A new chapter of our life has begun. Unfortunately it is a chapter without Noah. I honestly still cannot believe a year later that Noah is gone. October 7 was the one year anniversary of Noah's death. I look at his pictures and it feels like forever ago that I saw him and held him. It feels like a completely different lifetime to be honest. So much has happened in this past year. We have changed and evolved and brought new life to our family. The one year mark was so hard. The days leading up to it were impossible. I cried so much just wishing I didn't have to live through another October 7th. But when the day finally came I made it through just like every other day. Unfortunately Scott had to leave that day for an out of town wedding he was the best man in. Two of my very good friends left their families and lives for the weekend to stay with me and our new son Oliver (I'll get to that next). Thank God for amazing friends. I could not have gotten through that weekend without them (and a little cake vodka! :)
Back up to September 8 - the day our beautiful and amazing son Oliver Noah was born. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was to see this little guy for the very first time. I had a long and difficult pregnancy. It started out in the ER (where Noah died - just 4 months after) due to a hemorage between my placenta and uterus. I was bleeding a lot. They told me the baby was ok but if the blood clot grew it could separate from the placenta and we'd lose the baby. Of course I was a wreck. Why oh why after just losing my son could I not have a perfect pregnancy? We were very luck to get pregnant so quickly but I was not ready for any more losses. I was on modified bed rest for the first couple months which is also when I lost my job! Crazy start to the year. We hardly told anyone I was pregnant until 20 weeks when the clot finally dissolved and went away!!! There were a few other bumps in the road but other than that we just waited and prayed so hard. After having the unthinkable happen to you, you start to think that everything is going to go wrong. I was so terrified the whole pregnancy. Luckily after 9 long months we finally got to meet our little guy. He came out screaming - I finally let out the breath I had been holding for 9 months. A HUGE 9lbs 9oz and absolutely perfect. I can't say I felt complete, since part of me will always be missing. But I felt this major void had been filled back up. I felt joy and true happiness again. I never imagined I could be so happy again. Our sweet Oliver has filled our house with love, noise, baby stuff, toys....and we love it! He is now 6 weeks old and we are loving every moment with him. To hold him, snuggle him, kiss him...it's what I've been yearning for for so long. We talk to him about his big brother every day. We take him to the cemetery to visit him. He wears his big brother's clothes, sleeps in his bassinet, uses his car seat, etc. Noah is with us and is always watching over Oliver. We know it. We are learning to live again and enjoy life again. It is not the same and it never will be. But it's our next chapter and we feel so blessed to have Oliver to share that chapter with.
I have also discovered more ways to help me feel like I am still parenting Noah and still connected to him. I decided that every year on his birthday (coming up on November 4th) that we will choose a charity to donate to. I have made my decision but haven't let the charity know yet so I'm keeping it a surprise until his birthday. The charity will be a smaller scale charity than the larger SIDS organizations. We will also donate toys to Toys for Tots in honor of Noah's bday. The toys will be age appropriate for the year that Noah is. So this year we will donate toys suited for a 2 year old.
We are heading to Faith's Lodge next weekend - exactly one year after our first visit. I cannot believe that one year later we have raised enough money to dedicate a suite at Faith's Lodge to Noah! We have raised $25,000 for Faith's Lodge! We donated $10,000 from Noah's tournament and our dear friend Laura - her family's foundation is giving them $15,000 in Noah's name. We know Noah would be so proud and we are so proud to have had this little boy who makes so many people want to do good in his name! We can't wait to go there and see the suite that will be dedicated to him!! Laura made a great point - Oliver might have Noah's bedroom now, but now Noah can have a very special room dedicated just to him where other families can heal.
Noah's little brother - Oliver Noah (6 weeks old)