Her delivery did not go as planned. I had opted for an all natural birth-no drugs....WTF was I thinking? After about 13 hours, I decided drugs were fine by me. The drugs, however, just made me feel like I was floating on the ceiling writhing in pain. At 19 hours, I gave up the fight with my doctor, who had told me all along a natural birth was unlikely. He walked in the room, asked me if I was ready for my C-section, and off we went to the OR.
I was scared. Scared of the epidural, scared of the whole idea of a C-section, and scared that Brian was going to fall through the drape that separated my upper and lower body. He was on his toes staring over the screen, carefully watching every move the doctor made and reporting back to me.
"They are cutting through fat."
"They are STILL cutting through fat."
And finally, in the midst of all the talk about my fat, I heard her cry out. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I could see her across the room as they cleaned her little body. She was kicking her foot and screaming. When she was brought to me, while I still laid on the operating table, I rubbed my finger against her cheek and stared deep into her eyes. She stopped crying and stared back...and all was right in the world. Here was my beautiful baby girl. The nurses called her Peanut. I called her Noelle.
After her Dad and I divorced, there were times I didn't get to spend her actual birthday with her, but that was okay. We would chose a different day to celebrate. After she began to realize that her Dad's family would celebrate her birthday on Thanksgiving, it became her favorite holiday. Pumpkin pie and presents!
This year, Noelle will not be here with us for her 19th birthday party. Her body lies six feet underground, while her soul dances down streets of gold.
The hardest thing for me to come to terms with in regards to Noelle's death is that she didn't get to experience all the things in life that I had hoped for her.
The scariest thing about her death is that she will be forgotten.
The saddest thing is that she touched so many people's lives in her short 18 years. Who knows what she could have gone on to do had she lived?
I would sell my soul to the devil to bring her back, but that only happens in Charlie Daniels songs. (I know, here I am making jokes at inappropriate moments, it's kind of what I do.)
I can't breathe life back into her body, but we all can let her memory live on through us. Hence #liveonnoelle. Even if you never met my daughter, when you experience something new, or even something mundane, take a selfie (you know you are doing it anyway) and use #liveonnoelle, tweet it to her page @noellenicolenew so that Noelle can experience life through you. And so you can make a grieving Mom smile.