Mom to Noah
April 6th, 2008-April 8th, 2008
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
I was due on March 28th- that day came and went- I didn’t ever feel like I needed him out- I was quite comfortable for being so pregnant. Noah was born on April 6th 2008 at 6:13 PM after 3 rounds of induction did not work- he was born by c-section. He was beautiful, a perfect colour, got perfect apgar scores. Noah weighed 6 lbs 7 oz, and was 21inches long.
Everything seemed so normal- Our parents were there, he slept so peacefully, he cried when we changed his bum. The nurses kept commenting on how beautiful he was- no one suspected anything was wrong.
Overnight that first night Noah started to spit up- green coloured stuff. We called the nurses to convey our great concern- and they said it was nothing to worry about- just mucus- apparently c-section babies are prone to spit up mucus for the first few days. it kept happening, over and over, and we kept calling the nurses to show them- they kept assuring us that nothing was wrong.
Not unusual for a newborn- Noah was finding it difficult to latch, and suck- and therefore he wasn’t getting any, or much to eat. The nurses suggested we bottle feed him- so we tried a little- he didn’t seem to catch on to that either.
Then- on April 8th at 3am the new nurse on duty saw Noah spit up. She was very alarmed… unlike the other nurses who assumed it was mucus. She believed us, and knew is was not normal. She called the NICU at the hospital to take him for tests, and for fluids, since he hadn’t been eating.
30 minutes later there was already a transfer team from Sick Kids on their way to get Noah- and a surgery team ready to receive him. We were panicked- we knew it was serious.
We got to Sick Kids and a nurse and social worker met us at the elevator- Noah’s Small intestine had perforated- we signed surgery consent and he was sent to surgery. Even the surgeon sounded like he was going to be ok.
Then, 1 hour later the surgeon came into the room my family was waiting in- she knelt down and cried. They couldn’t save him. His small intestine had malrotated during development which caused it to strangle itself. The entire small intestine was dead, and because it had perforated, the infection was spreading throughout his little body. Humans cannot live without a small intestine, and they do not attempt transplants for children under 12 months.
We knew we had to say goodbye.
Noah was kept on morphine so he felt no pain, and he was on a breathing tube. With the nurses from the Sick Kids NICU I went with Matt, my mum, and our Minister Jamie to get him- he was alive, but not awake- the muscle relaxants they give during surgery were still active. We put a hand made christening gown on him (from Sick Kids) and brought him to the ‘family’ room where all of Noah’s Grandparents were, along with a couple friends. Noah could hear and feel us. His brain functioning was normal. He knew he was loved.
We each took turns holding him, singing to him, telling him how much he is loved and telling him about the people he didn’t get to meet. Oh how hard this was. Noah was baptized.
Amazingly- it was when Jamie- the minister from our church was holding him, that the muscle relaxants started to wear off, Noah Opened his eyes and gripped his hand.
After everyone had said their goodbyes, Matthew and I held Noah together in our arms. The nurse took the breathing tube out and he passed away peacefully surrounded by him Mummy, daddy and grandparents within 45 minutes. We told him it was ok to go- we know he loved us, and he knew we loved him. We let him know he didn’t have to be scared because that was the one thing that we could take from him. This was so very hard- watching the one thing you love most in the world- although only having him in your arms for 48 hours- watching him take his last breath, and feel his last heart beat.
The staff at Sick Kids were amazing- they gave us everything that Noah ever touched- and you could feel the compassion in the room.
Noah was so loved- although he only had 48 hours on this earth- he has changed many lives forever. I know that I will never be the same. I will always carry him with me in my heart- and I will also always carry this scar- that although it will heal in time- it will always be there. every pregnant women, stroller, baby, lullaby, hospital, reminds me of Noah. Every time I see a parents yelling at their children,. I want to go over and tell them that they are lucky to have them with them and to spend every second they have with their child wisely. Every moment I think of my Noah. I didn’t know I could love someone so much- I now know what my parents mean when they say ‘I love you so much’ a parent love is different- it is a more pure love than anything I have experienced.
I miss all of the things I dreamt about for Noah- stroller rides in the park, his first bath at home, seeing him in his crib, introducing him to the animals, I miss the hopes I had for him- of being a generous and caring boy, or learning to swim and skate, of being a good friend, and of being a curious little boy.