On Thursday September 6 2018 at 07:31am, our sweet baby angel Noah Ray Ballard was born sleeping. 👼🏼
It was a blur while everything was going on yesterday, but now that I’ve had a whole day to process everything it’s all so vivid to me now. It started on Wednesday… I had experienced some scant amounts of pink tinged spotting throughout the day. It didn’t concern me with how little bleeding there was, but something inside me was pushing me to use our fetal Doppler when I got home from work to check Noah’s heartbeat. Chad and I usually got his heartbeat pretty easily, because hello.. there’s not a whole lot of room in my belly for baby to move. But we spent over an hour trying to find it, and heard nothing. We were both so confused because we literally had just heard Noah’s heartbeat AND I felt him move the previous day. But we were both scared. We knew something was wrong. But we decided to just BREATHE, go to bed, and try again in the morning — then go see the doc if we needed to.
But later that night.. err super early the next morning, rather.. my stomach started cramping real bad like I had to have a bowel movement. I tried to ignore it because I was so sleepy, but the cramps finally got to the point where it was so uncomfortable that I could no longer sleep. So I looked at my phone (04:00am) and reluctantly rolled outta bed to get to the bathroom. Before I even made it out of bed, there was a squirt of fluid that came out. And as soon as I fully stood up, this fluid just GUSHED out onto the floor. Seeing as this was our first pregnancy, and the fact that I was only 20 weeks, I had no idea what was happening. But deep down I knew it wasn’t good.
So we went to the hospital. On the way there, I started having contractions.. about 4 minutes apart, and thankfully not too painful (at the time). Once we arrived to the hospital, we were brought into the triage room right away. They strapped me up to monitor contractions, and the nurses tried to find a heartbeat on their Doppler.. nothing. So the next steps were to wait for the ultrasound tech to come in, and for the on-call doctor to come see us as well.
During this short period of time, the contractions started to come closer together and got a lot more intense. My pain intensity was climbing up fast, but I declined the epidural and all other pain meds — which in hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have even had time to receive any even if I had wanted them!
By the time the doctor came in to do the ultrasound, my contractions were like less than a minute apart and I was in tears because it was so hurting so bad EVERYWHERE. My back was killing me, my whole body spasmed and trembled & I felt the pressure of Noah trying to bust through with every contraction at this point. My eyes were squeezed shut through most of these bad contractions, but every time I opened my eyes and saw Chad by my face I felt so bad that he was having to witness me go through all this pain. But he was sooooo good at keeping me calm, and talking me through everything. I couldn’t have done ANY of this without him.
The doctor was unable to see or hear a heartbeat on the ultrasound, and then proceeded to check my cervix to see how far dilated I was. I was already at a 10. He then told me that Baby has most likely already passed and they were going to move me into a Labor & Delivery room to deliver him, but I told the doctor NOPE because Noah was coming now. The doctor didn’t believe me, and since he was running the show.. the nurses just stood there with him. But I knew. And with the next contraction, I pushed once and out came our baby boy. Our little angel Noah Ray Ballard. 👼🏼 Of course, after that.. all the staff went into “oh shit” mode and jumped in to grab Baby to clean up and then help me deliver the placenta.
The whole thing was so surreal. The way it happened. The way everything ran so smoothly. The way my body reacted so quickly. The way I was able to give birth to Noah naturally and vaginally like I had wanted from the beginning. The way I instinctively knew what to do, with no direction from the medical team or any birthing classes or reading material under my belt. And despite of Noah being stillborn, it was all so amazing to think back and replay everything that happened yesterday morning. And there’s only one reason of HOW everything worked out perfectly the way it did — GOD.
Chad and I both had known that this was a possible outcome due to Noah’s diagnoses of cystic hygroma and fetal hydrops. But we both stood strong in our Faith and put all of our trust in God that he would heal this baby and perform a miracle.
Yes, our baby did not make it to take even a single breath in this world. Yes, we are both completely heartbroken over the loss of our sweet boy. But are we mad at God? Absolutely not.
We both prayed constantly for Noah to be healed. And he was. We obviously had hoped for the healing to take place in the form of all the fluid disappearing, and for Noah to be healthy. But God’s plan for healing was different than what we had hoped for. Instead, He healed our little Noah by taking away his pain and suffering inside of my womb. I know it’s cliche to say, but Noah truly is in a better place where he will never ever have to hurt or suffer.
We also prayed desperately for a miracle to happen. And of course, in our minds that meant healing our baby and allowing him to have LIFE outside of my womb. But again, God’s form of a miracle wasn’t what we desired. But it was something just as amazing.
- One miracle he gave us was bringing myself and Chad closer to one another, which we didn’t even think was possible with how close we already were. We were a strong couple before, but after going through this pregnancy and birth — we really have molded into one. Where one falls sad or insecure.. the other automatically steps up to carry the weaker. When one starts to have doubts or fear, the other reassures the scared partner. When one’s faith starts to falter, the other’s increases by tenfold to restrengthen the other. I feel our bond is now truly unbreakable, and that is a miracle to me because people search a whole lifetime for a love and partnership like ours — and I know many don’t even come close to finding it.
- Another miracle that came out of this pregnancy, is that it brought us closer to God himself. Our Faith in Him has grown exponentially since the moment we conceived Noah. We poured into Him, and experienced many supernatural encounters with Him over the last few months and MAN it was amazing. I didn’t know how it could feel so beautiful to have such a strong connection to God, and how peaceful it could make me feel. And I know deep in my heart and soul that if we didn’t have this strong of a relationship and trust in God, that we would have a much harder time grieving for our angel baby. It’s like God was preparing us all this time because He knew what was to come, and He loves us so much that He wanted to soften the blow for us.
- And the most beautiful miracle of all, is that our little Noah got a direct ticket into heaven from my cozy womb. He’s up there, pain free, happy, and healthy.. just hangin’ out with God. He’s our guardian angel, that’s now watching over myself and Chad.. and he’ll be able to keep watch over his future siblings.. the continuation of our family. I know that he’s up there waiting for us to see him again some day, and he will be a constant reminder to us to live our lives the way God wants us to so that we will be guaranteed a spot in heaven and be reunited with our son again.
With all that said, I know it “sounds” like I’m all strong and handling my grief and heartbreak fine. But I’m not. I’m a mess. I can’t look at my reflection with my flat belly without crying. There are reminders of Noah all over the our home and I cry every time I see any of them. I could be “normal” one moment, and then have a flashback of giving birth to Noah and holding him in my arms and just completely lose it. I could look at Chad and see how sad he is, and start bawling. BUT I know that it won’t be like this forever. And I know the pain will never fully go away either. But I do realize that it will get a little bit easier eventually, and we won’t hurt as much anymore. We just have to keep our faith strong and trust that God has a greater plan for us and our growing family. ❤️
Mommy and daddy love you so so much Noah Ray. Carrying you in my belly was the most amazing experience ever, every single moment of it.. From the all heartbeats we heard, every ultrasound we got to see you in, to all the times we both felt you move and flip around in there. Watching my body change and grow along with yours was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We miss you more than words can explain already Noah, and can’t wait to hold you in our arms again in the eternal life. 💙👼🏼 We love you, son. Be good up there in heaven, and wait for mommy and daddy ok??