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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

11 months

Today marks 11 months since loosing baby Noelle. I went to church this morning for the first time in over a month and I wanted to cry the entire service. I don’t know if it’s because being there reminded me of all of the prayers that weren’t answered a year ago. Or if it was that I was reminded of how empty and lost I still feel.

Everyone sees me pregnant and I feel I am expected to be happy now. All of the people in church are so excited for me but all I wanted to do was break down crying.

I have lived 11 months without my daughter. Right now I am stressed planning a first birthday for her where I know I will want to spend the entire day cuddled up with her blanket (I got it back!) crying. Most Moms are planning a first birthday for their child and are so excited to see them try cake for the first time. They want to be surrounded by family and friends and have a huge celebration.

I want to do that for Noelle too but I know that I am going to need space that day.

The past month has been really hard. So many memories of my life this time last year keep flashing before me. Halloween last year, when we first found out there was something wrong. All of November we were in and out of doctor’s offices constantly being told different prognoses. One day the fluid would be decreased, the next day we were being told we need surgery. I was so hopeful she would make it.

I remember thinking about when she would be born, thinking of how I would have to spend a lot of nights in the hospital while she was in the NICU fighting. But she only fought for 32 minutes and I never thought of what would happen when her fight here on earth ended.

I still replay every moment in my mind. What if we didn’t do anything at all? Would it have made a difference? Did we do too much? What if I didn’t get the C-section? Would she still be here? And what would that look like today if she was still here?

I will never have the answer to any of these questions. I will never know what my life would look like if Noelle were still here on earth with me. But now I have another baby on the way that wouldn’t be here if things turned out differently for Noelle. Now I am starting a foundation that will lead my life and, hopefully, the lives of many families and their children in a direction it wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

I won’t fully realize the impact of her life for a long time. But I know it is great. I know it is my responsibility to keep her spirit alive and to live my life with purpose.

My tears in church today were a reflection of my companionship with God. I know He sees me. He knows how much my heart is still breaking. With Him, I can be honest. With Him I can break down. I don’t have to be happy and pregnant. I can be sad about the daughter I lost and I can also be excited about the child to come. My prayers weren’t answered a year ago. But God has great plans for my life and surely for Noelle’s life. I believe that. And because of Noelle, my heart will never be the same.

“Since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning. And you won’t spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God” -1 Peter 4:1-2

No one wants to suffer and I must remember that I am not alone in my suffering. I pray that through this suffering, I will better understand others. I pray I will better understand God and his purpose for my life. And if I follow that path, I pray it will lead me to Noelle.

Happy 11 Months in heaven my sunshine. I will try and plan a special first birthday for you. I hope heaven has cake.

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