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!!!!


  1. Thank you for being willing to share this story with us. God is amazing... so glad you were able to enjoy time with your precious baby... feeding him with a dropper... taking pictures, etc.

  2. Jenn, I could almost picture your time with Noah. What a special blessing to be able to experience all that you did with him! Praying daily for you and your family, that God send your comfort.

  3. I'm almost speechless. I once someone say that we are the caretakers of God's angels while they are on Earth. You were a wonderful caretaker of Noah. God bless you, Kevin, and your children.

  4. This was such a sweet and tender post. My heart goes out to you and your dear family. I have been there with my daughter when two of her infant sons died. There was such a peace...and we felt God's presence so much. Just like the peace that you felt...and we know it came from the Lord.

    May God continue to hold you close and comfort you.


  5. what a sweet and beautiful time you had together.

  6. Thank you for sharing this story of Noah's life with us. So glad the Lord blessed you with 9 hours with your son!

  7. It just breaks my heart to read this...but it also puts a smile on my face. What a sweet, beautiful boy you have. What a gift you had in hearing his precious little noises. I am thankful you had that time with him. I am just so sorry he is not here with you. <3

  8. You gave Noah such a beautiful life. Thank you for sharing his story. I cried tears of sadness and tears of joy through the story. What a wonderful family experience. You were so strong! I love all the things you planned ahead for and the photoshoot, and time with each sibling. I am so grateful that you had this special time with him. He sure sounds like a fighter. Beautiful Noah!

  9. Thank you for sharing Noah's story. That was just amazing and you showed such Amazing Grace through the experience. May God give you peace and the fondest memories of your brief time with Noah. He assures us you will see him again.

  10. I came across your blog on another blog and omg how heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time I had to read this twice I was crying so hard I am so sorry your sweet Noah couldn't stay here with you all longer <3

  11. Oh my goodness. I have chills and tears. I'm so sorry for your sadness and trial but so happy you had those hours together! I can't imagine anything more wonderful than that time you had! <3

  12. 5 years later and re-reading this story again, tears flooding down my face. thank you for sharing your miracle baby boy with us, his story and your lives after. You are such an inspiration. I have no idea how you held onto your faith so tight after such a devastating loss :( Your an amazing woman. hugs


I enjoy hearing from each & every one of you! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)