The hours afterward

Wednesday July 14th, 2010

I felt an overwhelming mix of emotions when we were told Noah's heart had stopped. And I knew we were now going to be faced with the next part of our journey that I was really dreading. The grieving, the empty arms, trying to face life without my son. The kids handled it really well. In fact, we all sat there holding Noah and the kids talked about how lucky he was to be in heaven before us. And how much fun he must be having there! The faith of a child sure is amazing!

The nurse told us the funeral director would be in around 11am. So we spent the morning cuddling Noah, making foot & hand molds and prints. The kids would lovingly keep tucking his blanket around him as they didn't want him to get cold they said. He stayed warm because we each kept taking turns holding him close, cradling him and rocking his precious body. We continued to take more pictures of him and us with him, trying desperately to make sure we captured every possible memory we could with him.

When I would have a turn to hold Noah, I stared at him, soaking in every detail of his perfect body. I would hold his head to my face and smell his sweet newborn baby smell. Oh he smelled so amazing! He wasn't given the usual sponge bath nor had they even put lotion on him, so I just soaked in his precious scent. I would glance at the clock every so often to see the time, knowing the minutes were ticking. The closer the time got to 11, the bigger the pit in my stomach grew.

I happened to be holding Noah when the nurse brought the funeral director in. He was barely in the door before I burst into tears, clenching Noah against me. He was very nice in talking to us and had some questions for us as well. The nurse had brought in a bassinet. Finally, the time had come to swaddle Noah for the last time. I didn't want to part from Noah's blanket for even a minute, so we wrapped him up in the hospital blanket instead. My tears were pouring by this point.

After we swaddled Noah, I held him out for the kids to each kiss him one last time. I hugged Noah and leaned in to kiss him myself. My tears were falling all over his little cheeks, the pain in my heart almost unbearable. I handed Noah to Kevin so he could kiss him. I couldn't bring myself to place him in the bassinet and had Kevin do it. By this point in time, the kids were sobbing like I've never heard before.

We sat there all huddled together on my bed, weeping as we watched the funeral director push the bassinet out the door with my son laying in it. Even typing this and reliving that moment again has me sobbing. That was such an awful day, I can't even begin to describe the pain of seeing Noah being taken from me. Erik took Noah's blanket, wrapped it around his head and buried himself in my lap bawling his little eyes out. All of us continued to sob. I don't even know how long we sat there like that. I felt so empty.

The kids each clenched their little Noah babies as well as holding his clothes, sniffing them. They said they could smell Noah on them. I don't think any of them put their babies or his blankets down for a long time.

We eventually ordered our "celebration" lunch the hospital gives for new parents. I had no appetite but I figured we should probably get the kids fed before going home. It was bittersweet having this nice table & food brought into our room knowing our son was gone.

After lunch, everyone clonked out for a bit of a nap. We were told we could stay as long as we wanted. Technically, the doctor said I should stay for a minimum of 24hrs but she also knew I probably wouldn't. Though I admit, I was in no rush to leave either. I felt in a state of limbo, I didn't want to be in the hospital without my baby but yet I had no desire to go home without my baby either.

We took our time packing up. It was about 5:30pm when we had everything together. I remember all the other times after having my kids, leaving the hospital being pushed out in a wheelchair, holding my newborn. This time, I was left to walk out on my own. Clutched in my arms were only the plaster impressions of my sons feet and hands, tears streaming down my face as I left the hospital without Noah.

Our 9 hours together

Tuesday night July 13th & Early Wednesday morning July 14th

After Noah was weighed and measured, he was placed back in my arms. At this time, our photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep was in my room and had everyone else leave so she could do our photoshoot. The kids had all changed into their outfits I had packed for just this reason. I wish I could've changed out of my hospital gown, oh well. We took quite a few pics in a short amount of time.

Once she left, I had Kevin toss me a piece of leftover pizza that I scarfed down in less than a minute. I was SOO hungry!! Labor for me has always left me starving after it's over with. In fact, I ate a second piece as I waited for our pastor to come back to our room.

I was ecstatic to be able to introduce Noah to our pastor and his wife. He later shared with us how he was praying we'd have just a minute with Noah alive and that when he came back to our room, he thought he'd be comforting a grieving family. Praise God we were given far more time than anyone expected!!

The kids asked if we could put Noah in his outfits they bought. I asked the nurses if that would be a problem and they said to go right ahead. So the kids gathered around my bed, full of smiles, deciding the order of whose outfit he would wear. We had bought preemie size outfits because we were told he'd be tiny. Much to our surprise they were a bit on the small side but we made them work. Poor Noah would get nice and comfy & warm in an outfit only to have it taken off and he'd fuss at being undressed.

As we placed each of the kids outfits on him, they sat in the chair holding him so we could take pictures of him and them holding him in the outfit. We got SO many precious pictures of Noah with each of them individually. The kids were each beaming, so proud of their baby brother. They would lean in and smother him in kisses too.

After we were done putting all the kids outfits on him, we wrapped Noah in a beautiful blanket the kids bought him just the week before. It was a soft baby blue blanket, trimmed in satin with the saying "Thank Heaven for Little Boys" monogrammed on it. Noah looked so snuggly and warm tucked into that blanket. With all the pictures the kids were taking of him, we saw Noah's eyes squint with all the flash that kept going off.

Once all our visitors left, it was just us settling in as a family of 7. By this point it was really late. We decided due to the time, to just crash at the hospital. I really had wanted to head home but it was so late so Kevin & the kids figured they'd just sleep in my room with me. We got some of the kids situated on the sofa bed and they brought in some extra mattresses for the floor. It was about 12:30-1am before the kids finally crashed. I know they hated to give up holding Noah, but they had had a long day and were exhausted.

Kevin sat in my bed while we held Noah together, just gazing down at him. The nurse kept checking on him and listening to his heart. We felt such a relief each time she said his heartrate still sounds great. I told Kevin to go ahead and try to rest a bit as I was just going to relax in bed & cuddle Noah. So we dimmed the lights a bit and I situated myself and my baby boy in my arms. I just couldn't stop staring at him. His cheeks looked just like Erik & Hannah's when they were newborns. I loved listening to his little baby noises and sighs. Every once in a while, he'd let out a little cry so I'd rock him and soothingly talk to him while he quieted down. Even though I had been awake since 2:30 am Tuesday morning and it was now 24hrs later, I still couldn't sleep. I didn't want to miss 1 second of my son's life.

At one point when the nurse came in, I said that Noah appears hungry and that I wanted to feed him. It was such a disappointment that I couldn't breastfeed him like I did all the other kids due to his cleft lip & palate. And had we been given more time together, I would've pumped for him. So she brought some formula in with a dropper and showed me how to dropper feed Noah, one drop at a time. I spent a bit of time talking to Noah and praising him for eating each little bite he did. I could see him moving the milk around his mouth and see his tongue moving. He seemed quite curious those first few drops, wondering just what I was putting in his mouth. But he ate a lot more than we expected.

After I got him cleaned up and swaddled again, I snuggled down with him once more. After about 10 minutes, I realized he wasn't responding to me the way he had been earlier. I was checking for breathing & a pulse while calling for the nurse. I was honestly afraid of the worst. I admit, part of me thought because he was doing so well, that we'd be heading home in the morning. The nurse came in and listened to his heart. I could tell she was taking longer than normal and I started tearing up. She pulled the stethescope away and said his heart is slowing down. I started crying. Kevin had heard all of this and was by our side. When the nurse left, I asked Kevin if we should wake the kids up. It was about 4am at this time.

He tried to wake the kids up. Susan and Erik didn't even stir (they did wake up later on though). Hannah jumped right out of bed and Sarah took awhile but she eventually woke up. We told them that Noah's heart was slowing down. After I initially shed some tears, I felt a sense of peace. We all huddled in my bed, taking turns holding Noah and talking about all that we got to experiance with our precious miracle child. We got to hear his cry, see him squint during all the picture taking, we even heard him sneeze!! I had the blessing of being able to feed Noah, to dress him and put a diaper on him, all these things that most parents take for granted. We were SO thankful to be able to experiance so much with him. Especially after we were told we'd be lucky to only have a few minutes together. Those are memories we will all cherish for the rest of our lives.

As we all sat there cuddling Noah as a family and talking to him, the nurse kept coming in to listen to his heart. Each time I held my breath, waiting for her report. And each time, she kept shaking her head and saying he still has a heartbeat! We couldn't believe it! I had such a sense of peace during this time. I always figured I'd be an emotional mess during this but God granted me a calm spirit. In fact, I was even able to smile and thank God for all we got to experiance with Noah. It was a surreal experiance.

From the time we were told Noah's heart was slowing down until his little heart finally stopped, he hung in there for almost 2 and a half hours!!!! My son was a fighter right up until the end. After having a full belly and falling into a deep sleep, at 6:20am July 14th, his precious soul was ushered to his forever home. Oh how my heart aches to be there with my sweet Noah Alexander!!!!

Noah's Birth Story

Tuesday, July 13th 2010

We got to the hospital at 11am and were taken back to my room. I was given my gown to change into that was huge on me, I think I could've wrapped it around myself a few times. My contractions had picked up on their own between the time I had been at the doctors and heading to the hospital. The kids were SOO excited to finally be at the hospital! I'm glad they had enough excitement for all of us as I was in a bit of shock that today was THE day.

They did all the initial paperwork and questions while we sat around and waited for the doctor. She unfortunately got held up in surgery and didn't get to my room until 3hrs after we arrived. At 2pm she checked my cervix and I was now at 4cm. I was a bit excited at that point as I had only been 3cm at my appointment that morning. She went ahead and broke my water. Nothing like feeling Niagra falls pouring from yourself!!

During this time, we had some visitors stop by. I've talked about my friend Michele, how her and her family experianced the loss of Hezekiah earlier this year. Her family wanted to do something special for our kids in honor of Noah. They brought each of the kids a Bitty Baby, complete with a little boys outfit and receiving blanket!! The kids were so excited to each have their own Noah baby. Also, the outfits they each picked for Noah would fit perfect on these dolls so that made them all the more meaningful.

I stayed in bed for about an hour after she broke my water. They wanted to make sure Noah's head was firmly on my cervix before letting me get up and walk around (the head on cervix is to ensure his cord wouldn't prolapse). I started walking the halls and within a few minutes my contractions started picking up both in frequency and intensity. I was surprised actually at how quick my labor changed. I had to stop walking when contractions hit and breathe through them. I went from contractions every 10 minutes before my water broke to contractions every 1-2 minutes after my water broke.

Due to how quick my contractions changed, I started having the awful shakes. It's almost like something takes over your body, you can't control them, quite a weird feeling. The doctor suggested that I get an epidural, especially due to our situation. She said she wanted me to save my energy to enjoy whatever time we have with Noah. She also stated that if I had any issues after birth that she needed to deal with, I would be in a lot of pain and not able to focus on Noah. So I decided to take her advice and get the epidural.

It took a little time from the time they called the anesthesiologist until the pain relief kicked in. While I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, I didn't have the uncomfortable pain. That was the first time I had relief from pain since I started having contractions Saturday afternoon. Wow, I hadn't realized just how uncomfortable I had been for almost 4 days. So I pretty much just spent time trying to relax.

Around 6pm the doctor came in and checked my cervix again. I was now 6cm dialated. By this time I was truly feeling excited and all the unknowns weren't even in my thoughts. I know the only reason I was feeling calm and not worrying was due to all of you who were lifting us in prayer during my labor. I was able to smile and feel a sense of peace.

It was getting later and everyone was getting hungry. We ended up having a big ole pizza party in my room with our close friends and our pastor and his wife. Of course, I wasn't allowed to eat though I admit I snuck a bite because I was SOO hungry by this point. It was so great having them all there with us, they were a huge support to not only me, but Kevin and the kids especially.

During all this time, I was still having contractions every 1 1/2-2 minutes apart. I could tell the contractions were changing a bit and figured if the doctor soon didn't come in to check me, I'd ask for her. She came in a little before 9pm and checked me and said I am fully dialated & it's time to have a baby!!! I literally started shaking, this is IT!!!! It seemed this moment would never come after all this time.

The kids scrambled to each get their own camera in hand while the nurses started situating my bed. It seemed like forever to get things organized but in reality, it was maybe 2 minutes if that. The doctor said whenever I feel the next contraction to start pushing. Of course, I wasn't feeling any and everyone was just staring at me, waiting. Finally, I felt a contraction coming on. I took a deep breath and started to barely push when I felt Noah's head pop out. In fact, that's all it took, half a push for him to enter this world. She told me to look down and I watched her guide him out. She took her time and even turned him towards all the cameras for the kids to see!

At 9:06pm, Noah made his grand entrance and she immediately placed him on my chest. I was holding my breath, waiting to see if he would cry, to find out if he was even born alive. You see, during labor, they were not monitoring Noah's heartbeat. We were told there is a good chance Noah could die during labor and they recommended not doing any fetal monitoring. We knew God got us this far and we put our faith in Him that he already knew what the outcome would be, no matter what the medical staff did or didn't do.

It was only a matter of seconds after Noah was placed in my arms, that he started crying and moving!!!!! I started crying myself and just kept saying "he's crying!!!". A newborns cry is always a special thing, but Noah's cry was all that more precious considering all the odds he fought to get here. I had wanted SO bad to be given the chance to hear Noah's cry and felt beyond thrilled to have been blessed to hear his sweet voice! And best of all, we got it on video tape as well as a lot of other special times with Noah. Kevin also got the opportunity to cut his umbilical cord!

They left Noah on my chest a lot longer than they usually do with newborns, mainly because they weren't sure how long he had and they wanted to allow him to stay right in my arms. Kevin held each of the kids up close so they could touch Noah. The smiles on their faces lit up the room! Hannah actually cried. We kept assuring her that he was doing ok. They kept monitoring his heart and when they felt he was still doing well, they asked if they could weigh & measure him. I was excited to see just how big he was because when he came out, I could tell immediately that he was a lot bigger than what the specialist said he would be.

Poor Noah didn't like being uncovered for all this and cried as he was being wiped down and measured. The specialist had told us that Noah would be a lot smaller than what my other kids were as Trisomy babies are usually smaller than normal. Imagine our surprise when we found out he weighed in at 6lbs 10 oz!!!! My biggest babies were Erik & Hannah, both weighing in at 7lb 1 oz, so he wasn't small at all compared to his siblings. Yet another thing he had proved the doctors wrong on.

Noah measured 19" long which just brought tears to my eyes. All 4 of the other kids were ALL 19". So Noah kept the tradition of all my kids being 19", how amazing!!!! We had joked when I first found out I was pregnant that it would be neat to have the baby also be 19", but when we were told Noah would be tiny, we figured that wouldn't happen. God showed us even in Noah's length, not to doubt Him.
I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, encouraging words, support, etc. I can't begin to thank each of you or express just how much it has meant to our family. I admit it has been a tough week. I haven't been up to really talking or writing much lately. But I wanted to at least post and let you know even though I'm not up to much right now, I've still been reading your words of encouragement. And I will soon try to share Noah's birth story as well as other details and the video I made for his memorial service. Please continue to cover us in thoughts and prayers in the coming days, weeks and months as I know this is a long journey. God bless you all for being there for us!

Memorial Service Annoucement

Sunday July 18th: A viewing will be held from 4pm-5:30pm with the memorial service starting at 6pm. A time of food & fellowship will follow the service. It will be held at our church, Bethany Grace Fellowship, 400 Reading Rd East Earl (Rt 625, 5 minutes north of Shady Maple.)

Noah has gone home

We were blessed with 9 amazing hours with our precious Noah. He left our arms this morning and is now in heaven with a perfect body in the arms of Jesus. I will post more later about our time together and all we got to experiance with him. Please continue to cover us in prayer as this is one of the hardest things we've ever gone through. We are forever thankful for our little miracle who proved the doctors wrong and defeated the odds!!! We love you Noah Alexander!!!


Noah Alexander made his entrance into the world with one push at 9:06pm. He weighed a whopping 6lb 10oz and 19" long. The specialist said he would only be 4-5lbs!! ALSO all the other kids were also 19" long, so he kept the tradition. As of the time I'm writing this, his heartrate is still doing well, he's breathing well and he's lived longer than the doctors predicted. PRAISE GOD!!!! The kids got to dress him in their outfits, we've heard him cry several times, etc. He's got a nice amount of hair. We are all just beyond thankful, everything has gone SO well!!! I just wanted to quick update all of you whose thoughts and prayers have been sustaining us. Keep praying and THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!!!!
At 2 pm I was checked and was at 4cm. I also had my water broke at that time. I am up walking around a bit now as Noah's head dropped and contractions are coming harder & more frequent.

Today is the day

I just got back from my OB appointment. My cervix is still 3cm and she doesn't think it's going to change until my water breaks. My blood pressure is also slightly elevated and it's hard to say if it's from my anxiety & being in pain or if it's an indication of anything going on with Noah. She said she'd rather see me go in now and be able to take my time then to develop pre-eclampsia or something else and have to rush to have him born.

I'm still sitting here in shock as I try to soak this all in. I'm disappointed I couldn't spend most of my labor here at home. I'm excited to finally meet Noah but I SO scared of all the unknowns. We are at home right now getting things situated. Ironically my contractions have picked up this morning so I pray that breaking my water does the trick and I don't need to have pitocin.

I have so many thoughts and emotions going through me right now. We are taking the laptop along so when someone is able to, we'll try to update. I am heading in around 11am. Just please pray, we need them now more than ever.

July 12th

After sulking for a bit when I got home, I laid down and took a brief catnap. During that time, my neighbor dropped off a gorgeous arrangement of flowers, thanks Donna for brightening my day! Also during that time, the kids decided to make their own lunch. They made homemade waffles & homefries. The kids love to cook and are doing really well in the kitchen. This afternoon they made a cake and split it into quarters so they each had their own piece to decorate. And yes, they DO clean up after themselves. They know this is part of the deal, if they want to cook, they also have to do their dishes. :) I was glad they had something to do to keep busy.

I got up from my nap and decide to just ignore the contractions and try to do some stuff around the house. Did some wash and housework. Also, I've been watching a lot of food network while bouncing on the exercise ball, so I was inspired to be creative with my zucchini from the garden. So I made 2 different things with it just for something to do.

We went for another walk tonight between rain showers. I'm still having decent contractions but they are still random. I guess at this point unless something happens overnight, I'll be going back to the OB early tomorrow morning for yet another membrane stripping.
Saw the midwife this morning and unfortunately even after all these contractions, my cervix hasn't changed since Friday. I am still 2cm so she stripped my membranes again and said I was more like 3cm after that. My contractions are still between 8-20 minutes apart right now and are definitely stronger and lasting longer than they were Saturday. Noah's head isn't on my cervix like it was last week so that may be playing a part in why I'm not progressing like I should be. She said they would admit me whenever I want, but I honestly don't want to be in the hospital longer than needed.

So for now, the kids & I are at home and I told Kevin just to go to work. I guess I'm just going to try and do things around here to keep my mind off things. I am just feeling discouraged, after all this, I thought he'd be here by now. If he doesn't come today, I will go back in and have them strip my membranes again early tomorrow morning and we'll go from there. I just pray he comes on his own soon or they will want me to pick a time to be admitted to have my water broke. I just really don't want to have to pick a time or have any interventions. I just really desire to have everything continue naturally.
I managed to get about 2hrs of sleep before contractions won the battle over sleep. They still aren't consistent but they are definitely stronger and lasting a lot longer now. I was hoping to be in the hospital by this point to avoid my OB appt, but it looks like I'll still be going to it.

The kids have been so great through all this. They are always asking if I need anything, rubbing my lower back at times when I'm having contractions, etc. In fact, I've seen them giving each other high fives & cheering when I'm having contractions!!! They are really excited and keep on top of how close together my contractions are. They're certainly itching to get to the hospital. And trust me, I'm ready for this long labor to be over too. Noah certainly knows how to keep us all in suspense in making his grand entry into this world. I pray he arrives soon as we're all aching to hold him!
Still no major changes. We're still at home. My contractions aren't regular like they were last night. They are anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart. They are at least a bit stronger than last night. I admit I am getting a bit frustrated at how long this is dragging out. I barely catnapped for an hour last night, so I'm tired on top of it all. I was able to take a short nap just a little bit ago. But not much sleep + discomfort & pain =one discouraged momma. I know there are more people out there than I can even fathom praying for us which I really appreciate it. I am trying to keep in mind that there is a reason why my labor is dragging out, but I'm not seeing it yet.

Noah is still having good movements and even had the hiccups earlier, so for that I'm thankful. I have my regular OB checkup early tomorrow morning that I was praying so hard to avoid due to having him. I know a lot can change in a short amount of time and anything is possible. So for now, I guess I have no choice but to just continue to hang in's so hard though, especially with a long, slow labor.
Just a quick update, we're still at home. Things slowed down a bit over night. At least it gave the others a chance to sleep. I'm headed out on yet another walk. I guess Noah figured he hung in this long, he's gonna take his sweet time in labor. I'm trying hard not to get frustrated and trust that there is a reason it's all working out like this.

This may be it!

Well, my contractions started getting more regular shortly before 8pm. They've been about 3 min apart, but still totally bearable so we are just chilling out at home. The kids are beyond thrilled and really hoping this is it. As I sat on the exercise ball, they even took turns pushing on my lower back. We're really praying this is it. I have so many thoughts and emotions going through me right now. I keep looking around to make sure I have everything together. I know it's going to be hard to get the kids to try to get some sleep. All their clothes and shoes are laid out so they can jump at a moments notice. Just please keep praying, this is only the start....

Still here

As of almost 6pm, we're still here. We all went for a long walk earlier. I think we walked all the nearby streets, even a few of them twice. It was drizzling a bit but I didn't care. I wanted to get out in hopes gravity would help. I am cautiously optimistic that I may be seeing some early signs that labor could be around the corner. Granted, sometimes some of these signs happen a day or more before labor begins. But seeing something is better than nothing. I am definitely contracting a lot more today, and even more this evening than I had been. So I am continuing to keep moving by cleaning or picking up around the house, bouncing on an exercise ball and may even go for another walk in a bit. And I'll throw some spicy food in the mix there too! Just keep those thoughts, prayers and labor vibes coming our way!! I will keep you all posted.....

5 days overdue

This morning I had both the specialist and my OB appointments. The specialist and ultrasound was first. Noah was turned so we could see part of his face this week and it really looked like he was sucking his thumb, it was so cute!!

Noahs organs looked good and he didn't have any hydrops. They did say they noticed he has a bit more edema than last week (swelling on some of his skin). The doctor said he feels we really should consider inducing in the next few days. He has been one of the ones who said for awhile we shouldn't prolong things and just induce awhile ago. He said he was going to go call my OB and let him know his thoughts. I of course was in tears as I don't want to be forced to be induced.

We headed downstairs to go to my OB appt. We were surprisingly taken back right away. The OB came in and said he spoke with the specialist and that he indicated I should be admitted today to be induced. I said he didn't tell us that but stated we should consider it in the next few days. I once again started crying. He said he just had to go with the opinion of the specialist but that ultimately it is left up to us.

See my reasoning for not wanting to be induced is because being induced is so hard on your body as well as it's harder on the baby. Noah is already facing an uphill battle and I don't want to make things even more tougher on him. Not only that, but when you force your body into something that it's not ready to do, you run the risk of other complications or even having to have a c-section. I just don't want to make what is already a difficult situation even tougher. I've had a c-section before, I've also been induced and I also went into labor on my own which was the by far the best out of all 3 experiances I've had.

I explained all this to the doctor and said that those ae my main reasons for wanting to give my body a few more days, not because I am trying to prolong things for Noah. He totally understood and said what we already put in place earlier this week seemed reasonable. So we went ahead and had him check my cervix, I'm 2cms now and he could almost stretch me to 3cm. He stripped my membranes also.

After we got home, the kids and I walked to a somewhat nearby farm to get corn. It was both for something to do as well as get me walking in hopes it would help things along. I'm just really struggling today. I still feel like this is all just a bad dream that I'll wake up from. I just can't seem to wrap my head around what the doctors tell me, that my baby is going to die. I admit I find myself still questioning God at times.....why ME?!?! After all we've been through the last couple of years, through no fault of our own, why are we yet again being put through another trial. I know deep down there IS a purpose for all this and that our situation is being used for a specific reason and maybe someday I'll be able to look back and see why, but it doesn't make it any easier for me right now. Right now I'm hurt, depressed, upset, anxious, scared, you name it, I'm feeling it.

God has already done a miracle in Noah's life by bringing him this far for a reason. I ask that you please pray that I could go into labor on my own this weekend, before I have to go back to the OB and once again be told to induce. Just continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers because right now, that is what is holding me up through this.
Just stopping by to let you all know we are still here, not surprising. It's been a pretty low key day. Too hot outside to really do much of anything honestly. Which is kind've a bummer. I don't like sitting around with nothing to do as my mind starts to wonder and I just feel even more depressed then.

I didn't sleep well last night. I had maybe 2hrs of broken sleep. Since I obviously have time on my hands, I calculated just how much reading I've done the last 3-4wks thanks to my insomnia. I've read 7 books (currently on my 8th book) and total page count so far is 2,062 pages read.

My cousin and her kids stopped by tonight to visit and brought a very adorable gift for Noah. A sweet blanket handmade with his name on it (and some yummy cookies!!) She explained the story behind the blanket, that the lady who made it sells these blankets to raise money for her grandson who has a rare disorder that was found when he was only 4 months old. So this blanket really has some special meaning behind it for a special little boy. Thank you Bethann and Rob for Noahs sweet blanket, we really appreciate it!

July 7th

I feel like I need to post each day just so no one wonders what's up or thinks I've gone into labor. We are still here. I'm only 3 days late which is honestly still "early" for me given my history. I had a doctors appointment today to get my membranes stripped again, so before going in, I tried to get some things done around here. Last week when I had it done, I had a lot of contractions afterwards and felt pretty miserable. So I wanted to be sure things were in order and all before I went in.

I had been stacking my things to take to the hospital but hadn't packed them yet. I sat down and did it this morning for the most part. Which led me to sit there and just cry. I think the reason I put off packing was because of packing Noah's things. I bawled just putting his stuff into my suitcase because packing seems so final. I realize that I have to take everything I have for him with me to the hospital as it may be the only time we get to spend with him. All his tiny outfits, his blanket the kids bought last week, his angel bear, the things we want to get his footprints and handprints with, etc. Just everything!! We are gonna look like we're moving into the hospital when I go in because of all we have for him.

My appointment went ok. I had a decent midwife thankfully. She stripped and stretched my cervix. I am about 1 1/2-2cm and 60% effaced. She also showed me accupressure spots to put pressure on to help. I go back again on Friday for yet another strip & stretch. I know, it sounds awful, it's really not too bad. I'd rather go this natural route than be induced any day. I actually wasn't as uncomfortable today as I was on Friday. I still think it's going to be a little while till anything happens. It's just how my body is.

But overall today, I was just really emotional. I spent a lot of time in tears. I realize just how close everything is coming and it's really hard. On one hand, I want time to stand still, on the other, I am ready to move forward and to meet my son and to be able to start the healing process. It's really hard being in a constant state of unknown. It is so draining at times.

Friends of ours who lost their son/brother this year when he was 8 days old (Michele's family), their children wrote my kiddos letters. I read them today and just bawled. They are pretty close in age to our kids and just to read their honest heartfelt words was so precious. They talked about their brother Hezekiah (who would be 6 months old today), how he and Noah will be friends and play together in heaven along with Olivia who went to heaven this past March (our friend Jen's family, their daughter who also had Trisomy 13). It was just so sweet how these children were reaching out to ours as they themselves are still healing and telling my kids they know just how they feel.

It's been a really reflective, difficult day.

2 days overdue

Boy has it been a hot one today!! The kids and I stayed home & inside all day. And even at times, I still felt hot with our window a/c's and fans going. But I can't complain, Noah's been poking my right side all day. I don't think he is minding the heat like I am! ha

I spent some time today getting some food together for friends that were coming over. It felt good to do something other than sit around and let my mind wander. Michele's family as well as Sharons family came over to spend some time with us this evening (we missed your family Jen!!) We had a great time just sitting around chatting. I really appreciated the fact they took the time out of their schedules and made the drive to come and visit.

Tomorrow morning I have another doctor visit to get my membranes stripped. I'm getting nervous as I know the time is soon coming when I'll go into labor. The kids bag is packed, mine is pretty much all in a heap still. Guess I keep thinking if I don't pack it, I won't go into labor.

Happy Birthday Hannah

Well, July 5th still remains to be only Hannah's birthday. Noah stayed all nice & comfy in me. She had a great birthday! This morning when she woke up, Susan gave her a gift that she bought with her own money (the shirt Hannah is wearing in the picture). She also gave her a handmade card and some of her own money, which I had no clue she was going to do. I love how excited the kids get about each others birthdays and how they go out of their way to help make the day special also. The kids and I took her out for an early breakfast which she really enjoyed.

Then for supper, Kevin took her out to the smorgasbord for her free birthday meal. Him being half price as an employee and the fact that it was steak night sweetened the deal! haha They had a great meal together and some special daddy/daughter time.

After they came home, we did cake and gifts which she was anxiously anticipating ALL day!!! She made sure I ate a piece of cake so Noah could have some!!! I was just thankful she could have a special day with no worries. I know a lot of you were praying for Noah to hold off his arrivial for that very reason, thank you.

Noah's due date!!!

Happy 4th of July!!! I know many of you have said recently you are keeping a close eye on my facebook or here on my blog to know if Noah has arrived or not. is his due date and he is still all cuddled up cozy in there with no signs of coming anytime soon. Not that I am surprised. My twins had to be induced, and my other 2 kiddos were 2 & 3wks late!! But according to the doctors, Noah shouldn't have lived this long. So for him to reach his due date and go late is yet another miracle!!! We have a far greater Physician who has a plan beyond what medical science tries to predict. I admit, it makes me wonder what else is going to happen in the coming week(s) since he has beat the odds thus far.

Yesterday wasn't a good day. I woke up with a tension headache that went back and forth with a migraine. Nothing I did gave me any relief and I am limited in what I can take with medicine. Thankfully it eventually went away.....right before bed, ugh. Unfortunately I only managed about 2 1/2hrs of broken sleep last night. I have read more books these last few weeks than I have in the last few years combined thanks to my insomnia!!

I went to church today with the family. I wasn't sure physically if I'd be up for a lot of sitting, but it worked out. I still can't bring myself to sing during worship, the words are still too hard. And I admit, I had to wonder while sitting there if the next time I'm at church, if it will be for Noah's memorial service. That really hit me. I mean, today is his due date, he is coming soon. Oh to be able to bring him to a church service alive in my arms would be a dream, but I know that that probably won't happen.

Today was low key for us. We really couldn't plan anything not knowing what today would hold for me & Noah. We fired up the charcoal for lunch and grilled a few things. It is really starting to get warm out there and this weeks forecast has me thinking I will be tying ice packs to my body just to make it through the heat!!!!

Here is a pic of Noah & I today as we reached the 40wk mark and his due date. Wow do we have a lot to be thankful for!!!!

July 2nd

It's Friday which means appointment day. We had our ultrasound first. And once again, Noah is exceeding the doctors expectations!!! Even the tech said as much and was surprised that yet another week has passed and he still looks just like he did weeks ago (except bigger). No hydrops, no heart failure, amniotic level good, etc. YAY!!!!! They have told me ever since we got his diagnosis that his health is going to deteriorate and that we shouldn't be surprised if his health fails and he needs to be taken before his due date. Here I am, 2 days until my due date and quite honestly, I know I am going to be sailing right past it and going late. Noah was facing my back today so we didn't get to see his adorable face. We did get to see his pile of hair though!!

Noah is quite honestly a miracle. Most trisomy 13 babies miscarry in the first trimester with some making it until the 2nd trimester before miscarrying. The fact that he has made it this far AND will probably be late but in still good health is just amazing!!! I am hoping and praying SO HARD that this is an indication that he will hang around for awhile and maybe even let us bring him home. It's so hard going into this trying to keep an open mind about what could happen. The specialist still says we'll be lucky to have only a few minutes with him. But then again, the specialist also said he wouldn't live this long. So I just don't know what to think. I think I am prepared for the worst but desperately hoping & praying for the best.

We went downstairs for my OB checkup. I hadn't yet met this doctor. This practice is so huge you could go an entire pregnancy and only see each person once. Not my sorta thing. I liked when I was with my midwife, the only person I saw for the visit who knew each detail and didn't have to review my chart before seeing me. She said they had a staff meeting this morning and again my "case" (feels so disconnected when they say this) was reviewed. She said they were wondering what my cervix was doing. Made me think my cervix is probably one of the most talked about right now. I told her that last week I asked to have an internal and that the doctor refused because I was 2 days shy of being 39wks and that she claimed she ONLY did them past 39wks. She said WHAT?! I said yeah, I was told the week prior I was going to be checked and possibly have my membranes stripped which this doctor also refused to do. She said no, they should've checked you whenever you asked. She said we are here to do whatever your wishes are. So I was thankful to have finally gotten a doctor who was on the same page as us.

She did an internal and said I am 1cm dialated, 60% effaced and that she could feel Noahs head. She stripped my membranes "agressively" (her words, but holy cow I'd agree!). We set up a schedule for this next week for me to keep going in every few days for my membranes to be stripped again. The scheduling staff couldn't believe I was scheduling out as far as I was, but I said you don't understand, I have a history of going super late!!! I said I have no doubt I will be back next week!! I want to avoid being induced as that is super hard on not only your body but the baby as well. I've gone 2 & 3wks late in the past, so I am ok with the fact that he is taking his time. Every pregnancy, I go into it knowing I will be late, no biggie. I spent several hours after the appointment with pretty steady contractions and pain, which is normal after having your membranes stripped. Thankfully things slowed down and allowed my body to relax after awhile.

So here I sit, thankful & blessed that Noah's health is still stable, but still nervously anticipating the coming week. I can't even wrap my mind around all that is to come, and maybe that's good because I'm already extremely anxious and scared. I just pray that God would allow a short & quick labor. To go through a long and tedious labor only to lose my son seems almost cruel, so I pray God could at least bless me with an easy labor.