Life With Noah: Similar, But Not The Same

By |2018-07-19T20:50:37+00:00July 19th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

As a loss mother, one of the things I struggle with is how much my two sons – the one I lost moments after birth and the one who walks beside me – look alike. One of the first thoughts that popped into my mind as I gazed upon my newborn rainbow Noah was, “He looks just like William”. And he does. If you lay their ultrasound photos side-by-side and strip them of identifying information, you would not be able to tell which photos are of William and which are of Noah. Everything about them was the same – same body postures, same profiles, same general disdain for the poking and prodding of the ultrasound wand (we have photos of both boys – taken at nearly identical gestations – in which they have a hand placed on their forehead as though to say “Enough with the photos already!”).

But they are not the same

But they are not the same person, and that’s an incredibly important thing to recognize.

Similar in so many ways, at least physically, but not the same. William is William, and Noah is Noah. Physical similarities notwithstanding, they are two different people, and it is important to my husband and me that Noah knows that we love and value him for who he is rather than comparing him to who he is not.

While so much about their appearance was the same – same perfect, bow-shaped lips, delicate noses, long toes like mine on long feet like their father’s – there were subtle differences. William had what we affectionately call my “bubble butt”, while Noah inherited his father’s amazingly flat one. Noah has one adorable elf-like ear, while William’s ears were both shaped just like his father’s. Similar, but not the same.

I will always wonder

I will always wonder if William would have liked Finding Dory as much as Noah does, if he would have been terrified of public bathrooms (whose toilets and hand-dryers and paper towel dispensers are so loud), if he would have been as non-stop and fearless as his little brother. When I look into Noah’s eyes, I sometimes cannot help but to think about the little boy, so similar in countenance, who came before him.

Similar, but not the same…

My sweet little blondie-bear, so wide-eyed and full of wonder.

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About the Author:

Kristen Paul
Kristen Paul currently lives in Southern Maryland with her husband Darrell, and their two year-old rainbow, Noah, and their two cats. After discovering that their failure to conceive was due to both female and male factors, Kristen and her husband were elated when they became pregnant in March 2014 on their very first cycle of IVF with ICSI. In June of 2014, they were thrilled to find that they were having a healthy baby boy; after a perfect anatomy scan at 20 weeks, 2 days gestation, they expected to welcome their son in early December. Just 10 days after the anatomy scan, Kristen delivered their son, William Edward Paul, at just 21 weeks, 5 days gestation due to cervical insufficiency. Kristen had a transabdominal cerclage placed in late December of 2014; in March 2015, she underwent a second fresh IVF/ICSI cycle and became pregnant again. After a difficult pregnancy, Kristen delivered their rainbow, Noah, at 35+4 weeks gestation. She and Darrell and now happily raising a toddler and working on making him a big brother. Kristen may be contacted at

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