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.


  1. Jenn, reading your blog today has me in tears. I know that it was horribly hard to hand Noah over even though it was just his earthly body there. I can picture Noah, Hezekiah,and Olivia,running joyfully around Jesus' feet with Isaac (another sweet angel w/ Trisomy 13, born to my friends). The beauty of God that shown through on the earthly faces of these angels is even greater now. They are whole and healthy and happy. We are blessed to have shared in their short time on earth, even though we miss them terribly. I pray daily for God to continually keep you wrapped in His loving arms and give you peace.

  2. Jenn, you had to endure something that no parent wants to face. I can't even begin to imagine your your heart felt. I'm sobbing just thinking about the pain that you and your family had to go through.

  3. ahh Jenn... I havent been able to keep up with your posts and I feel terrible' about it. but I admit I have been thanking about you all every day.

    My heart breaks for your loss but also grows for the time you were giving with Noah.

    My neighbor is currently pregnant with a little girl at 6 month gestation and she has double the normal chromosomes. We are all holding on to hope that they will get to enjoy there little girl for any amount of time.

    We are always thinking about you!

  4. I am sitting here reading this sobbing. I am so sorry that I didn't know. I wish I could have been praying for you and your family all along... My thoughts and prayers are with you. <3 <3

  5. I like to think of Kerrigan meeting him at heavens gates too. Reaching out to welcome him to his eternal home. I can't wait to meet all our precious children!!

  6. My heart breaks for you and what you're whole family has gone through. The pain of leaving the hospital with an empty womb and arms is horrible.
    Sobbing as I read. Love and hugs to you. God is faithful and will mend together the pieces of your shattered heart...although grief is a long hard road with lot's of unexpected bumps.

  7. I know that empty arms feeling... How did you press on... Help me to understand a God who takes little ones.
    I know all the emotions you have ever felt...
    I am just looking for another mothers insight on this. WHY????

  8. Oh Jenn, I can hardly see through the tears. It takes me right back to my time with Sebastian. I am so glad that you and your children had so many precious moments with Noah, those memories will never fade. I so wish we were blessed to have a little time with Sebastian alive, but it was not God's way. Thank you for sharing this special special time with the world.

  9. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your sons story. You and your family are in our prayers.

  10. I cannot imagine your grief...I am sobbing for you as I read this, long after you found the strength to share. Faith tells me God is with you, just as Noah is with Him, but words fail me.

  11. So sorry for your loss. I have no words, just sorry.

  12. Oh Jenn! What amazing strength you have. I need to stop crying and get to church! :)


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