January 30th, 2018, was historic for this branch of the Middleton Family. After nearly a year of pregnancy, 24 hours of active labor, midwives, doctors, drinking a full bottle of castor oil to make the baby come, pain, exhaustion, and no epidural, Anachemy finally gave birth to our first child, a son, Noah Ezekiel Middleton. I was amazed at Anachemy’s strength. I was amazed at how tiny and perfect Noah was.
During Noah’s short 11 months of life there have been a number of times I was worried for his safety. His first day was no exception. I had to keep checking on his little crib in the hospital to make sure he was ok. On the night he was born, when the dust settled and we were all finally in a room by ourselves around 2am each laying in our own bed in a dark and very cold hospital room, it was hard to sleep even though not having slept the night before. Why? Because there were THREE of us now. How crazy was that?
We brought Noah from the hospital to our home, a boat. Not many babies can say that. But considering his name, it was a fitting reception. Jesus had a manger, Noah gets the bilge (sort of, he’s technically above the bilge).
In fact, I built Noah a custom sized crib and installed it into the port settee. He needed a special size because the available space was smaller than the standard crib dimensions and also smaller than the standard mini-crib dimensions. On a boat none of us gets much space.
Noah’s been sleeping in the same crib since he was born. Knowing what I know now he probably should have had a bassinet to start with. But herein lies the problem, I didn’t know what to expect. Other than the warning of less sleep, which turned out to be true. It is hard to keep up with his new "tricks." As of yesterday he can climb up into our aft berth. Gracefully. But him getting out is less graceful and more like falling on his head, which scares Anachemy to death.
Before Noah was born I envisioned this little cuddly baby who would fall asleep while I was holding him. There is a picture of Seth reclining on a lazy boy chair with my baby niece Kailee on his chest and they are both peacefully sleeping. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been like that. I can probably count on one hand how many times Noah has gently fallen asleep in my arms. Since his entry into the world like a heat seeking missile he squirms, grabs, and energetically pulls down, bites, head butts, kicks, tears and chews everything he can reach. And his reach is increasing. One of his favorite targets is my beard.
Overall, it is a joy having Noah. Yes, it’s lots of work. Yes, he annoys me a lot. But he is also super cute, and it is fun seeing him grow and develop and having a part in guiding that process. It is humbling. It is eye-opening when I see myself in his bad behavior. Generally he is a very happy kid. He is inquisitive and smart. I guess we’ll keep him.
Overall, 2018 has been a whirlwind for us. Caring for a baby. Rehabbing the boat. Challenging times at my employment since the owner unexpectedly died last December. Anachemy building her Real Estate business. Our family attending a new church (Faith Fellowship).
The end of the year is here and we are thinking about what 2019 has in store and what our goals should be. Part of us thinks that if Noah had a sibling then the two of them could bother each other instead of bothering us so much, but maybe it wouldn’t work that way.
Here is a “Noah photo reel”, in no particular order:
Day 1, Noah Arrives:
(there were traumatic photos too from the first day, but my phone accidentally went in the swimming pool so we lost those, which is just as well)
Noah comes home to I-Dock (our boat is the one with the dinghy on the back):
April 1st, 2018, Easter Sunday:
Hanging out with Dad while Anachemy hosts an open house:
In the stroller in the woods:
On the docks:
What’s Mom doing?
Enjoying his crib:
Making a mess and finding the maps:
Even happy when shopping:
Sleeping Noah while we were out adventuring on our Christmas Trip:
From THIS to THIS: