Request for DS-2019 extension while having pending asylum case

Hi all,

I'm student on expired J1-visa, Ds-2019 (will expire within 3 months), pending asylum case, married to american citizen and waiting for J1 Waiver Exceptional Hardship to get approved (it has been almost 1.5 year waiting to the decision).

I want to request DS-2019 extension before the expiration date. If not, can I stay in school while having expired DS-2019?

On other hand, it's normal that J1 Waiver Exceptional Hardship takes that long?

I appreciate your answers and help!!