Happy Birthday, Norah // 2 Years

Joanna Zuidema1 Comment

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday sweet Norah,
Happy birthday to you!!

You’re two years old today, sweet girl! 

Two years. 

Two years since the moment you proved the doctors wrong and we saw you for the first time.
Two years since you flinched as my hand, chilled from surgery, first felt your velvety skin.
Two years since we counted all your little rolls for the first time (Mama is very proud of how chunky you were – I worked hard for your mid-thigh rolls!)

Two years since the world became lucky enough to have you.

You’ve done so much this year, sweetheart!

Team Norah raised over $4k for the Ronald McDonald House and we were the featured team for the Family Walk! We were the top fundraisers the first year, but this time there were 5 teams that raised significantly more than that. This is the only the second year of the family walk and we like to think that our fundraising that first year played a part in motivating the other teams to raise even more. So many families will be helped because of you!

We had a whole new perspective on and appreciation for the ability to get pregnant, to carry a healthy pregnancy, and to give birth to your sister. Because of you, tears filled our eyes at the sound of Lora’s first cry. It was simultaneously an incredible miracle and a heartbreaking reminder of your voice, a voice we never heard, a beautiful sound that only angels know.

Because of you, I’m being intentional with this slow, quiet phase of motherhood and soaking in every little breath, every smile, and even every sleepless night. 

My inboxes are full of messages detailing how much your story is helping people. When we started this blog, my goal was to simply pay it forward; we had found so much encouragement and light in the stories of others, and I hoped that our story, your story, might do the same for even one person. Well baby girl, you’re touching hearts all over the world.

The first time I held Norah, legs still numb and body still swollen from surgery.

The first time I held Norah, legs still numb and body still swollen from surgery.

So, sweet girl, we’re doing a few things to honor your birthday this year:

We ordered the memorial for your final resting place. It’s a beautiful, simple piece of Minnesota granite, and we look forward to having it serve as a sacred space for us to visit as a family for years to come to honor your incredible life. Love, seeing your precious name carved into solid rock has a heartbreaking permanence to it. 

Starting Monday through the end of March we’ll be selling shirts to raise money for Love, Norah – an initiative our doula, Jen, has started in honor of you as part of her business (Sacred Space Birth Services). The mission of Love, Norah is to provide doula birth support at no cost to families in hardship (medical complexities, anticipated loss, etc). It just makes my heart explode with pride that you have inspired an initiative that will give such an invaluable gift to families like ours in their time of need.

I’ll be sharing more about the shirts, Love, Norah, and our experience having a doula when we launch the fundraiser on Monday.

I’m hoping to share a short devotional I’ve created with our email subscribers this month (Give me grace here, as your little sister has her own ideas about these deadlines I give myself). Norah, it’s because of you that I’ve found this passion for writing and I promise to be obedient to that calling and to continue to develop it. This devotional is a small exercise I’m doing to flex some different writing muscles. It’s all in preparation for writing a book about our story, love. 

Some people say two is terrible.
Knowing you, I think two will be incredible.

Norah, we are so proud of all you’ve done.

Happy birthday, baby girl.
We love you to the moon and back.