He came into this world eighteen months ago. He has fuzzy blonde hair and
the bluest eyes you've ever seen.
It was a difficult pregnancy, with many dangers threatening the life of
this little miracle I was carrying within me. I had early labor from the
third month, and was told that I had to stay in bed to lessen the chance of
losing Noah. It was an emotional time for me, with tremendous stress and
the constant fear of losing this child I was fighting so hard to give life
to. There was little I was allowed to do, and boredom quickly became as
constant a companion as the fear. Lying in bed or on the couch for hours on
end, with nothing to do but think drove me mad. I became obsessed with the
terrible things that might happen, focusing on the negative things in my
life, which dragged me into a deep depression and an almost overwhelmingly
fearful state of mind. Day after day I lie there, afraid of losing my baby,
afraid of being too afraid, and not doing the baby any good by living this
I finally began to realize that I could protect my child's life and still
enjoy my life, and started to look for things I could do to keep occupied
while bedridden. After much pondering, I finally hit on the perfect project
- a "blankie". I had made one for each of the other children during my
pregnancies with them, and there was no reason I couldn't make one for this
As soon as I was far enough along to learn that he was a boy (we
immediately picked the name Noah), I chose the softest flannel I could
find. It had teddy bears with red bows on one side and light blue checks on
the other. I filled it with several layers of batting, making it
puffy-cloud soft. I tied it with fuzzy white yarn, and admired my work. It
was a beautiful, oh-so-soft "blankie" worthy of the tiny life I made it
for. I couldn't wait to wrap my little son in it!
As the time drew near, I readied all of Noah's things for his trip home
from the hospital. Diaper bag packed, blanket gently folded and laid on
top, the day finally arrived.
Because I had gestational diabetes, the ultra sounds showed Noah to be well
over eight pounds already, so my doctor induced labor a week early. There
were problems with his delivery and he was "stuck" for a long time, so
after suction and pushing without any luck, our doctor finally had to
literally yank Noah out, informing us that he might have to break his
little collar bone! For his first moments in this world, there was no
breath, no cry from our little angel. After what seemed like an eternity of
sheer terror, Noah finally made the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. He
cried. Noah entered this world a strapping eight pounds, fourteen ounces -
a robust bundle of joy! (And no broken shoulder bone!)
The day after he was born, the nurse took him for a hearing screening. When
she brought him back, she told me that he failed the hearing test, but not
to worry - a number of things could cause that. A week later, he was tested
again, and still failed.
We began to do our own testing at home, slamming doors, holding him near
the smoke detector and setting it off. Finally, after two months of hearing
tests, we were finally told what we knew all along. Noah was deaf.
As we came to terms with Noah's deafness and all that it meant, we learned
to think of new ways to communicate our feelings to him. He was very sick
with reflux, colic and had RSV and pneumonia all within the first year of
his life, so comforting him without music, a soothing voice, a mother's
lullaby was a challenge.
We quickly learned that nothing comforted him more than touch. Gently
rocking him, stroking his little cheeks, holding him to us to feel our
voices and to feel connected did wonders. He loved soft things, and would
often smile at the touch of a soft teddy bear or other soft toy.
But his favorite comfort has always been the blankie I made for him. We
would often check on him during the night to find he had wiggled on top of
his blankie, wrapping his arms around it in a sleeping hug. When he was
learning to walk and often fell, he always ran to his blankie for comfort.
And at times during the day, he'll stop playing, spot his blankie and run
over to give it a quick love. With an "Ahhhhh", he wraps his chubby little
arms around it, lays his head on it, then drops it and toddles off to play
again, content with his blankie "fix".
Noah is a happy, beautiful child. He loves life. His deafness only means
that he doesn't hear. He communicates through sign language, and is a true
joy. The struggle it took to bring him into this world has made us
appreciate him more. When I look at his blankie, now slightly faded and
torn from many hours of snuggling and many washes, I have such pride to
have made something that brings my child so much comfort. He loves that