The next two posts we will share about the day we left the hospital. First, Heather’s reactions, secondly ours.
The next morning became very real to me- this is the day we are leaving. Dr. Johnson came in early to talk with me. She told me to “hang in there” with the headaches and if they seemed to get worse to call her. She also told me that she wrote about me in her “100 Days of Happiness” journal. The entry she wrote was titled, “Sacrifice.” Dr. Johnson had been so supportive since day one. I felt happy that our experience made such an impact on her life as well.
I decided I wanted to stretch my legs and go walk to find the coffee room. As I opened my door to the hallway, I seen Jackson being rolled back to his room, sound asleep. I thought, “He must have had his circumcision.” I asked the nurse how he was doing, and she let me know that he did great. “Thank you, God!” I thought. The nurse went into Jessica and JJ’s room, and I walked the hallways and waited for her to come out. I was kind of nervous about how this last day would go. Hoping it was okay after the nurse left, I knocked on their door. They looked very tired. I was so happy to see them again. I asked Jessica if she could show me the coffee room, and we walked together. She told me all about the night they had, and how it was a little rough. As we walked back to our rooms, she said if it was okay, she would bring Jackson over so JJ could get some sleep. I loved that idea. So, that early morning, Jessica, Jackson, and I hung out in my room. After a while, she said she would love to go get things packed and get showered. If it was okay, she would leave Jackson with me. I absolutely loved that idea, too. For the first time, it was just Jackson and I. He was my big, handsome guy. I picked him up and held him on my chest. He curled his head on my skin by my neck and I felt so proud. I started crying. The love that I felt for my son was so overwhelming. The Lord was with me. I embraced his presence and talked to him. I told him how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. I told him he was going to have a great life. I could not stop crying. I told myself I had to stay strong and get it together. I didn’t want to be an emotional wreck the rest of the day. I pulled myself together. I remember giving Jackson about a hundred kisses. I smelled him. I rubbed his back. I patted his butt. I kissed his forehead. I just held him and embraced our time together. That time was such a precious time for me.
Soon, my dad came in. I was happy to see him. He took some pictures of me and Jackson. Then, he held him and talked to him. The Lord was definitely with us. Jessica and JJ came back into the room. Jessica looked so beautiful and JJ looked so handsome. The rest of the morning, we took pictures, shared laughs, and I was just embracing the moment. I knew we would be leaving soon. It was a very bittersweet time for me. I was so happy to feed Jackson and burp him before his car ride home. It was time to leave. Oh, how I wanted just one more hour, or one more day. Jessica asked me if I wanted to hold him again. I wouldn’t have minded, but I knew how hard it would have been to let him go. Instead, I went behind Jessica and gave baby Jackson a kiss on his forehead. I was totally going to lose control of my emotions at that moment. Just then, JJ said, “Wait, Heather, can you do that again?” as he held out his camera. That made me chuckle and I needed that laugh at that very moment. That picture of Jessica, Jackson, and I means a lot to me. It symbolizes the whole journey. It’s amazing how this little boy in the middle could bring two women so close and so happy. He brought together two families. He inspired a lot of people. He brought a lot of love and happiness into many hearts. He changed our lives forever. He taught me that no mountain is too high and that nothing is impossible with an open mind, an open heart, and a lot of faith.