Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time is Flying

It has been awhile since my last post. Sorry! Updates...where to begin. I found a job. I am now a Teen Librarian at the public library. So far I am loving this new job. I will begin doing some programs with the teens next week so wish me luck with that! It's keeping me super busy so by the time I get home I'm finding that I am spending less time on the computer. Which I really don't mind at all. It has been great to spend time with family. I'm still learning to balance my new schedule. My work on Noah's Snowflakes orders has slowed somewhat but I should still have all of those done in time for Christmas! 


Aaron and I are loving our new work with the church here. The teens have been great and we have had a good time getting to know them.  We just finished up with Halloween parties with them. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of our costumes this year! Oh well. I may still try to get one of mine.


Right now we are still trying to sell our house. I knew that would be the biggest challenge of our move. Fortunately I have some amazing parents that we are living with right now until the house sells. Hopefully we will have it sold soon.


As far as how we are mentally, we are coping. I personally have had a rough patch lately. Mostly worrying about the holidays and wishing I could just skip them. I just have to remind myself to stick to the "one-day-at-a-time" motto I've had for myself. My birthday today has definitely been a test of that. I can't lie, it was hard hard hard. My family has been great through it all. Probably my favorite gift was a ring that my family got me. It has Noah's birthstone and has his name and birthday engraved on the sides. It is beautiful and exactly what I needed. 


So that's my little update on us. Hopefully I will do a better job of keeping up this blog. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Changes

Aaron and I have made some life changes during the past few weeks. Aaron was offered a position as youth and family minister in a town closer to my family and we have decided to accept it. While we are sad to be leaving our current church family and wish we could bring them all with us, we are excited about the new opportunity and new chapter in our lives.


So the process begins...I think the hardest part will be selling our house. Especially on today's market. But it won't be just selling the house, it will be leaving it. Leaving the nursery we made for Noah, leaving the memory garden behind. But it will probably be good for us as well, a chance for a fresh start.
I will also be looking for a new job, which is another challenge but I'll find one somewhere


Please continue to pray for us, not only for our continued healing but for things to go smoothly as we start this new chapter. Also prayers for our church family at Central as they begin looking for someone to replace Aaron, we know that God has great things planned for Central and for us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Year Ago Tomorrow

The end of July is a hard time for me. Two years ago at the end of July we found out about and lost our first baby. Tomorrow on the 28th will have been one year since we found out I was pregnant with Noah. I've contemplated whether I wanted to share this, but this is one of our happy memories of our time with Noah and I want to share. The happy moments were few and every one of them precious. So here is something I wrote to Noah while pregnant with him. I wrote it after we had found out his condition and wanted to make sure I could look back on our memories. I know I would appreciate extra prayers to make it through tomorrow. Thank you to every one who continues to keep us in your prayers.


Noah,
You came into our lives on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. You were here before then but that was the day I learned I had you. Your daddy and I had been waiting for you for so long. After two miscarriages and then months with no luck we were beginning to think you would never come. And then there you were.

I got home from church that night before your daddy so I went ahead and took the test to find out if you were here.  Those were the best positive pink lines I had ever seen. I sat there looking at that test and just started crying and praying; praying that you would stick around, that the test wouldn’t turn negative if I took it again.

After the shock wore off, I began to scheme about how to tell your daddy about you. I had been watching an old TV show for a while, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I remembered an episode where Laura tells Rob that she’s pregnant. Among the funny lines, she breaks it to him by saying “Well, the rabbit died.” At first I didn’t understand what she meant but I looked up that phrase and it was used a long time ago as a way of saying someone was pregnant. I remembered that I had told your daddy about that episode, so I decided to use that line to see if he remembered what it meant. When your daddy walked through the front door, I was sitting on the couch. I told him that I had had an interesting evening when I got home. He asked me, “What happened?” I said my line, “The rabbit died.” Did he remember what that line meant? No he didn’t. He looked at me with a confused look and said, “What?” I laughed and said again, “The rabbit died,” and held up that positive test. Your daddy got one of the biggest grins on his face I had ever seen. He looked at me and said, “When you said that, I thought Kletus (our dog) had caught a rabbit and killed it!” We both laughed and just sat there with each other, excited that you were here, and scared about losing you like we had lost your other siblings. That was such a wonderful night Noah. That night I was blessed with you and you are one of the best blessings I have ever known.

Love,
Your Momma

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Noah's Snowflakes

I'm starting something new. I've been making these little snowflake ornaments in memory of Noah. I love to crochet so I'm enjoying getting to do something that I love in memory of my son. I've decided to start sharing my hobby with everyone. Right now I have a set of little snowflakes for sale. They are $2.50 each, 5 for $10, or the entire set for $16. I will be adding more things later but this is a start. Here is the link to the album: Little Snowflakes Instructions for ordering can be found on the album!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Always a Mother

I will never hold him close
Or rock him late at night
I will never comfort when he cries
Or feel his hand squeeze tight.

I will never watch him walk,
Smile, laugh, or play.
I will never hear him talk,
Or see him grow each day.

While you will never see me
With the child that might have been,
I will always be a mother
My baby is in heaven.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homeland Couponing Trip

I said I would write occasionally about my couponing trips so I thought I should keep my word. I went to Homeland today. This is my new place to buy most of my groceries because they double coupons with up to $1.00 in face value.

This week Homeland has a lot of buy one get one free deals. I had a few coupons for some of these sales so I was able to get some pretty good deals. So here's the break down of my trip. The coupon amounts are after being doubled.



2 - V8 Splash $3.29 each
B1G1, $2.00 in coupons...$1.29 total for 2!

4 - Van Camp Pork & Beans $1.09 each
On sale for $0.59, B3G1 coupon

4 - Kellogg's Brand Cereals $4.19 - $4.49
B1G1, $2.00 in coupons

1 - Deli Sliced Turkey - $4.29
On sale for $3.29

2 - Betty Crocker Brownies - $2.29 each
B1G1

4 - Rotel - $1.29 each
On sale for $1.00, B3G1 coupon

2 - Libby Green Beans - $1.25 each
B1G1

1 - Half-dozen eggs - $0.83

2 - Packages of Chicken - $4.12 & $4.68
B1G1

2 - Homeland Wheat Bread - $1.49
B1G1

1 - Bag of Starburst - $3.19
$2.00 in coupons

1 - Package Chewy Chips Ahoy - $3.79
On sale for $2.99, $2.00 in coupons...$0.99!

1 - Eagle Brand Condensed Milk - $2.59
$1.00 in coupons

1 - Baking cocoa - $2.69

1 - Chex Mix 100 Calorie Packs - $1.51
On sale for $1.00, $1.00 in coupons...FREE!

2 - Peanut M&M - $0.87 each
On sale for $0.79 each, $1.50 in coupons...$0.04 each!

Total before sale and coupons: $74.05
Total spent (before taxes): $31.53
Total savings: 57%


This isn't the most I've saved at Homeland but it was a pretty good trip. I'm really enjoying this little obsession of mine!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

3 Months Later

We said hello to Noah 3 months ago yesterday. We said goodbye 3 months ago today. If you would ask us how we are doing about all I can say is better than yesterday, last week, and last month. Better and OK are the words I seem to use most. Some days I use good. I look forward to the days I can say great or fantastic again. I know we'll get there. We are getting there. 


This past week if you asked how I was doing, while I would have said tired; I would have also used good everyday. Something about being a counselor at church camp revitalizes my outlook. Seeing kids away from the outside world is great. Hearing them praise God is comforting. It was an emotional week as church camp always is but it was a much needed emotional week. It's been the best week in awhile for me being able to get away from worries and focus on the most important things that matter in life.


So after sleeping most of the day today and being lazy, I'm hoping the next few months continue to hold improvements and more good days and maybe a few greats.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Growing!

I posted a while back about our little memory garden for Noah. I am proud to say we haven't killed it yet. It's looking so good! I wanted to share the progress!

When we first planted...

 Now look at it! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

When We Ask Why

At Noah's memorial, Aaron's grandmother gave us a framed poem. It has helped to read it occasionally. I read it again today and thought I would share.


When We Ask Why
God's beautiful plan
Is sometimes concealed,
But someday His purpose
Will be fully revealed.

Someday God's wisdom
Will make very plain
Why problems were permitted
And how He uses pain.

We'll see the Lord's purpose
From Heaven's point of view,
And we will understand
In ways we never knew.

Till we are home with God
Some answers have to wait.
"Lord, we'll trust and obey-
Lord, help us walk by faith."
-Perry Tanksley

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Couponing - My Most Recent Obsession

About a month ago I watched a few episodes of the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. After watching a man and his wife walk out of a grocery store with about $800 worth of products and not paying a dime, I made up my mind that I could save at least some on a small scale. So the next Sunday I went out and bought a paper and clipped out all of the coupons and began planning. I found a few websites that helped me figure things out. I use www.couponing101.com and www.thekrazycouponlady.com.  These sites lay out each store’s coupon policy and give you the deals at each store every week.

Up to this point, I have done couponing at Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Homeland. My goal has been to save anywhere from 50% up. For the most part I have done this! I have actually walked out of Walgreens with more money in their Register Reward (RR) program than I have spent out of pocket twice now.

I’ve decided to occasionally share with everyone what I’ve saved in some stores each week for anyone interested in or curious about couponing. I am by no means an expert but I’m loving this and I like to share what I love. Everything I share is going to be before taxes are added.

Here are my best deals this week:

Walgreens:
The first week you shop at Walgreens you won’t have any Register Rewards, but after that first week your savings can definitely go up! The key is to use your RR for products that will earn RR.

I bought the following
1 Sobe flavored water
1 Gillette Pro Fusion Power Razor
2 cans of Planters cashews
1 Garnier Shampoo 13oz
1 Garnier Conditioner 13oz
1 Garnier Mousse 6.8oz
1 Garnier Hairspray

Total: $40.92
Total after sale: $30.88
Total after using coupons (including RR): $6.38 before taxes
Register Rewards earned: $11.99
Total savings: Profit of $5.61

CVS
Just like Walgreens, the first time you shop you won’t have any of the Extra Care Bucks (ECB) they give out, but after that you can get some decent deals. Make sure you have one of their savings cards to get the good prices!

I bought the following
1 Oral-B Pulsar Toothbrush

Total: $6.79
Total after sale: $6.00
Total after coupons (including ECB): $0.02
ECB earned: $3.00
Total savings: Profit of $2.98

Homeland
Homeland is a local grocery store so the sites I mentioned above do not list the deals for here. I learned from a friend that Homeland doubles coupons that are $1.00 and below.  They have their coupon policy on their website – www.homelandstores.com. The key is to have their savings card and to match coupons with sales.

I bought the following
3 Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing
1 Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta
2 Lysol Disinfectant Wipes 30 count
1 Lysol Disinfectant Spray
2 Philadelphia Cooking Crème
2 Jars of Ragu
1 Bob Evans Refrigerated Side
1 La Victoria Salsa

Total: 42.07
Total after One Card savings: $27.62
Total after coupons: $11.12 before taxes
Total Savings: 73.5%

Like I said all of the totals are before taxes so I spent a little more than what I listed but you get the idea. Even after taxes I still had profits at Walgreens and CVS. I don’t think there is any turning back after this!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life Right Now

Just a small update on things. Not much to tell really. Physically still doing great, only about 3 pounds to go to prepregnacy weight, then on to the next weight goal. I really need to start up a workout routine just not quite motivated yet.

Emotionally things are still a struggle. Daytime is ok, I keep busy enough to not think about things to much. Starting back at work has helped. Crocheting or reading in my free time. I've also dived into the couponing business and am doing pretty well at that so far. The hard part is watching friends get to keep their babies, especially when several were due around the time we had Noah or are due soon. Please don't get me wrong, I'm happy for all of them; happy that they don't know the heartbreak I feel, that we feel. But it brings out such a sense of longing for something that was taken away from me, and that is hard. Nighttime is also hard; hasn't really gotten better yet. I wish when I went to bed my brain would just shut off, that I could slip into sleep without starting to think. It's a continual struggle to leave all my worries and sadness with God but I keep working at it.

We are still slowly healing and I know that a huge part of that is the continual prayers for us. I guess I am voicing my stuggles so that everyone knows what to pray for. We could never thank everyone enough for everything done for us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wishbone Day Video!

I wanted to share the 2011 Wishbone Day video. Quite a few of our familiy and friends are in it so I thought yall would enjoy. Thank you so much to everyone who helped us remember Noah in this way. We are truly blessed to have so much support. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Proud Sister

Monday night Aaron and I were able to go watch the students at Kiowa perform their end of school program. My brother is a freshman this year and sang the lead on Hotel California. I thought he did a great job and wanted to share! Sorry for the shaky camera.


I also thought I would share a favorite video from a few years ago of him performing Les Poissons from Little Mermaid. I crack up every time I watch it. Hope you enjoy!



Friday, May 6, 2011

Wishbone Day 2011

Aaron and I are so so appreciative of everyone who wore yellow today in honor of Noah. We are so blessed to have so many people support us over the past few months. The last count I did there were well over 80 people who wore yellow today in memory of Noah, and those are just the ones we have pictures of. I can't share all of the photos on here but I will share the ones of us. We love you all!


Update: Last count over 100 people wore yellow for Noah!






Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wishbone Day Tomorrow!

Just a reminder about Wishbone Day. In case you haven't heard of Wishbone Day, it is a day to raise awareness of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is what our son Noah had. If you would like to participate all you have to do is wear YELLOW tomorrow (Friday) May 6th. We would love to receive pictures of everyone who participates. If you want to share your photos, please send us pictures by tagging me in your photo on Facebook or send to my e-mail address erin.austin@hotmail.com with WISHBONE DAY in the subject line, and include your location. The organizers of Wishbone Day put together a video using these pictures and I would love to be able to send some in! For more information on Wishbone Day or about OI, you can click on the links on this page. Looking forward to seeing lots of yellow tomorrow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Noah Red Bear

I received something wonderful in the mail today and was so excited I wanted to share with everyone. A while back I was told about a website, www.mollybears.com. This website is run by a wonderful lady named Bridget Crews. She and a small group of people create weighted teddy bears for families who have lost a baby in memory of her own daughter, Molly. This is such a wonderful idea and I know personally how great of a help it is. Today I received my Noah Red bear and holding him is one of the best feelings I've had in awhile. I never knew how much my arms would ache from not being able to hold Noah, and holding my 4lb 11oz bear helps take some of that ache away.


Our Noah Red Bear

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Noah's Memory Garden

My grandparents came up last night to spend some time with us, love getting to spend some time with them. Today we were able to plant Noah's memory garden we've been planning. Gardening is not one of my gifts so I was very glad they came up to do this for us. We planted a peony and lily of the valley bulbs but while we are waiting for them to sprout, we planted some periwinkles and million bells. I'm excited for everything to start growing now. Here are some pictures of our project. I'll share more as things start growing as well. Hope everyone is having a good Saturday!

Before

Filling in the hole







 Flowers planted

 Mulch added - Finished!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The World Keeps Spinning

Just another small update since I have been slacking on this blog. Aaron and I are continuing to heal. Easter was hard for both of us. The first holiday without Noah. I sometimes wonder when or if things will ever get easier or better. I just keep hoping and praying that someday it will. For now, it feels like the world keeps spinning and I'm stuck standing still, not able to move with it. 


One bright moment over the past week, our nephew, Gabriel Ryan, was born last Wednesday. He looks just like my brother. It seems the Shores side of our family is continuing to stay dominant. I had so many mixed emotions when he was born, but one thing is for sure...he is a blessing, a little healing life in the midst of our sadness. 


As far as future plans go for now we're keeping it simple. Small goals to work towards. I'm continuing to lose the pregnancy weight,  27 pounds down, 9 to go. I'm planning a new hair style as well and am looking forward to that. I also have my 6 week post pregnancy doctor's appointment next week so hopefully we can talk to the doctor about future plans. Also looking forward to wearing my yellow shirt on May 6. 


Just a small glimpse of our lives right now. We hope everyone is doing well in their own lives!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day by Day

Just a small update on how we're doing. Aaron is back at work this week. While I enjoyed having him at home with me I know he's glad to be back at work, staying busy helps.  


I'm continuing to improve physically, moving around is easier every day. Unfortunately, I'm either coming down with a cold or allergies are kicking in full force. All I've done today is cough and sneeze. Which, if you have ever had a c-section, you know is very unpleasant. Throw in the sore throat and I thought it best to take it easy today. Hopefully whatever I have passes quickly.


I'm trying to slowly increase the exercise to lose the pregnancy weight. It's hard because I want to dive right into the exercise and I can't do as much as I want to right now. I've found that having some goals for down the road helps me deal with the day to day living without Noah. Right now my goals are to walk a mile without hurting, losing the pregnancy weight (so far I'm down 24 pounds!), and attempting to stay on top of the laundry. After that I'll figure something out. 


Emotionally, things are coming along more slowly, which is probably normal. It's easy to get out of the house and be around strangers, people that don't know my story so they don't ask questions. It's harder to be around people I know, who want to give a hug and ask how I'm doing. Please don't be offended if I keep my answers short. Right now it's easier to handle if I'm not asked about it. Someday I will be able to talk in person about everything, about Noah, but right now it's easier to not. I'm still waiting on the day that I make it 24 hours without crying. But I will get there. I will say that not all days are filled with ugly crying. Some days I make it through with just a few tears. For now I'll take that improvement.


I also want to mention Wishbone Day on May 6. Wishbone Day's purpose is to raise awareness of Osteogenesis Imperfecta. You don't have to go anywhere or spend money. All you have to do is wear yellow on May 6. If you are interested, just click on the little wishbone man on this page and it should take you to their webpage for more information. 


We are so thankful for the prayers and support we are continuing to receive. Right now just pray for our families and our continued healing. Also please remember my brother and his wife, they are expecting their first baby anytime, just pray that everything goes smoothly for them. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet

It seems right now the only type of post we've had have been sad ones and with the way things have been, I don't think anyone would blame us. We have our happy moments mixed with the sad. For example, Aaron and I are playing some classic Mario on the Wii that he got for his birthday today (I'm winning right now, better enjoy that while it lasts!) Talk about taking you back a few years. 


I'm doing pretty good as far as recovering from the c-section is going. I've been up walking around quite a bit. My mind is ready to do more than my body is allowing though.


I wanted to share one of the songs we had played at Noah's memorial. I have loved this song since I first heard it. I cried through most of the service, but listening to this song brought some peace because the words are so true. I hope in sharing it might bring some peace to someone that needs it.

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet
There’s a place of quiet stillness ‘tween the light and shadows reach
Where the hurting and the hopeless seek everlasting peace
Words of men and songs of angels whisper comfort bittersweet
Mending grief and life eternal where joy and sorrow meet


There is a place where hope remains
In crowns of thorns and crimson stains
And tears that fall on Jesus’ feet
Where joy and sorrow meet


There’s a place the lost surrender and the weary will retreat
Full of grace and mercy tender in times of unbelief
For the wounded there is healing, strength is given to the weak
Broken hearts find love redeeming where joy and sorrow meet


There’s a place of thirst and hunger where the roots of faith grow deep
And there is rain and rolling thunder when the road is rough and steep
There is hope in desperation there is victory in defeat
At the cross of restoration where joy and sorrow meet


There is a place where hope remains
In crowns of thorns and crimson stains
And tears that fall on Jesus’ feet
Where joy and sorrow meet


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hello, Goodbye

We're saying goodbye again today. I'm going to be honest, it's been a very hard week. Everyone keeps telling us how amazed they are at our strength and our faith, but it doesn't feel like I'm that strong right now. I keep wanting to ask the one question I know I won't ever get a full answer to... Why? Why us? Why Noah? During the past week, several people have helped give some answers to that question. So many people have been touched by Noah and his story. Knowing that has helped make this somewhat easier to bear. 


Today I wanted to share a song that I have thought about a lot after Noah passed. It was written by Michael W. Smith for another little boy named Noah whose life was cut short as well. It so closely matches my own feelings. I haven't been able to listen to it yet because just reading the words brings tears. It has always been one of my favorite songs I just never wanted it to apply to my child.


Hello, Goodbye
Michael W. Smith

Where’s the navigator of your destiny?
Where is the dealer of this hand?
Who can explain life and its brevity
‘cause there is nothing here that I can understand

You and I have barely met
And I just don’t want to let go of you yet

Noah, hello, goodbye
I will see you on the other side
Noah, sweet child of mine
I will see you on the other side

And so I hold your tiny hand in mine
For the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face
Heaven calls for you before it calls for me
When you get there, save me a place

A place where I can share your smile
And I can hold you for more than just a while

Noah, hello, goodbye
I will see you on the other side
Noah, sweet child of mine
I will see you on the other side


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Captured Moments

Aaron and I are continuing to make it through each day. Plenty of tears still flowing so if you know anyone that needs a few send them our way. : ) I'm recovering from the c-section pretty well. My mom is here with us this week so between her and A, I've got some really good caregivers. I was able to leave the house for a little while yesterday for a Sonic run and a few errands with mom. Mostly I stayed in the car but I was able to get out and walk a little while. After that it was back to the couch. 


Enough with the update on us. On to my favorite subject. We were able to capture several moments with Noah in pictures, and we want to share our favorites. Along with some of the pictures that we took, the hospital works with a program called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Photographers volunteer in this program to come to hospitals and take pictures of families and their infants who have fallen asleep. We worked with a photographer named Dennis and he was wonderful. I am so thankful to have these pictures to help us remember Noah. I have to say Noah was one beautiful baby boy. We still can't get over how much hair he had. So here are just a few of our favorites from our collection.


Laying in my lap

 Look at all his hair!

 Four generations

 His perfect little feet

 One of our favorites from the photographer.

In his owl hat. : )

Family (I love his little grin)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Noah's Memorial

While we were still waiting on Noah to arrive, Aaron and I had to make two different sets of plans. One set was what we would do if we brought Noah home. Obviously this was the preferred set of plans. We had the nursery ready to go, doctors picked out ready to take him to, clothes that would work for him, basically anything we could think of to make him as comfortable as possible once we brought him home.


As hard as it was, we also had to make plans for the possibility that Noah would go to his eternal home instead of our temporary one. These are the ones we will be using. We had a lot of discussion about what our plans would be. We decided on a family only service. We know so many people love Noah, but we knew that for the first few weeks, we wouldn't be able to handle a large amount of people in person.


We will be having our services on Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM at Central church of Christ in Moore. We have had a few people ask where we would like flowers sent. If flowers are sent, the church is where they should be sent on Thursday. We have also been asked where we would like donations to be made in Noah's memory. Aaron and I are very touched by this and love this idea. We decided on a choice of two places. The first is the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. If you would like to make a donation in Noah's memory to the OI Foundation you can go to http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HH_MemorialsHonorGifts. The second place we chose is Camp Attitude. Camp Attitude is in Oregon and they have a week specifically for children with OI to come to summer camp. To make a donation there,go to www.campattitude.com and click on donate, then designate the funds go directly to the OI camp if you want. Or you can mail it and donate in Noah's name and specify go to Snowflake (OI) Camp. 


Please do not feel obligated to send flowers or make a donation. We are simply providing this information for those who have made requests. We have already had so much support and are so thankful for everyone who has helped us over the past few months. We love you all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Baby Boy

Aaron and I are making it through our first morning without our baby boy. My mom was able to get the pictures she took uploaded so we've spent the morning looking at them and being comforted. We won't lie, today is worse than yesterday, realizing that we will be going home soon alone without Noah. Without him for the first time in 9 months. And that is so so hard. But looking at these pictures, we know that he will always be with us, and that he has changed us for the better in so many ways. Right now we want to share a couple of photos with you. After we are able to get all of our pictures together, we will share them with you.


Noah was already mischievous like his daddy. He was blowing spit bubbles at his grandma. Also like a typical boy, he managed to pee on the nurses when they changed his diaper. I had to laugh when they told me about that.

Noah sleeping in his daddy's arms, this is one of my favorite pictures.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Perfect Peace

Sorry guys, E can't put the laptop computer on her lap yet. She is doing better in her recovery. This is A, the husband again. We had an abrupt start to our morning today. I was awakened by my in-laws bringing breakfast to our room. My father-in-law went down to see how Noah was doing. Shortly after he left he came back into the room to tell us we need to go down stairs as quick as we could. The phone rang in our room, and it was a RN from the NICU telling us that Noah was having difficulties and we needed to see him. In a rush, we got E out of bed and in a wheelchair to see Noah for the first time since the split second glance in the delivery room. 

When we got down there his heart rate was in the 190's. His oxygen saturation was in the 20's with 100% oxygen being supplied. His vitals were no longer stable at this point. I wanted Noah to be held by his mother. The nurses (who have been nothing short of wonderful) did their best and were able to get Noah in E's lap while he was on the vent. We had time together as a family. We shared a long prayer. After signing some papers, the neonatologist removed the vent from Noah's mouth. His mother was the only person in this world to hold him while he was alive. In perfect peace and a small grin on his face, Noah Red Austin passed from this life into the next. From a temporary life into an eternal life. From a flawed life into a perfect one. From a broken life into a complete one. Inexplicably, there is a certain peace that neither I nor E have felt since our 20 week appointment. Noah was at rest. Our souls were at rest. Noah was home. In the hours that followed, there was much prayer. Many hugs. Many tears. An abundance of family and love. 

We would like to thank everyone once again for all of the encouragement we have received. Albeit through facebook, the bump, the blog, cards, calls, texts, or hugs. Every bit of encouragement was not only appreciated, but also needed. There is not possibly any way to repay each of you for that. So we thank God for your help in this time of need. 

Now I would like to share a few random things about Noah. He was ticklish on the bottoms of his feet. Each time I touched the bottoms of his feet he immediately pulled them away. He had his mothers complexion. He had his mother's hair. He had his dad's nose. He had his dad's eyebrows (according to mom). And he had his dad's grin (once again according to his mom). He was with us in this world for 19 hours and 34 minutes. And he has already touched more lives than I ever could have dreamed. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When Words Fail

First of all I apologize if you are expecting to hear from E tonight. She is currently in the hospital bed recovering from her c-section. So, you guessed it this is her husband A. With that out of the way we will continue to what is important, Noah. As a father, there are really no words that can possibly describe the feeling you have when you see your child for the first time. As I saw Dr. S pull Noah into this world I could do nothing but shed a tear. Knowing and seeing how precious he is alleviates many worries. Unfortunately not long after he was brought into this world he had to be placed on a respirator. At first his body was not absorbing oxygen, that problem later went away. At first his heart beat was about half of what it should be, that problem went away later. The one problem he has that still remains, he lacks the volume in his chest cavity to take a deep enough breath to sustain his own life. Thus he remains on the respirator. As a few hours past today our neonatologist met us in our room. He spoke words that as a father you never want to hear "Your son's condition is not compatible with life." I would try to describe to you this feeling, but words fail. So I am sitting in E's room tonight knowing that Noah's life is 100% dependent on a machine breathing for him. The neonatologist took x-rays of Noah and confirmed our worst fears, Noah IS as bad as the ultrasounds had made his condition out to be. His official diagnosis, Osteogenesis Imperfecta type II.
E and I have talked out our plans. We have decided to wait until E feels strong enough physically to go and see Noah. After we get to hold him and be a family for a short-time, we will have the respirator removed. We have known for quite a while that Noah's future was in God's hands. We knew if he wasn't coming home with us, he would go to his eternal home with God. We still have him for a few hours. Then God will bring him home. We are blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends and family for support. When I came into the waiting room after being asked to leave the NICU for an x-ray i found myself surrounded by a large host of family and friends. In total including myself and my dad there were 12 ministers present, 10 from the city. and too many brother's and sisters in Christ for me to recall. The day has been such a blur and it is still hard to imagine that it is reality.
Noah Red Austin came into this world at 1:35 pm March 24, 2011, a day I will never forget. A day that has changed my life forever. He weighed 4lbs 11 oz, which is bigger than he was expected to weigh. He is 13.5 inches long. He has a head full of dark hair like his momma. He has a wide nose like his dad. He is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank anyone and everyone that has said a prayer on our behalf, I am indebted to you for your love and kindness. I would like to thank any and everybody who were here at the hospital for support. The numerous cards have been a blessing. The texts, calls, messages on facebook, and all other encouragement have been greatly treasured. I do ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers. I love you all. May God bless you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Last Night

Tonight we are finishing up getting things together for the hospital tomorrow. It's hard to believe that tomorrow this step of the journey with Noah will be over. This pregnancy has gone by so quickly. Physically this pregnancy was as easy as could be hoped for; emotionally this is the hardest months that I have ever gone through. I wouldn't trade one minute with Noah. He has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I hope that I will be given years with him but if not I'm thankful for the time I have been given. 


Before church tonight, the ladies had a prayer meeting for our family. I can't express enough how thankful and touched I am to have such a wonderful group of ladies to call my church family. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family, and so many wonderful friends and family that have been with us. Thank you just doesn't express enough. 


We will try to let everyone know how things go tomorrow as soon as we are able. I'm sure we will have people helping us get the word out. Prayers for a successful surgery and for Noah. We love you all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

36 Week Appointment

We had our last ultrasound of Noah today. Appointment started out with the usual stuff, along with Aaron and Noah playing their fist bump game. As far as the ultrasound went, Noah still looks about the same. His belly growth has slowed, but everything with the umbilical cord looked good so the doctor isn't concerned about it. While the tech was doing the ultrasound, we learned something new. Noah already has hair, quite visible on the ultrasound. We didn't get an actual picture of it, but it was definitely there. When the doctor came in to do the ultrasound, he got to Noah's head and said, "Man does he have some hair! He'll have to have a haircut when he gets here!" We all laughed at that. I can't wait to see what color it is. We were lucky enough to not see any fractures this time. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but at least we didn't see any. Overall everything went well. His heart rate is 140 and he is still as cute as he could be. 


I will have another appointment next week just to check the usual things, and then in two weeks we will be meeting Noah in person for the first time! Thank you everyone for your continued prayers! Here are the pictures we were given today.


Cute one of his foot.

His little hands

Yep, still a boy. : )

And some of his face. : )


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

35 Week Appointment

Not much to update today. I went in for a regular appointment, which felt odd because I haven't had an appointment without an ultrasound in awhile. Noah's heart was 140. We had to wait on the doctor awhile, but we found a way to pass the time. Noah was being very active this morning (thank you orange juice!) so he and his daddy were playing a game. Aaron would tap on my belly with his fingers and then quit. Noah would then kick him. And repeat. They kept this up for awhile, cracking me up while they were at it. The doctor then came in and measured my big belly. Apparently I'm measuring 36-37 weeks. I don't feel that big but apparently I am. The doctor was pleased that Noah is pretty active. Overall a good appointment and good morning. We will have an ultrasound next week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thankful for my Cross

This Sunday, Westside has an illustration on the front of their bulletin that hit home with me this week. I felt the need to share it.
A ROOM FULL OF CROSSES
A young man was at the end of his rope one day. He felt as though he had tried everything he knew to remedy his situation. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer.
"Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy of a cross to bear."
The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."
The man was filled with relief. "Thank you, Lord," he sighed as he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large that the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a small cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered.
And the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."
The young man had just been taught that when life's problems seem overwhelming, he should look around and see the problems of others.
He probably will find — as we all would — that he is far more fortunate than he ever imagined.
When is the last time you stopped and looked around to consider your blessings?
-Tim Woodward

I think I needed reminded of this. Things could be so much worse for us right now. Yes, things are pretty serious. We have to deal with the thought that Noah may not come home with us. But then, if he doesn't come home with us, he gets to go to a home where he won't have to suffer, or feel pain, or face discrimination. Why should that be bad news? Yes, I pray every day that we will get to bring him home and will be sad if I can't keep him, but if we don't get to, I don't have to worry about him. Our situation could be so so much worse.  I'm thankful for my cross.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hospital Tour

Just a small update.
Yesterday, A and I went and toured Mercy where we will be having Noah. I am so so glad that we went. We went and saw the room that I will be in, where the nurse answered all the questions that we had (usually before we asked them). It helped that they know about Noah's condition beforehand, because they were able to reassure us that they will be VERY careful handling him. I'm thankful for this because I know what could happen if they aren't careful. We were then able to actually go into the NICU and take a look around an empty room just so we know what to expect. It helps knowing our surroundings beforehand so that we won't be overwhelmed. We are very glad that we went and were very impressed with the hospital.


For those wanting to know what to pray for, here's a list of what I'm praying for.
1. That Noah continues to grow (especially his chest)
2. That when Noah is born, he is able to breathe with no/or very little help and that he doesn't have a lot of fractures.
3. For the Doctors and Nurses that will be with us during the C-section and taking care of Noah.
4. That, if Aaron and I have to make difficult decisions concerning Noah, that we will have peace with those decisions.


Continued thanks to everyone for their prayers for us and for Noah!