This memorial website was created in the memory of our precious son, Noah Roland Emil Brandt who was born at 7:58 p.m. in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 25, 2007. He weighed one pound 12.5 ounces. He was our miracle, along with his twin sister Abigail Elizabeth. He died two days later on January 26, 2007 from Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to his extreme prematurity, having being born at 25 weeks 1 day. We miss Noah and think about him each and every day. He is our sweet baby boy and we will never forget him.
Noah & Abigail's Random Acts of Kindness Project
Every Christmas season we taketime to remember and honor the promise we made to Noah and Abigail – to do good and make a difference for other in their memory! We hope you will once again help us with our “Acts of Kindness” project. Last Christmas would have been unbearable had it not been for Abby and Noah’s stockings filled to the brim with the kid deeds done for others in their memory. We are so thankful for the two days we had with Abby and Noah, although they are still missed, we are able to talk about our memories of them and smile. Your letter and kind deeds gave us an opportunity to talk not just of the sadness, but of the joy that Noah and Abigail brought to our lives. Thank you so much!
Eric and I have decided that this project of completing “Acts of Kindness” will be a tradition we will do every Christmas season in memory of our children. If you would like to participate just do a kind deed for someone and write a letter or note addressed to Abby and Noah Stocking. Send them to us using the contact information below. The notes will be place in their stocking and then opened Christmas morning. It has meant so much to both Eric and I to have your support through out the last couple of years as we try to keep Abby and Noah’s memory alive. We also hope that by doing “Acts of Kindness” you will received a gift as well – for it is our true belief that in giving you receive much more than you give.
Below is a sampling of the many kind deeds done in memory of Abby and Noah.
Cash donations where given to Infants Remembered In Silence (IRIS), homeless pet programs, local food shelves, CROSS, food for the poor, St. Jude’s research hospital, first book, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army buckets, First Book, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, sponsorship of an Indian orphanage, church, giving money for school lunches for a family struggling with bills.
Other wonderful “Acts of Kindness” include giving a pair of mitten to a little boy on the playground that had none on a cold winter day, sponsoring a family – provided gifts for a single mom and her son, sponsoring children through the giving tree, passing by the “good” parking spot leaving it for the next car during peek shopping time, buying lunch for the person in back of you at the drive through of a restaurant, carrying an elderly women’s bags to the car, helping a friend from work get to the doctor and being there when the diagnosis come back as cancer, being Santa Clause for a local elementary students, donating hair to locks of love, sitting/visiting with the elderly, helping a fellow teacher during her breaks from school, opening countless doors for strangers, provided childbirth classes for two mother who couldn’t afford them, making an effort to say hello to every person met on the street or in the store, donating to school lunch accounts of children whose families are struggling, making cookies and giving them to those who don’t do any baking, typing recipes for a lady who wanted to make a keepsake cookbook for her grandchildren, making something for a friend when buying something would have been simpler, and transporting a friend’s children all week long.
Friends, thank you for helping us – if you think this list was amazing – the letters you wrote us brought us such joy in knowing that Abby and Noah’s life will have served a great purpose and made a huge difference in our world. We love you all for your support and we hope you will take some time to help us again this year and every year as we take a few moments out of the busy holiday season and remember Abigail and Noah.
Another Christmas Morning
by Marty Heiberg
Another Christmas morning
And my family is still not complete.
Not enough stockings on the mantel,
Not enough toys under the tree.
Too few little hands helping make cookies
Too few tiny ice skates and mittens,
Too little noise and excitement,
Too little confusion and commotion.
Why can't I just be grateful
For the child I have
At this sacred time of year?
Because it's another Christmas morning
Without my babies
And I miss them.
by Janet Cloutier
It's Christmas time again
Just as in years past
Candy, cookies and cinnamon rolls are made.
Lights are on the tree,
Decorations all around.
Presents are bought,
And Christmas music is playing.
Only something is missing.
No new baby to hold,
Or sing soft carols to.
No "Baby's First Christmas"
Ornaments, bibs or sleepers.
Dreams that died years ago.
Now, an aching, empty place in my heart.
Still, there is a baby's birth to celebrate.
God's son, born long ago.
He shares my pain,
And understands my tears.
I can find a sense of peace and hope
This Christmas season.
Some children come into our lives and go quickly.
Some children come into our lives and stay awhile.
All of our children come into our lives and leave footprints-
Some oh, so small;
Some a little larger,
Some larger still,
But all have left their footprints
On our lives; in our hearts,
And we will never - never -
Be the same.
On July 19-22 Eric and I attended the SHARE retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. SHARE is a national organization that is dedicated to helping families who have endured pregnancy and/or infant loss. We met wonderful people at the retreat, all of who understand how very important it is to talk about our sweet Abigail and Noah. We were also priveleged to be part of a beautiful remembrance service at the Angel of Hope statue in St. Charles, Missouri. The Angel of Hope is dedicated to all parents who have lost a child. We placed white flowers at the base of the statue in remembrance of Abby and Noah.
January 31, 2007
Dear Sweet Abigail and Precious Noah,
M: Mommy and Daddy cannot believe that you are gone. Last night as we held you for the last time, we knew that the next time we would be together would be in heaven. You are both so beautiful and we cherished every moment we had with you - from the time we knew we were pregnant until the moment we said goodbye and told you how much you were loved last night. We will continue to cherish and treasure the memories we have made as a family in such a short time and the imprint of your lives is sketched deep into our hearts.
D: Sweet babies, you were the perfect manifestation of the love your Mommy and I have for one another - a love that is strong, unconditional and without end. When we looked at you, your sweet innocence shined through for the world to see - an innocence that rarely comes along in life and rarely lasts - an innocence that stirs the spirit of our souls and has the power to change lives.
M: Sweet, Noah, you were the first to arrive and you made your Daddy and I so very happy to finally be a family. Your Daddy saw you first, but when I looked at you for the first time, my soul was filled with joy and pride. My son, you became my world. I would do anything for you. I couldn't wait for the opportunity to hold your tiny fingers, kiss your sweet toes, sing lullabies to you as I rocked you to sleep and be there as you grew. I wanted to teach you about Jesus and watch you grow into a man. The dreams I had for you will never come to pass on this earth, but they have not changed. Someday, I will join you in heaven and finally be able to fulfill my dreams.
D: I've always wanted a son. I learned about the relationship a father and son could have from my relationship with my father. I wanted that for us as well. I remember telling you as you lay in the NICU, that you just had to get better, so you could grow stronger and we could one day play catch in the backyard. Oh Noah, I had so many dreams for your precious life. I wanted you to see the vistas of a mountaintop and hear the roaring of the ocean. I wanted you to be able to smell fresh budding roses in springtime. In all, I wanted you to experience a full life filled with love and happiness. I wanted you to be an example for others and accomplish great things. I wanted to be there to support you in pursuing your every interest. Most of all I wanted to spend time with you, because one of the most precious gifts we have is our gift of time. Time is never as much as you want it to be, and our time together was cut way too short. I could never have enough moments with you. Noah, you made your Mommy and I realize how precious the smallest moments can be and how important it is to be fully present in each moment spent with one you love.
M: Precious Abigail, you were the second child born to your Daddy and I. We were so thrilled. We finally had a daughter. While I lay in recover, you and Daddy bonded when you grabbed hold of his fingers and instantly became Daddy's little girl, but you were mine as well. I had spent months preparing to have a baby daughter. I loved buying little outfits - complete with hats and booties - all in pink of course. Many nights were spent imagining the things we would do together as a mother and daughter - from tea parties and Barbie dolls to shopping and late night chats. I wanted you to grow up and watch you have babies of your own. I wanted the world for you - but the world had you for only two days. You made a difference - Abigail. Although I know you are safe in the arms of Jesus, I miss you desperately. Like I told your brother, wait for me. My dream now is to live a good life so that one day when God calls my name, my soul will be ready to join you and your brother and be the mother I so desperately wanted to be for each of you.
D: Sweetheart, you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Your face had a gentle softeness and your presence made a room glow. I had dreams for you from the first time I touched your little fingers and I knew my life was forever changed. I wanted to do the very best I could for you. I wanted to change your first diaper and have you wake me up in the middle of the night. I wanted to watch you get puppy kisses from our dogs and see your first steps. I wanted to hear you say Daddy for the first time. As you grew into a women, I wanted to teach you to drive, scare away any boyfriends that came to take you out on a date and take your hand as I walked you down the aisle. I have so many thoughts running through my mind, wondering who you'd become and what you'd accomplish, who you would grow to love and whose lives you would touch. Well, sweet Abigail, you have touched Mommy's and my life in a way you could never know.
M: Abigail and Noah, you are so loved. When Daddy and I looked at you for the first time our hearts melted and we became better people. Your lives made a difference. In the last few days many people have asked what they can do to help. My usual response is, there is nothing. As I lay awake thinking of this, I am wrong. There is something important each one of us can do. We can take time to honor your lives by learning from you both, my sweet Abigail and Precious Noah.
D: Abigail and Noah, you taught us to cherish each moment. Every moment with you was a gift from God. As sad as we are, we thank God for the opportunity to meet you, our precious son and daughter. We thank God for the memories we are able to create and carry with us as we go forward in our lives without you.
M: Unconditional love is what your Daddy and I felt the first time we looked into your sweet faces. We would do anything to protect you and we would die for you in an instant to keep you safe. You became our world. Rest safe in the unconditional love Daddy and I and that your Father in heaven hold deep in our hearts as we think of you our Precious Noah and Abigail.
D: Dear Babies, you changed our hearts and inspired us to be better people. We want you to be proud of us. We want to make our lives count. Our mission as a family will be to help others, perhaps in time, to help others who have lost a baby or a child. We want to stand worthy one day in front of God so that we can run to hold you each again.
M: So when friends and family members ask what they can do to help. Noah and Abigail, here is what your Daddy and I will tell them. Learn the lessons our children taught us - cherish your families and your children, love unconditionally and be inspired to make a difference in the lives of others. If they do this, they honor the lives of both of you - my sweet Abigail and precious Noah.
D: Abigail and Noah, we already miss you desperately. There is an emptiness in our hearts that is deep and aching. Please know that we will never forget that were our first and second born son and daughter.
M: Our lives will be spent honoring you and waiting for the day when we can join you both in heaven. You are forever loved.
Mommy & Daddy
(As read at Abigail and Noah's by Mommy and Daddy - Our promise to you both will live on forever.)
I didn’t know what to expect,
The first time I saw your face
But I fell in love with you instantly.
No one will ever take your place.
“I prayed for this child and the Lord answered my prayers and gave him to me. Now, I dedicate him to the Lord. He will belong to the Lord all his life.”
- Samuel 1:27-28
Infants Remembered in Silence - Golf Tournament & Butterfly Release - July 13, 2007 Faribault Country Club
A Memorial Garden Stone was created for Noah and his sister Abigail. We placed the stones on the memorial green and released our butterflies nearby after the golf tournament.
* Noah had a twin sister who died on the same day. Please take time to visit her memorial Web site as well: abigail-brandt.memory-of.com
* Please also take time to visit these other infant loss/memorial sites that have been helpful:
March of Dimes Walk
MARCH OF DIMES WALK - MAY 5, 2007
Noah and Abigail were the Ambassador children for Faribault's 2007 March of Dimes Walk. Their cousin, Justin, was also an ambassador for the walk.
The story of our twins was featured in the Faribault Daily News. Our team Abby's and Noah's Team raised about $1000 to help prevent premature birth from happening to other families.
The Story of Noah and Abigail
My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for the past six years. During those years, we struggled through three miscarriages and infertility treatments. Finally, in August of 2006 we became pregnant. Five days later, I began to bleed. Panicking, I went in for my first ultrasound. At the ultrasound I learned I had a hemorrhage that would require weeks of bed rest, but I also learned I was carrying twins and that they both had a strong heartbeat.
Nine weeks later, I was able to return to work and my pregnancy continued to progress. I felt the first movements and I learned I would be having a little boy and a little girl. I began to shop for baby clothes and bought furniture for the nursery. At 24 weeks, I went in for a level II ultrasound and everything looked great. Two days later, everything changed.
I went to work that day and felt tired and a bit uncomfortable, but I was carrying twins. Tiredness and pressure were not uncommon. That night, I got home from work and realized that I was having pains. They felt like gas pains, but they were coming every few minutes. I had just begun a class on “Expecting Multiples” and had learned to feel my stomach for contractions. I did not feel anything. I called the doctor to be certain, and he said I could go to St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood for a check, but it was probably nothing. I really believed I was just having an overactive imagination.
I arrived at St. John’s and they hooked me to a fetal monitor that would indicate if I was having contractions. The nurse confirmed that I was indeed having contractions and in fact they were coming every three minutes. She then did an internal exam and called for help. I asked her what was wrong. In fact, I asked several times before she told me that I was four centimeters dilated with a bulging bag of water.
I have never been so terrified in my life. I was told I would be sent immediately by ambulance to United Hospital in St. Paul, where they had the best NICU in the state. I was told they were giving me steroids to stop my labor. I was also given shots to mature my babies’ lungs.
I arrived at United Hospital and they were able to stop my labor. I was told this does happen to some women and that the goal was to buy me as much time as possible. At 24 weeks my babies had a decent chance of survival, but it would be difficult. I laid on bed rest at United for 6 days. I was unable to sit up to eat or even to go to the bathroom. I had to lay on my left side. My entire body ached from laying so still the entire day.
At 25 weeks, 1 day, I had another exam only to learn that I was leaking amniotic fluid from Twin A (Noah). The doctor still thought we could buy a few days as I wasn’t having contractions. Later that evening on January 24, I suddenly began having pains again. Within a half an hour I quickly went from 4 to 10 centimeters dilated. I was screaming at the nurse to take me to Labor and Delivery and my water was breaking as they wheeled me down the hallway. I was wheeled into the operating room and put under general anesthesia for a Caesarean section. At 7:58 I became a mother when Noah Roland Emil was born. Two minutes later Abigail Elizabeth was born.
When I awoke I found my husband Eric standing over me - eager to tell me about our twins. They were doing exceptionally well. The doctors were very happy and the prognosis for both twins was very good. Abigail weighed 1 pound 11.5 ounces and Noah weighed 1 pound 12.5 ounces.
About 31 hours later, just after midnight on the 26th of January, my husband went to check in with the twins. They had been fine at 10 p.m., but when he arrived this time their stats weren’t as good. He soon called me because Noah was getting worse and it wasn’t looking good. I immediately got out of bed and began walking to the NICU. By the time, I arrived both Noah and Abigail were not doing well. Abigail soon began to respond to treatment, but we were told Noah was dying. I couldn’t believe what was happening. From excellent to dying - how could this be. I asked that they take him off the ventilator and place him in my arms. If he was going to die, I wanted him to be at peace in his Mother’s arms. One minute after Noah died, Abigail’s stats plummeted. Again, I was told my child was going to die. Abigail was then placed in my arms and I held her as she drew her last breaths. She died within one hour of Noah.
My children meant the world to me - and I had them for just two days. My hopes and dreams for their lives will go unfilled. I come home every night to an empty nursery. Although, I would do it all over to again have those two days with my children, the trauma of losing my twins is something I will never forget.
The death certificate reads Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to Extreme Pre-maturity. I also believe that Abigail just couldn’t live without her brother. Several doctors at the hospital believe the same as the situation seemed so unbelievable.
Having my sweet babies was the best thing that has every happened in my life, but losing my children was the most horrific. I am supporting the March of Dimes because I do not want anyone else to ever experience the trauma of losing a child to pre-maturity. I promised my children on the day we buried them that I would spend my life doing things to cherish their memory and to make a difference in their name. If my story and my support of the March of Dimes can make a difference in the lives of one woman, it is well worth all the time and effort I have placed into this mission. I deserved my 40 weeks of pregnancy - and Abigail and Noah deserved a chance to live their lives.
May 5, 2007
Hi Darling Babies,
Today, Daddy and I did the March of Dimes walk in your honor. You were both Ambassadors for this year's walk along with your cousin Justin. I told the radio station and the newspaper and all the walkers how much you both meant to me and how I never want pre-maturity to cause the death of another child. I placed your baby shoes at your gravesite. I so wish you were here to wear them. I love and miss you both so much.
Remembering Noah on His Due Date
Noah and Abigail's due date was May 8, 2007. To honor them on that day, our families met at the gravesite and we did a balloon release in their honor. We sent off about 32 blue and pink balloons, each with a tag that asked that if the balloon was found, to please contact us. The day after the release we received our first message from a man in West St. Paul who had found the balloon about 7 blocks from the Mississippi River. He said he had been having a good day and had also found a nest with baby bird eggs inside. The following day, we received a call from a man in St. Paul, Minnesota. He had found a balloon in his yard and was honoring our wishes to let us know it had been found.
After the balloon release we ate angel food cake in honor of you both - my little angels.