Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jaxton Isaac: His Birth Story

It's been a long 10 months. Pregnancy isn't an easy thing for me. And it's not an easy thing for my family, either. When mom is down and out, the ripple affects everyone else. The beautiful thing about carrying another life, though, is that even when I feel my worst I'm forced to remember that it's not entirely all about me, and that another little person is completely dependent on me. That brings more purpose and motivation to the difficult days than looking at a calendar countdown until a due date or than organizing teeny-tiny newborn clothes. 

But, thankfully, pregnancy isn't the end-all. When the time is right, baby needs out! And when the time came for us, we were all more than ready.
On December 20, Grady and I checked into the hospital for a scheduled c-section. This was our fourth time and although we knew what to expect about the process, we both had a flurry of emotions. Praise God, everything went as smooth as possible and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Because this was the fourth c-section, we had two doctors performing the surgery and a great team of nurses backing them up.
The delivery experience was nauseating, as usual, and a flood of tears washed over me when I heard my little man emerge with a loud cry. It's a frustrating thing to not have feeling and control of your body, but to know in your mind that you want to get up and hold that new little life. To whisper endless I love you's. To kiss the tiny features. To cradle the little body. For me, the last half hour of surgery is the hardest part because I can't be with my baby.

Thankfully, Grady was all the support I needed - and then some. He knew what to say and what to do. He knew when to touch and when to keep away. He knew when to snap pictures and when to simply hold my hand. Without question, he has been the stabilizing force in our family lately. He's worn a myriad of hats and has done his best to do it with patience and tenderness as we journeyed to this birth day.
At 11:42 am, on Friday, December 20, 2013, Jaxton Isaac was born. He entered with a scream and a wail that didn't stop until he was tightly swaddled and cradled in Grady's arms. Jax weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces, measured 19 inches long, and had tiny bits of black hair. As with the others, Grady was able to cut the cord and be the first to hold Jax and love him into our family.
I can't explain the instant love and joy and gratitude that I felt knowing Jax was finally here - and that delivery had happened without complication. For a brief moment, my nausea and discomfort faded as I kissed his little face and touched his tiny body. Then, while surgery finished for me, Grady followed the pediatric nurses back to our room to watch over Jax.
A few hours passed as I was cared for and then we had permission to call family and invite them to visit. I was numb and tired, but somehow my heart was still full of giddy energy for the much-anticipated expressions and reactions from my three other kids. They had prayed and helped prepare for their baby brother, and had asked questions and counted down to the moment of meeting Jax. I couldn't wait for them to finally see and hold him!
Annalyse, what did you think the first time you held baby Jax?
"He was so cute!"

What else?
"That he was so little."

Are you excited to be a big sister?
"Yes, because I love him and I get to take care of him. I am your big helper with Jax!"

Grady Lee, what did you think the first time you got to hold Jax?
"He was so cute and adorable!"

Why are you excited about having a new baby brother?
"Because he's cute and small when he's sleeping and when he's awake. I can't wait tp play football with him when he's bigger."
Micah, what did you think the first time you got to hold Jax?
"That he was so tiny and cute. And, I was happy that he was finally here."

Why are you excited about having a new baby brother?
"When he grows up I'll always have someone to play with."
Of the hundreds of pictures we have from Jax's birth day, this is actually one of my favorites. My handsome man with his three little men. The Peeler Dynasty. The big man in the middle has a massive job on his hands - how to show three little men to be big men who respect others, work hard, and love Jesus. And I have the immense privilege of being best friends with the man in the middle and partnering with him in this often-stressful, frequently-overwhelming, and usually-joyful thing called parenting.
On December 20, our happy family of five became a happier family of six! Praise God for his gracious gift to us. Ready or not, Jaxton was put into a loud and busy and active family with three older siblings. He's blessed to have Grady Lee, Micah, and Annalyse, but I know he's in for a challenge or two along the way, too!
My parents drove to NC to watch the older kids while Grady and I were in the hospital for several days. When they arrived, my mom jumped out of the car and exclaimed, "Yes! We made it in time! The baby didn't come before we got here!" The week prior to Jax's arrival, there were many signs that he was ready to come, and unlike Grady Lee and Annalyse, Jax decided to wait until his scheduled date to arrive.

Jax is the fifth grandchild for my parents and he has no idea how much love and fun and spoiling he is in for! These pictures capture it all: grandpa and grandma are smitten and fully in love.
We had planned for Grady to stay the night with me the first night, but to head home the following nights so he could get "real" sleep. If you've ever had a hospital stay, you know they are not quiet and comfortable places to sleep. Add a newborn that cries to eat every couple of hours to the already-bustling activity of nurses in and out of our room, along with a fold-out cot that is much too short for a 6'4" frame, and you understand that you're not set up for a night of good rest. But, because my man loves me more than himself, and because he wanted to be ready to help at any chance he could, he opted to stay with me each night. Three nights of discomfort and four days of sitting in an armchair just to be with Jax and I. That, friends, is love.

My parents brought the kids up each day to visit, and each time they argued over who got to hold Jax first. Annalyse was such a big girl remembering to hold his head like we had practiced with her baby dolls. Grady Lee and Micah figured out that if they slid their finger into Jax's hand he would quickly grip it and not let go. To them, this meant that "Jax loves us and doesn't want us to leave!"

During our four days, we had a lot of visitors stop by with well-wishes, prayers, and gifts. What a treat to see happy faces congratulating us on Jax's arrival. For those taking time to read this, thank you for taking time to visit. Your encouragement meant a lot to Grady and I!
And now, here we are two weeks old already. The early days home were a blur, mostly due to the pain meds I was on, Christmas coming and going, and Micah having a birthday. But, now that the pace of life has slowed, I've had many quiet days to rest and enjoy my little man. Grady has been home from work for the past couple of weeks and has done everything he can to be sure I don't lift a finger and simply rest. On the one hand it's a wonderfully attractive thing to see him love and care for me; and on the other hand, it's a frustrating thing knowing that I'm not supposed to lift or carry and do much as I recover. I'm not good at sitting still and letting others do what I know I can do for myself. I suppose this is the beauty of watching my man love me and watching friends step in to bring meals or watch the older kids. And, I'm deeply thankful for the help. So deeply thankful.
Jaxton Isaac, you are a gift from God. A treasure to our family. A jewel to my crown. Dad and I prayed for you, longed for you, and praised God when you came to be. Your time of growing inside me wasn't easy, and there were events and decisions in our family life during that time that made carrying you that much more complicated. But, during the long days and the difficult days, you were always cherished and wanted. 

We have hopes and dreams for you, but we'll do our best to regularly offer your talents and abilities to God to use for his plans. You were made for purposes far beyond anything we can dream for you and we want to trust an all-knowing God for your best.

Psalm 148 - "Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens... Praise the LORD from the earth... young men and women, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."


  1. Many tears reading your post; Congratulations. I'm so blessed reading about Jax. He is beautiful - as is your family because you shine the light of Christ. Love you, girl - hoping we can catch up really soon.
    Carrie :)

  2. Tears of joy and arms full of goosebumps as I read this post! Jax is just the most precious thing ever!!!! What a blessing new life brings! Congratulations Peeler family!!!!

  3. What a little stud! I love you, buddy!

  4. Welcome adorable little baby Jaxton! Your family in PA can't wait to meet you!

  5. Tears reading this beautiful post & looking at all of the precious, precious photos of the first days in sweet Jax's life!! The siblings meeting the new baby pics are ALWAYS my favorites because they bring back so many sweet memories :-) Truly love those moments! YOU look gorgeous before, during & after delivery!! And I'm so glad the delivery was smooth! Can't wait to meet that sweet little guy! Need to schedule a time to bring you guys a meal SOON!! Much love to the Peeler family of SIX!!

  6. Congrats, Sarah! He's a cutie. I pray all is going well as you adjust at home.

  7. I am so glad that this lil guy is FINALLY here...I know the waiting and anticipating was hard. Thankful that God's plan for the Peeler family includes Jaxton and I am so excited to watch God move through him as he grows up. He is such a precious, adorable lil bundle of love. Congratulations my friend!!!

  8. Thanks, friends, for all the sweet comments and encouragement! I'm blessed by your love and excitement for our family with the arrival of Jax.