Noah

Noah is my twelve-year-old son. He really never does anything that causes me to run in circles, and he’s mostly independent now around the house. He doesn’t paint the walls or cut up all my typing paper. He doesn’t spill drinks or put himself in dangerous situations. I never run through the house frantically asking, “Where’s Noah? What is he doing?” So it may seem that there’s less to write about where he’s concerned. It isn’t true, though. He’s here. And he’s wonderful.

I was twenty-one when Noah was born. I had been married for just over a year, and I had no idea the struggles my husband and I would face together. I was about six months  into my pregnancy when my fluffy daydreams were shattered. He was coming, and it was too soon. One day I was happily decorating the nursery  and the next I was dying in a hospital bed, unable to give my son the safe haven he needed inside of me. The doctors tried for eight days to keep him inside me, but eventually it became necessary to take him. He was born at twenty-seven weeks and weighed two pounds.

The first time I got to see him he was covered in wires and little stickers. He had tubes everywhere. He was so tiny that when they handed him to me it felt like I had an empty blanket in my arms. But there was no doubt that he was there. I was desperately in love with my tiny son and desperately afraid of what we would have to go through. Afraid of what he would have to go through. Every time he stopped breathing I felt like I would die. I saw other mothers lose their children in NICU, but I couldn’t allow myself to even imagine it happening to me.

He weighed four pounds when we brought him home with our strict instructions for keeping him well. No one could hold him. I’m sure you can imagine how well that went down on our first day back at church! I held him firmly and pushed away any attempts to get too close to him, surprised that anyone could get angry with me for it. That still surprises me. It was, however, the beginning of a lifetime of over-protective behavior on my part. He’s still my preemie in some ways.

We were fortunate. Noah has asthma, but it seems to be the only effect his premature birth has had on him, aside from my need to shield him from the world. I’ve learned to relax, but I’m always that mama bear, waiting to pounce. His gym teacher once told him to “shut up and run” when he told her he couldn’t breathe. She found out just how very frightening a tiny woman can be! And we found out that we wanted to homeschool Noah.

He’s here with me every day, a self-appointed third parent to Gabe, though we try to discourage that. He’s smart and funny and loving. He’s my baby, though he’s almost as tall as I am. I will always see that tiny tube-covered baby when I look at him. But he’s so much more.

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~ by Rachel McMahon on October 26, 2010.

4 Responses to “Noah”

  1. He sounds a lot like my favorite Noah!

  2. You know they say what doesn’t kill us makes us strong. It sounds like he’s a tough little guy. Also I could just imagine you drop kicking people at your church. ; D

  3. I LOVE his picture Rachel! And the story is a bonus! Keep on keeping on.

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