My son, Jesse Jerome Baxter, was born six weeks premature, so he had a struggle from day one. The doctor said he had been unsure whether Jess would make it through that first night because his lungs were not fully developed. However, through prayer and the diligence of the doctors and nurses, Jess did make it through those first few days. He looked so cute with his little “party hat” which was really a dixie cup that had been taped over the IV in his head to keep him from dislodging it. I was driving back and forth from home everyday to breastfeed, because the doctor felt Jess was still too small to be taken home. Our goal was 5 pounds – up a half pound from his birth weight of 4 pounds 8 ounces – the doctor had said then I could take him home.
One day when I came in to breastfeed, the nurse told me that the doctor had asked me to come by his office. When I did, the doctor informed me that there was a problem – the bones in Jess’ skull were grown together at the top of his head. He explained how the bones should have a little space between them that would allow Jess’ head to expand as he grew. I remember he said that you could even feel the ridge on the top of his head where the bones were fused together. I don’t remember much else of what he said, I was too upset after talk of brain damage, retardation and other possible effects of the bones having grown together. After leaving the doctor’s office in a daze I went back to see Jess again and felt the top of his head. Yes, it was just as the doctor had said – I could feel the ridge along the top of his head.
Distraught and crying, I called my mother and tried to explain the situation to her through my tears. My mother was a strong believer in the God of the Bible, a real prayer warrior that had prayed me through some challenging times already. She cried too at the news, but promised to ask the churches in our small Texas town to pray for Jess. Still crying, I found a place alone and prayed to the God that I had asked to save me at Vacation Bible School when I was nine years old. There had been a lot of rebellion in my life since I was nine years old, both against my parents and against God. In my teen years I thought God didn’t want me to have any fun, so I pretty much turned my back on Him to party through my high school and college years. This situation with my new baby boy was a real wakeup call though, so I asked God to forgive me for my rebellion against Him and promised that if He would take care of Jess that I would straighten up and fly right.
Jess was transported from the small hospital in Kerrville, Texas to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in San Antonio that same day while I rode in the ambulance with him. Mom arrived soon after we did and we all settled into the small hospital room for the night. The female doctor in charge of Jess said that they would start tests on Jess the next morning. Hospitals being what they are, no one slept much that night but nurses arrived early to take Jess off for the battery of tests they had scheduled for the day. I remember at one point, Mom changing Jess’ little preemie diaper which came all the way up to his armpits. For some unknown reason, Jess picked just that time of open air on his bottom to have an explosive bowel movement. Luckily, Mom was wearing a yellow and green multicolored top so no one else ever knew she had to clean baby poo off of it! Jess was so small that when his head was in the crook of my elbow his little feet fit neatly into the palm of my hand. He was just about the size of a football. Mom and I cried, prayed and visited while Jess was in for the tests, knowing that people back home were praying too.
When the doctor came by the room late that evening, she told us that they had completed the tests that they had scheduled for Jess, and they hadn’t been able to find anything wrong! “In fact”, she said, “if you feel the top of his head, you can feel the space between the bones.” I picked Jess up, cradling him in my arm while I felt the top of his head. Just as she said, I could feel the gap between the bones in the top of his little head. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime between when I felt the top of his head at the hospital at Kerrville and when I felt it again in San Antonio, God worked a miracle!
Jess was discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health and I took him home. I praise the LORD that He healed my baby boy who is now a grown man with a wife and children of his own. Never discount the power of prayer! Thank you to all those who prayed for Jess – you know who you are!