Monday, February 28, 2011

Noah's 1st Birthday

Noah's 1st birthday was less than a month after he passed away on Nov. 4. I wasn't blogging yet and I sure was ready to share photos or memories about that day. But I think I am now. Birthdays are really special in my family. My parents always made a big deal out of much so that I even celebrated my half birthday up until this year! So needless to say Noah's 1st birthday was going to be a memorable one! I started planning months in advance. Nothing big, just thinking about the theme, food, decor, etc. I decided I wanted a Mickey Mouse themed party since he LOVED Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I ordered some things from Etsy, even a special t-shirt for the bday boy to wear that day. Scott is a graphic designer so he was going to create Noah's bday invite. Things were finally starting to come together. The night before Noah died we had a photo shoot at our house with him. We dressed him up all cute and took pictures that would be options for the invite. Here are were some of the photos taken that night. His last night with us. I'm so happy I have these but they break my heart all at the same time. He was becoming a boy and such a cute and fun one at that. 

my favorite! I love that smile!

I'll fast forward to after Noah died. Many people have some time before that first birthday after their child dies. They get some time to process and grieve. Not that it makes it any easier or harder but I was thrown into that first big milestone day less than a month after he died. I knew I had to acknowledge his birthday. I knew it was not going to be the birthday I had hoped for. How do you have a 1st birthday party for your son that has just died? But birthdays are too big and important in our family to just let the day slide by. Besides the fact that 1 year ago on that Nov. 4 was the greatest day of our lives! Noah was born and brought into our lives. He changed our lives forever and that deserved to be celebrated. Luckily I have amazing friends and family and I didn't have to do anything to set up for Noah's birthday. We decided to invite friends and family over to our house for a sky lantern launch (thanks to Carly for coming up with this idea and buying all of these for us!). We had chili and cornbread (one of my favs that my parents brought over for everyone - I could not even think about cooking at this point so we needed to keep it simple). We had cupcakes and sang happy birthday to Noah as devastating and depressing as that was. But most of all, friends and family came together on this very special day to be there for us and celebrate the amazing boy that Noah was, the great 11 months we had with him, and to acknowledge how this tragedy has changed all of our lives forever. This was NOT the birthday it was supposed to be. But it still was his birthday. It was the anniversary to the day he was born and that will never change. We will always celebrate his birthday for he was here, he was alive, and he is the most amazing person I've ever met. How do you not celebrate that? I wish so badly he was here for his bday. I  anticipated him ripping open presents, I so badly wanted to see how he'd dive into his own little cake, and most importantly it was his 1st birthday! Such a special and important milestone. I hoped for happy memories of that day but instead I was overcome by sadness and such great loss. Here are some photos from Noah's 1st birthday. While he was not here with us physically, I know he was here with us that day and eating tons of cake in heaven! 

we decorated the paper lanterns with birthday wishes for Noah

Noah's birthday t-shirt - we all wrote messages to him

we ate and drank the tears away

Noah's friends played  
the sky lantern launch was amazing. It took some time to get the hang of it, and one got caught on a neighbor's house (thankfully nothing started on fire!!) but overall it was a big success and we plan to do it every year. 

I will never forget that day and everyone who was there for us. Thank you! I can't believe he'd be 16 months old this Friday. I hate that time keeps moving on. I wish I could relive Oct. 6th over and over and over again. 


  1. Hi Jenna - you probably don't remember me, but I met you last spring when I brought my son, Colin, in to meet the Mosquito clan along with Bridget and Hailey. I heard about Noah a couple months ago and have been following your blog ever since. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful little boy. The way you describe him reminds me so much of my own son, and it breaks my heart.

    The reason I'm writing tonight is that one of Colin's friends from day care (who moved to a new day care just last week) died today from what they think is SIDS and I cannot get both him and Noah off my mind. Your strength and eloquence when describing your experience are amazing, so I plan to share your blog with Colin's friend's parents to offer them support as they begin their own journey.

    You would probably be surprised to know how much I think of you and Noah. Please know that I will continue to do so, and pray that peace and happiness find their way back to your life soon.

    Sara Krieg

  2. I stumbled across your blog through another and wanted to say how beautifully cute Noah was.

    As a mummy myself I am so so sorry for your loss I loose my breath and cry when i read your blog so cannot imagine your pain, life is so unfair to take Noah.

    I will continue to read your blog with nothing but admiration. xx

  3. What a beautiful celebration for a beautiful little man. I hope it brought you peace to do something in honor of him and to commerate his birthday. I may have to borrow the lantern idea :) I love it!! Thank you for sharing is 1st birthday story with us!