Friday, July 31, 2009


It's 8:30 in the morning and I need to get out of bed. I woke up this morning feeling thankful. I have a God who loves me more than I could ever understand and he has blessed me with amazing friends and family. First of all, he blessed me with Godly parents. I can't tell you how many times my parents have made HUGE sacrifices for me. My parents would walk through fire for me. They have sacrificed financially for me time and time again and at one point they even sold their house and moved for me so that I could live with them while I went to college. I suffered through a severe eating disorder from the age of 18 through my early twenties. My parents did everything they could for me and helped me through my most difficult time. I could talk about a million more things that make my parents so wonderful. My mother stayed with me for nearly 3 weeks after losing Noah. She cleaned for me, she fed me, she made sure I got my medicine on time.....she mothered me. I'm 28 years old, but I'm still her little girl....her little girl who has lost her little boy....and that makes her hurt probably as much (or possibly more) than I am hurting. My parents have wept and are grieving deeply over the loss of Noah. Just having them share my hurt has helped me tremendously.

My brother, Jason. I have also been blessed with a big brother who loves me so much. Of course we fought a lot growing up, but what siblings don't? We've grown closer through the years and he's still that protective big brother. When I hurt he just wants to take it away and "fix it". I prayed for years that my brother wouldn't move away and marry some girl that I would never really know or ever have a good relationship with. God answered that prayer...better than I could have ever imagined. In April of this year, my brother married Esther and she has become one of my very best friends. She has such a tender heart and she loves all us like we've been her family forever. She loves Ethan as if he were her own. What an incredible mother she will be someday!!! Since losing Noah she has cleaned my house...and I mean CLEANED...she even shampooed my carpet! She's a true servant and I love her so much.

There are so many friends of mine who complain about their in-laws (and I don't blame them!). I don't know what makes me so special, but God chose to bless me with WONDERFUL in-laws. All of them. Every single one of them are so special to me. I grew up without a sister. I always wanted a sister and was sad that my mom could not have more children after I was born. But I have not only been blessed with great friends and sisters in Christ, but my 3 sisters-in-law are real sisters to me. Like I said before, Esther is so great, but Erica and Melissa (David's sisters) are also very dear to my heart. Melissa loves Ethan to pieces. Ethan calls her "Aunt Fiss" and he just loves her. He knows Aunt Fiss is going to play with him when we see her and he gets so excited! Erica has been a shoulder for me to cry on. She is a great listener and has let me pour out to her on many occasions. She has let me know how important Noah was and that his life mattered, no matter how short it was. Erica has never lost a child, but she is so incredibly understanding of my hurt that I feel that she has shared this loss with me.

I also have wonderful parents-in-law and step-parents-in-law. They have always treated me like their very own daughter and I feel truly loved by them. They have also cried with us and I know that losing Noah is difficult for them too as they watch their son grieve the loss of his son. My mother-in-law, Margie called me every single week while I was pregnant with Ethan and she called me every week while I was pregnant with Noah. "Happy 10th week", "Happy 20th week", Happy 25th week", she would say. She never missed a week. It made me smile.

I could go on and on about my family. Even my extended family has been here for us through our darkest hour and I'm so grateful. My church family (Discover Point Church) immediately made a plan to prepare meals for us for when we got home from the hospital. We have had a meal every single night for the last few weeks. Then my co-workers took over this week and they have made us delicious meals every night (we had a feast fit for a king last night with steaks, baked potatoes -with butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon-, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, bread, cheesecake, OH MY GOODNESS....thank you Mike and Felicia!!!). My co-workers came to Noah's memorial, sent cards and flowers, sent me emails and text messages and have just been so encouraging to David and me. Many people hate the people they work with...but my co-workers are family. I love them and I am so thankful for them.

And to all of the people who I barely know or that I'm just getting to know who have sent me long emails and messages on facebook, pouring your hearts out to me about how much our loss has affected you and how much you are praying for us....THANK YOU!!!!! You have no idea what it means to me to have brothers and sisters in Christ weep with us over the loss of Noah. To say that he mattered. He lived and he died and there is purpose that we may never understand, but if just one person is drawn closer to Christ because of Noah then it was worth it (and that is so hard to say, but it is worth it!!!). Why is it worth it??? Because this life will be over so quickly. But eternity...that is FOREVER. And that matters SO MUCH MORE!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2009


I'm so frustrated today. I just keep looking over this pathology report on the placenta and cord and I just don't understand it. There are so many things on it and researching these things only make me more upset. Some of the things on the report I have looked up online and I feel like my heart is ripping out of my chest when I see the words, "recurrence 100%". What does that mean???? If I get pregnant again will all these same things happen? Will I just carry another baby nearly to term only to lose them again? It's unbearable. And what about Ethan? My pregnancy with him was completely normal. No high blood pressure, no problems at all. I desperately want more children, but I need to know and understand the risks of this happening again. I cannot lose another child. I just can't. 5 pieces of my heart are in Heaven...I can't lose any more. And I really need to know if there was anything I could have done differently. Did I eat something wrong? Did I move wrong? Sleep wrong? Should I have insisted that the doctors do more and check on Noah more? And I just wish so much that I had paid more attention to his kicks...if only I had counted his kicks. At 27 weeks when my blood pressure had started to spike...he would have been better off outside of my womb than in. I wish I had known. Oh, how I wish I had known!!! I'm calling the pathologist that did my report tomorrow. I hope I can get some answers.

I went out to Noah's grave today and started crying hysterically when I saw they had removed Noah's flowers. We still don't have a grave marker yet (they are incredibly expensive--around $2000--- and we are trying to "shop around" for one). So we had placed some artificial flowers on the grave until we could get a marker. All that was out there was the little rectangle of grass that is still slightly raised. Most wouldn't even know our Noah was buried there. I guess they don't allow you to have anything out there unless there is a grave marker. I'm hoping we can order one soon.

The rain is appropriate today. My heart is heavy. I bought two books today for parents grieving the loss of a baby. I wish so much that I was buying books on breastfeeding or books on spending quality time with your baby and teaching your baby. I'm sitting here in an empty house, staring at an empty crib while I'm on "maternity leave" without my child. Everyone keeps saying, "It's just so terribly sad." It's beyond sad to me. It's unbelievable. Unthinkable. Pregnancy and birth are supposed to be such joyous times. Instead those words are now incredibly dark to me. When I hear "pregnancy" I think "pregnancy induced hypertension" and when I hear "birth" I think "stillbirth".

I wanted to share photos of Noah's room that I never got a chance to share. Many people have asked us if we are going to take down the crib and everything in his room. The answer is NO. We still hope to have another child someday and if we are so blessed, they will get to use their big brother's things. Most of the items in Noah's room were once Ethan's, but we did buy Noah a new bedding set. It has fish and bubbles on it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Memory of Noah

We've learned quickly that when you lose a child, you cling to the physical things that remind you of him or her. Of course we have pictures and Noah's handprints and footprints. And we have the different little outfits that were on him while we were at the hospital. But I wanted something that I could wear so that I could "carry" Noah with me wherever I go. I went to Things Remembered and bought this charm to wear as a necklace and had it engraved.

We also decided we wanted some sort of storage bench to put at the end of our bed that we could put all of Noah's things in (blankets, outfits, pictures, etc.). We went to several furniture stores and found one we liked. We ordered it and should have it by Friday.

David and I still have good days and bad. There are even moments when I will be fine and the next minute I'm hysterical. Last night was tough for us both. I started sobbing uncontrollably and couldn't stop. It took a few hours for me to calm down enough to go to sleep. David just kept saying he was angry. Not angry AT anyone, just angry with our circumstances. Angry that I'm sad, angry that Noah is gone and not understanding why. It all still just seems like a nightmare to us both. It's so painful at times that it seems unreal. I guess it will take a while to fully accept this new reality.

For those of you who aren't friends with me on facebook, below are a few pictures of Noah's feet, his handprints and footprints, and the program from his memorial service. Also, here are a few links you may want to check out:

First, the memorial page my brother set up for Noah:
For David's blog, go here:
And if you missed it, Noah's memorial video is here:
And our church:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Please Be Gentle

By Jill B. Englar

Please be gentle with me for I am grieving.
The sea I swim in is a lonely one
and the shore seems miles away.
Waves of despair numb my soul
as I struggle through each day.
My heart is heavy with sorrow.
I want to shout and scream
and repeatedly ask 'why?'
At times, my grief overwhelms me
and I weep bitterly,
so great is my loss.
Please don’t turn away
or tell me to move on with my life.
I must embrace my pain
before I can begin to heal.
Companion me through tears
and sit with me in loving silence.
Honor where I am in my journey,
not where you think I should be.
Listen patiently to my story,
I may need to tell it over and over again.
It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss.
Nurture me through the weeks and months ahead.
Forgive me when I seem distant and inconsolable.
A small flame still burns within my heart,
and shared memories may trigger
both laughter and tears.
I need your support and understanding.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I must find my own path.
Please, will you walk beside me?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Others have walked this road

Besides my husband, Todd Smith is probably one of my favorite male singers of all time. I absolutely love his voice. And I LOVE the songs he has written. Todd sings with the Christian group "Selah". David and I have sung many of their songs over the years. So I was pretty shocked when I realized after browsing through different people's blogs that last year, Todd and Angie Smith lost their sweet baby girl, Audrey Caroline. Angie's blog is They have written a beautiful song for her and I wanted to share it with you. I'm planning on contacting Angie to share our story of Noah.

Life goes on

It's so hard to just go back to life as usual. It's amazing to me how your life can change in an instant. We've lost our child and in the last three days a friend's house burned halfway down, a friend's sister's leg was crushed in an accident, my great uncle died, and 2 of my friends had healthy babies (born alive and crying). Life goes on. You don't get a "time out" to just let it all sink have to keep moving. Keep breathing.

Today we went and bought some artificial flowers to place on Noah's grave (since real flowers keep dying). We visited the grave for a while, then went out to eat. Then tonight we went to Stone Mountain with our church family. I know it's a good thing for me to be out of the house, but every few minutes I feel as though my heart is beating out of my chest and I feel the urge to just sob. And I certainly don't want to make a scene in public, so I hold it in....which then makes me feel like I'm going to have a panic attack at any moment.

One step at a time. Baby steps. I'm going back to church tomorrow for the first time since Noah's death. While I love my church family dearly and I know they love David and me, it's going to be hard. Of course, no matter where I go there are reminders of Noah. Reminders of being pregnant with him and feeling him kick. But going back to church and then going back to work in September will probably be two very difficult steps back into reality. Work especially. I was supposed to be going back to work part time after Noah was born. I was going to have Saturday-Tuesday every week to spend time at home with him, then we had a daycare picked out (separate from Ethan's because of $) for the rest of the week. And seeing all of my regular customers that were so excited about Noah's arrival give me that "I'm so sorry" look.....well, let's just say it's not something I'm looking forward to.

No matter what, life will go on and I know I have to go along with it. But I'll carry Noah with me. I can't forget him. He never leaves my mind. I just have to remember he's in the safest place he could possibly be and one day I'll be there with him too. For now, I must live.

A friend asked me the other day to let her know if there was anything she could do for me. I told her to hug her kids a little bit tighter. I am more thankful for Ethan now than I have ever been. I have realized what an absolute miracle he is. Most mothers (including myself) complain about the aches and pains they have during pregnancy. I wish so badly that I was still pregnant....I don't think I'll ever complain again about being pregnant (if the Lord so chooses to bless us again someday). I have SO many pregnant friends right now and all I can say is to thank God every time you feel your baby kick, every hiccup.....every heartbeat. Thank him for the aches and pains, the cramps, the discomfort, the sleepless nights. And even if the sex of the baby isn't what you were hoping for or expecting, praise Him that you have a healthy child. And when your child is born alive and starts crying....just thank Him. Realize that you are holding a miracle and that you are truly blessed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's 4:30 in the morning and I just can't sleep. I miss Noah so much I can barely breathe. I just feel totally overwhelmed with grief tonight and just simply can't get a grip on myself. I'm sure hormones are playing a role in this as well. I just don't know how I will ever be able to go on with life as usual. In fact, I know I won't. I know I am changed forever. My life has changed forever. While I am on this earth I will forever be separated from my child and that is so incredibly hard to accept. He's in Heaven, I am here. There's no way for me to get to him, to hold him, to take care of him (not that he needs taking care of right now). I've heard other women say it and I've said it too, I feel like my body is in denial. Noah died and it's like my body doesn't even know it. My body is ready to nourish him and he's not even here!

The difficult thing about losing a child (or any loved one) is that eventually those around you move on with their lives while you still grieve. And I know that there will come a time when my friends and even some family won't understand why I'm still grieving or expect me to eventually "get over it and move on". Nobody can possibly understand this unless they have been through it. I need for all my family and friends to understand that I will never EVER get over this. While I know that eventually the burden may become easier to bare with God's help, I will never "get over" losing Noah. And I do not want Noah to be forgotten, no matter how many children we may have in the future. I want to talk about Noah. I want others to talk about Noah. I don't want anyone pretending he never existed and I don't want people to be afraid to ask questions about him. Noah was an individual...a real baby! He lived and he died. Though he may have never taken a breath outside of my womb, he still lived life in my womb. Ethan is a big brother and I want him to know about his baby brother.

God, please be with me. I'm crying out to you tonight because this is more than I can handle on my own!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I don't have the words to express my grieving heart tonight. I just can't stop staring at this picture of Noah and wishing he was in my arms.

I've been reminded of this message by John Piper over and over again since we lost Noah. I wanted to share it with all of you. How Our Suffering Glorifies the Greatness of the Grace of God.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My brother made a memorial page for Noah. You can view it here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hard day

A few months ago David's mom planned a family trip for all of us to Tybee Island. We decided to keep our plans the same. The trip is coming at an appropriate time. We need to get away and just spend time together as a family. I think it will be good for us. We are looking forward to Ethan getting to enjoy being at the beach for the first time.

Today was a difficult day for us. David had a hectic day at work and I had an emotional day at home. Physically, I'm starting to feel much better. But today I felt panicked all day. The only way to explain my feeligs today is to say that I felt as though I had a missing child and that I needed to look for him. My heart was racing and I had a lot of anxiety throughout the day. I guess that's just part of this whole grieving process. I don't know if others who have lost a child feel the same way, but as a mother, I feel like I should have protected Noah from this. I know that there was probably nothing different I could have done (I was told more than once that I was being paranoid about my blood pressure), but I can't help but play the "what ifs" over and over in my mind. If only I had noticed that he wasn't moving sooner, maybe they could have taken him earlier before he died. It's so hard to just accept things as they are and move on....though in reality, is there really any other choice? We can't bring him back. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he's no longer here. I'm not pregnant anymore. He's gone. All the planning and preparing, all the baby stuff I registered for, the baby showers that were planned, the maternity clothes hanging in the closet, Noah's room ready and waiting for him, his spot at the daycare we picked for him, his big brother Ethan's hand-me-down baby clothes washed and ready for him in the closet, it's all for nothing. Our waiting arms....empty. It's hard to go from all that planning to suddenly flipping the switch and the only planning you have is burying your child and trying to pay for a grave marker to put his name on.

I know that Noah is in Heaven. I have no doubts that he is with Jesus and he is with the other 4 babies we have lost. His brothers and sisters were there to greet him. And one day we will go home and we will see all of our children that we never got to know here on this earth. While Noah lived the longest of all the children we lost, I still believe that his other siblings are in Heaven...that they had souls. No matter if they were 4 weeks, 5 weeks, 12 weeks, or 31 weeks. That is the only comfort I have in my heart for now. While I am here on this earth, I will miss them. I will miss Noah. And I will fear losing another child. I pray for God to give us peace and that we will trust Him and trust His plan for our lives. I just feel like I am eventually going to fall apart. I don't know if I'm strong enough to deal with this....ok....I KNOW I'm not strong enough. I need God to hold me up, to hold David up. We cannot do this alone. God has given us amazing friendships and an amazing family to help hold us up through this. I don't know what we would do without this support system around us.

God knew I needed David. I feel so blessed to have such an incredible husband. He loves me so much. While I have heard story after story of how losses like this rip couples apart, it's having the oppostie affect on David and me. We have grown so close together since the loss of Noah. Our love for each other is stronger than it has ever been before. We are communicating with each other through all of the hurt and pain and I'm so thankful for that.

Please pray for us as we leave for the beach tomorrow and get some much-needed time away as a family.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home from the hospital...again

My blood pressure was high all morning yesterday, but I insisted that we wait to go to the hospital....because there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to miss my child's memorial service. Thankfully, my doctor and one of the nurses from the hospital were at the service. Afterwards, my blood pressure was 180/121, so my doctor followed us to the hospital and was able to get us straight into a room. I was devastated when they said I would have to stay for the night to monitor my BP. I wanted nothing more than to go home and spend time with family, hug Ethan, and just cry. It was a miserable night, but my BP is under control and I came back home this morning. Thank you again for the prayers and I'm so sorry for those of you that I didn't get to spend time with while you were here.

David and I were so encouraged by all of you who came to Noah's memorial service yesterday. We know that so many of you drove great distances to be there and it meant so much to us. The service was beautiful and we want to thank all of you who helped make it so meaningful for us. I know there were so many people who did so many things to make the service special, but there are a few I would like to specifically thank.....

Greg, thank you for starting off the service and playing the guitar while people arrived. You and Kathy are such great friends to us and we are so lucky to have you in our lives!

Brien, you sang so beautifully! "All the way my Savior leads me...." It was just perfect. You and Hannah are so dear to us.

Esther, my sweet sister-in-law, you and Jason have been incredible to us this whole week. You've cleaned for us, cried with us, taken care of Ethan for us, gotten food for us, and you wrote a beautiful poem for us. Thank you SO MUCH for everything. We love you! Thank you for reading the poem at the burial and the memorial. I know it was tough to get through. It was so beautiful.

Philip, you were such an encouragement to us and you and Angela are the best friends we could ever ask for. I know it's so hard to come up with the words to say in a time like this, but God used you to minister to us in a great way.

Brad, you have an amazing gift and you used technology to move in the hearts of people in that room. I've gotten so many comments and messages about how moving the video was. I know the song is very moving, but you did an excellent job of setting up the video and all the things you put on the screen throughout the service were so special to us. I cannot thank you enough for all that you did!!!! And you make things look so incredible even when you are asked to do something at the last minute.

There are so many others that we need to thank individually. So many cards, flowers, notes of encouragement and lots and lots of food. WOW! The food just keeps coming and we appreciate it so very much.

We hope to have a podcast of the memorial up soon for those of you who missed it. Brad is also working on getting the slideshow up that he showed at the memorial. We will link to that as soon as it's up.

First, here is the poem that Esther wrote and then below are a few photos from the site where Noah was buried.

Sweet Noah

As we each looked forward to the day you’d arrive,
We dreamed of how you would brighten our lives.
The pride and joy of your father and mother,
Your coming would make little Ethan big brother.

In an instant we learned that your time had been brief,
Leaving each one of us to suffer much grief.
Our arms are now empty and our hearts are now broken,
We weep for lost possibilities and words left unspoken.

Though it seems we are separated by a great distance,
You were one moment’s proof of Heaven’s existence.
Assured that our Father has a master plan,
We entrust your spirit to the palm of His hand.

-Aunt Esther and Uncle Jason

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thank you

Thank you so much for all of your continued thoughts and prayers for us. We just keep praying that God will be glorified through all of this and that someone may come to know Christ even through our suffering. He is our refuge and strength through all of this and we are clinging to Him.

We ask that you continue to lift us up as we have a tough weekend ahead. Tomorrow we will bury our little boy...something we never imagined ever having to do. Then Sunday we have a Memorial Service for Noah at 1:00 at our church (

Please continue to pray for Lisa as she is having so much physical pain along with the emotional pain. She has a long road of recovery as this was her second c-section.

We wanted to share several more photos of Noah, including some that were taken of family holding him, so those are below (for those who would like to see them).....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Noah David

We never imagined going through something like this. Our hearts are aching, but we are comforted that our child never had to suffer the pain and strife of this fallen world. He is in Heaven now and we will see him again someday.

Many of you have asked questions about what happened and we wanted to try to explain the events of the past few days.

On Monday Lisa went to work and while there she was trying to get Noah to move around or kick in her belly. She had not felt him move since Saturday afternoon and was getting concerned, especially since her blood pressure has been high since her 24th week. She pushed on her belly and drank a glass of orange juice to try to stir movement from Noah, but she could feel nothing. On Monday night we called the doctor and decided to go to the hospital to check his heartbeat. We made the decision on the way to the hospital to name our baby "Noah David". The name "Noah" means "peacemaker" or "comforter", and "David" means "beloved". When we arrived at the hospital, a nurse came and tried to find the heartbeat with a fetal monitor. She couldn't find it, so she went and got another nurse and they still couldn't find anything. Then they got the doppler and still nothing. We couldn't comprehend what was happening. We tried so hard to hear any movement but could not at all. The doctor came in with the ultrasound machine and we saw our precious baby boy on the screen, but his heart had stopped beating. We had just seen his strong heartbeat (155) a week earlier, but in that moment we knew that our precious Noah had gone to be with the Lord.

They admitted Lisa immediately and told us they would take Noah by c-section on Tuesday morning. It was so hard to comprehend. We fully expected that when we got to the hospital on Monday night, we would hear Noah's heartbeat and everything would be ok. We never imagined that we would lose our son. On Tuesday morning at 7:45, they did the c-section. Noah David weighed 3lbs. 6oz. and was 15 inches long. We weren't sure of what he would look like since Lisa was just short of 31 weeks pregnant. But he was so beautiful and perfect. He looked like his big brother, Ethan. +It was difficult to hear only silence in the OR when they pulled him out. No crying, just silence. Our doctor showed us the placenta and the umbilical cord and there were some obvious problems with it. The placenta was oddly aged to 41 weeks with calcium deposits on the outside. And the umbilical cord had 2 vessels that were protruding from the center of the cord. The pathologists will be doing several tests to try to find out what caused these malformations and to find out if this is what caused Noah to die. It may have also been the cause of Lisa's high blood pressure. The surgery went great and once they got us into a room, they cleaned up Noah and brought him to us. We held him for hours and we allowed family and friends to hold him. You never know what you will do in this kind of situation (since you don't actually think you will ever experience something like this), but we decided to take photos of Noah so that we could remember him always. We have posted just some of those below if you would like to see them. This may be too disturbing for some, so view at your own discretion. But some of you have requested to see photos of Noah, so we wanted to share at least a few with you.

The staff at Rockdale Medical Center was absolutely amazing. They went above and beyond to make sure both our physical and emotional needs were met. We cannot thank them enough for all that they did for us! There were even nurses and other staff who had been through losses like ours and really understood what we were going through.

There has also been an outpouring of love from all of our friends and family. We want to thank all of you who have sent us emails and comments on Facebook or myspace. We have been so comforted to have all of you grieve along side us. We said goodbye to Noah today which was the most difficult thing we've ever had to do. We do understand, however, that this was just his body and that he is in Heaven for eternity!

We are going to be having a private burial on Saturday at noon for just family to attend. We have a beautiful spot picked out in a nearby cemetary and they have a section there for babies who have passed away called "Baby Land". On Sunday at 1:00, everyone is invited to attend a Memorial Service for Noah at our church (Discover Point Church) at 1303 Parker Road in Conyers, Georgia.

Pictures of Noah are below.