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 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 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.