Most people understand why we chose to take photographs of Noah, but I know there are some out there that say to themselves, "I would never have done that! Why would anyone want to remember their child that way?". If everyone was honest with themselves, they would know that they really have no idea what they would do if they lost a baby.
I remember when I was pregnant with Ethan, my co-worker's best friend lost her baby during delivery. I lost so much sleep over it. I was so heartbroken for her even though I had never met her. Then my co-worker brought the program from the funeral to work with her and showed us. On the front was a picture of the baby. A baby that was not alive. I couldn't believe it. I remember saying, "Why on earth would she want a picture of her like that?" Never in a million years could I have imagined that this would happen to us.
But it has.
And now I COMPLETELY understand.
In fact, now it's difficult for me to understand why anyone WOULDN'T take pictures. Other than a few ultrasound photos, we have no pictures of Noah alive. No memory of his laugh or smile or his blue eyes. So it's not as though we have happy pictures to remember Noah by. If we didn't take any pictures, how would we remember all the features of his beautiful face? The details that God put into making Noah....his beautiful soft brown hair (that would have probably fallen out like his big brother's), his little ears (that I think we said looked like Aunt Erica's), his perfect little nose, his little hands (although for 3 pounds, 6 ounces, his hands were quite large!). I want to remember his face. I want to remember that little nose, those ears, his hands, his feet. He was so beautiful and I don't want that memory to ever leave me. We weren't sure we would take pictures up until the point that David walked over to him after the c-section and saw that he was perfect. He was ours. He looked like his Daddy. He looked like his big brother. He was our child. All 3 pounds and 6 ounces of him!
David wasn't so sure at first. He really felt weird when I had the camera out, taking photos. He wouldn't let me take a picture of him holding Noah at first. It wasn't until the last night that he let me take one of him holding Noah. Now he will tell you that he wishes he let me take so many more. We cherish every single photo we have of him.
I sometimes struggle with the fact that we never let Ethan see Noah. I've seen so many others on blogs who have lost babies and they let the siblings of those babies hold them. They have photos of their entire family together. I sometimes wish I had a picture of the 4 of us together. But Ethan is only 3 years old. I just felt like it would have traumatized him. It might have been different if we had known early on that Noah was going to die (like some who found out early that there was something wrong with their child), but we had no idea. It was a total shock. It was hard enough to explain to Ethan why Mommy didn't have baby Noah in her tummy anymore and that he wasn't coming home to live with us. I didn't think I could handle the heartache of having to explain to Ethan why baby Noah wasn't moving and wasn't crying. I know we probably made the best decision.
So I guess I just wanted to say that the reason we took the photographs was because no matter what, Noah was our son. No matter how short a time...he was here and we will never forget him. He was so beautiful and we want to remember the gift God gave us...a gift we will get to cherish in eternity. For now, we only have the pictures and the memories.