Noah's Story

Noah's Story

Trigger Warning - Infant Loss

I've written this because every year I run a fundraiser for Noah, and every year I have new followers who may not know his story. For those of you who don't know, this business is named after our three beautiful children, who inspired it in the first place. N for Noah, O for Oscar, and M for Molly. It was a happy coincidence, really, but I like to think that it was meant to be. 

Unfortunately, we lost Noah shortly after he was born. He was our first, very eagerly awaited, and so, so loved. It was very important to us that he live on in every way possible, so we talk freely about him as much as we can. Infant Loss tends to have such a taboo around it, I think in part because the pain is so great, and we don't quite know how to comfort other people going through it. When we don't know what to say, it feels easier not to say anything at all, so no one brings it up. But if I don't talk about him, his energy fades, so as hard as it is (and as much as my tears may fall) I love talking about him and will always be open to these conversations.

I had a typical pregnancy with Noah, and aside from throwing up every day for 34 weeks, I loved being pregnant. I had immersed myself in gentle birthing culture, planning on water birth, with hypnobirthing techniques. 

At nearly 41 weeks with no sign of labour, I went in to a general checkup. My blood pressure was elevated, and we quickly realised that I had developed pre-eclampsia and something called HELLP syndrome (which I don't recommend). My platelets were very low, my liver and kidneys weren't functioning correctly. Despite being very ill, I was completely asymptomatic and felt fine. I chose to spend a day or so attempting to kickstart labour naturally, but eventually opted for an induction. 

I won't go into the nitty gritty of labour, other than that it was about 12 hours of terrible back pain, and my contractions were all over the place. I remember my OBGYN coming in at some point, and saying that if I hadn't delivered within the hour, I'd be off for a C-Section. I delivered him exactly one hour later, naturally, and I'm thankful for that. The C-Section would have put me under, and Noah may not have survived. 

Long story short, Noah was born with a heartbeat but completely lifeless. I assumed at the time that he just needed some air, as some babies do, and I watched him get whisked away to the NICU. Flooded with post-birth hormones, I was not concerned at this time. As the time went on, and we were able to see him, it became quickly apparent that he was never going to open his eyes, or cry. We would be leaving the hospital without him. 

I won't pretend I'm not crying while I'm writing this, but it's all important, so bear with me. 

We reached out to family and friends (I say we, but it was my amazing husband and others, as I was a post-birth, grieving mess), and over 70 people came through the hospital to meet Noah and be with us. Family flew from interstate, friends rallied... I'll remember their support and love until the day I die. The hospital staff said they'd never had so many people come through, they thought it was amazing. And it was so important to us that so many people meet Noah, so they could carry his light with them wherever they went. 

Noah was living on life support, this tiny, beautiful baby covered in tubes and wires. We got to hold him as much as we could, everyone got cuddles. The nurse said that his heartrate changed whenever someone kissed him, and even if that pure coincidence, it brings me comfort. He knew he was loved, so loved, always. 

On the 21st of April, 2016, we chose to turn off the life support, and Noah slipped peacefully from this world to the next, nestled on my chest. We bathed him, dressed him in his sweet little overalls and socks, and took him up to the roof of the hospital to show him the stars. I'm a firm believer that we're all, simply, stardust swirling around an infinite cosmos. One day I will be with him again, but until then, I'll keep his energy close and strive to live the life, and provide the life, that he deserved. 

I don't remember much after that day, it's all a big hazy cloud of grief. I do remember needing to go back to hospital a few days later because I couldn't breathe properly. They diagnosed PND (fairly obvious in hindsight), and I think my anxiety has been a lot worse ever since. Battle scars. His cause of death came back from the Coroner a year later - undetermined, but strongly suggested that the placenta had stopped functioning at 100% so he was oxygen starved. He could very easily have been stillborn if I'd delivered any later. 

I consider myself very lucky - we went on to have two more beautiful, healthy, happy children in 2017 and 2019. I opted for planned C-Sections at 38 weeks for both, due to trauma, and they were incredibly peaceful, healing births. The sound of a newborn crying after a loss is like a symphony. 

Oscar and Molly speak often about Noah, which makes me so happy, and a little sad. They look up at the stars and point him out, they know he's watching over them. Last year they debated if they could slingshot a piece of cake high enough to reach him (haha!). 

I believe that everything happens for a reason. As awful as this is, Noah's short life changed the direction of my own, gave me purpose and a fire that will never be doused. He is at the core of all I do in this life, guiding me and giving me energy when I need it most. The wounds still hurt, the scars will always be there; but they're a reminder of something I loved more than anything else in the world.

We celebrate his birthday every year with a fundraiser for a charity that supports families through the loss of a child. We were on the receiving end of many of these charities, their support was invaluable, and so very appreciated. We will always give back, whenever we can, and I am forever grateful for your support so that we can do this. 

Thank you for reading <3 xx



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