Noah's story actually started in September of 2008. We had just welcomed a new nephew into the family and on his birthday we learned that we too would be adding to our family. While it came as a bit of a shock as we weren't exactly trying for another baby, we were excited nonetheless and thrilled at the thought of welcoming a new little baby boy or girl! We decided to keep our news secret until after our ultrasound which was scheduled for 9 weeks. Everything was on target, the baby looked great (or so we thought at the time) and we announced our happy news at my son's birthday party!
A month later, December 15, 2008, we had our anatomy scan scheduled and we were so excited to finally learn whether we would be having a son or a daughter. Sadly, it was on this day that we learned that we were having a son but that he wouldn't live long after birth. He had a birth defect known as anencephaly which is a neural tube defect where at about 25-28 days of life when that tube SHOULD have closed did not and therefore he had no upper portion of his skull and only a brain stem had formed.
Still, we chose to carry him to term and decided that week that he also needed a name. Noah Benjamin. He was an active baby in the womb and behaved as normally as any other healthy baby. His kicks were quite strong and he would go crazy whenever I rode in the car or took a shower or ate ice cream. We tried to build as many memories with him while he was still with us as we could but admittedly it was hard as each day I carried him was filled with the grief of knowing he wouldn't live.
My water broke early in the morning on my due date of May 10, 2009. Mother's day. We had already discussed with my doctor about having a c-section and later that morning Noah was born. We were thrilled to finally meet him and see his sweet face. We thought we might be scared to see his birth defect but that wasn't the case. All we saw was his face and how perfect he was. Yes, his birth defect was startling to see but that wasn't what defined him. He was OUR son. I am so thankful every day that I was given the opportunity to choose to have him via c-section for we learned after he was born that he probably would not have survived a vaginal birth.
We had a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep come and document Noah's life and she took many amazingly beautiful pictures of his day with us. That photographer is now one of my close friends and I actually will be helping HER with taking pictures for this amazing service.
Amazingly, he lived for 19 hours and 12 minutes and we cherished every minute that we had with him alive and in our arms. He struggled throughout much of the day to breathe but also had many periods of calm where his breathing and heart rate were normal. During his struggles it would be so hard to watch him and many times throughout that day I told him it was okay to go. But Noah was a fighter! He met many of our family and friends that day. It was wonderful to share him with everyone. After everyone left though it was even MORE wonderful to have him all to ourselves. When he did pass he did so in the arms of my husband.
We miss him every day. Our comfort rests in the knowledge that he is in Heaven with God and that one day we will see him again.