I do not believe in irony, I believe in the hands of God. So part 3 is brought to you 3 days before Jackson’s 3rd birthday. As I write this I am having a hard time believing our little baby is THREE already. This is the last post in a 3 part series on the day Jackson was born. Heather’s comments are in italics. Most of these were sent to us in a letter from Heather 12 days after Jackson was born. Heather has given me permission to use them and will also write more current posts as we navigate through this process together.I don’t remember if I was crying or if I was laughing, but the amount of happiness that I felt was overwhelming. It was an amazing feeling. I don’t know how it happened, but I grabbed Jessica’s hand. I was so proud of myself. I was so proud of Jackson. I was so proud of Jessica. That moment was the most beautiful moment of my life. For the first time in my life, there was someone else there to share the excitement of the birth of my child, and I felt nothing but love. I wasn’t alone. I didn’t feel alone. I felt the complete opposite. I was surrounded with so much love. Jackson was the reason for all of this.
I don’t know if I was laughing or crying either. In fact I think at first I was laughing and then the emotion of it all took over and I was crying. Not only tears of happiness for our son that was just born but it was so incredibly beautiful to be by Heather’s side during the birth, I couldn’t contain myself. It was all too much to handle. I might have froze for a moment in time. JJ and I were to cut the umbilical cord together and I remember Dr. Johnson yelling at us to cut it so that they could take him and clean him up and check him out. But I was in so much shock, it didn’t all quite sink in what she was telling us to do!
The nurses took Jackson off of my stomach and over by the heated bed for an examination. My mother and JJ were very happy to go and see him. I was still holding Jessica’s hand. I still had to push out the after birth and get all cleaned up. I told Jessica, “You can go.” She was crying while she shook her head no. Instead, she stayed right next to me. In that moment, I realized that this woman next to me not only loves Jackson, but she loves me too. She was there for me from the beginning to the very end. She was amazing, and there was no other woman I would have wanted to be the mother of my son. It was in that moment I realized I had gained a true friend, an angel on earth. She was a role model for me. She was more than just Jackson’s mom, and she was more than an amazing friend. She was my family, and I loved her so much.
I couldn’t leave her side. Don’t get me wrong I wanted to hold that little baby more than anything in the world. But Heather needed me too. She just endured some of the most painful moments of her life, I wasn’t going to be letting go until it was finished. There are no words in this world to describe the love I have for Heather. Have you ever heard of agape? The way God loves us? Love, originating from God. A love we as humans cannot comprehend. The love I have for Heather is also a love that is not comprehensible. It is a love that only I understand (well, she might too). A love that runs so deep in my veins. She changed my world. She gave me the one thing in this world I couldn’t get on my own. Holding her hand and being next to her while she delivered Jackson is something I will never forget. It was pure, raw beauty.
Jackson Lawrence Heesch. What a beautiful name. I don’t know what ultimately made JJ and Jessica pick Lawrence as his middle name, but I couldn’t have felt anymore happy about it. I felt thankful for them to think about me and my family’s namesake. I thought about my Grandpa Lawrence, and how amazing he was. How his face just lit up every time he seen me and my sister. Growing up, he was the only man who said, “I love you” to me. He was always proud of me, no matter what. He loved my grandmother very much, and he took care of his family until his last breath. In that moment, I hoped my Grandpa was proud of me still. I hoped Jackson would one day be like Grandpa. A God fearing man who did right and took care of the ones that he loved.
At our first meeting with Heather we had asked her if there was a family name she loved or had a connection to. She said at one point she wished she would have included Lawrence in Marvel’s name. It was her grandpa’s name and Lauren is her middle name. Our whole family is J’s (including extended family- Jay, Joel, Jeff, JJ, Jordan, Jared, Joel, Jill, Jon, Jaden, Jera, Joy, Jadie…. See what I am getting at!) So it wasn’t even a conversation, we would name our child a name with “J.” JJ and I had always loved the name Jackson (even in high school!). We then were going to use the middle name Andrew, after our close friend who had passed away. But read that out loud, Jackson Andrew, he would get made fun of his whole life because who doesn’t think Andrew Jackson- the president! The more we thought about our child and the story he will have to tell, the more important we thought it would be to have a connection to his birth family. So, Jackson Lawrence Heesch it was. And I might have a bias but that is one heck of a strong name!
Those 3 days we spent at the hospital were some of the most memorable and magical days of my life. I spent (really we, JJ and I) spent almost 6 years of our lives waiting for this moment and nothing could have prepared me for it, nothing. But as a quote I just read said, “If God is making you wait then be prepared to receive more than what you asked for.” And in that moment, it was more than I was prepared for!