--Lesa's Take --
Anticipating getting to hold Paxton.
To Hold his tiny fingers, to kiss his tiny nose, to tickle his tiny feet that felt much more than tiny when he had been kicking me.
Medication or not, I was still aching with pain... The IV in my arm making it hard to get comfortable... That and the fact that everything below my waste felt like a million fire ants had just run rampant stinging every inch of where ants should never go.
More than that though, my mind was racing with grim thoughts.
Here I was, in a hospital bed... Awaiting a baby. A baby that was born to me. A baby that I never expected in a million years to be having. A baby that needed more than I could give him.
Negativity settled in, and it was anything but a stranger.
What if he didn't like me? What if he senses that I am going to leave him? What if he looks at me with his innocence and see's impurity? what if I fall even more in love with him and can't let him go?
After a brief moment of skepticism, I sought out my fond affections that I tried my hardest to hold true too.
This was a miracle... Everything about the circumstance was God Breathed.
I began to relax... Jamie poked her head in my room a couple of times to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. I appreciated her concern and her devoted kindness.
Nurses came in and out of my room, while Paxton was snug in Ben and Jamie's... Then, before I knew it... Paxton was in my room... In his little cart... Squirming and looking around. The nurse put him into my arms... And for the first time, I gratefully embraced him with a tender kiss and felt the inseparable bond between mother and son.
A love like no other. A love I wanted to share. So I had visitors in and out of my room whenever Paxton was there.. It was bitter sweet. I loved having visitors, but I couldn't help but to want all the moments with Paxton for myself.
A selfish attitude crept in and clenched tightly to my heart... I knew I only had a small amount of time with Paxton and internally, I had a hard time letting anyone hold him... Thinking it would rob me of my time with him... I wanted every second. I smiled with my lips, but felt the pain of immense sorrow.
" I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
I didn't want to fall asleep, but my eyes were so heavy. I would have to swallow my fear... close my eyes and simply drift off...
Jan 13th-- As soon as i woke up I knew The day would be full of visitors! Many of my friends and a few Family members came to see me and meet baby Paxton. A few sent flowers and even though they couldn't be there, I could feel their loving support.
The day soon came to a close, Susan was the last one left by my side.. Softly tickling little Paxton's feet. I was getting so tired but I knew Pax was going to get to stay the night in my room with me! I willed myself to stay awake, no matter what.. I would fight for the time I got to have with him alone.
Susan said her goodbyes, and was worried about me being by myself... But I had wanted everyone to go home and get some sleep--especially my mom who had been there all day... And had no where to sleep... I understood that they should just go home and sleep in their own beds-- I would be fine... Or so I thought.
I was finally alone. Alone with Pax. I picked him up and laid down in my hospital bed. I put him in the middle of my legs, knees bent so his face would be looking at me. I held his hands and stared, mesmerized.
I grabbed my phone and began taking pictures of him. Every move he made I wanted to document. Every hand motion, every sleeping face, every leg kick... I wanted frozen in time.
I picked him up and put his head on my shoulder and held him tight. Having this moment, alone with him... Just listening to him breathe... Making his little baby coos as he slept... I began to cry.
"Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy." Psalm 126:5 NLT
I started singing softly to him, in prayer and in praise... Asking God to watch over him... Asking Pax to not forget me if I didn't get to see him often... Asking for guidance and peace for both Paxton, his new family, and I.
A rocking chair looked at me from the corner of the room. I stood up and held Paxton tightly, rubbing his back... We made our way to the rocking chair. Sitting, rocking, a feeling began to fill the room... Not any ordinary feeling. It was an uneasy, unhappy, fearful feeling.
"But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT
I sat Paxton on my lap.. And he was looking at me.. Wide eyed. I looked back at him.. And this fear washed over me. Paxton scared me.. He was looking so much deeper into my eyes than I have ever experienced... But then, I heard something.. Behind the curtain that hid the bathroom.
Was this the medication? Why was I so scared? Why was the silence so loud? What are the voices filling this room?
Feeling like a crazy person and as if I was ruining the only night I would spend with Paxton, I shakily grabbed the curtains and slung them back. No one. Nothing was there. I was losing it. A dark presence was there... It was threatening Paxton and I.
Scared and alone, I crawled back into my bed and tried to play a little music to calm my nerves. Cradling Pax, I began to feel so tired again. I needed Jamie... The presence wasn't leaving and I could not fight it.. I felt so unprotected.
It was then that a knock shot me straight up and I became wide eyed. It made me jump, but when I saw who it was... I was relieved. It was Jamie. I wanted her to stay with me. I wanted her to hold Paxton. I knew that since she was there... It was safe for me to do the very thing I was refusing to do... Sleep.
Waking up momentarily, I saw Jamie Holding Paxton in the large Chair across from my bed. I felt as though he was safe in her arms.
Light radiated from them as they bonded, and the darkness that I had felt vanished.
"People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light; Sitting in that dark, dark country of death, they watched the sun come up." Matthew 4:16 MSG
I fell asleep, sound asleep... After I couldn't fight it anymore... Knowing that in the morning I would be saying my tear filled goodbyes to my saving grace.
"And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you." 2 Corinthians 9:14 MSG
God gives grace to those who have received and accepted his sacrifice... The sacrifice of his Son Jesus. In acceptance, we can embrace grace and give sacrifices of our own, just as He did for us.
"The Promise's Cost and it's Spiritual Reality" - Jamie's Take
Our son was born. Yet he had two mothers. The reality of adoption was becoming so real.
I was unsure how Lesa was doing and was told by the nurse that she was resting. Paxton was born at 7:58 at night and was brought to our room throughout the night and early morning to be feed. He had many visitors from our church family and one of my girlfriends that worked at the hospital stopped to see the little miracle. The next morning, Paxton’s first morning was going to be with Lesa, until then (minus his vitals in the nursery) Ben and I were going to have him.
I did not carry him in my womb but he was undeniably mine. My love for him was unreal. The fear that we wouldn't connect vanished the very moment I held him and kissed his little head. He was my son given from the Lord.
At nine in the morning he was taken to Lesa. As I heard the baby nursery crib being wheeled into her room and not mine my heart sank. I was devastated. I had spent the whole night with him and was in love. His nearness to me was supernatural. God's presence was in our room. I felt the piece that was missing - filled - overflowing. Now she would have him for the next few days - as we agreed - as we wanted, for her.
But I feared.
I feared he was going to forget me and be drawn to her. The one who loved him and nourished him for months. The one who was familiar.
And I feared more.
She carried him for nine months and she was gonna fall even more in love and she's gonna change her mind.
The whole night we had him, it was as if all my worries and fears, now that he was here, had arrived. I kept telling Ben faithlessly - "She is gonna change her mind, you saw him, he's perfect - she isn't going to want to give him to us."
Ben was tender and comforting. We were at our most humble. We were undeniably broken.
I kept thinking I must of felt like Abraham. He was given his heir, Isaac, finally after years. And then God asked him to sacrifice him.
I had to remember the Word said, “Early the next morning, Abraham set out...”-Genesis 22:3
He was prompt and complete in his obedience.
He bound his son - the one he loved and prepared to kill him - to honor God’s request.
But in Abraham’s full obedience, right before he strikes Isaac, God stops him. In Abraham’s obedience, God was honored. God honored Abraham’s faith with a ram. God gave Abraham something else to sacrifice.
He goes on to say in verse 17 and 18, “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”(see full story in Genesis 22:1-18)
I wanted to honor God. He was my reward, not Pax. I realigned my focus and my faith and I put my trust in the Almighty.
We were able to see him a bit the next few days and had family visit. My parents were in love. Ben's close relatives that lived in town visited and got to meet him briefly. We did not want to over step and take Lesa's time with him.
I was able to spend time with Lesa. I just wanted to hang out with her - but I didn't want her to think I was coming to just oversee her time with Pax. I genuinely wanted to see her. We also got our online gift in the mail - a necklace with a brass shoe and a blue pearl and a "C" for Charlie engraved on a small medallion. Lesa had set her mind and connection with him - as baby Charlie.
As much as I wanted to see her and make sure she was okay - I wanted to hold and be with Pax more. It was different now. The Promise had come. It was no longer about Lesa or us - it was about him.
I just remember I never left the hospital. I didn't want to miss any chance to see Pax or any news of him and his 'check-ups'. The first morning our Pediatrician that we picked got to see him and was so incredible with our needs, as his soon to be full-time parents. He let us know Pax was healthy and really strong. He actually lifted his head up the first morning of life while on his belly when getting checked. We were so proud. At the same time we were so nervous and emotional. I would find myself crying, in gratefulness but also in wakes of fear and in impatience. I just wanted to bond with him. I also cried at the thought of what I was doing - I was taking a baby from a woman.
More than all the details of the next few days - what I remember most was spiritual heaviness that was happening. I KNEW Pax was God's gift to us. I had to remain faithful that Lesa would stay faithful and obedient in giving us Paxton. The first night in the hospital there was some serious spiritual stuff going on. Ben and I could feel it. As much as I felt the Lord's presence - we both felt a battle. We knew God had something huge in store for this little baby. Ben and I didn't doubt it...nor do I think the enemy was oblivious to it.
"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." -Ephesians 6:10-12
I believe in demons. I believe in the Devil. I believe he doesn't desire goodness and for us to have hope. He is a liar and a cheat. Jesus came to set things straight. He died for us to have POWER of everything the enemy throws our way. Jesus went as radical as death because of the reality of spiritual warfare.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10
I say all that to share and document the next few paragraphs.
Ben and I were spurred to pray many times throughout the day. For Paxton, for Lesa, for the adoption but also for Paxton's life - what God was calling him to do. We saught God on direction, guidance and wisdom on how to raise him up. A battle was raging and all we could find ourselves doing was pray. As we waited, while Lesa got her time with him, we prepared ourselves in prayer.
And we weren’t off from our senses. A very real battle happened.
The second night in the hospital, the plans were made, baby Paxton would stay with Lesa. I was broken. I yearned for him. She would have visitors - they would hold my baby and share in his first days of life and we didn't know them. We would hear him cry and I would weep. Ben would hold me close and we'd snuggle on the hospital bed in our room.
We were able to give Paxton good night kisses and tell Lesa sweet dreams and we went in our room, shut the door and snuggled on the bed - that was really intended for one. We eventually fell asleep. We were restless. I was waking up often - sweating and crying and praying. Something wasn't right. I fell back asleep only to be woken up by Ben saying,
"Jamie, Jamie...go check on Lesa and Pax. Go into her room."
He was serious. This was real. This was urgent.
We could feel it. There was something spiritually happening in her room.
I knocked on her door and peeked in with her "come in"...She was on her bed, sitting erect and alert. She looked exhausted. She was holding Pax closely. Some thing was in her room. I knew she hadn't slept since the night before. By her very appearance, she was very much aware of what I was feeling. But I didn't know where she stood with the reality of spiritual warfare and such.
At this moment, it became clear to me why the Lord had called me to fast. I mumbled prayers under my breath as I sat down in her rocker. It was warm - she had been here recently. I peered at her and we talked for a moment. She began to relax. She showed me pictures of her and pax and was messing with her computer. I prayed lightly. Whatever was in here was moving. I rebuked it..then... it was like... the room got silent...even though it sort of was..Pax asleep and Lesa on her computer and phone..and I on the rocker. I can't explain it but it was loud, uneasy and "busy"..then it all went away.
I looked at Lesa as she was blasting worship music from her gadget. She set her computer up near the sink and continued to hold Pax. I asked her if she needed anything. She just wanted me to stay. So I stayed. She relaxed in her bed and laid her head back. Still holding Pax she asked me how we were. I began to tell her - when she dozed off. I kind of giggled because it was instant. She was exhausted. I said "Lesa" a few times loudly as I got up and walked towards the bed - then making sure Pax was okay - I prayed. I touched her hand and her shoulder and I prayed. Outloud, I prayed. I sat back down and just watched her and him sleep. A few moments later Pax began to cry. I waited to see if Lesa would wake up. She never moved yet he continued to cry harder. She obviously was exhausted. So I took Pax from her chest and changed him. I was unsure when he had ate last but from his serious sucking gestures I made the decision to feed him.
Lesa woke up when the nurse came in to check on her. We chatted a moment and she dozed back to sleep. I stayed in the rocker just holding him. It was the first time I was able to have a moment alone with him without visitors since our first night.
"And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." - Exodus 33:19
It was about five in the morning at this time and my best friend, April, was working in the hospital. I walked Pax to our room and April was able to snuggle him a bit. I left Lesa and my door open in hopes that if I hear her wake up I can bring him back in. I felt guilty having him in our room so at about 6 or 7 I put him back with her and headed to the cafeteria with April to eat. I had the worst migraine and hadn't left the maternity floor since Pax's birth but I needed to get away and just process. April was so timely and in this moment I was reminded why I loved her so much. She didn't do anything extraordinary - she merely stayed with me and talked. She rubbed my back and fed me pain medicine. I was an emotional basket case and she was unfazed, encouraging and nurturing.
I headed back to the room. The day had started. I needed a nap...so I napped..in hopes that when I woke - we would be given our discharge papers.