How I Learned About Jason

28 03 2011

My baby turned three at 12:34 a.m. today.  He’s three, so he’s not really a baby anymore.  He is our second son; actually he’s the second son of a second son of a second son of a second son of a second son—five generations.  And he is our final child.  He brings me joy and delight every day he’s been in my life.  He is fierce, determined, stubborn, head-strong, and hilarious.

This is the story of how I learned I was pregnant with Jason.

It was early July 2007, and my husband and I were on a two-week trip to China with an eclectic group of people from all over America.  I suspected I was pregnant before we left, but wanted to wait till we got home to take an official test.  I hadn’t even told my husband yet my suspicions.

Halfway through the trip, I became really, really, really ill.  I had the worst stomach virus I can recall ever having in my adult years.  China is not the place to get sick I quickly learned after having just visited a Chinese medicine market that sold all manner of spices, herbs, and animal parts. 

Medicine Market in Xi'an

Medicine Market in Xi'an

 

Medicine Market in Xi'an

Medicine Market in Xi'an

 

Medicine Market in Xi'an

Medicine Market in Xi'an

 

Medicine Market in Xi'an

Medicine Market in Xi'an

We were in Xi’an at the time the bug arrived, and we were set to fly to Beijing the very next day.  I left our group, got a taxi back to the hotel and spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening alternating between my bed and the bathroom every 20 minutes.

 I must have looked like death warmed over when we got to the airport the next morning.  An older gentleman from our group sat down next to me while we were waiting at the gate.  He proceeded to pull out a handkerchief from his front shirt pocket.  Upon unfolding it, there were about a dozen little Kleenex squares folded neatly inside, each containing about a half-dozen different prescription medications.  He then started handing me samples of these various drugs.  “This one is for nausea.  This one will help with diarrhea.  This is a general antibiotic, but here’s one that will knock out anything if you need something more powerful.”  I graciously took his medicine and desperately tried to remember everything he told me.

I didn’t take any of these pills because I didn’t know for certain if I was pregnant, and if so, if any of the medications were safe.  I had to find out!

So in the middle of a lacquer furniture factory, shaking, crying, and cramping, I told my husband what I thought. 

The next day, he told our tour guide he needed to find a pharmacy and buy a pregnancy test.  Our guide, Steven, was amazing—writing out directions in Chinese for my husband to give to a taxi driver to get him to a pharmacy and then directions to a clerk at the pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test.

Matthew arrived back at the hotel a little later with a pregnancy test in hand.  Then the moment of truth arrives!  Wait. No it doesn’t since we can’t read Chinese to figure out the results.  We now had to wait until breakfast the next morning to ask Steven.

So our Chinese tour guide was the first person who knew for certain that I was pregnant.  Now that I knew, I had to figure out if I could take any of the medications my new friend of one week had given me.  How to do that in China with no Internet access, we didn’t speak the language, and I didn’t want to poney up the money needed to visit a hospital.

We’d call home . . . on a very expensive calling card.  I first tried our family doctor’s office, but it was 8:00 p.m. in America so the office was surely closed.  Next, I tried calling a friend who was a resident at Vanderbilt.  No luck.  Then I tried calling his wife.  No luck.  Next I called another friend who knew the doctor friend and his wife.

I must have sounded like a mad woman when Phyllis answered the phone.  She and her family were on vacation in Chicago, and her son was hoping to propose to his future wife just then on the beach.  However, the weather had turned bad and they were all rushing to get their stuff inside their rental house. 

Anyway, I told Phyllis the story of what  had happened, gave her the names of the meds I had been given, and prayed she could get a hold of someone, anyone!, who could give her advice on what I should do.  I called Phyllis back about 30 minutes later, and received the best news I had heard yet.  I could take one of the antibiotics!

The next 24 hours saw a huge improvement in the functioning of my digestive system.  I had lost 6 pounds in 30 hours (5% of my body weight) most of which was water weight.  I quickly gained back the weight I lost, though, putting on 11 pounds in my second month of pregnancy.

So here we are, celebrating Jason’s third birthday.

To Jason on your third birthday:

Jason Mark Huddleston

Jason Mark Huddleston

That you are a part of our lives is really a miracle.  You bless me so much every day.  I love your enthusiasm for life and the incredible energy you have at such early hours of the morning lasting into the late hours of the night.  (I really do wish you’d sleep more!)  I thank God for you every single day, my train-loving, nap-skipping, movie-watching, song-humming, silliness-inducing, everywhere-running, tantrum-throwing,  squishy-hugging, sloppy-kissing, bubble-blowing, strawberry-stealing, nut-fanatic-eating, mommy-loving little boy.  You have made our family complete.

The verse I chose for you and that hangs in your room is this:
“Praise the Lord, O my soul.
All my inmost being, praise his holy name.”

Psalms 103:1 

My prayer for you is this:
-that you always love God.
-that your greatest desire in life would be to serve Him.
-that you would grow into a man of strong faith and integrity.
-that you would be a friend to all.
-that you would be a man of kindness, compassion, and generosity.
-that you would be as your name defines you: a healer and bringer of many to their salvation.
-that your talents would serve you and others well.
-that your fierceness, stubbornness, and head-strong spirit would bless others and not curse them.

-that your weaknesses would become strengths.
-that your wife and children would also be all these things.
-that you and your wife would remain sexually pure until you are married.
-that you and your wife will continue the legacy and raise children who love Christ as much as you. 

Love,
Mommy

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