Monday, September 28, 2009

Still Waiting

I'm waiting for the phone call. We ordered Noah's grave marker on August 20th. They said it would take about 5-7 weeks. This Thursday will be 6 weeks. I really hope it comes this week. I am really just ready for it to be here...ready to have somewhere to place flowers and for everyone to know my beautiful son's name. A marking of his life and his death. I'm tired of staring at a patch of grass. They are supposed to call us when it arrives and we will go to the cemetery to see it before they install it.

David and I are still planning on planting a tree for Noah on his 1st birthday. My favorite tree is the Cherry Blossom tree. I love the beautiful pink blossoms and the way they look like snow when they fall off the tree. I recently read on Angie Smith's blog that some friends of hers planted a Cherry Blossom in Angie's yard in honor of Audrey. Angie wrote that the official name of the Cherry Blossom is the "Yoshino Cherry." The intense beauty and short survival span have associated Cherry Blossoms with spiritual and philosophical ideas such as the beauty and fragility of human life. I think this is so perfect for Noah. We are still unsure of where we will plant the tree since we know we probably won't stay in our home forever. We have a while to figure all of that out.

Photo taken by my friend, Jennifer Stovall

The Cherry Blossom tree also reminds me of my Aunt Cindy. My grandfather was in the military and so my grandparents moved all over the place. When my mother was very young, they moved to Japan. While they were living in Japan, my mom's little sister (my Aunt Cindy), who was just under 6 months old, died when her crib broke and she was caught in the railing. She was so beautiful. Just weeks before she died, my grandmother had a professional photographer take her picture. That picture was hanging in the room where I used to stay when I would visit my grandparents. I would stare at that picture for hours at night. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. I've always felt a strong bond with my grandmother ever since we lost the twins...but even more since we lost Noah. It's been over 50 years since my Aunt Cindy died, but the memory is still fresh in the hearts and minds of my grandparents. They will never forget their sweet baby girl and they know they will see her again.

I've been doing pretty well the past few weeks. I cried a little this weekend...David and I were both missing Noah badly on one particular night. But I've felt stronger the past few weeks. I know so many of you are still praying for us. I know things like this begin to drift out of people's minds....tomorrow it will have been 12 weeks since he died. Still, there are so many who have not forgotten...and we thank you for remembering us and for remembering our sweet Noah.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Painting!

When I was 15 years old, I loved to paint. My mom bought me a few paint supplies and a couple of small canvases and I would sit in my bedroom for hours, painting. I painted clouds. I loved the way the clouds looked at sunset. They looked like flames in the sky. All sorts of brilliant oranges, reds, pinks, and purples. Somewhere along the way I realized I am not really that good at painting, even though I love it.

So yesterday a friend of mine told me about this place called Sips 'n Strokes. Most of these places are in Alabama, but there is one in East Cobb. You bring your favorite beverage and paint a picture. They show you step-by-step how to paint a beautiful masterpiece on a 16x20 canvas that you get to take home at the end of the night. You don't have to be an artist to do this! You can look here to see some of the photos on the site of some of the classes... https://www.sipsnstrokes.com/gallery.aspx.

On their calendar they have a painting for each day, so you can choose which painting you want to do and go that day. My friend went last night and painted one called "Angel Face". She LOVED it!!! She is so excited about it! So she and I will be going on October 17th together to paint this...




Isn't it beautiful? So I will let you know how mine turns out! Most of you know that I am a huge Alabama football fan. They have a few Alabama football paintings coming up soon (like one of Bear Bryant!). I'm hoping that maybe my brother and sis-in-law might want to join me for that one!....


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Is The Day


Isn't it so much easier to rejoice when things are going great? When your little world seems so perfect and the sun in shining? I remember driving down the road just days before Noah died, thinking about how great life was. I was so.........happy. I was pregnant with our second child and I couldn't wait for him to arrive! I thought about how Ethan is such good son! And he's so smart! I have the most wonderful husband a girl could ever hope for....really....you have no idea how lucky I am! I have 2 wonderful parents who have been married for 35 years and still love each other so much they would die for one another. We have so much love that surrounds us through our family and friends. We are so blessed. Thank you, Jesus! Rejoicing came so freely.


And then Noah died.


I have to CHOOSE to rejoice. I have to CHOOSE to be joyful. It's so hard.


My husband wrote this post on his blog today and I just had to share it with you...


This is the Day that God has made.....it's a choice to rejoice in it. Maybe it's the day that God calls you into his service. Maybe it's the day that you meet your future wife or husband. Maybe it's the day that your child is born. Maybe it's the day that your child passes away. Maybe it's automatically joyful or maybe we have to make a choice. The Bible says "This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." This verse is a beautiful example of why the Bible is so amazing. This verse is so simple, but takes on a whole different meaning with each life experience. I love that about God's word.


You can visit David's blog at http://worshipleaderledges.blogspot.com/



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miscarriage and Stillbirth....not the same thing

I've had many people tell me that they are confused about the difference between a miscarriage and a stillbirth. A few people seem to be misunderstood, thinking that I had another miscarriage. With most miscarriages, you have to have a D&C (unless it's early on). With a stillbirth, you have to deliver the baby. Both miscarriages and stillbirths are heartbreaking. Even a very early miscarriage can be devastating (which I can say from experience...I had 2 early losses at 5 weeks and lost twins at 12 weeks). But as someone who has experienced both a miscarriage and a stillbirth, I can tell you that they are very different.

Another blog friend of mine has a very similar story to mine. She has had two miscarriages (one of which was a set of twins) and in May, her son, Duncan was stillborn. This was a recent post on her blog that I thought I would share with you to maybe help clear some things up.....

From the Writer Chic's blog
http://www.thewriterchic.com/

Even though we have traveled back and forth between Ohio and Tennessee numerous times since Duncan’s death, it seems each trip home places us in the company of someone we haven’t seen since our loss. Often, after the requisite small talk, one will ask, “So, how do you like living in the south?” My standard answer has been, and probably will be for a while, “Nashville is great. It was the right move for us, even though the year of transition has been harder than we ever imagined.” To which I get a variation of, “Oh, yes, about that…I’ve been so sorry for you.”

Well, in case you are wondering, there is definitely a surefire way to get my blood boiling, and that is to refer to the birth and death of my son as “that,” as if it were a mere inconvenience, like a leaky faucet or a fender bender. Am I still sensitive to all things Duncan-related? Yes. Am I
overly sensitive? Maybe. But when the “that” statement is followed up with the dismissive, “Well, you know, my daughter/coworker/neighbor’s dog-walker/manicurist’s sister-in-law’s babysitter had a miscarriage with her first pregnancy…,” I feel like I’m a little justified in my sensitivity.

I repeat these “condolences” to Jim, and while he shares my distaste, he never seems surprised. “Honey,” he says, “people don’t want to think of this as the birth of a baby, they want to treat it like a miscarriage.”

Forgive me my momentary rant, but maybe it is time to clear something up...

On May 19, 2009, I did not have a miscarriage.

I had a baby. A son. When he was placed in my arms, his heart was no longer beating, but it had been. He was alive, and then he wasn’t. He was here, and then he was gone.

Twice, I have had a miscarriage: February 25, 2007, with my first pregnancy, and on October 19, 2008, with my twins. What I am going to say in no way lessens the heartache and joy lost when a woman miscarries; but as any woman who has experienced both a miscarriage and a birth, whether still or live, will tell you that the two events are profoundly different.

Twice, I have had an ultrasonographer say “It’s a BOY!”: July 17, 2007 and April 15, 2009.

Twice, I have felt my son’s first movements in my womb: July 29, 2007 and April 2, 2009.

Twice, I have been pricked with an IV needle that would fill with contraction-inducing drugs: December 13, 2007 and May 18, 2009.

Twice, I have given birth: December 14, 2007 and May 19, 2009.

Twice, I have had a doctor announce my son’s time of birth: 6:06 pm and 8:14 pm.

Twice, a smiling nurse proudly told me my son’s measurements: 5 lbs. 3 oz., 19” and 1 lbs. 1 oz., 11”.

Twice, I have smiled up at my father, holding his grandson, and announced the baby’s name: Seth James and Duncan Thomas.

Twice, I have been wheeled out of the Toledo Hospital, my abdomen drastically smaller than when I’d entered: December 19, 2007 and May 20, 2009.

Twice, I have seen an announcement in our church bulletin heralding the growth of our family: “Jim and Monica ____ proudly announce the birth of their son Seth James, December 14, 2007” and “Former members Monica and Jim _____ sadly announce the birth and homegoing of their second son Duncan Thomas, May 19, 2009.

I have given birth to a son TWICE. I have had my breasts fill with milk for my baby TWICE. I have had a 6-week post partum obstetrical visit TWICE.

Do I need to keep going?

Just as I did not miscarry Seth, I neither miscarried Duncan; I delivered them both.
The only difference was that we got to bring Seth home, and with Duncan, we said goodbye much too soon.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

ATTENTION PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN TENNESSEE!!!

First of all, SORRY!!! Apparently when I changed my blogger template, I took away the ability for people to comment on my blog. I've received a few emails from people telling me they have been unable to comment. Thank you for letting me know and I think I have fixed the problem! Please someone let me know if you have any other problems!!! :o)

And now I would like to introduce you to a blog friend of mine. Her name is Danielle and her blog is http://wyattnathaniel.blogspot.com.



This is her story....http://wyattnathaniel.blogspot.com/2009/09/newspaper.html

If you live in Tennessee, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the time to sign her petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/recognize-life-in-tennessee and let all of your friends and even your churches know about the petition!!!

Her son was born ALIVE, but the state of Tennessee doesn't even recognize it. She desperately wants her child's life recognized and to get a birth certificate (for live birth)...but her son is being listed as stillborn.

We are so thankful that even though Noah was stillborn, we can still get a birth certificate for him in the state of Georgia! That's because 2 women (just like my blog friend) fought for it and Sonny Perdue signed the bill just last year! It's called the CBRS (Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth). I'm SO thankful that these women fought for my son Noah and for moms just like me who have lost their children. My child's life is recognized even though he never breathed a single breath. So I can just imagine the agony my friend is going through having her child born ALIVE and still unable to get a birth certificate. Again, please sign the petition if you are a resident of Tennessee and pass it on to others that you know. Her goal is to get 1000 people to sign...so far she has about 163. Please sign and help Danielle and so many other mothers!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where the Flowers Live

It was a pretty busy weekend. I'll start with Friday. It was kind of a hard day for me, but it got better after lunch. I got to work at 8:15 which is unusual for a Friday. If you don't already know, I work at a bank. Normally I have to work from 9-6 on Fridays, but I switched with someone so that I could do a photo shoot (that I'll write about later). When I found out that I was pregnant with Noah on December 27th, just a little later on January 6th, my co-worker (who works at a different branch) found out she was pregnant. She was due with her baby girl just a few days after I was due with Noah. So on Friday morning I sat down at my desk and opened my email and saw, "WE HAVE A NEW BABY BANKER!!!". It was the announcement of my friend's baby. Let me just say that it is so strange to feel so happy and so devastated at the same time. I am sooooo happy that my friend's baby was born healthy, but I'm so sad that the only announcement sent out for us was...

Lisa Collinsworth's baby, Noah David, was stillborn
on July 7, 2009. Please keep Lisa and her family in your prayers.
"Words convey so little
in the stillness of a broken heart
with the loss of this sweet little angel."

When I read the announcement that her baby was born, I tried so hard to hold back the tears. I kept trying to tell my co-worker that was sitting next to me when I read the email that I wasn't sad because her baby was born healthy...I'm just so sad that I don't have mine...I felt so empty in that moment. Such a huge contrast between her joy and my pain....but just 9 months ago we were both so excited. I tried not to cry...but I lost it. I REALLY lost it. I grabbed my purse and sobbed out, "I'm taking an early lunch" and walked out the door, straight to my car and drove to the cemetery. I just needed to "spend some time with my son". When I pulled into the cemetery I was reminded of the first time we took Ethan out there after the burial. He got so excited when we pulled in and said, "Look Mommy! This is where the flowers live!!!" What usually comes to our minds is a place that people are buried, a place that seems dark and kind of spooky at times, a place where people mourn and remember. I don't usually think of it as a place where something lives....which really, the flowers are mostly artificial, but no need to burst his bubble! I would much rather think of it as just that...the place where the flowers live. I stopped in front of Noah's grave, but there was a lady walking on the road that goes around the cemetery....yes, she was exercising in the cemetery. I decided to sit in my car and sob instead of making a scene. I just had to get it all out before I could go back to work. The rest of the day was fine and I kept it together. At 4:00 I left work and went to take photos for the Peach State Opera. I haven't done many photo shoots lately, so it was fun to be back in my element. I'll have them up on my photography blog soon (http://www.lisacollinsworthphotography.blogspot.com/)

When I got home on Friday night, our friends Brien and Hannah were at our house. David and Brien spent a couple of hours together writing a song. They played the song for Hannah and me. It's so beautiful!!! I can't believe they wrote it within just a few hours! I'm very excited about it and can't wait to hear it when they add drums and the full band.

Saturday Ethan and I went to my brother's house to watch the Alabama football game. Then Saturday night we had "Meet the Staff" for our newer members at our church so they could get to know our staff and their wives. Sunday was a great day. We went to lunch with a new couple that has been visiting and some other newer members. Then at 5:00 the church went out to one of our member's houses and baptized 8 people in their pool. We usually have a big cookout when we do a baptism, but it was raining. It was a busy weekend, but a fun weekend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Noah in God's Hand

I have the best brother in the whole world!!!! And he married the most amazing woman ever! Jason and Esther took one of the photos of Noah and sent it off to a lady who does the most amazing pencil drawings! She has done several memorials of babies and her work is very impressive. You can see some of her work here...http://www.portraitsbydana.com/. Jason and Esther asked Dana to use this photo and then draw the hand of God holding Noah.


They got the final sketch and framed it in a beautiful frame with the poem they wrote for Noah (the one Esther read at the memorial service). They brought it to us last night and I was speechless at how beautiful it turned out...


And if you haven't already seen the poem...

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 & Uncle Jason

Thank you so much Jason and Esther for this priceless gift! We will cherish it always!!!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Before and After

I love makeovers! I love seeing something that is ugly, dirty, old, or outdated turn into something fresh, clean, and fully restored...no matter if it's a person, a house, a room, or an object. I like watching "Before" and "After" shows like What Not to Wear, Extreme Home Makeover, Clean Sweep, Trash to Treasure, Curb Appeal, and my personal favorite...The Biggest Loser! It's amazing to watch these people transform by forcing themselves into a disciplined environment....results like these are amazing to me...




This past week I took on the task of giving the restrooms at our church a makeover. David helped me paint the men's restroom a pale blue (which is much brighter than the dark tan color that it was). We hung some black and white photos and bought a little white cabinet to put in the corner to store extra paper towels and things. We had our good buddy, Jeremy install some new bright white baseboards to replace the rubber black ones that were there. The old bathroom looks brand new. Bright and clean.

I also took some time to spice up mine and David's blogs. By the way, if you are a worship leader or church planter and need some encouragement or some great ideas, visit my hubby's blog at http://www.worshipleaderledges.blogspot.com/.

I've thought a lot over the last few days about how the "Before" is not necessarily always ugly, but there's always room for improvement and the "After" is usually beautiful. I think that most of us who have lost a child (or any loved one for that matter) could agree that we view our life now as "Before" our loss and "After" our loss. I don't want my life "After" Noah's death to be ugly. I don't want it to be consumed with heartache and sorrow. Right now it feels as if there is this dark cloud hanging over everything. The things that I used to enjoy aren't as enjoyable. The thought of ever becoming pregnant again isn't something exciting and beautiful anymore, it's dark and scary. To have a little life that is growing inside you taken away and buried in the ground...well, it's just so hard to see past the emptiness. I feel like I need a total makeover...body, mind, spirit...the whole thing. My prayer is that God will use this tragedy of losing Noah to make me a better person and not a bitter person. That it would make me a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, granddaughter, aunt, sister, and friend. I don't know how my "Before" looked, but I definitely want my "After" to be beautiful. I'm diving into God's word this week. I just need Him to fill me with his truth.

2 Corinthian 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Dad's Letter to Noah

My Dad wrote a letter to Noah and added it to the memorial site (http://www.sympathytree.com/babynoah/) I thought I would share it with you here...

To Noah From Papaw

Noah,

I know you have great company in Heaven. My precious Mom, Helen is holding you. So are my grandparents. So are my other four Collinsworth grandchildren, your siblings. Like Job, we are trusting God to multiply blessings to comfort us in your temporary absence from our lives. When Job lost everything, God replaced it all with double what he’d lost. But the scriptures show he lost ten children and was blessed with ten more. He got twice everything else he lost here on earth; but the children he had in Heaven remained his for eternity, so God doubled those by just giving him ten more on earth.

God, help me and all of us here on this earth, in our grief, frustration, pain and even anger, to trust you and to have an eternal perspective; that you will bless us who love you double for what we’ve lost. I don’t know if that means there will be five more children; but I do believe the Joy you’ll send will comfort us beyond our hopes and imagination. Help me and all of us also to celebrate Noah David’s precious life. Help us to get a perspective of Joy about the blessing he is now and for eternity. Help me to resist the temptation from Satan and my flesh to give in to despair and hopelessness. I want to celebrate Noah’s beautiful life and spirit! Thank you God that we have our faith in You and the comfort of our precious Ethan Michael.

I love you forever, precious Noah! See you soon.

Your Papaw

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blog Makeover!

So I finally took the time to give my blog a makeover. The photo at the top is one of my favorite pictures of Noah. He looks so much like his big brother! My posts will not always be about Noah, but I will share a lot about his life, hoping to reach out to other mothers who have to walk this difficult road. That is why I have subtitled it, "The Story of Noah David".

I've picked up a few extra blog readers along the way. If you have a blog and you don't see it under my blog list on the right side of my page, leave me a comment and I will be sure to add you to my list!

We had a great day at Discover Point Church today. We celebrated our 4th anniversary as a church. I'll post all about it soon! I have a lot of pics to edit!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Diagnosis

I don't really even know how to put this into words. I still have a lot of questions and trying to research things on the internet will just make you crazy. As most of you know I had some blood work done recently to check for clotting in my blood. My doctor called my cell phone today while I was at work, but I didn't answer. She then called me at work and I spoke with her. She really wanted to talk to me before she left for the weekend. It was just a really bad time. I had several customers and my co-worker had just left for lunch. The doctor told me that I have a blood disorder called Factor V (that's "V" as in "5") Leiden (Thrombophilia). Here is the nicest thing I found online about it...I say "nicest" because everything else I read about it is totally depressing so I like this one the best....

What is Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia?

Factor V Leiden thrombophilia is an inherited disorder of blood clotting. Factor V Leiden is the name of a specific mutation that results in thrombophilia, or an increased tendency to form abnormal blood clots in blood vessels. People who have the factor V Leiden mutation are at somewhat higher than average risk for a type of clot that forms in veins, such as the deep veins of the legs (deep venous thrombosis), or a clot that travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Most people with the factor V Leiden mutation never develop abnormal blood clots, however.

The factor V Leiden mutation is associated with a somewhat increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage), and some research suggests that it may also increase the risk of other complications during pregnancy. These complications may include pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), slow fetal growth, and early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption). It is important to note, however, that most women with the factor V Leiden mutation have normal pregnancies. If you are still curious, there is more about it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=gene&part=factor-v-leiden

I was able to keep it together after I talked to my doctor until a customer said, "So you finally had that baby, huh?" I barely got out the words, "Our son passed away" before I had to call for another co-worker to help. I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom as quickly as I could. I left for lunch and went to talk to David about it. We are both still pretty confused about a lot of things. I don't understand why I was never tested for this before. I've had 3 miscarriages and now a stillbirth. And how is it that I didn't have any complications with Ethan (other than the delivery)?

I've read a lot of different things online, but it's inconsistent. Some doctors say that with this disorder, you shouldn't try to have children at all. Others say that with daily injections in the stomach during pregnancy, the chances of having a healthy child are high. Most women don't find out they have this (even though it's something you are born with) until after they have had multiple miscarriages and/or stillbirths.

So why am I so upset? I know that if I'm thinking logically, there was nothing I could have done to save Noah. It just absolutely devastates me to think that my body failed him. My body couldn't protect him. And it seems that all I would have had to do was take some injections and my son would still be here!!!!!! He would still be alive! That breaks my heart so much I can't stand it. And to think that there is a risk (greater than what I even thought before) that this could happen again. I could have another stillborn baby. I could have more miscarriages. I guess I just thought that losing Noah was just "one of those things" and that it wasn't something specific that was wrong with me that caused it. My head hurts and I'm really done trying to sort this out in my head tonight. I'm sure I'll be more positive about all of this tomorrow...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yesterday's Gone...

***Many of you have expressed frustration that you cannot comment on my blog. I have just changed my settings so that you can now leave an anonymous comment even if you don't have a google account. Just make sure you leave your name with your comments so I will know who you are!***

I didn't want yesterday to end. I felt like it was another step....getting further and further away from the time that Noah lived. I just don't like it. It's like another ending. The time that my pregnancy was supposed to last...over. September 9th has come and gone. We really had a good day. I was sort of numb all day (I felt your prayers!) and didn't cry very much. We decided we wanted to do something special as a family. We each wrote a letter to Noah and tied them to balloons. Since Ethan is only 3 and can't really write a letter, he colored a picture of Thomas the Train and said he wanted to send it to Noah. We went out to Noah's grave and our first attempt at the balloon release didn't work...our letters were too heavy. We just put mine and David's letters on Noah's grave and then sent Ethan's picture up with the balloons. Ethan was very excited about giving Noah his picture that he carefully colored (in the lines).







My wonderful brother and sis-in-law sent us a beautiful bouquet of daisies (my favorite!) reminding us that they were remembering Noah with us....


Yesterday is gone. We can only hang on to the memory of it. We celebrate this day as another day the Lord has made. We look forward to tomorrow....another day closer to Heaven.

We would still love for you to add a story to Noah's Memorial Site if you would like (see previous post for details). It's also never too late to give to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (also see previous post for details on this) and help Nate reach his goal! Thank you so much for those of you who already gave in honor of Noah!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9-9-09

EDIT: We would like to invite family and friends to leave a "story" for Noah at http://www.sympathytree.com/babynoah/. Click on "Stories" on the left side of the page and it will ask you to create an account. Once you've done that, you can add a story. It can be anything...a song, a poem, maybe something you have learned through the life and death of our sweet boy.

Also, please consider donating $9 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. You can do this in honor of baby Noah! Noah did not have Cystic Fibrosis, but I thought it would be neat to help out a friend today. This is a friend I have prayed over for a few years now. Her name is Tricia Lawrenson and she has Cystic Fibrosis. Her husband, Nate is a blog friend of mine (http://www.cfhusband.blogspot.com/) and he is celebrating 9-9-09 by looking for 99 people to donate $9 each by 9pm tonight (EST) to his Personal Great Strides Account. His wife has Cystic Fibrosis and they have a little miracle baby named Gwyneth Rose. Every penny goes directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and their search for a cure for CF. Please, if you haven't yet, consider Clicking Here and investing in those who are living for that hope.




My Sweet Noah,

Today was your expected date of arrival. I can't help but wonder if you would have been right on time like your big brother. He came right on his due date. Maybe you would have been early and born on Mommy's birthday. Maybe you would have been so cozy in my belly, you would have stuck around a while and would have arrived later. Everyone thought it was so neat that your due date was 9-9-09. We knew you were special right from the beginning. But the fact is, there really are no "would have been's". God knew the exact number of days you would live on this earth, tucked away in my womb...even if we didn't.

Mommy and Daddy feel so honored that we were chosen by God to be your parents. Many people have asked us, "Are you mad at God for taking Noah?" While we don't understand God's ways...after all, they are higher than ours...we aren't mad at God. He gave us the gift of you. We will carry that for the rest of our lives. We will talk about you and we will allow God to receive the glory for the impact that you have had and will continue to have on so many lives.....we take this responsibility very seriously.

We are only human. We grieve the loss of you. We grieve for all the things we had dreamed for you. Your Daddy couldn't wait to teach you how to sing and play the guitar. He wanted to play ball with you in the front yard and teach you how to ride a bike. And I wanted to cuddle with you and kiss all your boo-boos. I wanted to read you stories (like your brother's favorite..."But Not the Hippopotamus") and say prayers with you at night. Your Papaw wanted to teach you how to play golf and all about Alabama football. Mamaw would have spoiled you rotten! Uncle Jason and Aunt Es would have bought you any toy you wanted! They would have given you a great nickname, no doubt. Grandaddy and Tar-tar would have given you a whole bag of toys at Christmas that they picked out just for you! They would have made you smile...that's just what they do. Aunt Erica and Uncle Grant would have loved to see you playing with your cousins, Natalie and Julianna. And I'm sure Uncle Grant would have taken you fishing or maybe on a bike ride. Aunt "Fiss" would have painted a portrait of you. She would have carried you around on her shoulders and played hide and seek with you. Nana and Papa Ken would have taken you to the beach. They would have bought you a shovel and pail and spent hours hunting for seashells with you. Your Great Papaw McInnis would have told you all about your Great Mamaw. He would have made up a silly song about you to sing to you every time he saw you. And he would always be waiting for you just "around the corner". Great Mamaw and Papaw Tindle would have taken special trips all the way from Texas just to see you! And your big brother Ethan...he would have taught you everything he knows. He would have wrestled with you, played ball with you, tattled on you (no doubt), and gotten into mischief with you....but no matter what, he sure would have protected you! But more than any of these things that we each wanted to do, we wanted to teach you about Jesus and His sacrifice. We wanted to tell you about a Creator God who loved you unconditionally. We are thankful that God has saved you. We never have to worry about where you will spend eternity. You are with your Heavenly Father and that brings us greater comfort than anyone else could ever offer us. We will see you again!!!

I miss your kicks, your hiccups, your movements. I miss your sweet face, your tiny hands, your kissable feet. I ache as I stare at your crib, longing for you to be sleeping soundly in it. I miss your heartbeat. Baby boy, I miss that beautiful sound so much my heart just breaks again and again. I sleep with your blanket every night. The blanket I wrapped you up in at the hospital and had hoped to snuggle you in when I rocked you to sleep. And if I could have only heard you cry...just once....just to comfort you and tell you that Mommy was here.

I will forever cherish every single moment we had together. We found out about you two days after Christmas and shared the news with family on New Year's Day. In January we helped Angela set up Baby Sarah's room and we were so excited about renovating the new home of Discover Point Church. In February I took you with me to my photography classes. We had our first ultrasound and got our first look at you. The sound of your heartbeat made Mommy cry. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. 164 bpm. Beautiful....

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You were there for Daddy's 30th birthday when we suprised him with a new guitar that all of his friends and family had helped to purchase for him. He was so excited!




In March we saw the first (and only) snow of the year together. Maybe you got to taste a snowflake since Mommy did!

March continued to be a busy month. I felt your first movements, you came with me to Augusta to take maternity photos of Brandi while she was pregnant with Oliver, you came with me to Brien and Hannah's wedding, and You kicked even earlier than your brother did. And on March 25th, we found out you were a boy! Ok, ok...so I cried. I wanted you to be a girl. I feel so so guilty for that now. I got over it quickly. Oh how I long to have my sweet BOY in my arms now!!! In April, you came with me to your Uncle Jason's wedding. He married Esther, who then became your Aunt Es.

Discover Point Church moved into a new building and we had our first service there...you could probably hear how loud the music was! Baby Oliver was born to Dewayne and Brandi. We had another ultrasound of you that month and got a better look at your profile....

In May you came to the Georgia Aquarium with us to celebrate your big brother's 3rd birthday! He was so excited to see new things and he couldn't wait to show you all of those fish some day!

You were in the hospital room with me, kicking away when Baby Sarah was born to proud parents, Philip and Angela. She was so beautiful! In June we had an appointment with the doctor and my blood pressure was high. I had never had high blood pressure before and I started to worry about you.


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We celebrated your cousin Natalie's birthday and your Aunt Erica's birthday. My blood pressure continued to rise. On July 2nd I took the last photos I would ever take of being pregnant with you.


On July 6th, you weren't moving. I re-live that day over and over and over again and I wish so badly that things had been different. You were already gone. You were already in Heaven with your Savior. But Mommy and Daddy were so sad. We wanted to keep you for a while longer. We felt like we had not protected you enough. We know the truth is that you are safer where you are than anywhere else you could be. But we miss you. On July 7th you were born. You didn't cry. You didn't move. You were still. But you were so beautiful. We held you, we kissed you, we loved you. You were a precious gift from the Lord.

Today was the day we expected you to arrive. But Heaven expected your arrival sooner. No doubt there was a huge celebration when you walked through the pearly gates! I hope you know how much you are loved. We can't wait to see you again....never to be separated. We know you are praising the Lord and maybe playing with your 4 brothers and sisters up there. And maybe you've even met your Great Mamaw and Great Grandma.

We remember you today, sweet Noah.

Love,

Your Mommy

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another broken heart

(Just FYI....The reason for the title is below...nothing to do with Dewayne and Brandi)

Dewayne and Brandi, our dear friends, came to visit us this weekend. We had such a great time with them. They have a 4 month old baby named Oliver and he is a cutie! Dewayne and my hubby have been best friends for a very VERY long time. I'm so thankful he married Brandi!!! I love her so much and we have become great friends as well. Now if we could just get them to move closer to us! Here are a few pics I took of them yesterday...







After we got home from church, we all took a nap. I couldn't sleep. I was missing Noah. I started crying. David and I talked for a while. I was going through some of the same thoughts that I go through a lot...wishing I had more pictures, wishing I had not left the hospital until later, sad that I won't have Noah to show off to friends and family this Christmas, wishing I had demanded an ultrasound when I had pain at my last visit to the doctor, etc. David comforted me and he talked about the things he was sad about. Then he left the room and 5 minutes later came back in and said, "Jeremy's brother and his wife just lost their baby during delivery". My heart broke. Jeremy and Trista are friends of ours from church. Trista and I had just talked about how her sister-in-law was a week past her due date. We aren't sure exactly what happened (and maybe we never will), but they have lost their baby girl and all the emotions from the moment we saw Noah's heart not beating came flooding back to me. I know their hearts are breaking, I know they are in shock, I know they have a million decisions to make that nobody should have to make, I know they will go home to an empty room and an empty crib and it's just unbelievable. My prayer right now is that David and I will be able to minister to them in some way. I pray that we may be able to support them on this difficult road as they are just a few steps behind us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

There's No Guarantee

I had a good day at work, but I had one really tough moment. A couple walked through the doors of the bank today (that I had never seen before) and the woman was obviously VERY pregnant. This doesn't usually bother me, but since I've had in my mind all week that I would be 39 weeks right now, it really did bother me. They sat down with customer service and I could hear them talking. This was their first baby and she was 39 weeks pregnant....due this Sunday. Fear overcame me. Fear that this woman may never see her child breathe, never hear her child cry. Fear that she was letting herself be too excited over something that could end tragically. She looked so happy and content, and she talked about the baby on it's way, but all I could think was, "There's no guarantee!!!" I hate hate hate that I felt this way! Pregnancy is supposed to be joyful. Now I fear it. I fear it for me, I fear it for other women. It equals waiting with worry.

I just don't know how we will ever be ready to take this risk again. The risk of loving. Loving a child that we may not get to keep. But then I fear the void we will feel if we never take that risk. We definitely have a long way to go before we will be ready....if ever. If only we could stamp pregnancy with....


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

39 Weeks

I woke up remembering that it was Wednesday. I was always excited when Wednesdays rolled around because it meant another week of pregnancy. I would have been 39 weeks pregnant with Noah today. I just can't believe how the time has flown by. Just one more week until his due date. I spoke with the people who work at the cemetery where Noah is buried. I had hoped we might be able to plant a tree in his honor somewhere near "Babyland" where he is buried. I wanted to do this on his due date. Unfortunately, they said they were having to take down some trees in the cemetery because of the root systems affecting some of the graves and also because of sap falling on them. We may just plant a tree in our yard, but I know we probably won't live there forever, so I wish it could be in a more permanent location.

Work has been ok so far. I've had a few customers (who didn't know what happened) ask me if I had my baby. I usually end up feeling sorry for them. They look so pitiful when I tell them what happened. They get tears in their eyes when I tell them I was just under 31 weeks when we lost him. I've heard story after story of women having multiple miscarriages. One guy yesterday told me his wife had 10 miscarriages before they had their first child. Also, the lady at the lab that did my bloodwork on Friday also had 10 miscarriages! WOW!!! It's such a heartbreaking thing to go through...no matter how far along you are. I still pray that God will spare us from having to go through it ever again.

Something my brother said to me one night when I was having a very difficult time has brought me great comfort. Since we don't know exactly what Heaven will be like or what we will be doing (other than praising God!), this was just a thought he had that he shared with me. He said that maybe God created Noah for a special job he has for him in Heaven. I believe that even though God created Noah and took him from us early, that his life and death will bring God glory even on this earth. But it's a great comfort to me to think that he may have a special purpose in Heaven too! This makes me so proud as his mommy! I'm so thankful that I was chosen to carry him for 30 weeks and 6 days.