bye I am so happy that you got a few minutes with him.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures of your precious baby Mason. My heart aches for you... Thinking and praying for you often.

  16. Your little boy is so beautiful, and you are so blessed to have him as your son!

  17. Hi- I know that this is quite old, but I found it while searching body stalk anomaly. My daughter passed from BSA in December 2010.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know that there is nothing that will ever be said, to make your heartess broken. There is a small group of us on Facebook, who would love to hear about baby Mason, if you are willing to share. We are a new group just starting out, hoping to uplift one another in a positive environment.

    We also are in the initial stage of formatting a website for people carrying to term with this type of pregnancy, and we would love for your story to be one that gives people hope, if you would be willing to share. The site is at:


    As I said, it is in the initial stages if development and we hope to make it better over time.