In Memory of My Little Sunshine

Noah William Robichaud January 20, 2013

Noah’s Nighties

So, yesterday was a pretty busy day! I was able to set up this blog and Noah’s Nighties Facebook page. I wanted to do these things for several reasons. One, when Noah died, Josh said to all of our friends- all we can do now is share his existence. I also wanted to do something productive with the things that I’ve learned how to knit. While I was pregnant, I asked at one of our WIC appointments if there was any place I could donate the baby hats and things that I had knitted. The lady at the office didn’t know of any other than if I wanted to create a breast feeding awareness hat, I could bring that to her office. I’ve since created “Newbie Boobie” newborn hats in the shape of a breast. They are fun, and another mission will be other breast hats for breast cancer awareness. But onward with Noah’s Nighties. So, while in the hospital, Josh and I still believed we were having a baby girl all the way until the nurse whispered “it’s a little boy.” Whoa! We didn’t bring anything for a little boy. The hospital brought Noah to me wrapped in a lovely yellow nightie. When we left him, I couldn’t bear to take it with us. I’ll never forget that beautiful yellow blanket- someone made that not even knowing that it would be so meaningful to me. When we got home from the hospital I had purchased a baby blue blanket. The whole time I was pregnant and thinking we were having a girl, I saw this blue blanket, and thought, if only they had it in lavender….Well, lo and behold we wind up with a baby boy! So I went back and got it in memory of Noah. I was deciding how I was going to arrange my memorial area for Noah- I have his urn, a mother figurine, his photos, necklaces, hospital hat, and others. I went to put it all together and the blanket was too big and the shadow box door wouldn’t shut!! I could not even think to cut the thing up! And I couldn’t bear to buy another! This was Noah’s special nightie!! So I decided that though the pattern lingo scared me a bit, I would learn to make them! So I looked up all my favorite patterns and colors and it all began. First I made them for Jacoby and Colton and Mya. I made a couple hat and nightie sets for the hospital, and for Becky- Ian’s Mom, from Ian’s Elephants. I just finished Noah’s Nightie! I made it to match the little blue hat that was given to him at the hospital. I did take that home, and replaced it with a dark purple one that I had made. I have a very special friend Janelle, and I’m making one for her in memory of her Rowan. I will make nighties in memory of anyone’s baby. And I will continue to donate them to the hospital as well. They are nice and small- about 15 inches by 15 inches- that way they fit nicely in a shadow box or on a table or dresser. I am proud to create these nighties. They are made with love in memory of our precious babies. If you are in need of one of Noah’s Nighties, or would like one made on behalf of someone else, please let me know. Peace and love.

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To My Little Sunshine

To My Little Sunshine

Noah William Robichaud

January 20th, 2013

5lb 11oz, 19 in

 

February 3rd, 2013

My sweet little Noah,                                                                                          

Mommy’s heart hurts so bad…I miss you so much.  My empty belly makes me so sad; it was just so big and round and happy and full of you just two short weeks ago. I have peace in my heart that your spirit is free, and that you know no fear or pain. Writing to you gives me a great comfort and in this process I find a way to connect with you.  I want you to know that the eight and a half months that I carried you brought me so much excitement, hope, and joy.  I want to share that with you here.  I also just want to sit and have a place to “talk” to you whenever I am thinking of you.  You are and always will be part of our family, my third child, a sweet baby boy…Noah William Robichaud.

You were made in May 2012, just after Mommy and Daddy got home from a trip to camp in Maine.  I suspected you were there very early- I was so tired and so incredibly thirsty!  In June I knew for sure and told Daddy, but you were our little secret.  Daddy of course, is quite terrible at keeping secrets and by July he’d told Grammy, his Mommy, and Grandpa Red, my Daddy, too.

 

February 5th, 2013

Hi my little love.  Well, with your wild big brothers, mommy isn’t having an easy time sitting down to write- they keep me running in ten different directions at a time. 

Back to you in my belly- I think you were a big boy from the start- my belly popped right out with you- by 10 weeks I had a pretty good sized pouch.  I was absolutely thrilled to be pregnant again.  Mommy always knew she wanted more babies!  Things were much different with you- for one, I was very active chasing Jacoby and Colton around.  I also had trouble finding things to eat.  I was really nauseas and there wasn’t much at all that I wanted to eat.  Luckily it was summer time and Daddy brought home lots of fruit for us to make smoothies.  I did have a few cravings- in the beginning I wanted all the spicy food I could get my hands on.  But as my belly grew quite huge I wanted lots of fatty foods- milkshakes and heavy cream~ even one of the last few things we ate together was a super yummy cherry cheesecake that Daddy bought us!

You were by far my most active baby.  I felt your early “butterfly wings” at 14weeks.  At 17 weeks, in September, just a few days after your cousin Mya was born, we had your big ultrasound.  You were so perfect!  Oh the things that brought Mama so much excitement- to hear your little heartbeat, to feel your kicks and flips, and to finally see you!! You were a very busy boy during your ultrasound.  We got to see you from head to toes! After about 15 minutes, the technician asked if we wanted to know if you were a girl or a boy, and well, you did a darn good job of hiding that little pee pee of yours, cause there was no indication of you being a boy.  I was really happy to think we were having a little girl, but after finding out that you were really a boy, Noah, Mommy was so heartbroken that Jacoby and Colton wouldn’t get to play with their little brother.  I absolutely love my little boys and I’m sad that I didn’t know you as my baby boy until you were born. 

So, Daddy and I went home and revealed our little secret- we were having a baby (Girl).  Our families were so excited- another baby!  Aunt Lulu and I were so happy to be having our babies so close together.  Mommy had a rough 18 months before you came to be- your Great Grandma Ruby had died in September of 2011.  She had been fighting a long battle, but we did not expect her to leave us so soon.  And while I found peace that Gramma was no longer suffering here, she was one of the hardest losses to take because she and I were so very close.  Then, In March 2012, just 3 days after your brother Jacoby’s 4th birthday, my mommy was taken from us~ so sudden, so tragic, and so heartbreaking and painful.  So Noah, you were my little ray of sunshine.  After losing so much, Mommy was hopeful, overjoyed, excited, and so in love with you from the very beginning.  I was so excited for your brothers to be big brothers.  Colton had no idea what was going on!  Jacoby loved the idea of having a baby, and Daddy, wise and loving, was excited too, yet cautious, as he  has so much belief in the spirit of the Universe and Mother Earth. Daddy is a tiny bit of a skeptical realist- very patient and understanding; he understood that you should never accept anything as “yours” until it is truly given to you- and then at that- it could be taken at any time.  I believe this comes from Daddy having lost the big brother that his Mama had before he was born.  And Daddy learned to respect the life in the womb, and to not expect it for certain. 

Your Grammy screamed on the phone when we told her you were a girl.  All of her grandbabies are boys; your cousins Elmer and Isak are 6, and your brothers Jacoby 4 and Colton 2.  Everyone in the family was just so excited to have a baby on the way.

If you’re not a Mommy , then I don’t think anyone could possibly understand everything that goes into growing a baby in your belly.  You encompassed me Noah- we were together as one for almost 9 months.  Almost all of my effort, time, love, caring, nurturing, and joy went into growing you.  I cannot explain to you how Mommy felt to have you boys growing inside.  They don’t nearly do justice, but the words that come to mind: feminine, woman, whole, complete…. I don’t know how any woman could ever feel their self worth until they’ve grown a baby inside.  I know that for me there has never been a time in my life that I’ve ever felt more purpose, more love, more fulfilled, whole, or complete, than growing my sweet baby boys.

 

February 9th, 2013

My sweet Noah,

I miss you so much my sweet boy, my heart aches for you; I wish so much just to hold you in my arms again….

As Mommy was telling you before, you made me feel so full of love, so complete.  The next few months seemed to fly right by- Halloween fun, Thanksgiving turkey time; Christmas came and went.  I found so much joy in watching my body change to get ready for you- my big round bellow, glowing round face, chubby fingers.  All of our dr. appointments were perfectly normal.  After Christmas came and was gone, Daddy and I shifted our attention to preparing for your arrival.  Mommy had bought a whole load of pink and purple clothes and things for you.  Aunt Joyce sent super cute cupcake shoes, Grammie bought you loads of baby girl clothes and shoes and ribbons for your hair.  Nana bought you a beautiful purple sign for your nursery area- “You are My Sunshine…” I’m sure you know the words, my love.  Daddy and Mommy had talks about what you would look like and what we should name you.  We decided it wasn’t proper to name you until we saw you, but you were to be Elizabeth “Lizzy” May if you had red hair, and Delaney Elizabeth if you had dark hair.  We just left naming you at that.  So, everything was perfect.  We were healthy and boring, as the doctors always said.  A month ago today was the last time I heard your beautiful heart beat.  We went in to our regular dr. appointment- you had hiccups just before we saw the dr., but just as always she found you- nice and strong.  I suspected you were head down starting to prepare for arrival.  Dr. Zachos seemd to think so too, but if she couldn’t tell for sure by our visit on the 23rd, she was going to do an ultrasound to check.  I was having a little trouble gaining weight the last few weeks- I was right at 150lb, only having gained 20lb.  The dr. told me to add full fats to my diet and she had no worries at all.  My next dr. appointment was suppose to be January 17th with the head OB dr to discuss how mommy was going to prevent any more babies from coming to be after your birth- Mommy never wanted to do anything permanent, but was open for discussion.  Anyway,  I called to cancel that appointment and we would go see Dr. Zachos the next Wed. January 23rd instead.  Never in a million years would I ever imagine that we wouldn’t be going to that appointment. 

Friday January 18th was the last day we spent together.  It was just a normal day- Joey came in the morning and spent the day with us.  We played in the snow that day, and I took pictures of all of us, and of the beautiful blue jays in the trees.  I remember feeling you move throughout the day.  I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, but that was very normal for me.  I remember drinking the heavy cream that I liked so much, and we danced with Daddy and your brothers to the Beastie Boys CD before going to bed.  I would never have thought that those pictures of us dancing would be the last pictures I would have with you inside of me.  We slept downstairs with Colton that night as we had done so many times in the last nine months.  The playroom had become my favorite room- I loved to lay down on the futon and feel your kicks and flips.  Mommy loved you so much.  Mommy did everything she could to protect us and keep us safe and warm and healthy.  But that was three weeks ago from last night.  Those were my best times and my happiest days and I had no idea that I would wake up the next day and my life would be forever changed.  You lived Noah.  You lived with me every day from late May until January 18th, 2013.  You are loved so incredibly much.  Mommy had so many hopes and dreams for you as does every Mommy who grows a baby, and I will hold onto those hopes and dreams and all of your memories for the rest of my days.  Thank you, Noah William Robichaud, for being My Little Sunshine.   You were my light, my hope, and my love through some very difficult days.  I will spend the rest of my life honoring you as my 3rd child, my surprise baby boy, my sweet angel, Noah.  I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. XoXo, Love, Mommy.

You and Colton and I went to sleep on Friday January 18th just like every other night.  I didn’t sleep very well, but I didn’t sleep well very often- my belly was too big and I had to go potty too often.  You were drumming me to sleep just like you did most nights.  I remember waking up to potty; sometimes you would give me a nudge, and sometimes not.  I woke up too hot and didn’t notice if you were awake.  Then I woke up after having a horrible dream- I distinctly remember thinking that this was the most horrific dream that I’d ever had.  It was so vivid- Daddy was driving and I was in the passenger seat.  We were not in a safe place.  Daddy was driving in a panic to find a safe place for us.  We came across a bridge and turned left and were stopped by a wall and barricade.  And as Daddy scrambled to get us out of there, we were shot in the head by a man out Daddy’s window~ him first, then me.  I felt his blood drip onto my face and woke up in a panic.  I fully expected you to wake from the adrenaline rush, but I didn’t feel you.  I wonder if that is when you left us.  At the time I didn’t think anything of it and went back to sleep.

At breakfast on Saturday I did not feel your drum beats.  I assumed you were sleeping.  I felt some little bumps here and there, but mostly when I was having the Braxton Hicks contractions.  I thought I felt some kicks at 11, so we all went to the mall for just a bit.  The boys played and we at pizza for lunch.  I fully expected to feel your kicks after lunch, but they didn’t come.  I tried to call my dr. but they were closed.  We got home by one and I lay on my bedroom floor.  I tried to poke and prod and wake you to feel those kicks, and I got nothing.  I called my dr. and was connected though to the nurse at Exeter Hospital.  I told her what was going on and she paged the on call doctor.  He called me back right away.  I tild him again what was going on- he told me to drink some juice and lay down- I said no- I’ve done all that and I want to come in.  He said ok- come down, we’ll do an NST and make sure everything is ok.  Colton was asleep and Jacoby was playing.  I told Daddy that the dr. wanted me to come down.  As Jacoby play I told him I just had to go to the dr.  At the door Daddy asked if he needed to come with me.  With tears in my eyes I quickly turned and said no.  I was so scared.  I still had hope, but I was absolutely terrified.  Deep down in a place beyond hope’s reach, I knew that you were gone.  I just wasn’t going to give up on the hope that you were still with me. 

I called Ashley to set up care for the boys.  I called Nana because I knew she would tell me not to worry, baby’s sleeping, it’ll all be ok.  I sang You are My Sunshine, and Baby Mine, from Dumbo.  I got a message from Daddy that said don’t worry, you and baby will be fine, and he loves us. 

I got to the hospital and finally into the Family Birth Center.  A cheerful nurse April was there with me from the beginning.  She took me into a little room to hook me up to a fetal monitor.  She didn’t find you right away but explained that it could be your position or something.  She kept trying for a few minutes and then wanted to get the dr.  When she left, another nurse came to be with me.  I started to feel dizzy, faint, panicked.  They brought me some water.  The dr. came in with the ultrasound machine.  I lay back and closed my eyes.  I was terrified- I couldn’t look at them- I didn’t want to see their faces.  I refused to look at the monitor.  After several minutes the dr. stopped and held my hand and told me that you, my baby, was gone. 

I was in shock.  Mommies and Daddies aren’t suppose to lose their babies, how could this be, what happened?! I shrieked and started sobbing.  She told me that because the baby seemed to go so fast, and looked healthy and well developed, that something likely happened with the cord.  Everything else was a horrifying blur.  I called Daddy first and all I could mutter between cries, is “she’s gone.”  I was lost- I lost my baby and I had to call her Daddy to tell him she was gone…. He was taking the kids to Ashley and would be right down.  I called Grandpa Red, Nana, and Aunt Lulu.  I texted a few people, but don’t remember much other than sitting in that cold room feeling completely empty and lost.  The nurses came to me and hugged me and made sure I didn’t need anything. 

Another dr. came in; the dr. I had spoke to on the phone.  He had the most awful things to tell me next- how I would have to go through labor and delivery- I could stay and do it now, go home and come tomorrow, wait for it to occur naturally….What? I shouldn’t be here- I shouldn’t be having to deal with these horrific questions.  Would I like an autopsy?  An amniocentesis? NO! I want my baby alive- kicking, screaming, breathing.  This is too much.  I can’t do it.  How do I do this?  I want my boys?  Where is Daddy?

A few minutes later Daddy came in.  All I know is the love and warmth that surrounded me in his hug.  I cried until I had more tears.  I tried to tell him what the dr. said about what was to happen next…it was all a blur.

The horrible dr. came back in.  He directed his speech to Daddy.  He told Daddy that we don’t just do c-sections for this…do you want an autopsy…tissue samples…amniocentesis.  We need to do it now if you do- don’t want to wake the other dr. at 3am to do it. 

 

February 14th, 2013

My little sunshine,

Before I go on to tell of your birthday, I want to celebrate my love for you and tell you Happy 1st Valentine’s Day.  I know you are with me in spirit today, but it’s hard not to have you with me here.  Mommy’s shouldn’t have to send Valentine’s to their little angels in Heaven, but it’s all part of life’s journey.  Jacoby was my Easter baby, born on Easter Sunday- my little Easter Bunny Boy.  Colton was my Christmas baby, born just two weeks before Christmas on his due date.  Your due date was February 24th and I always wondered if you would be my little Valentine Baby.  Now I know it’s true- you took a piece of my heart with you so that you could feel my love always.  I think of you a thousand times a day and wonder if you would still be in my belly.  What would things be like in my Noah were still here?  But then I find your spirit in the little games of peek a boo that you play.  Like when 9 days after you were born- I had been wanting to see a cardinal in the snow covered branches outside…and there you were, my baby red bird, so bright and beautiful.  My heart lifted a little that day.  And the day that Daddy and I brought home your Earthly remains in your beautiful blue urn- a bald eagle flew right over our car, less than a mile from home.  I had never seen one in the four years we’ve been here.  I believe with all my heart that was you letting Mommy and Daddy know that you are truly home- your spirit is free flying high.  And that gave Mommy peace.  And every time I find your spirit I feel that big hole in my heart fill with your spirit and the love that you and Mommy share.  Mommy loves you Noah.  This my love, is the story of the day you were born:

 

February 15th, 2013

So, on Saturday January 19th Daddy and I had to sort through what we were going to do next.  On top of the devastation of losing you, we had to choose if we wanted tests done, how to proceed through labor and delivery, if we wanted to spend time with you, if we wanted your photos taken, and how did Daddy and I want to take care of you- of our sweet baby’s body.  It was incredibly overwhelming.  I felt very rushed.  Daddy and I both felt that our doctor was incredibly insensitive- he was much more concerned with the medical procedures, was pushy for answers, and had an incredibly horrible bedside manner; little to no empathy. 

While it seemed absolutely terrible to have to go through labor and delivery, c section was something that we were more or less told, was not an option.  I later felt very different about asking about a c section.  I also read a story from someone else who’s dr. had said something that I found very profound…your baby deserves to be delivered.  And that dr. couldn’t have been more right. 

We chose for Mommy to take some medicine to get her body ready for having you.  In the meantime, we also chose to have bloodwork ran on Mommy to see if something would indicate why you were no longer with us.  We also chose to have an amniocentesis just in case it may be a genetic deficit that caused you to leave us.  That was horrible, painful, and the dr. could not get the sample.  There was no way I was going to let them try again.  They drew what seemed like all of my blood, and then the dr. came in to administer the medication to get things moving.  We told them we wanted to go home and that we would come in the morning to proceed with labor and delivery.  Mommy and daddy wanted to go home and be together, and be with your brothers; most importantly, we wanted to be at home with you one more night.  Daddy dropped me off at home and went to get Jacoby and Colton.  I went upstairs and took a bath.  I felt numb and exhausted.  Grandpa Red and Nana called- they wanted to fly in and be with us.  I told them that Daddy and I needed to get through this together as a family- to love and remember and grieve for you, and it would be nice to see them in a  few weeks.  Friends and family sent loving, supportive messages.  I heard Daddy’s mom come in- she was going to help with Jacoby and Colton while Daddy and I were in the hospital.  I stayed in the tub.  I knew that Grammy would be such a comfort- she too had lost her baby, her first baby, Daddy’s older brother Jason, just four days before his due date.  I just couldn’t deal with that right now.  I just wanted to be alone with you.  When my bath was done I dressed in my pajamas and climbed into bed.  I wanted to sleep before the boys got home.  I was so exhausted.  But sleep would not come.  I saw the crib across the room, and your sunshine sign.  I cried until there were no tears left.  Almost as soon as I fell asleep, your brothers came home and wanted to be with me.  I held them and loved them and kissed them and cried.  I went back upstairs to rest and I just couldn’t sleep.  I found a show on TV and watched it until my eyes closed.  I woke up a couple of hours later with contractions coming every five minutes.  We were told to go back to the hospital if they were any more than five per hour.  I threw some pajamas in my bag.  I went through and picked out a sweet little newborn outfit that was pink with little white elephants.  It was a matching shirt, pants and onesie.  I also brought the purple cocoon and matching hat that I had knitted for you.  Daddy packed some things and drove us to the hospital.  We didn’t talk.  When we got to the hospital we went back up to the family birth center.  They knew who we were and took us to a room down a darkened hallway.  We were the only ones on that side of the birth center.  The nurse asked me what I wanted and I told her I wanted some medicine to sleep.  It was about mid night and I couldn’t sleep and I knew I had a long journey ahead.  I kept my cozy slippers on, and my pjs too…I didn’t want that hospital gown.  I sat down on the guest bed next to Daddy.  The nurse came in to place my IV.  She seemed confident to get it in my right arm.  I held tight to Daddy.  Huge pinch and she blew it.  She went for the other arm- blew it.  Back to the first arm- blew it a third time.  I had tears and told her to stop.  Was it not bad enough that I was here to deliver my baby, only to not bring her home, but I had a horrible dr and an incompetent nurse?  The next nurse took her time and finally got the line in.  I was upset and my body was filled with anxiety and shock.  As the nurse helped me into bed, I felt like I was freezing and my legs would not stop shaking.  She brought me a pile of warm blankets and administered the sleeping medicine.  I told Daddy that it was working almost right away.  He came over and kissed me and told me to sleep.  He said he couldn’t sleep, that he would try to watch TV but might have to walk.  He planned to leave by 5am to check in at home and come back.  The first sleep I had lasted a few hours.  The contractions continued slow and steady and non painful.  The medication wore off and they gave me some more.  I slept until about 8am.  The nurse came in and checked me- I was fully effaced and dilated to one cm- we had a long way to go.  The dr. came in to go over the day’s plan.  I told him I wanted the epidural before the pitocin- I knew the unnatural, overwhelming pain caused by pitocin induced contractions from Jacoby’s birth.  The anesthesiologist came in after awhile.  She was wonderful.  She had a beautiful smile.  She had a calming nature about her.  She came over and said hi and held my hand and told me how sorry she was that I had lost you.  She told me that usually the pain of active labor contractions was a good enough distractor to place the epidural, but with my case she wanted to give me a medication that would take away any anxiety or pain.  She had the nurse position me with my feet over the bed.  The nurse gave me the medication in my IV and I felt my body just let go- I fell forward into my nurse’s arms and supported myself against her.  I felt northing.  The epidural was placed and I had no idea other than that they taped my whole back up to keep the line in place.  The lower half of my body was numb right away.  I was so cold and shaky right away so after helping me in bed, the nurse brought more warm blankets.  Daddy had gone and come back again; I was still exhausted and wanted to sleep. 

 

6:49pm February 17th, 2013

Hi little love.  It’s been four weeks to the minute since you were born.  Sometimes I feel like if I try hard enough and breathe deep enough, I can still smell my sweet newborn baby.  I close my eyes and I see your tiny feet- so soft, so perfect.  I feel my lips on your little nose- cute as a button, just like your big brothers’.  I dream of you everyday Noah- in the hours of the moon and of the sun. I close my eyes and there you are- in my arms, close to my heart, right where you belong, right where you will stay for all of my days. 

 

As I was so emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted, I was in and out of sleep all day.  I woke hungry several times.  At one point I remember asking a nurse if I could eat something, but I was only allowed to have clear fluids.  I awoke near lunch time to find a tray near my bed and not having remembered what the nurse said, I devoured everything- the jello, toast, broth, tea, and water.  I didn’t think much about what was to come.  I didn’t think much at all- I was completely emotionally numb.  I tried to watch the football games but the tv was all the way across the room and I couldn’t get my eyes to focus.  Daddy left for awhile and Grammy came to stay with me.  The shades were drawn in the room, and the mid afternoon felt like night.  I felt empty, cold, and alone.  The nursing team did not know how to handle us.  They came in with smiling faces, laughing at times, and bubbly.  Did someone forget to tell them that I don’t get to take my dead baby home with me- this room was not meant for laughter and smiles today.  Looking back now I wish that they could have recognized that they needed to match my tone- something that while I was working in the veterinary field, I had learned was equally as important as empathy.  They didn’t know what to say- many of them tried to relate someone or something to me but that hurt more- they didn’t understand- they’d never been in my shoes.  I just need a hug, an “I’m here for you,” a shoulder to cry on.  The final nurse before you were born was Katie.  She got it.  She was warm and sensitive, soft spoken and kind.  She checked me at 4pm and I was dilated to 4cm.  I told her that if you were like your brothers, you’d be here in the next couple of hours.  The dr. came in to check on me.  I did not have much to say- I wanted him to leave.  He asked if we had a name picked out for our baby- I said yes, her name is Delaney.  He wrote the name on the board above our nurse’s name.  He asked if Daddy and I had talked about your aftercare and Katie interjected- “we will get there when the time comes.” The dr. seemed rushed or anxious- like he wanted this to be over with.  How did he think I felt. 

The afternoon turned into evening.  I drank as much water and juice as I was allowed.  During the five o’clock hour I could feel the epidural wearing off.  The contractions came hard and fast.  I could feel the pressure, but not too much pain.  I couldn’t get back to sleep.  I realized how close together the contractions were; they were right on top of each other. I began to worry a little- about the pain, about the birth, about what the delivery would be like, how would I handle it all?  What would it be like to not hear you cry?  to hold my lifeless baby?

I rang the nurse that my epidural was wearing off.  She came and checked me again- 7cm.  I knew I’d have you within the hour, just as your brothers had come so fast.  She told me that I could push the button and the medication would be administered.  She helped me get on my right side to get more comfortable.  Grammy had left.  The nurse asked if we wanted a photographer from Now I Lay me Down to Sleep to come in.  I knew that I would forever regret it if we didn’t.  She started talking about what Daddy and I wanted to do to take care of your body.  Burying you was not even a thought.  I don’t want to stay in New Hampshire forever, and I was certainly  leaving no baby of mine behind.  I remember thinking that I wanted you cremated and I wanted you home with me, with Daddy, with your brothers- home with your family where you belong.  She told me that you could be cremated and that they could sprinkle your ashes off the Isle of Shoals- not a chance.  I told her what I wanted and she replied that we could sign you over to the hospital and that we could have your ashes back and the Cremation Society of New Hampshire would cover the costs.  Good enough.  I wanted you home with us and you hadn’t even been born yet.  The nurse left and Daddy came back.  I told him that the photographer was coming, that you would be cremated and that we would have your ashes back, and that you would be born soon.  He lay down on the guest bed and slept for awhile.

Not much time passed, and just as with your bothers, I could feel you coming.  Again, I called the nurse.  She came right away and checked me.  I was at a 10 and she could feel your head.  A second nurse came in-Jenn, who was our nurse with April from Saturday.  She was there to tend just to you. The dr. readied his tray, and Katie came around to my left side.  I told Daddy that you were coming and he came up next to my head, next to Katie.  Everything happened so fast.  I didn’t even push- you just came right out.  I could tell the dr. had you.  Daddy came to me right away.  He grabbed my head in his arms and I buried myself into him and cried.  I tried to see you but he held me to his chest tight.  He was protecting me.  He didn’t want me to see you just yet.  It was 6:49pm.  I could hear the dr. say that your cord had been wrapped very tightly around your neck. I guessed it was better to know that than not knowing what happened.  Daddy was overcome with the insensitivity of the dr. and needed to take a walk.  The nurse whispered- it’s a boy, and she whisked you away for your bath and your photos.  I have never in my whole life felt so alone.  I didn’t hear my baby cry.  I didn’t get to hold my baby yet.  You were a boy?  It was so surreal.  I must have been sitting up with a blank stare.  The dr. asked me if I wanted to see the placenta…are you kidding me?  You can’t come up with anything else to say?  May be something sympathetic- show a little compassion.  I wished I was somewhere else, anywhere else.  The dr. reassured me that an autopsy was no longer necessary.  “Geeze- ass, really?” I thought.  I don’t remember saying anything back.  He left- thank goodness.  I asked my nurse for food- I was starving.  I hadn’t eaten hardly a thing since Saturday afternoon.  I think I ordered a roast dinner, beef broth, milk, and a coke.  I drank the coke and beef broth.  Daddy came back in the room and came up to hug me and told me sorry for leaving- he had to either walk out or knock the dr. out.  Out of nowhere I – threw up- everywhere.  One of the nurses came and cleaned me up, helped me get into some clean underclothes, and back into some nice warm, clean sheets.  I remember Daddy coming back over- I whispered- did you her say “it’s a boy?” He did.  I was upset that I didn’t have anything for you- I only brought pink things.  I asked if Daddy had seen you, and he had.  He knew I tried to look at you when you came out, but he told me how heartbreaking it was to see you come out without a sound; lifeless, bluish, and with your cord wrapped. 

We held each other.  I sobbed.  A few minutes went by and the nurses asked if we were ready for you.  You were bundled up in a yellow hand-knit blanket and had a tiny blue hat.  She placed you into my arms, and there lay the most beautiful little angel I’ve ever laid eyes on.  I was surprised how big you were- 5lb 11oz, 19 inches long.  You had the tiniest, most perfect little nose- I leaned down and kissed it- so soft, so warm.  I took your tiny little hand and wrapped it around my finger.

In the same insensitive fashion that was displayed throughout our stay, the nurse shoved in between Daddy and I to take my blood pressure cuff off.  Finally she left.

Daddy came around and we looked you all over.  It just wasn’t fair.  I did everything I could for you.  We were healthy.  You were perfect.  And you were gone….I unwrapped your little feet and held them, so warm, in my hand.  I kissed your toes.  Daddy checked to make sure you were really a boy.  That was something to smile about- 3 boys!  How fund would it be to have three boys?!  “We have to name him, you know.” I whispered to Daddy.  Daddy mumbled through a few names that we had liked before, but when Daddy said Noah, I know that is who you were meant to be.  Your middle name was to be either Thomas or William.  I liked the way Noah William sounded.  William was my Grandpa LeRoy’s middle name.  Daddy went over to the board and erased the name Delaney and put your name on the board.  I snuggled you right up to me in the bed.  Daddy brought over the purple hat that I had knitted.  We took off your blue hat and there was soft baby red hair, just like Jacoby had.  We tucked the little purple hat on you and just lay there and held you.  We lay there and we loved you and we kissed you.  I smelled the sweetness of my newborn baby.  It was really heartbreaking to see you so big, so perfect, and so beautiful.  We were so close Noah- at 35 weeks we could have brought you home.  I knew that no time with you was ever going to be enough.  I wrapped you in my arms with all my love.  The nurse came in awhile later.  She reassured me that we could see you whenever we wanted to.  I cried when she took you from me.  I wanted to be alone; I wanted to be with Daddy.  I wanted my baby- alive and screaming.  I was exhausted and distraught. 

Time, after you were taken from my arms, was a blur.  I fell in and out of sleep.  Grammy and Jacoby came and brought flowers.  Jacoby brought me my Penelope stuffed hippo and a new hot pink hippo pillow pet.  He also had a little hippo that he brought for you.  I scooped him up into the bed with me and hugged him tight.  It felt so good to rest in his little arms and hear all of the wonderful things he had to say.  You have a very loving, compassionate, and kind big brother.  Colton was already sleeping at home with Grampy.  I don’t remember things so well after that.  I think Daddy took Jacoby home and Grammy stayed awhile.  The nurse came in.  I wanted to go to the bathroom and take a shower.  The nurse took all the tape off my back and disconnected my IV from the line.  She helped me into the shower, brought fresh towels, underclothes, pads, and all the rest of the after labor supplies.  She brought a shower seat in for me.  I must have stayed in there for an hour.  I cried until I had no more tears.  I thought of you- so big, so perfect, so close to coming home with us.  I thought how awesome it was for you to be a baby boy and how much fun it would be to have three boys to play with at home.  I washed my body.  I hated my body.  My belly was well on its way to becoming flat- so small and devoid of life- missing you.  I sat and let the water warm me until the nurse came.  She helped me get dressed back into my own pajamas and into bed.  I’m pretty sure I went right to sleep.  In the early hours of the morning, I felt odd and dizzy.  The nurse said my BP was too low and she gave me some meds to stabilize.  I felt better and went back to sleep. 

When I woke again, the dreadful morning was upon us.  I knew this would be the last day for me to hold you; to say goodbye.  Daddy was already awake and asked if I wanted anything.  I ordered breakfast and took another shower. 

The shower felt good.  I however, was anxious and dreading our goodbye.  I felt sick to my stomach and numb.  After the shower breakfast arrived.  As I finished,  a social worker came in quickly to go over the programs and resources that are available in our area for parents who have had stillborn babies.  The nurse asked if we were ready to see you.  We told her yes, as long as everything else was done and we could then be discharged after our goodbyes.

The nurse wheeled you into the room in one of the hospital bassinets.  I got up and walked over to you.  Your beautiful body was starting to look bruised and your lips were bright red- so fragile.    Mommy scooped you up and snuggled you right close.  I kissed your precious nose- so cold today.  I just sat and cried and rocked you and held you close to my heart.  After awhile Daddy wanted to have some special time with you.  He took you over to the big window and opened the shade.  He held you up on his knee and let the sunshine on you.  He showed you the trees, the snow, and the city.  He whispered words of love to you and handed you back to me.  He asked if I wanted some alone time with you, but I didn’t.  I had nine wonderful months alone with you.  Daddy decided to go out for a minute anyway.  I kissed you and hugged you and held you tight.  I rocked you and I cried.  Somehow I gathered enough composure to sing to you one last time:

You are my sunshine,

My only sunshine,

You make me happy,

When skies are gray,

You’ll never know dear,

How much I love you,

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Daddy came back into the room just as I was singing the end of our song.  I broke down.  I felt so empty, so full of sadness and sorrow…so lost.  Daddy sat next to me.  We snuggled you between us, and loved and rocked you until the nurse came.  Daddy gave you a photo of he and I, so you will know us when we see you again.  He gave you a photo of your brothers, so they will be with you always and you will watch over them.  He tucked in the little hippo from Jacoby.  I bundled you up in your blankie and placed you back in the bassinet.  I tucked your nightie up under your chin and kissed your tiny precious nose once more.  I whispered, “Mommy loves you Noah,” and the nurse wheeled you away. “Goodbye my sweet boy, I love you.”

I sat and cried until I could cry no more.  I picked up my things.  Daddy and I went through your memory box from the hospital.  Two days before I was having a baby, instead I was leaving with a broken heart, empty arms, and a box full of things to remember you by.  We asked the nurse to take another set of footprints- she made them side by side on a Birth Certificate.  Perfect footprints, perfect angel- in my heart always.

As Daddy and I walked out, he took the placard off our door- a teardrop on a leaf….We turned to walk out and the nurse called Daddy back- she handed him a stack of photos and said we might like to have them.  They weren’t the ones the photographer took, but it was something for now. 

Walking out of the hospital felt terrible.  I felt sick and weak.  As we stepped outside the brightness of the sun was blinding. 

Looking back, my love, my memories of you and our time together help to fill the hole in my heart with peace and love.  I have been able to accept that you were simply taken from us too soon- there is no guilt or blame.  I still hurt.  It’s been a month.  Your due date is Sunday, in two days.  I want to celebrate our due date with a remembrance tattoo for you…your name, your footprints inside of a sunshine, and three forget me not flowers for my third baby, blue, for my boy, my sweet baby boy, Noah William Robichaud. 

At this time, nothing makes me so happy, so proud, as to share your story.  I do it for me because it helps me to heal to share the story of my angel baby.  Born still but STILL born.  I do it for you , to carry your legacy.  And in sharing our story I hope that it makes a difference to somebody- maybe a nurse or a dr. at the hospital, maybe a mom or dad who have lost their baby too; maybe one day your brothers who will read this and understand why they could hear me cry at night, or on Christmas, or your birthday….I’ve been inspired Noah.  Your name means comfort.  Ironically, you were my comfort, my little sunshine through a tremendous period of grief in my life.  And I hope that your story will allow some comfort for others- maybe they will break their silence too.  You’ve given Mommy the strength to help others.  I’ll remember our pregnancy as the time I knitted like crazy.  I’m going to take that with me and in your name will share my knittings with the stillborn community.  I didn’t get to take your blanket home with me- I wanted you to have it, but I’d wished I had one too.    I’m going to make little cocoons and hats and blankies for  your new angel friends, and a blankie for their mommies and daddies too.  Thank you Noah for giving Mommy the strength to want to do something for others.  You are and will always be my sweet angel baby boy and I will love you from here, all my days, until we are in each other’s arms again.  I love you my little sunshine.

 

 

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Meet Noah

Meet Noah

Noah William Robichaud was stillborn January 20th, 2013. He is my third baby, my third boy. I love and miss him more than words could ever express. I am starting this blog to share his legacy, inspire others to share their stories, and to provide comfort and strength to the families of the pregnancy and infant loss community. Noah has left behind his father, Joshua, and I; his brothers Jacoby and Colton, his cats Harley and Linus, his fish Dragon and Frosting, his puppy Yoshi, and Russian Tortoise Lucy, as well as many family members and friends.

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