Noah Gabriel Vaughn was born at 11:50 pm on December 6th, 1998 to a younger version of me who had eagerly anticipated being a mother. He didn't cry when he was born, just a small squeak. I remember wishing he would cry, but there was just silence mixed with the doctor's hushed instructions for me of what to do next.
"Is he still alive? Is he okay?" I knew he wasn't okay. But I wanted some sort of re-assurance that all was not completely lost. The doctor said, "Yes, he's still alive, but it won't be long judging by his color."
"Can I see him? Can I hold him yet?" It seemed like an eternity before he was finally placed in my arms.
He was beautiful.
He was perfect.
He looked just like me, lots of fuzzy ginger blonde hair that grew low on his forehead, little ski-jump nose that turned up on the end, a tiny, round chin, and square face.
**** A truth about birthing a baby ****
beyond a shadow
of a doubt
of a doubt
your life will never again
be the same.
The hospital room felt sacred that night. No, a better word would be 'holy'. The hospital room felt holy. I felt like I was holding a holy angel in my arms. I know all babies feel like precious angels to their mother's arms. But little Noah . . . this sacred feeling was compounded, perhaps knowing his life would be so short. The veil, that sacred curtain that separates the mortal world from the spirit world, was so very thin. The warmth I felt, the holiness in that room, went right through me and enveloped me in a comfort that's just not even possible to describe in words. I know that others felt it too. The doctor, the nurses, and some of our closest friends and family.
**** Love ****
Such a powerful word.
The love I felt for life itself, for my life, my baby's life, my husband's life, my parents' and friends', it made my heart swell to the point I thought it would push right through my skin. I savored the feeling. I soaked in the glow of gratitude to get to hold my first born son and feel his amazing spirit envelope my being.
And then he died.
Ever so quietly in my arms.
And I knew he was gone.
**** A Small Voice Whispers ****
"You're braver than you believe
and stronger than you feel.
I try to remember this, this time of year. I love the holidays. And I hate them a little too, I do confess. But mostly, I love them. It's just not easy. Especially if I choose to remember. Most of us walk through life with a hurt of some kind that is always there and never goes away. And I don't want this one to go away, because then it might mean that I've forgotten and that would be sad, too. So it makes things a little messy around the holidays.
I want to be brave.
I'm working on being strong. It's a daily thing I will always strive for.
and I haven't forgotten.
Every year on Noah's birthday, our family lights those little battery powered candles that stay lit morning and night. We place them in the windows of our home and keep them on during December. Their light always lifts my spirits.
I've noticed a little light goes a long way.
Love you all.
You are amazing.