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Noah Alexander

 

Noah Alexander, ultrasound picture of a baby with anencephaly

Hello everyone. I am new here. To start off my story, I am pregnant, but it is much more than that. I choose to carry my little baby boy full term, knowing he will die. I am 23 years old, this is my first child. I never thought I would be here, but here I am to share my story with you.

Currently we are 5 months and 3 weeks and 1 day pregnant, we are in fact expecting a baby boy, and we found that out on January 8th 2008. We named him Noah Alexander, his heart beat is 139, and he's just a very active little baby, loves to kick and move allot.

My boyfriend Shannon and I went for the ultrasound on January 8th, thatís where we found out, that he was a boy, and his heart beat is 139. Ultrasound lasted about 10-15 minutes; lady went around the screen pointing thing out, heart, kidneys, little hands, feet, spine, and little belly. Of course I had to drink a ton of water that day, and I had to go pee so badly (Not that you want to imagine me peeing or anything). I asked if it is possible for us to get some pictures, and the lady said she would get another technician to do that for us. A moment later another lady came in, who put more gel on my belly, and moved that ultrasound thing around pressing on my bladder and stuff. In 5 minutes, I was told to go and empty my bladder, as I got up I asked for the ultrasound pictures, and was told that their printer is not working. "OK?..." I thought, "Well is my baby ok?" To which the lady replied: "Well, your doctor will call you and let you know, and she can also give you pictures" HmmhhÖ now I got to worry, I went to the bathroom, and Shannon was still sitting in the Ultrasound room. The lady came back, and quickly ripped off the printed pictures from the ultrasound (printer is broken huh? ....). When I came back, I was told to get dressed, and we're done we could check out. On my way to the dressing room, I felt worried; I asked Shannon if that's normal for them to tell me, that my doctor will call me. He said it is normal. The worry feeling kept going back and forth.

On the drive home I still had that worry feeling, but Shannon cheered me up, we went to BabiesRus to buy some baby clothes. We bought almost 600$ worth of stuff, cute clothes, little shoes, a diaper bag, binkies, and a stroller with a car seat, I didn't care how much I spent, I wanted to buy my little baby boy everything the best!!!

We went home, excited; I looked at my phone and saw that I had a voice mail. It was from my doctor, she asked if I could come to see her at her office the following day at 10:00 am. I was a little worried, but again I was told by my friends, and family that it is a normal procedure.

It was the morning of January 9th, 10 am. I went into the facility Rosewood Family Center, and waited for my doctor in the room. When the doctor came, my heart ached, she said "Hi Natalia, how are you?" I replied "Ok, I guess, Is my baby ok?" then she said "Well...(long pause) no, he's not, if you could come to a different room with me, I could show and point thing out over the projector with your ultrasound pictures". I had that numb feeling that went through my whole body, then it felt like goose bumps, I remember walking to another room, not knowing what to think, is it a down syndrome? What is it? Why me? What did I do? What am I going to do? The next moment we were in the room, tears started to appear in my eyes, I knew I cant expect nothing good. She started pointing things out on the ultrasound pictures, "Well, it looks like your baby has anencephaly." I thought: "What the hell is anencephaly?"

(Anencephaly is a cephalic disorder that results from a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th day of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain, the largest part of the brain consisting mainly of the cerebral hemispheres (which include the isocortex, which is responsible for higher level cognition, i.e., thinking). The remaining brain tissue is often exposed - not covered by bone or skin.)

She continued "when you look here (pointing on the picture) the babies spine, that's closer to the neck is a little out of line, and the only facial feature your baby has is a bottom jaw. This condition is very rear. You might think, how is it possible? I know you said you can feel that baby move inside and plus the baby has a heart beat, well it looks to me, that the baby's brain stem is there, so baby can do all that."

My baby has no head? No brain? Oh my God!!! I screamed inside my mind

I could barely speak to that doctor. I started crying, I couldn't help it, I tried to stop, and stay strong, but how could you do that?
Doctor continued "I just delivered a baby with that condition, and it was very scary, it didn't look good."
I replied "What am I supposed to do?"
She said "I would recommend partial abortion."
I don't remember what I said to her, all I remember is walking down that stupid hall towards the exit all by myself, crying my eyes out, yet feeling ashamed if other people saw me crying.

My baby, my little baby, my boy, my little angel, how could they, what did I do, why?

They didn't even make sure I have some one with me to drive me home. When you go to a dentist to get your wisdom teeth removed, doctors always make sure you're not driving by yourself. I got outside of this horrible hospital, and called my boyfriend Shannon. I remember crying, I could barely talk, I yelled: "our baby has no head!!!!, he has no head!!!" I told him, that I had to get off the phone, I couldn't talk anymore!!! The feeling I felt, I wanted to die, I wanted to drive off the bridge, I wanted to go and but packs and packs of cigarettes and alcohol, and drink away and do something stupid.

Natalia, pregnant with Noah who has anencephaly

Instead I called my mom, crying and yelling I told her what was going on. I remember her asking me where I was. I was driving, I was driving somewhere I didn't know where exactly I was. I could barely see the road, there were too many tears. I remember her saying, that she's on her way to my house (She lives in Tigard and we live in Clackamas), a moment later Shannon called, his voice, I remember his voice it was so shaky he cried. "Where are you? I'm coming home! What did they tell you?" After that I don't really remember what I said, the next thing I remember is being at home, walking from room to room. Seeing the baby stuff we bought the day before, what a great day yesterday was. Why couldnít it just be yesterday forever?. Everywhere I looked I saw baby things. My heart was breaking.

As I sat down, I felt the baby kick allot. I knew he could sense something is wrong!!! I didn't want him to kick, because with every kick, I thought about that #### doctor, and how much I hated her, I needed to blame someone, and I wanted to blame her!!!!!

I got up, and started cleaning, when Shannon got home I was washing dishes, he came up to me, his face soaked with tears, he hugged me, but it was so hard to make myself hug him back. I didn't want him to hurt, I didn't want to see him like that, I felt it was all my fault. We held on to each other not for long.

When my mom came, she told me to call that doctor back, and ask her for a referral paper, so we could go for a second opinion ultrasound. I had my mom talk to her, doctor said "Iím 100% sure, that is anencephaly. I had 2 doctors confirm on the ultrasound pictures."My mom replied: "I understand you did your best, but we would like a second opinion".

My sister works as a MA (Medical Assistant) in a childrenís hospital somewhere close to hood river, she got me in with a doctor (who doesn't accept the new patients) the same day at 3:20pm. I am so thankful to GOD to have a sister like mine.

We were on our way to hood river, as we drove I prayed to god, my mom kept telling me, that that diagnosis is impossible, it cannot be. I got sick to my stomach, on the way there. We got to McDonalds, to get a bite to eat, we had some spear time to kill. That's where I decided, no matter what the outcome is, I am keeping my baby, no abortions!!!!!

We went into the hospital, it seemed like it took forever to wait for the doctor. I had to hold my pee again, but I couldnít so I just went to the bathroom and peed. It was time for ultrasound. My baby's heart beat jumped from 139 to 154, due to my stress. There was his little feet, little hands, little winkie. WHAT A KICKER. Then the doctor (doing the ultrasound) said, "Well I see the eyes, I see the nose, mouth, I see some parts of scull. It doesn't look normal, but I see more, that the doctor before did." For a split second I thought I saw a baby's head profile, I though I saw everything. MY BABY COULD BE OK!!! My mom and my sister were in the room too with Shannon. My mom and my sister thought that they saw a baby's head too. Ultrasound lasted for about; I donít know 30 minutes, 20 minutes. In my heart I felt like I had hope. The 2nd doctor told us, that she recommends the 3D ultrasound. She (2nd doctor) said that they (ultrasound people) will call me in about a month, to schedule an appointment. Why that long? Doctor #2 said the baby will be more developed by then, and we'll be able to see better.

When we were leaving the clinic, my sister said "Don't go on the internet, and look at the picture, don't."

On the way back, I felt like there was hope, in my heart I hated the 1st doctor; I thought that she's so stupid, so heartless. I hated her.

When I went back to work, I shared my story with my coworkers. I hated when people came up to me happy smiling and asking me "Well? Is it a boy or a girl? Did you see on the ultrasound, head, little hands, little feet?" But when I told people what happened, they said "Sorry....blah blah blah." I hated hearing SORRY!!! I HATE THAT WORD. I thought, why do they tell me that, didn't they hear me say, that there is hope, are they all deaf? All I wanted to hear is that my 1st doctor is a jerk, and I should not believe her.

Everyday that went by seemed too fast. But everyday that went by, I had more and more hope, I barely cried, I smiled more, and hoped for the best.

One day I got a call, from OHSU, I didn't want to answer the phone, so I let Shannon answer it for me. Basically they were calling to schedule a partial abortion, they wanted me to terminate my baby. I told Shannon to tell them never to call me again, I'm keeping my baby, I want them to forget my phone number!!!!

When Sunday came along, I got another call, I was at work then, but I answered the phone anyways. It was Legacy Hospital, they're calling me to schedule an appointment. I asked "What is this appointment for? If you're calling me about abortion, I don't want you to call me anymore!!!" The lady on the other line said "I am not sure what the appointment is supposed to be for, but Iíll write a note, and let them know what you said."

Legacy hospital was calling me to make a 3D ultrasound; I found that out on Monday. I had an appointment scheduled on Friday 01/18/2008 at 10 am. I could not wait. I told everyone, I knew in my heart, that my 1st doctor is so wrong, I just knew. On Wednesday my mom came to see me, and we went out for lunch at Nordstrom Cafť. We talked allot, ate some good food. (It is funny, because every time when Iím craving something, or just want something, I always tell people "It's not me that wants this food, it's the baby! " then Iíll do that sad face, and of course I get the goodies!!!) After we ate, we went upstairs to look at the baby clothes, my mom got me 2 cute little outfits for the baby, and she even had it wrapped so pretty.

Friday came so fast, I woke up early, took a shower, got dressed and ready for the day. it was 8:30 am, and we left the house. My mom, my sister Olga and Justin (Her husband to be) all were driving there to support me. When we all got there I had to fill out the paperwork, the cost of my visit there was 660$. It seemed like the time had stopped. It seemed like we were sitting in that waiting room for hours. Finally the time has come, I was called in, and all my family followed me. We got into the little room, 6 people in there. The ultrasound had began, my little boys heart beat was again 139, he didnít move as much as he did on the 2nd ultrasound. We saw his body, little feet, arms, beating heart, eyes, nose, mouth. I asked the tech, who was doing the ultrasound "Can you see the head? Is my baby ok?" He replied "Well, since youíve asked me that, no, all I see is the eyes, nose, mouth. There is not much foreheadÖÖ blah blah blah".

My body felt numb again, I felt like Iím being sucked in to a table that Iím laying on. Cold and at the same time hot rush ran through out my body. I could not cry no tears came out. I was hoping for him to say "Oh, wait, there it is, yes everything looks great!!!"

No, I did not hear that, he kept talking and looking, but he was sure, it was anencephaly. The doctor came in shortly, he poured more gel on my belly, and had a look for himself. He pressed hard against my belly, made me turn to side, but the result was the same.

Natalia and Shannon

The rest of the doctorís visit was kind of blurry, I donít remember big details. We walked outside, it was so cold, still thereís no tears in my eyes, I couldnít cry, itís like all my emotions froze, I didnít care where I was, what I was going to do. I didnít care about anything. We got into the car, and drove, I donít remember talking. I remember calling work, saying that Iíll still come in the next day for my shift.

I donít really remember the rest of the Friday. Did I cry? I think so. I remember we returned the baby stuff we bought, I kept some, I couldnít part with all of them. I wanted to make a memory box for Noah, everything I could put in it, ultrasound pictures, clothes, his first baby blanket. Returning the stuff to BabiesRus was one of the hardest things. I felt like my feelings and emotions began to unfreeze. That night I could barely sleep, I felt him kick inside of me, he kicked so hard, itís like he was trying to tell me something. I fell asleep saying "I love you Noah, your mommy loves you so much!!! Good night my little angel."

When Saturday came along, I went to work, I was so nervous to go through the front door, I didnít want people to look at me, I wanted to be invisible. They asked, and I told them, I cried on and off, I couldnít help my emotions. There are times I felt scared talking to my baby. What would I say to him? Could he hear me? "Sweet angel, I love you. My little baby boy, I love you so much, can you kick for mommy once again? I love you ever so much, no matter what, you are so beautiful to me, I want to hold you so bad, and tell you how much I love you. Love you, love you, love you, all I wanted and kept saying in my head is love you."

I went on the website, and searched for women who went through the same thing that I am going through, I found a woman describing in her words, how she felt when her daughter was diagnosed with anencephaly:

'What Choice Is This?'
"They say I must make a choice to terminate and have you die now, or carry you and have you die later. What kind of choice is that?
If I really had a choice you would not die at all. I wish you could stay inside of me where it is safe and warm. That would be my choice for you. When I think of making choices for you, I think of piercing your ears or not. What color dress you will wear. What school I will put you in. Not die now or die later. Dying is not a choice. Who would willingly choose death?
If your death must be, it will not be by my actions. I will have no part in it! I love you and could not be the cause of your death.
Some say it would be easier to terminate. Easier for who? Not me and not you! For them, so that they don't have to look at us with my big belly and wait for death to knock on our door. I loved you before you were sick and your being sick hasn't changed that. Hold on, sweet baby, and fight for your life.
I made my choice before you were conceived when I asked God to give me a child. I promised to love and care for you. This I will do for as long as God lets me. A choice is usually something that has two different endings. So why does my choice have only one? Your death, either way. The only choice that I have left is that I will never forget. I'll love you forever, Brittany Ann."
(Brittany Ann was diagnosed with anencephaly on 4/12/94 and was born to Marylynn & Dan Kalevich and five siblings on 6/1/94. She survived for 29 minutes.)

That is exactly how I feel. I was pressured for a partial abortion by my doctor #1; I read later on that a lot of women are pressured for abortion with that condition.
My sweet Angel, my Noah, I would never, I could never!!!! I would never be a part of that. Terminate? And have them take you out of me by pieces? And then tossed in the garbage or for a science project!!! No, you my sweet baby, will be with me, your mommy, I will keep you with me as long as I can, and I will love you forever!!!!

I was supposed to work a double on Saturday, but I just couldnít stay, I kept thinking about what I had to do, I had to prepare not for my little boyís future, but for his funeral. I had to buy a casket not a crib and that made me so angry, and so sad.

Is sad really the word I feel?

I drove home in tears; I knew Shannon is waiting for me. I cried all the way there. When I got home I had an emotional breakdown, I screamed and cried "I donít want my little boy to die, I want to keep him inside of me as long as I can, 10 months, 12 months, 2 years, I donít care, I want him to stay with me. I love him so much!!! My little baby!!! Every kick makes me love him even more!!! God please help me!!!" I held onto Shannon I cried, it seems hours had gone by.

I went and took a shower, and Shannon suggested we go out and do something to get our minds off of it for a moment. We went to the Clackamas Town Center, it was 6pm. Ate dinner, went for a walk. I kept thinking about it. If I do have to prepare for the funeral, how would it be, what kind of service would I want? I want everything ever so beautiful, I want to remember that day for the rest of my life, I want to look at the picture and say "This is the day, when my little angel went to Heaven", just thinking all that kept tears coming.

Now, today is Sunday 01/20/2008. What do I think now? I think I was chosen to be this little angelís mommy. I love him no matter what. And I am sorry that I took life for granted, all the little things donít matter. I remember, before I knew I was having a boy, I kept telling people "I hope itís a girl, Iím so excited, I need to save 3000$ so I could decorate the room the way I wantÖ. Blah blah blah!!!" I cursed myself for saying those things. The most important thing for baby is to be healthy!!!

I donít blame anyone, not the doctors, not life, not God. I am blessed with this gift. This child that is inside me, he made me see so much more. I am not jealous of any other pregnant woman, I love my baby, and I want my baby.

I do believe in God, and I know he will never give us anything bad. When we are sick, and we have to take a bitter medicine, which donít taste good at all, it does make us get better. With my baby, I realized how precious life really is, how much I have taken for granted. I hear people complain about a bad hair day, say that they donít want to go to work because they donít feel like it, little things that donít matter!!!!

Life is what matters, how you live it and how you cherish it!!! Now I know!!!

I will keep you updated. This is a story of a week and a half of my life and Noah's . We have 3 months and 6 days to go. I wish I could just freeze the time and be with him forever.
God bless you all!!!

02/02/2008

I want to say thank you. I have posted a message about my son Noah; I am currently pregnant with my angel. 25 weeks. He is diagnosed with anencephaly. To all women that have replied, I want to say thank you. Thank you so very much!!! Your words have touched my heart. It took me a while to reply. I was in some sort of a shock zone. After I have written that long story of my last week and a half, I felt like all of my feelings have been drained. There have been times when I would be so angry at other people!! I had everyone at my work come up to me and ask me "OH, your belly is getting so big!! Is the baby kicking? Are you excited?" The worst part is the people who are asking the questions like that, are the same people who read my story!!! All I want to reply is "are you crazy?Get out of my face!!!" instead, Iím shocked and silent.

I remember, after I wrote the story, and had people at work read it too, because I got so sick and tired of explaining to every single person the same thing. Some of the responses that I have gotten are just ridiculous!!!

"Oh Natalia I am so sorry. But just think of other people who have it worst. Like on September 11, how many people have died, or in Africa right now, there are so many people who are being abused, so many women who are being raped over and over..."

Now, what am I supposed to answer to that? I'll tell you what I want to answer to that. "All of that is very tragic, and I am very sorry that that is happening. But I am in a tragic situation too. How is that statement supposed to make me feel better?"

Another thing people have told me: "Oh, so you can drink now?!"
Now for that comment I just take a deep breath, and try not to hurt the person that said it. I can drink now? What in the world? If I did everything I could to keep my baby healthy before I found out, and now that I know he will go to heaven when he is born, would I try to harm him with an alcohol? No!!!! I have less then 3 months left with him, and I want to make it special for him.

Just thinking of all the things people have told me...

When people ask me "How are you doing?" they give me that face, that face with a message written on their forehead "Hm... I'm sorry", I say, "I'm ok", or "I'm good". Reality, I really don't know how am I. Every moment is different. I don't cry as much as I did. I hold it in, at times I want to cry so bad, but no tears would come out (those are the times I get so mad at myself).

Natalia with her stepsons

My dad and my mom blame my boyfriend for it. My boyfriend Shannon, he's 34. He has 2 children from previous marriage. Isaiah 7 and Orion almost 5. He was married before; it didn't work out because she was a horrible mother. I met my boyfriend at work, we were friends first, and I was secretly in love with him. We started dating and I just fell in love with him and his boys. We've been together for a year and a half. But known each other for almost 3 years. He is so wonderful, his boys call me mom. They are amazing children. On Mothers day last year Isaiah made me a card and a button saying "#1 MOM", that made my heart melt. What did they make for their biological mom? Nothing! She barely sees them, once every other weekend, she'll pick them up and take them to her momís, and then she'll leave. And that's that, the boys don't call her "mom" that much any more, they call her by her name.
My parents didn't like the fact that I was dating Shannon, because he was divorced and had kids. They kept telling me that I could find some one younger and without children. Every time I heard that I just got mad, but in a way every parent wants the best for their child. After I told my family that I and Shannon are pregnant my dad just hated Shannon. And now, that we know that my son Noah has anencephaly, my dad blames my boyfriend for everything.

I want to blame some one too!!! I want to blame the doctors, I want to blame the world, I want to blame Shannonís ex-wife for being such a horrible mother that is not taking care of her children, I want to blame someone, but I donít...

There are times that Iím afraid to talk to Noah; I just don't know what to say. I love him, more than anything; I guess Iím still in shock.

If you are reading this, thank you. I'm not very good at replying to others, it takes me a while. It takes time for me to get enough strength and know what to say. To all you women out there, I wish the best for you, and God be with you!!!

Thank you for reading
Natalia

Noah Alexander, ultrasound picture of a baby with anencephaly

02/09/2008

Iím due in May 17. I'm so scared, I wasn't really before, I just held strong to my emotions more or less. But now, Iím getting more scared. There are times when Iím afraid to talk to Noah; I just don't know what to say. I sound horrible, I know. This is my first child, and I just can't believe it. He kicks more everyday, and it seems like everything is ok. He kicks more, when Iíll drink milk. So weird. I love him, and I don't want to let him go.

I wouldn't wish it for my worst enemy to go through this. Most of the people who know about Noah are pretty supportive. My sister however is not. Her Wedding date in couple weeks after my son is born, and she called me last week saying "Well, are you getting ready for my wedding? Are you getting excited for my wedding? I bet you can't wait!", I responded that it's hard for me to be very excited for her wedding, because Iíll be loosing my son around that time, and it's just hard for me to even think about that. My sister responded "Can you be more sensitive?" I was shocked, but didn't raise my voice, I told her "Well put your self in my shoes, if I was getting married and you were loosing your child, how would you feel?" the answer I got from her was "Don't be busting my balls with your shit." I hung up the phone. I was so hurt, I and my sister have always been close, and I was hurt so bad then. I havenít talked to her for a week now. Ever sense I found out that my little angel has anencephaly, my sisterís response was "itís life Natalia, deal with it".

02/10/2008

I talked to Noah today. I talked to him when I was driving to work. I started crying, I told him about me a little bit, I told him that I like to draw, to sing and to listen to music, but most of all I love when he kicks. I told Noah, that I think heíll be the most beautiful baby. I also told him that sometimes Iím afraid to talk to him, but that doesnít mean that I love him less. I love him more and more everyday. I cried, when I asked him to stay with me, I asked him not to go, not to leave meÖ I know I sound so selfish, but I canít help it. Then I said to him, "If you do go, itíll be so beautiful there, there will be no pain and no worries, and you will be with your creator. And Iíll meet you there soon". I started to get teary eyed again, I said to Noah "I hope youíre not in pain my baby, I donít want you to hurt. I wish I could take all your pain away. I love you". I think this is the first time I really talked to Noah. I promised him, that Iíll talk to him again today.
I love you Noah, I love you so much!!!

04/06/2008

Birth Plan for Noah Alexander Spahan.

Noah, baby with anencephaly

Our beloved baby boy, sadly, has been diagnosed with anencephaly. However imperfect he appears, this is our child, whom we love deeply. This love compels us to revere and treasure every moment of our babyís life to its fullest natural extent.

Your compassion and understanding during this bittersweet and difficult time are appreciated deeply. We believe that the memories of our actions during this sacred time with Noah will later console us.

Please call our baby boy by his name, Noah. Please ask us how we feel, if he has been active, and what special stories we have from this pregnancy. This validates and honors Noahís life.

We understand that after the birth, situations may arise that were not anticipated and decisions will need to be made. We simply ask you to keep us informed so we can participate in the decisions as to what is best for. We ask that no intervention be taken without our approval, other than what is outlined below. We trust you will respect our wishes.

In the delivery room, I would like my boyfriend (Noahís father) Shannon to be present, my (Nataliaís) mother Anna B., and the doctor who will be delivering us. Other family members and visitors will wait in the waiting area.

  • I, Natalia (mother), do not want any pain medicine offered to me during labor.
  • I would like to give birth vaginally, unless strongly advised for a c-section.
  • We would like to receive a birth certificate and death certificate for Noah.
  • We would like the foot and hand prints of Noah.
  • We do not wish any testing to be done on Noah.
  • If our babyís heart stops prior to delivery, we do want to be informed.
  • We do not want the birth videotaped, but we want plenty of photos afterwards.
  • Shannon will take pictures of Noah, but if you take special shots, we would like that, too.
  • Any drugs given to Noah should be aproved by the parents and should be given in doses to provide maximum comfort, while allowing him to be alert to meet his family and visitors.
  • Please have Shannon cut the umbilical cord.
  • We would like oral/nasal suctioning for Noahís comfort only and no intubation without our permission.
  • After Noah is born, we ask that he be wiped, suctioned (if indicated), wrapped in a blanket and if alive or stillborn, handed to us.
  • We would also like to give Noah his first bath.
  • Please hand Noah first to his father Shannon, as we wish to cuddle our baby immediately. We ask that vital signs, weight, medications and labs be postponed, if possible.
  • If Noah has fewer problems than expected, please discuss all possible testing/treatment options with us.
  • Other than routine post-delivery care, we wish for private time with our baby. We will discuss any exceptions that should be made. We also want Noah to be with us in the room at all times.
  • We prefer that our liaison, Anna B., periodically give updates to our waiting family and friends and that she escorts visitors to our room, at our request only, and helps us with phone calls.
  • If Noah canít suck or nurse, we do not wish to provide comfort with drops of breast milk or formula.
  • We would like Noah to be baptized by our Orthodox priest, who will be present in the waiting area. Memorial/funeral plans have been made for Noah, at Skyline Memorial Gardens and Funeral home.
  • We wish to hold Noah, as he is dying or has died and want to keep his precious little body with us as long as possible. We would like to bathe and dress him. We have an outfit and a burial garment.
  • We would like to keep the following items as keepsakes: lock of hair, ID bracelet, crib card, hand and foot prints (molds if possible), baptismal certificate, weight card, hat, blanket, clothes, family hand prints, and photographs- color and black and white. If possible a memory box would be nice to have to put all of the memorial things in there.
  • We do not want Noah taken away from us. He is to stay with us at all times.
  • Regarding our other children, we will decide what to do at the appropriate time.
  • We do not want an autopsy done.

Other considerations:

Thank you so much for helping us to make this bittersweet time more bearable.


08/03/2008

It has been 2 months since he went to Heaven. Every time I think about it, it seems like a dream. Did it really happen? Did I really have a baby boy? Did he really die?

It was Friday May 16th. My mom and I were sitting on the bench in the morning, and talking about the funeral services for Noah. We were talking about switching from the original funeral home "Skyline memorial" to our church "Russian Orthodox", due to several issues with the original home. (When we first picked Skyline Memorial Home, we were very happy with the location and overlook of the cemetery. But then the problems came, first they told me that I canít have my son with me after he dies, not even for an hour, then they told me that the casket will cost me almost a 1000$ (At the end we only paid 850$) also they said that all the services will be free plus the reception room, we will only would have to pay for the merchandise (Well at the end they wanted to charge us 300 dollars for the reception area). Too much!!!

We decided to go with Russian Orthodox Church. I cannot tell you what a lift off my shoulders I felt when we decided that, it felt like it was the right decision; like this is the way it is supposed to be.

Noah's lilac

At the time when I was talking to my mom, Shannon was taking pictures of a lilac tree we planted for Noah. (We chose Lilac tree, because the flowers bloom in May, and thatís when Noahís birthday is.). All of a sudden, Shannon rushed to me saying "Youíve got to see this!!!" he puts the camera on the review and we saw this picture:

There was a face on the leaves. Could it really be? A sign?
We were very overwhelmed.

Later on we got dressed and went to Japanese gardens. Since I was pregnant with Noah; I really wanted to take him there. Because we were going to get induced that same night (Friday 16th at Midnight, going on Saturday May 17th), that was a perfect day to go, and the weather was amazing!!!

Noah Alexander's parents

First we went to the Rose gardens, roses were not yet blooming, but the trees were.

Prior to that, on May 14th (Wednesday) we got engaged.

After we walked around the rose gardens, we went up to the Japanese gardens; it was so beautiful, so peaceful and amazing. We walked around, and took lots of pictures. We wanted to remember this last day out with Noah.

The day seemed so long. When we got back to my moms house, it was 100 degrees outside, so hot. We decided to play water fight. After, we though weíd paint on the belly, a little something for Noah. Next, we went to the store, and bought things we were going to need at the hospital (Body wash, diapers, etc.). We started to pack around 9pm. I took a shower and got dressed. At 11pm we left the house. Shannon, my mom and I. My dad hugged me very tight and told me that he loves me very much.

Natalia's painted belly with Noah Alexander

I hated the drive to the hospital. It seemed like I woke up from the dream, it was all real, and now I had to face it. Even though I was just going to be induced, and I might not even have Noah that same day, I thought that it all will happen as soon as I check in.

When we arrived, we checked in, it was ok. They walked us to the room, and we got situated. Then they hooked me up to the monitors, poked my hand with needles 3 times, because they couldnít find the vain. And bothered me only every 2 hours. The night was long and I was restless. I saw that my mom was sleeping on the couch and Shannon was sleeping on the chair. I felt bad for Shannon, so I asked him to sleep with me, right next to me.

A day went by, they had me going on all sorts of medications, I was so tired and in pain.

My water broke at midnight on Monday May 19th. I was pushing for 20 minutes, and Noah was born on May 19th 2008 at 2:38 am. Only one little peep came out, and twice he gasped for air, after that nothing. He was 6 lb and 2oz. 19 inches long. He was baptized by my priest and Noahís godfather. I washed him, and dried him. I told him, that we love him very much, and it was ok for him to go.

He left us at 3:20am. Only 52 minutes, but I felt, when I was holding him, that no one else existed in that room.

The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer came in and took such wonderful pictures of Noah. We will forever treasure those memories with him.

Noah Alexander, baby with anencephaly

We left the hospital at 2pm on Monday. That same Monday. At 6pm we had funeral services, everything was like a mirage. Even now when I think of it, I canít believe it. After the funeral, I began to notice little things, to me they were signs.

I put a candle to remember Noah, and before bed I would light it and say something to him. When I was in the middle of saying ďI love you honey always, mommy kisses youĒ right after the words ďMommy kisses youĒ the candle made a kissing sound.

Or on TV no matter what channel I would click there would be something about Noah, Noahís Arch.

I will never forget, I am so blessed to have an angel looking after me. And to say the truth, I feel at peace. I am not depressed, yes I do get sad, but I am at peace to know that he is looking down on us from heaven.

In loving memory of Noah Alexander!!

I cannot wait to see you again, my angel.

Mommy, Daddy and brothers

You didnít have the time to put fingerprints on our walls,
Instead you made them on our hearts!!


 

 

Last updated August 4, 2008