September 17, 2014


The details make up the big picture. The details make the joy. Life is in the details. There are so many details to remember. We don't want to forget a thing.

Here are our details. The little things that make our son so special. So many things to cherish.

Dear Noah,

I love your Miller cheeks. They are the perfect spot for momma to plant all of her kisses. I'm sure you'll get tired of these kisses eventually. But that won't matter. You'll be getting them for years and years to come.

You have your daddy's hairline. As much as it pains him, he's proud of it. So proud of you.

I never imagined that not being pregnant with you would be so hard because it means I have to share you. For nine months, you were all mine. I had you all to myself. We shared secret conversations, tiny movements, hiccups and more. But, seeing the joy you bring to all of our friends and family is so special, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

You gulp your food. I don't know if it's because you haven't quite learned to trust us yet, but you gulp in a panicked measure when we first give you milk. After a few large gulps, you slow down, and enjoy your meal.

Speaking of eating, you are a loud eater. You groan through your entire feast. It's adorable.

When I first met you - when they first placed you on my chest - it was the single most overwhelming moment of my life. I felt like I already knew you. You were a part of me. There are no words to justify this experience.

Your cousin Landon adores you. When he first came to meet you in the hospital, it was the sweetest thing. He had a shy grin about him and couldn't wait to hold you. He even wore a "Big Cousin" shirt. He brought you a toy car that he picked out himself. He talks about how he can't wait to teach you how to play cars and all about dinosaurs. I love watching you both interact. When he left the hospital, he told your Aunt Sheila that he wasn't sure if he was going to like you, but now that he met you, he loves you. And, you are so cute.

You also look so much like Landon when he was born. I hope you are just as sweet as he is.

Daddy and I love your big blue eyes. You're so curious already.

Your head is covered in long, dark hair. I never had heartburn (more than normal, anyway). So much for that wive's tail.

The hair isn't limited to your head. You have long dark hair on you ears as well. Yes, your ears.

When you sleep, you moan. Daddy says I do this, too. I'm not sure about that.

You love to sleep on your side. Even if we put you on your back, you somehow end up on your side one way or another.

You're much more comfortable if you have your legs tucked up under you. I'm sure those nine months in the womb in that position are to thank for this. But you hate having your legs stretched out.

You are gassy. You attended your first wedding, and during the vows, you let out the most obnoxiously loud fart. I'm sure this will become quite less adorable in the coming years, but for now it was the funniest, cutest thing. Daddy assured you to not be embarrassed because, "It happens to the best of us."

Bath time is the worst. I'm sure this will change when you start playing with toys. But for now, you scream. Which leads to tears for momma, too.

You sleep best as a burrito. You love to be swaddled.

You have a sweet little birthmark on your forehead. It's faded a bit already, so I'm not sure if it will last or not.

We had to stay in the hospital a couple extra days because you were running a fever. This meant some blood work had to be done. They brought you back in after being poked and prodded, and understandably so, you were crying. The nurses handed you to me, and the nurse remarked how your cry changed when I took you. She told me that I am your home. You knew me. And this is why your cry changed. I melted all over again.

The first time Daddy and I were asked if we had any children was wonderful getting to say, yes. We have a son. We also had to sign paperwork on your behalf as a parent for the first time. These are the epitome of little joys we are experiencing.

You have the longest fingers and toes. Maybe this is an inclination of getting your Daddy's height.

Those long fingers come in handy as you love to suck on them.

You love to snuggle. I figured you would, as you kept yourself snuggled up in my ribs the majority of the pregnancy. But now, the closer you can get to us the better. I take full advantage of this and snuggle you all while I can because before I know it, you'll be over six foot tall and towering over me.

Having you has made me feel so much closer to your Daddy. I never realized I could feel this tied to him. No matter how long we've been together already, you have bonded us closer than ever.

Your Daddy is a natural. He looks as though he's held you for years. You love it when he bounces you up and down and calm down right away.

You're a great sleeper. For the first couple of nights home from the hospital, we even had to wake you to feed you. Now, you tend to wake up just before our four hour alarm to feed you. Thank you for this. Daddy and I are oh so grateful. Grandma Miller on the other hand doesn't quite think this is fair as I was terrible sleeper. Something about not sleeping through the night until I was five.... Oops.

You startle yourself when you sleep. You'll be sleeping so soundly, then all of a sudden, your arms shoot straight up and you shake. Then they go limp again and your back out. 

You are so loved already. You have so many friends and family that adore you to pieces. 

Your pouty face is spot on. You wind up with a quivering bottom lip, then that full blown pout comes out. I'm sure you'll use this to your full advantage in years to come.

After our favorite nurse got to know your dad and his orneriness, she said it was a good thing you were made extra cute. You're going to need to need it once Daddy teaches you all his tricks, she said. (He's reading 'Farts in the Wild' to you and Landon. See what I mean?)

With that in mind, Grandma Miller anticipates your nickname will be No, No Noah.

You love car rides. You are out once we get moving.

Your Daddy is superman. He has been so wonderful taking care of both you and I after the csection. I hope you get his big heart. 

Your evening routine consists of rocking to sleep with Grandpa Miller. I'm not sure who will miss this the most once we move to Florida.

You have the infamous Miller Toe. Your second to last toe curves inward. Great Grandpa Miller, Grandma Miller, Aunt Sheila, Landon and I all have this genetic marvel. 

When you are trying to stay awake, you use your eyebrows to pull your eyes open and keep them open.

You've started projectile spitting up. Not so adorable little one. Especially the smell that accompanies it.

You already have an array of facial expressions. 

You squeak when you cry. You squeak when you eat. You squeak when you sleep. 

I couldn't sleep the first night after you were born. I was terrified something was going to go wrong. But the nurses got you all snuggled up in a warm blanket and you were just fine. But momma still watched you while you and Daddy got some nap time in.

Everything you do, little one, is so special to Daddy and me. We can't wait to see all of the new details you will develop. We couldn't be any more in love with you. We are so blessed to be your Mommy and Daddy.

September 15, 2014

Noah Matthew - From Daddy's Side

So Michelle shared her version of Noah’s story and I decided to share my version.

August 25! We had a date!! Noah was to come on the 25th. It was a day after he was suppose to be here but at least we knew and weren’t playing the labor guessing game. Though, yes he could still come before, we at least had a potential date. I really wasn’t thinking he could come earlier. In my head he would be here on the 26th. 

On the 24th, I went to bed at my normal time, around 11 p.m. and then around 11:30 p.m. Michelle woke me up saying she thought she had some gas pain in her stomach. As I tried to comfort her, I noticed the pain seemed to come and go. As the time passed I began to think…maybe Noah is ready! So we began to time them and as they became closer and closer things started to get real. When they reached 5 minutes apart we grabbed our stuff and loaded up the car. It was a surreal moment when I placed the car seat in the back, knowing that when we would return it would be full.

The drive to the hospital took way longer than it probably should have. I’ve never driven so cautiously in my life. I was terrified of deer jumping out, hitting potholes and the occasional werewolf (because you know, it’s Shipshewana). When we finally got there, I dropped Michelle off and parked the car. When we got to the OB floor, they got us check in quickly and put in a room. By this time her contractions had increased in intensity. They were coming every 3-5 minutes now. I have heard stories of how helpless guys feel during labor, and it wasn’t until we were there that I understood. I couldn’t do anything. There was nothing I could do to make the pain go away. All I could do was to sit there and hold her hand and squeeze it back. In between contractions I tried to make her as comfortable as possible, whether that meant getting her water, fluffing her pillows, just anything I could do. This helped me, too, to feel like I was at least contributing.

This went on for a few hours (but it felt like days) and then the anesthesiologist came in for the epidural. He went over the procedure and the risks and had Michelle sign some consent forms. I think we were both ready at that point to get some decent pain meds pumping. He got the meds going with out any real problems, but then…as he was cleaning up Michelle’s blood pressure decided to drop. It dropped a lot! As I stared at the monitor and watched as Michelle’s blood pressure dropped, I went over and held her hand and tried to stay calm. I just keep smiling at her (though in my head I was freaking out!!!!) and telling her everything will be ok. I am not sure what made me “snap” out of my trance but I looked around and there were more nurses and the OB in the room now. They were pushing epinephrine, hanging more bags of saline and had an ultra sound going to check on Noah. As Michelle’s blood pressure went down, Noah wasn’t getting the blood he needed so his heart rate went down too. At one point the OB said “guys if we don’t get his heart rate up we are going to have to get him out!” I don’t know how long this orchestrated chaos went on for but finally everything settled back down. Whew!!!

A few more hours passed, Noah’s heart rate wasn’t having the variability they would like to see so the OB came in to have the “talk.” We went over the pros and cons of a c-section and we signed the consent forms. As we were talking, Noah’s heart rate began to have the variability that they needed to see so we decided to hold off on the c-section. They gave her some Pitocin to help speed along her labor. After a few more hours her labor really wasn’t progressing much and so they decided to re-evaluate. That’s when the OB came back in and said that she was concerned about Noah’s heart rate. It was going down after Michelle’s contractions. It should normally go down at the same time as her contractions. The OB suggested we get him out now. So we said OK and the OB called to prep the OR. It was a whirlwind of nurses coming in and unhooking her IVs and her monitors. I went over and held her hand again and just tried to stay calm again. Before the nurses wheeled her away we took a moment to ourselves. After a few minutes the nurse came in and wheeled her out. At that moment I had never felt so helpless. My wife was being whisked away for surgery, and I was left in the room.

Another nurse came in and we moved our stuff into another room and I got on my scrubs. I waited in the room for 10 minutes. When they called me back, she was on the table and the separator was up. They had a seat for me already right next to her head. I sat down and just started talking. I tried to think of anything I could have to help distract her. About 7 minutes later the anesthesiologist said “well dad if you want to look, now is the time.” So I looked at Michelle for permission and she just laughed and said yes, look!! As I looked over the divider they were pulling Noah out.

It was literally the single most incredible moment of my life. To watch the exact moment I became a father is priceless. The seconds it took him to start to cry seemed to last forever but we did eventually hear a little whimper. Then they took him to clean him up, and I got to cut the cord. He was blue until he took his first real breath and his color changed to red, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief!

I cut the cord and watched them check him over. We brought him over to Michelle and placed him on her chest. It was our first family moment. The nurses were great as they took our pictures and talked to us to reassure us that everything was OK.

There are simply no words in the English language that can explain the feeling of being a parent, the feeling I get as I watch Michelle’s face brighten up when she holds him, when he looks up at me when I’m feeding him and the feeling I get when I see how he brings such joy to our family and friends. Our lives are forever changed. We are officially a family.


September 8, 2014

Introducing Noah Matthew

On August 24, 2014 our lives changed forever. For the better. Better than what we could have even imagined.

So, here is Noah's birth story. I need to write this down as I don't want to forget a thing. No one could have prepared us for the gamete of emotions we would be experiencing. Post pregnancy hormones don't mess around. I don't want to take the chance that in the span of exhaustion, joy, fear and happiness we would forget even the tiniest detail.

We were due August 24. I was originally scheduled for an induction on August 18. I wasn't too excited for an induction. In fact, I was rather dreading it. But, I trusted that the doctors knew what was best. And I didn't want to put Noah at the risk of any complications. I've had some pretty severe swelling, and the doctors wanted to induce before complications arose. The morning of the 18th, we got a confirmation of the induction. We got cleaned up, got our stuff together, and were nearly ready to leave. Then we got another call. The induction had to be rescheduled due to an abundance of women in labor. (This is what happens when there's a cold Indiana winter.)

We had an array of appointments that week meeting with different doctors. Ultimately, the induction got rescheduled for Monday, August 25. The Friday before, we did a stress test on baby, and watched for contractions. The stress test was great, but still no contractions. Obviously, I wanted to go into labor on my own, but unfortunately there's no magic pill for that to happen. I was certain I wouldn't go into labor on my own at that point. Friday afternoon we also did an ultrasound. Everything looked great. We would be ready to go for the induction.

Saturday rolled around and I started having some pain in my lower abdomen. I just thought it was from the extra weight from carrying around the baby.

Saturday we went to bed. I fell asleep around 10 p.m. Matt went to bed at 11 p.m. About 11:30 p.m. I woke up and those pains I had been having were increasing. And becoming regular. Turns out, those random pains weren't so random; they were contractions.

I woke Matt up after only a half hour of sleep and we started timing them. Soon I got to having them five minutes apart. It was go time. So about 2:30 a.m. we made our way to the hospital. It was an awful long drive. Every bump, railroad track and turn increased the pain of contractions.

We got all checked in and settled into a delivery room. My contractions were increasing in intensity, but labor wasn't progressing near as quickly as I would have liked. Sometime that morning, I was given some pain medicine, but it didn't last too long. Matt was great helping me through each contraction. I think I only snapped once. To keep me calm, I kept picturing what Noah's sweet face would look like. I also focused on happy memories of sitting on the dock with my favorite island friends.

I eventually got an epidural. That's where things got interesting. After the epidural, I remember saying it was the best decision I ever made. It was complete relief from the pain. Then, my blood pressure dropped. Drastically.

Hospital workers came rushing in. The anesthesiologist came back in. The OB got the ultrasound machine going. I heard the anesthesiologist say my BP was over 16, and that the machine couldn't be right. Because if it was over 16, I would be dead. They put a second IV in and pumped me full of fluids. Beyond me, Noah's heart rate was dropping. The OB said if they didn't get his heart rate up fast, they would have to do an emergency csection immediately.

I never felt faint, dizzy or panicked during this whole ordeal. I kept looking at Matt and he was just giving me this goofy, calm grim. He later told me he was panicking, but kept it together for me. I had a sense of overwhelming peace and assurance during the whole episode. Never panicked, never alarmed.

They gave me epinephrin to increase my BP and Noah's heart rate. I already have a high heart rate, so the extra epi really increased it. It took some time, but my BP went back up, and so did Noah's heart rate. Relief. Huge relief.

To get a better measure of his heart rate, they used a monitor that they could place on his head, instead of outside on my tummy. They also used an internal device to measure my contractions. They wanted to be sure to get the most accurate measurements.

After we both stabilized, they decided to give me pitocin because labor stopped progressing. It helped a little bit, but then the OB came back in. Noah's heart rate wasn't fluctuating like she would have like. She said, "it's time we have a talk," about a csection. If his heart rate didn't start giving her the variables she wanted, we would go in. Well, as we were talking, his heart rate started doing what was needed. But just in case, we signed all of the necessary paperwork, covered the risks and prepared ourselves in case we needed to go that route.

I got another dose of pitocin. Labor still wasn't progressing as needed. So we waited. The OB broke my water. Still not progressing. Then, after 4 p.m. The OB came back in.

Ideally, Noah's heart rate should go down when I have a contraction and go back up when the contraction subsides. However, his was going down after my contraction. This signaled that something wasn't quite right. Additionally, his head was starting to mold, as he may have been too big for me to deliver naturally.

At 4:50 p.m. the OB and the anesthesiologist called the csection. Immediately, the nurses came in to get me all unhooked and ready to go. It was a whirlwind. Of course, I was scared. That's when I started to cry. Matt kept calm as usual and reassured me that everything would be fine.

I asked the nurses for a minute with Matt before we went into surgery. We took that time for the two of us, and I was so glad we had that time to take a breath, and be with each other before we met our son. Just a few minutes later, I was wheeled away and Matt was left in the delivery room. A nurse helped him pack up our belongings and moved him into a recovery room. After 10-15 minutes, he was able to come into the operating room with me. They had me all prepped and ready. Matt sat with me and held me hand.

The procedure was underway. After nearly 10 minutes, the anesthesiologist told Matt if he wanted to look, now was the time. He stood up, still holding my hand, and got to see our sweet baby being born.

Noah Matthew was born at 5:42 p.m. 7 pounds, 15.3 ounces. 21 inches long.

The longest wait was to hear that sweet cry, even though it was a short amount of time, it seemed like ages. Matt told me how he had a full head of hair, and Noah was taken to the side to be cleaned up. Matt got to trim the cord. The nurses were fantastic as they made sure to get his camera to take photos.

The doctor told us it was a good thing we did the csection. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice. This is what was causing his irregular heart patterns.

I was overcome with emotion the minute I heard him cry. It was real. He was here. My baby.

After they had Noah cleaned up, weighed and measured, they brought him to me. They placed him skin to skin while they finished up the csection. This part took the longest, as it was about a 40 minute process. I didn't care. I had Noah and Matt. Completely overwhelmed.

Matt and I both couldn't stop staring at him. Just the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. We were a family. He was here.

So many things could have gone wrong that day. But everything was right. We had the right doctors, right nurses, right timing. We are so blessed with the outcome.

The staff at Goshen Hospital and doctors at Fairhaven couldn't have been more wonderful. We are so thankful for the timing. Matt is on break, and is able to help take care of me while I recover and cherish this time with Noah before he starts his rotations in October. Now, we are soaking up as much time with family as possible before we head to sunny Florida for our next big move.

Nothing I write here can accurately capture the depth of emotions and how incredible this experience has been. We are so blessed to be a new family of three.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...