A new blessing is on the way for former NFL player Devon Still and wife Asha. At a time full of rewards, including Still recently receiving his master’s in applied psychology at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania, the couple are also expecting their second child together, and his third.
“It’s just amazing because our family obviously has been through a lot,” Devon says while sitting next to Asha, chatting with us over Zoom. Their family publicly has overcome significant obstacles. Many know the family man for the support he provided eldest daughter Leah when she was battling Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer, putting his football career on the backburner to be as present as possible for her treatment. He shaved his head in solidarity with his child and kept it that way until she was declared cancer-free in 2015.
Privately, Devon and Asha, who also have a three-year-old daughter named Ari, faced other significant obstacles, including a miscarriage. The couple struggled to conceive daughter Ari, and found themselves having the same situation while attempting to conceive another child. The first time around, they received help from Clearblue.
“We came across the Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test System, our advanced test system, which was an amazing thing for me, because I really was kind of clueless in a sense of tracking my fertility days,” she says. They had success, conceiving Ari in 2018. With the help of the test system, they had success again in 2020, but found out the pregnancy was an embryonic pregnancy where there was a gestational sack with no embryo.
“I want to say it was probably the hardest thing I ever went through in my life because it was trying,” she recalls. “I never experienced that. And we were excited to have another baby to grow our family. So we kind of took that time to really get grounded in our faith like we were before.”
They also found support through Clearblue, as the company has a #Conceivinghood summit, and Devon and Asha were invited to share their story and hear from other couples who were going through the same things.
“To see other moms and to see other dads in this summit really talking about their journey, and us being able to connect and really just let out some of the emotions that we were dealing with was pretty cool,” he says. “So to have a big brand like that support us, because I know for me, I don’t have a lot of people. I’m pretty much closed off when I experience trauma. I don’t really talk about it. But to be able to create a platform where we’re all able to share that journey and let it be known that, ‘No, something’s not wrong with you, sometimes this just happens along the journey,’ it took a lot of pressure off of us.”
They also used the same Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test System when they were ready to start trying again. They were able to get the results they wanted, and are now preparing for a packed house. Now the question is, will their baby on the way be a boy or a girl?
They actually have no preference.
“I wanted my first child to be a son because I wanted them to walk in my footsteps and just show them some of the things that I’ve been able to accomplish in the sports world,” he says. “But since having two girls, they completely changed my life.”
“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he adds. “It would be cool to have a boy because it’d be like, ‘All right, now I get to experience what it’s like to have a son,’ but I’m so in love with my little girls that I wouldn’t mind having another little girl. I just want the baby to be healthy.”
The couple is excited for the memories they plan to make with the bundle of joy on the way. But in the meantime, at the time of our conversation, they were trying to figure out how to surprise Leah and Aria with the news.
“They have no idea. We’re trying to find a way to let them know,” he says. “Aria has a little idea because she can be like, ‘Is there a baby in mommy’s stomach?’ I don’t know how she knows that. But they don’t know yet.”
The couple is glad to be sharing the news with everyone now, and grateful for the season they’re in after getting through hardships together.
“Being in this season where it’s just, we’re harvesting all the hard work and the seeds that we put down in previous years is just a blessing,” Devon says. “And we’re glad that we’re able to really use our story to inspire other people that are walking similar journeys as us.”
“Going through a miscarriage is a lot,” Asha adds. “Just being able to lean into your partner and process those emotions is important, because a lot of times we try to shut it off, and not really address how we really feel. But I think being able to go through that helped us get to this point to say, ‘You know what, now that we’re here, we can really accept this blessing and be happy and understand that we came from this journey, but look at where we are now.'”