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8 Things I Know About Jasper

Published by The Lucky Anchor Project

October marks the 8th month since my son, Jasper, quickly and quietly came into this world, and just as quickly and quietly left only 30 hours later. There just wasn’t enough time for us to get to know him, as someone separate from the abstract little person growing inside me for 34.5 weeks. And yet, I feel that I know so much about who my son was and is.

I don’t want this to be about how or why Jasper died, but about how he lived and how he lives on.

Here are 8 things, I know about Jasper:

1. Jasper loved to play!

Jasper and I would play little kick games, where I’d tap a spot on my tummy and he’d kick there. Maybe it was coincidence or I imagined where I felt him kick, but I just think he was the smartest little guy.

In the precious moments between doctor visits, I really enjoyed playing, talking and singing to Jasper. And he always showed me that he enjoyed it too.

Now I see him, playing whenever I see the birds or squirrels or bunnies scampering around.

2. Jasper knew that Jesus loved him!

I was gifted several wonderful books for Jasper, but of all of them, the one he got most excited about was a compilation of Bible stories for children.

In one of the stories, Jesus asked for the little children to be brought to Him, and He hugs them and prayed for them. I think Jasper loved that one most of all.

I think he was excited because he knew he would meet Jesus soon, and that he would be whole and healthy, at peace and at play forever with Him.

This was confirmed for me when I found Revelation 4: “And there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne”.

Jasper in heaven!

3. Jasper loves rainbows!

One of our signs from Jasper is rainbows, because of the verse in the Revelation, but before that because he died during a storm and there was a beautiful rainbow the next morning.

Jasper in Heaven and a rainbow!

I think of him in the lyrics of The Band Perry’s If I Die Young: “Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother – she’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors”.

But Jasper never sends us rainbows directly – his M.O. is to send them to other people so they will share them with us… until Father’s Day, when he sent his dad the most beautiful rainbow. I think he knew his dad needed to feel him that day.

4. Jasper was a boy on the move!

He was a busy little boy, playing and doing goodness know what all day and all night. Later on in my pregnancy, I was consistently awake from 2am until about 5am, and Jasper was always awake with me!

He would never stay still for his ultrasounds and EKGs either.

Now I often think of the line from Hamilton’s Nonstop: “Everyday day you fight, like you’re running out of time…” and I wonder if Jasper knew he didn’t have a lot of time and he wanted to make the most of it.

5. Jasper hid a lot from us, to protect us, I think.

He revealed his diagnosis and prognosis slowly to us, but almost too slowly because we just didn’t believe he wouldn’t survive until the very end. I think he wanted us to get to know him and love him, apart from his diagnosis, and I respect that.

Jasper was diagnosis with a “fixable” congential heart defect (DORV with VSD) in our 20 week ultrasound, but at 27 weeks, they found fluid on his lungs (bilateral pleural effusions) that severely impacted his lung developed. In a post mortem whole exome sequencing, we found out that this underlying cause was likely a very rare (only 7 documented cases prior) and uninherited gene mutation in RAC1.

6. Jasper really wanted to meet us!

I believe this to be true more than anything. I didn’t realize how much the odds were stacked against him, and how much he fought to get to us.

We did IVF, where we had pre-transfer genetic testing, genetic testing on Jasper as an embryo, and we did all the genetic blood testing available in the first and second trimester of my pregnancy, and always for 2 thumbs up. Jasper’s condition was not one that could have been diagnosed without the most sophisticated genetic testing available, and yet, it is still not understood.

My boy was a rare gem, and I am so proud of him for his perseverance, but also so sad to think that he really didn’t have a chance in this world.

I wish things were not this way, but I am proud to be his mummy and I am so glad I got to look into this eyes and hold him.

7. Jasper felt comfort in my arms!

When they finally put Jasper in my arms, after the doctors felt they had done everything they could for him, they said his vitals calmed.

He knew he was finally where he was supposed to be. Finally where he wanted to be.

There is no doubt in my mind that we made the right decision for our son, to hold him and comfort him and love him, and then to let him go.

8. Jasper’s life will make a difference!

30 hours was not enough time for me, but it was more than enough to change my life. I am overwhelmed with love for that beautiful little boy, I get the honor of calling my son.

I feel such a need to live a life that will honor him and make him proud.

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