Thursday, September 26, 2013

Siblings for Noah

this is a subject i've avoided talking about since starting this blog, but has been constantly on my mind and remains incredibly close to my heart. or moreover, it IS my heart...

(hashtag) siblings for noah.

because i was never a mother before noah, i never knew my capacity to love. but being noah's mommy has taken my heart to a dimension i had no idea existed. i specifically remember a moment when noah first got admitted to the NICU, when he was covered in tubes and masks, under a hot light, and i literally felt like it was me lying there on the table. i even said to one of the nurses, "please take good care of him, that little boy is my heart." and she gently nodded, as if she knew exactly what i meant.

and i'm terrified, terrified, that i wouldn't be able to love another baby as much as i love him. i just don't see how it's possible, because i love him so much.

i would imagine anyone who is preparing to have a second child (or third or fourth or the duggar's twentieth) has a similar fear. is there room in my heart for more?

but then i also have the added baggage that my firstborn is no longer with us and so would i constantly be comparing our next child with my fantasy of who noah "could have been"? or, worse, and i'm ashamed to say this, but would i, deep down, unconsciously wish they were noah? 

because, my God, he was perfect.

i've talked with my husband, at length, about my fear and he, in only a way he can, helps me lift my eyes and find hope. 

he's told me numerous times that i will love and cherish our future children even more because of noah.

and i want to believe that. 

the only thing i really know is that i had no idea what my capacity was to love that 7 pound, 5 ounce bundle of cuteness, and it's out of this world, so i trust i have no idea the love i'm still capable of.

noah will always, always have a very special place in our hearts and family. he will always be our firstborn. his life will forever be an integral part of ours. the void of him not being with us will never go away. he can never, ever, EVER be replaced. he was noah hudson butler and there will never be another.

but there will be others. our greatest pride. our deepest joy.

our rainbows after the storm. 

stay tuned. 

18 comments:

  1. McCayla- Love you. Thank you for letting many journey with you.

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    1. thank you for doing the journey with me! i wouldn't have the strength to do it otherwise. much love.

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  2. rainbows after the storm - a promise of wonders to come.

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    1. YES. and i was going to quote that exact thing, then i forgot!
      love. love. love.

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  3. Beautiful thoughts. I have no doubt the capacity of your wonderful heart to grow even larger with love for a rainbow baby. And I have no doubt that John is right, and you will love those rainbows even more because of sweet Noah. Another one of his many legacies. I am looking forward to the next chapter. :)

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    1. thanks, auntie laura. love you so, so much.

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  4. I remember struggling with these same thoughts after Hope was born and I was pregnant with Malia. I can only imagine it's complicated by Noah's absence on earth and your heart longings. I remember checking out volumes of books at the library about siblings and mother love (they have those books...but I didn't find them helpful :)). Your capacity to love will always surprise you. Fear not. It's something you can't comprehend until you hold your second baby. Just like your love for Noah shocked and moved you and brought you to new places...your love for Noah's brother or sister will amaze you as well. Love you and praying for you. You are an incredible mom.

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    1. thanks so much, amy. you are so incredibly thoughtful.

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  5. A mother's heart has an infinite ability to grow and love each child equally as much as the first. It's truly a gift from God that you cannot comprehend until you hold that baby in your arms. I think every mother has that fear and it is vanquished as soon as you are handed your child. I pray for you daily and can't wait for you to see for yourself how big your heart can grow!

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    1. thank you for all your continued prayers and love, margaret!! you're amazing.

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  6. Do not think of your capacity to love like a cup that can only hold so much - we cannot comprehend our full ability to love, just like we cannot possibly comprehend the scope of God's love for us. It just IS. Our love for our children just IS. It encompasses so much, our emotions and our bodies cannot keep up with it sometimes. Love can be painful, exasperating and an infinite joy all within the span of minutes.
    -Alicea

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    1. so true that our capacity is not like a cup ... "our love for our children just IS." i love that. thanks, alicea :)

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  7. McCayla,
    I have followed your story and my heart has ached for you and John. You see my son Fuller thinks you hung the moon. He said that when you would greet them at church, you made the kids feel welcome but it went farther than that. You made them feel cared for, that they mattered. You ARE love McCayla. If you can make a 13-14 year old boy feel loved...if you can make children that you didn't bear feel cared for I think any future siblings of precious Noah will be loved to capacity just dandy with your endless heart.
    -Tammy

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    1. wow. that is so kind to say, tammy. but fuller is super easy to love. :) thank you for your sweet words... that touches my heart!

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  8. McCayla - I started reading your blogs a few weeks ago and have shared them with numerous friends. I'm so so so sorry for your loss and I admire how you are sharing your journey. I shared one of your blogs the other day with a friend who has lost both parents in the last year and she really enjoyed your perspective. I'm praying for you and your family and I'm thankful that through your words I've gotten to "know" Noah. He is a gift. - Morgan McKeown from Whitworth.

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    1. oh, thank you so much, morgan, for taking the time to get to know our noah. that blesses me greatly. and thank you for your prayers. much love to you.

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  9. I've pondered the same thing. I. also feel that I will love future children more because I know how precious they are, after loosing my Joel. I also plan to make sure they know they have an older brother, he just wasn't with our family here on earth for long. Best wishes to you and the blessings of a rainbow!

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  10. I am not sure that I would have been able to have more children at the time mentally anyhow. I lost both of my kids at the age of 27, tubes tide, engaged to be married a second time, I was out of my mind. As I got older I wish I could have had more but I guess God had other plans for me. As for you my dear, having another sounds like a great blessing for you both. Having a childs love is like no other love out there. The sounds of "Mommy I love you" is a cherishing sound that will melt your heart the first time you hear it! I would imagine you will compare Noah to your other children but I would think that remembering him will help one to appreciate the ones who are here even more so even on those days you want to disappear from the mommy job! Much love to you and May God bless and guide you both on your journey to parenthood!

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