Meet Our Rainbow & The Story Behind His Name- Noah Ray Bucklin
Knoxville's Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Hannah Bucklin of Sweetest Moments Photography, Meets Her Rainbow Baby, Noah Ray Bucklin
Where do I even start? I haven't written a blog since the spring so I apologize if I'm a bit rusty. This blog has been way overdue by almost two months but it's worth the read, I promise.
Here it goes...
On June 10, 2021 at 8:36pm Mason and I welcomed Noah Ray Bucklin earthside. He was 8lbs and 15oz of squishy, cheesy, snuggly love. Many people know but some may not, that a year ago on June 9th, I found out that I had lost our identical twins at 16 weeks resulting in surgery on June 11th, 2020 [read more about that here]. Not only was year 2020 one for the books but it was one of the worst years emotionally that my family and I had endured. Since I had lost the twins last June, my anxiety was through the roof. Obsessively cleaning, praying for peace, and trying to find a silver lining was my way of coping until God showed up right when I needed him the most.
As fall was approaching, so was what would've been our time to have welcomed our sweet babies into the world. Anxious, sad, overwhelmed, and asking "why" on a daily basis was getting the best of me. I was the busiest I had ever been with my family photography business and it made me so happy until I let myself remember what had happened (which I rarely tried to do). Remembering left me feeling frozen, debilitated, and numb by the loss of our babies; which are feelings I did not want to feel. I needed an intervention from someone, from something.
On October 15th 2020, Mason and I had met with our Pastor over coffee at KBrew in Knoxville, TN. We sat in the swings and started talking and then about 35 seconds into our conversation I melted. I literally cried and cried and cried. I remember feeling suffocated by my emotions and guilty for feeling so hopeless when there are families going through much worse . After gaining a small amount of composure, we talked through our family's loss, the grief, the anger, and the love. That gut wrenching love we had and still have for those little babies. She encouraged me to remember them, grieve them, and feel what I needed to feel. For months I had been trying to block out what had happened, pushing it to the back burner of my brain, holding my breath in hopes of making myself believe that it was a dream all so I wouldn't feel the way I wanted to feel; distraught. An hour later we prayed and said our goodbyes. Little did I know what would happen seven days later.
After our surgery on June 11, 2020, we brought the babies home and put them in our room. Having them with me felt right. Their urn was above my side of the bed and that is where they stayed until Mason took them down and placed them on my desk. His thought was if I look at them numerous times a day and remember them and grieve them like I had neglected myself too months ago that it may help. I was a little frustrated but I said okay I will try. Basically what he was doing was like desensitization. Desensitizing me to something that brought me pain in hopes of it ending up helping me accept what had happened and have a positive light about their remembrance. He was right.
On October 22, 2020, I had gone to a family photography session in Knoxville, TN. When I got home I kissed my kids goodnight and went to my room and put my photography gear down and was on my way to the bathroom when I noticed something dark on the side of their urn. I walked closer to them and picked them up and noticed a marking on the side of the urn which had never been there before. It was weirdly perfect. It looked like a branch with two leaves on it. To be completely honest I was a little freaked out. I started shaking and got goosebumps. I immediately called out to Mason and after a few seconds of contemplation, we realized what it was. It was an olive branch with two leaves. Right then and there I took the biggest breath of my life. I weeped. I felt alive. I felt peace. I felt heard. After months of what felt like I was drowning in an ocean with a weight on my leg, I could finally breathe. I burst into tears, shaking fiercely, and Mason and I were hugging as tightly as we could. God had heard our plea for peace and comfort and boy did he deliver. One branch, two leaves; one for each of my babies.
What does all of this mean? Well an olive leaf is God's way of showing ultimate peace. In the bible story, Noah's Ark, Noah sent out a dove after the flood to find dry land. The dove found and brought back an olive branch to Noah which resembled new life and then God placed a rainbow in the sky as his promise never to flood the earth again. With that, we decided that we would name the twins Olive and Callum Bucklin. Olive representing the olive branch and leaves, and Callum which means "dove" in Latin. Our last piece to our own version of Noah's Ark was the birth of our sweet baby, our rainbow after the storm, Noah Ray Bucklin, on June 10, 2021, just 364 days after losing our twins.
I don't know why God chose to show up in the way that he did for me and my family but boy am I glad he did. I look at Olive and Callum on their shelf and I see that sign from God telling me on a daily basis to be at peace because they are at peace and that everything is going to be okay. I still find myself baffled that something like that, a sign you might say, happened to me. You all know that quote from the movie The Santa Clause, Judy the elf says, "seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing." All I know is that whoever you are reading this, whatever you are going through, do not give up on yourself or on God. He sees you, he is listening to you, to your prayers, all the time. He knows exactly what you need when you need it. He isn't going to take anything away that he won't give you back that is more beautiful. I hope this little testimony finds who it needs to and that you always remember that God is in control.
If you've made it this far reading my blog I appreciate it more than you know. After nearly two months of maternity leave, I am excited to get back in the swing of things starting in August. As you can imagine, life in the Bucklin house is beautifully chaotic and I'm needed around the clock most days. With that said, I am limiting the amount of sessions I do this fall to be more present with my family. I would love nothing more than to capture your family in this season of your lives. If you want to go ahead and reserve your spot you can do so here!
Images captured by Hannah Bucklin, owner and photographer of Sweetest Moments Photography located in Knoxville, TN. Sweetest Moments Photography specializes in lifestyle family, maternity, and newborn photography serving Knoxville, TN and the surrounding areas. Learn more about Knoxville's featured photographer, Hannah Bucklin of Sweetest Moments Photography here.