Mar 14, 2017

Noah Bear: Six Months

Remember that baby that I told you I was going to birth in the mountains. Well he's here. And he's six months old. And well I never officially announced his presence because having a baby in the mountains and then moving states away with your newborn and your toddler all less than one week from the day you gave birth isn't exactly when you have the most free time.

The sleepless nights of the newborn stage while chasing a toddler during the "sleep when the baby sleeps" hours doesn't leave time for any sort of coherent writing. Someday I'll try to explain this to Noah like my mom explained my baby sister's empty baby book that had a few pictures in the box it was encased in. Sorry kid, there was more to do than to sit down and write every moment of your life. (Just to be clear my mom later finished my sister's baby book and she probably did a much better job years later.)

Our Noah Bear came into this world with a bit of surprise and a lot of expectation. Camp had ended and we waited for his arrival. Since Lincoln was born an entire month early we expected Noah to be early too, but Noah would prove to take his own sweet time. Eventually a little "worry" on a ultrasound would cause me to be induced and our Noah Bear entered into the world.

His first days were crazy. We stayed in the hospital longer than we had planned. Noah went "home" to our cabin at camp with a rolling oxygen tank that he absolutely hated. We had a fussy baby whose fussiness we would later come to find was due to a tongue tie that made him almost starve for the first few weeks of his life. My parents flew to meet us in Colorado where Kyle packed our entire summer cabin into our minivan and drove home while I, Lincoln, newborn Noah and my mom and dad all flew back to Texas.

The next few weeks were a blur of doctor's appointments. Bilirubin this and tongue tie that. Hearing screening here and VLCAD check there. For about a month I thought to myself "what have we done?" and then the dust settled. (Well also the tongue tie was resolved and Noah could finally be the milk drunk happy baby that "everyone else" had.)

And then I was able to clearly see the new little baby we had been blessed with. Noah Bear is a joy. Everyone remarks about how happy he is, his toothless grin can light up a room. He is so very "chill." While Lincoln wanted to be swaddled and coddled, Noah's favorite place to sleep was unswaddled on the living room floor. Fussy baby? Oh, then just lay him on the ground.

Noah has a peace about him which is so very funny because it's one of the reasons I named him Noah. Noah means rest or comfort or peace. And I remember going back and forth about names and thinking that I would love to have a name that meant peace. As I was driving to one of my many doctor's appointments something on the radio mentioned the name Noah and there it was. I felt like the Lord had given me such a great peace throughout my pregnancy with Noah, and now here he is: a model of peace.

It's funny how I probably know him best of anyone, but how I often feel like I don't know him at all. After having Lincoln around for almost two and a half years I know him so well. I look at Noah and I long to know who he is and who he will become. I see so many differences between he and Lincoln and I want to see how that plays out. I wish I had the time to just sit and stare at him like I did Lincoln but that's not our reality. Noah may get a little less of me but that means he gets a special love that Lincoln did not know, that of an older sibling. The way Lincoln loves Noah is a big love and the way Noah's face lights up when he sees his big brother is remarkable.

Noah Bear,

You are filled with peace. You are filled with joy. You are squishy and your smile is contagious. You can roll over and hold that head much better than your brother could at your age which is probably why you won't have to wear a baby helmet like he did. You have no scar on your forearm because medicine has improved so much in the short time since Lincoln was born that you had a different test for VLCAD. Truth is, Lincoln's biopsy results, his scar, gave us more information about you. Your sister Hannah also helped you. The doctors in Colorado were so concerned about you because of Hannah's stillbirth that you got biweekly check-ups and one of those checkups was what led to your induction. We'll never know for sure, but it's possible that weekly ultrasound caught a placental bleed that could have meant your demise. I like to think it was a way God let you sister be a part of your story: her death possibly saving your life.

I cannot wait to know you. I cannot wait to hear the thoughts that I can read deep in your eyes. I cannot wait to see where you run, how you explore and how you grow to bring more joy to those around you. I pray for the day you know the Lord and I pray you know that His love is the best love you'll ever know. And that's saying something because I love you a lot.

If it matters: you weigh 18 pounds, you have a larger than 95th percentile head just like your brother, you can roll over and you can sit up for about three seconds. You started eating avocados about two days before you turned six months old and you cannot seem to eat food fast enough. Your brother and your Daddy make you smile the most and you seem to love me too. You are calm, peaceful, and I love you. Feel free to sleep through the night anytime you want, for now I'll take you sleeping nine hours straight and I'd love for you to learn to nap the way you did when you were a newborn. The "just lay him on the carpet" trick doesn't work quite like it used to but we love you just the same.

Also sorry your six month "photo shoot" was me taking pictures of you laying on your bother's trampoline in a random onesie. You'd been six months old for about a week and I never seemed to find the time to make 'perfect.' These pictures are a picture of our life right now, you're smiling but we aren't winning any awards on Pinterest or anything. But hey, you're a boy, I'm sure you won't mind.

Happy Six Months my Noah Bear. Where did the time go?

Love always,

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