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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

16 months

This past month has been beautiful. We welcomed our rainbow baby into this world on March 26th. A baby girl who immediately reminded us of our sweet Noelle.

We named her Lillian Josephine Laughlin. We loved the name Lily since we lost Noelle because Noelles middle name was Philomena and St Philomenas flower is the Lily. So we knew if we had a girl that name would be high on the list. And it fits her perfectly.

Throughout my pregnancy with Lily I kept convincing myself she was a boy. I think it was just too hard for me to imagine having a girl. If it was a girl, would it be like I was replacing Noelle? Would it be too hard to look down at this baby girl and wish I had Noelle here? But it is proving to be so heart warming to be holding her sister in my arms. She is her own person of course, but they truly do look alike. And we never saw Noelle with her eyes open, so it’s healing to imagine what she would have looked like.

Of course I have had moments where I am just so sad- so sad that I didn’t get to bond with Noelle the way I am bonding with Lily. So sad that Noelle will never experience this life. But then again she is in such a better place and I believe that with all my heart. We will have our time together, I know it.

For now, I am soaking in every second with my Lily. This is what I have been waiting for- to be a parent. To nurture my baby. Every sleepless night, every poopy diaper and every cry I cherish. Yes I’m tired, yes I have spent most days in my pajamas and haven’t really left my house but I love it and when I have a moment of frustration I remember how blessed I am. I remember all the moms and dads who don’t ever get to have their rainbow baby they have dreamed of. I remember Noelle and how all I wished for was to hear her cry, but I never heard her cry.

When I was pregnant with Lily, I had several dreams where the baby was born and the room was filled with the baby’s cry. I think it was because I didn’t hear Noelle cry and so that was a huge fear of mine going into this birth. Lily did not disappoint. She had the most beautiful, distinct cry I have ever heard. The doctors, Alex, my mom and sister and myself were all amazed. It was my dream come true.

I was so nervous that I would need another csection with Lily. A few of the doctors highly recommended another csection because of the risk of uterine rupture- telling me it could be “catastrophic” if I had a vaginal birth. However we want more children (God willing) and there is a lot of risk to the mother when you start piling on multiple csections. I also selfishly was so traumatized by my csection with Noelle that I wanted an entirely different experience this time. And I’m so happy we listened to our hearts and successfully had a vaginal birth. I know my Noelle was watching over us.

I like to think Noelle and Lily are already friends. I like to think they played together in heaven before God sent Lily into my arms. And in case she forgets, I will talk about her all the time and together we will live this life fully, in honor of Noelle. I know we will all be together as a family someday and until then I pray my Noelle continues to inspire me from afar and encourage me to be the best Mom I can be to her sister and to any other siblings that may come.

Thank you my sweet Noelle for being my light, my joy, my sunshine. I miss you terribly. I love you always.

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