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.