Jackson MacLane Bargeron

Friday, August 17th – 4pm. “They’re here!” Nyra shouted as she thundered her tiny feet as fast as they could carry her to our front door. “GRANMA! ANNELISE!” She positively exploded into the waiting arms of my mom and oldest younger sister (my older sister, middle younger sister and youngest younger sister all stayed down in Charlotte). My parents were coming to Michigan for the weekend to drop my sister Annelise off for her first semester at Bible college in Jackson, Michigan. The school where Emily and I met. Much chatter, catching up and puppet shows ensued (featuring a tiny monkey our daughter inexplicably named Tonsil).

Saturday, August 18th – 9am. “GOOD MORNING, POPS!” Little Ny felt a lot bigger to my old man when she pounced on his stomach for a welcome-to-Michigan squeeze. Pops had gotten into town a lot later than my mom and sister thanks to a long day at work on Friday. Saturday was a full day of conversation, seeing pictures from their very recent trip to China, binge eating and Nyra spoilage. By the end of the day we all collapsed into bed, grateful and exhausted.

Saturday, August 18th – 11:10pm. “Lane, I think my water just broke.” Emily and I had just nestled down into bed and started to drift off when she felt a water balloon burst between her legs. She was due September 4, but it was time. My worry level went from 0-7,000 in 2.5 seconds. “Are you in pain? Are you having contractions? How far apart are they? Should we call an ambulance?”

While I hyperventilated in bed, Emily calmly packed our bags and took a shower because she knew it would be a couple days before she could shower again. This is why God made women, not men, have babies. No expectant father has the presence of mind to do things that actually make sense, like taking a shower when his wife’s water breaks. Fortunately, my wife takes showers at the speed of light and my dad was upstairs shortly after to get me from the bed to my wheelchair.

Emily’s mom was over in a heartbeat and a half to drive us to the hospital while my parents stayed at our place with Nyra.

Sunday, August 19th – 2:30am.
“Babe, are we agreed on his name?” Emily asked me from her hospital bed. The name of our son was something we hadn’t been able to settle on for months. Of course we had a name all picked out for a girl as soon as we discovered we were pregnant in December. Then we found out we were having a boy back in March or April. From that point on, the name-searching frenzy was in full swing. Months passed with us throwing out name ideas as varied as “Cecil” and “Sebastian”. We found some great names and some not so great names. Probably the worst decision was getting a book of 100,000+ baby names. Good thought but it only served to make us less decisive by adding more names to our ever-increasing list. In the end, Emily had the fantastic idea of naming him Jackson. Jackson, Michigan was where Emily and I met, at New Tribes Bible Institute, and where our story began. The more I chewed on it, the more I liked it. His middle name was the next step. Emily wanted it to be MacLane, my full first name, from the start. I was reluctant, thinking it almost prideful to name my son after myself. I know myself, and there’s nothing in me aside from Christ that’s worth naming a future man after. Then one day it hit me: that’s precisely the point. The name MacLane isn’t anything significant or life-altering in itself, but it represents a weak, sinful man whom God saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and who is now and forever held fast by His grace. Because of Jesus, when God looks at MacLane, He sees Christ in Lane’s place. I came to realize that giving my own name to my son had nothing to do with my legacy, and everything to do with Christ’s.

“Jackson MacLane? Yes, we’re agreed!”
We were sitting in the triage room on the third floor of Sparrow hospital, the floor where babies are born. Apparently a lot of babies wanted to be born that night, because we sat in that room for what seemed like a week. Eventually the powers that be decided we could come back to one of the labor and delivery rooms. None too soon either. Emily was starting to feel the contractions and was quite ready for an epidural (I’ve sworn by epidurals since Nyra’s birth. Nothing makes a man feel more helpless than seeing his wife battle a pain he can’t fix). The spacious labor and delivery room was much better suited for my clunky wheelchair than the cramped triage room where the hospital staff literally had to climb over me to get to Emily.

Jackson put up quite a fuss not wanting to come out, and after nearly twelve hours of trying to get him to come like a good boy, the doctor took us back for a C-section. Man, we’re beyond thankful for that doctor and the nurses and technicians that helped get Jackson safely home to us. From the time we were told we were going back to the time we were holding our son in our arms, less than half an hour passed. The nurse and anesthesiologist covered my entire chair in a sanitary gown, gave me a hair net and a mask, I wheeled up next to Emily, and the “fun” began.

“You won’t feel any pain with this, but you’ll probably feel a large amount of pressure down by where Baby is. Ready?” Emily nodded to the anesthesiologist who was by her head explaining the procedure.

August 19th, 6:18pm. “Okay, here comes the pull, sweetie.” Emily’s body lightly jerked forward as the doctor pulled out our son, and we heard our son’s voice for the very first time. Tears streamed down Emily’s face as she gently sobbed out of pure joy and a fierce love for the boy she had carried in her body for nearly nine months, praying every day for, and was now finally able to meet.

I first laid eyes on my son as the doctor peeked him out from the other side of the sheet that had been protecting him from any of our trace germs during the surgery to get him out. He was bawling like a baby lion, a strong little boy cry. They brought him out quickly, and gently laid him on a warmer to clean the excess fluid off and make sure he could breathe. He sure could breathe and made sure we all knew it with his welcome-to-the-world wails. Seriously, this kid could howl.

 Nyra’s newborn cry:

Jackson’s newborn cry:

As I gazed lovingly at my baby son, I made myself a promise. I will protect this boy with my life and fight for him with everything in me. I will raise him to be kind to and protective of his mom and big sister so he might be a man who has a high respect for women. I will show him the infinite beauty and worth of Christ over the fleeting pleasures of sin. Then I started to pray silently: “Sweet Lord, make my son a man after Your heart. Let him taste Your goodness and want more. Let him chase after You with a fiery passion. Protect this little boy from everything I can’t protect him from .”

After Jackson was safely born, they took us back to a recovery room where we caught our breath for a few minutes.
In came Nyra Jane, suddenly solemn and responsible. I gave her a squeeze and called her my squirrel (a recent inside joke and a play on “My Girl”) and was swiftly reprimanded. “Daddy I’m not a squirrel, I’m a big sister!”

She embraced her new identity as a big sister as if she’s been one since birth, and hasn’t stopped loving on Jackson (at least not yet).

We are trying our best and leaning into the arms of Jesus as we learn how to parent two kids and relearn how to care for a newborn. Sweet mama bear Nyra has already been a huge help in all this, it’s so cool to see how mature she became overnight. God is good and faithful, in the hard times and the great times, and we trust Him with our precious kids.

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!