To My 4-Year-Old Blessing

28 03 2012
Jason

Jason - at Central Park in NYC, March 2012. Notice the cloud over his left shoulder looks like a heart.

To My 4-Year-Old Blessing,

You turned four this morning at 12:34 a.m.  I have to record these memories now, before I forget all the details (or before the story changes too much from what really happened).

You were due on the 20th, just like your brother, but arrived eight days late, just like your brother, and on the 28th of the month, just like your brother.  That’s pretty much where the similarities end.   

There is so much I could write about, but this will simply be the story of your birth. 

While you hung around in my womb for an extra week and then some, once you decided you wanted out, you wanted OUT!  NOW!

I was at the doctor the afternoon of your birth, and I was apparently having contractions every few minutes that I was not feeling.  At.  All.  The nurse was amazed.  I went home, had dinner, took the dog on a walk with my mom, and then I finally started feeling those twinges of contractions later that evening.

You daddy was busy working on getting his grades entered as they were due the very next day, and finally around 10:00 p.m. we decided to head to the hospital.  We stopped to return a movie on the way.

I had a hard time standing by the time we got to the ER, and the staff at check-in was in no particular hurry with me.  Daddy made it up to my room before I did.

The doctor, not my regular OB-GYN, but another from his office, checked me, and I was dilated a measly 5 centimeters.  If all went well, I figured I had a good 4-5 hours of painful contractions ahead of me.

I didn’t want any drugs; I wanted to do this naturally.  However, less than an hour later, I was in unreal pain and asked for the anesthesiologist.  The thought of enduring that much pain for several more hours was not appealing to me.  I had given birth to your brother without drugs, so I felt that I didn’t really have anything to lose by getting an epidural.  (Although, I really knew that if I caved and got an epidural I would have been disappointed with myself later.)

I was checked again while the anesthesiologist was taking my history, and I was now dilated to 8 centimeters.  No wonder the pain had intensified exponentially in such a short time!  It was also too late at that point for me to receive an epidural.  I was checked again about 15 minutes later and heard the sweetest words a woman can hear during labor, “You are ready to start pushing.”

It was just over an hour since we had checked in, and I was at 10 centimeters and ready to go.  I think I pushed for maybe three minutes, and out you came.  A resident at Vanderbilt was actually the one who delivered you.  I was glad that your birth provided experience to a new doctor.  (How else are they going to learn?)

You were 6 lb. 9 oz. and 19.5” long, a tiny little one.  I was amazed at how much you looked like your brother, but I actually thought that when I saw your ultrasound.  You also had the famous Huddleston mole on the left side of your forehead.  All Huddleston males–at least in Daddy’s immediate family for the past two generations–have a mole somewhere on them (so I have been told.)

You are also the second son of a second son of a second son of a second son of a second son—five generations!  (No pressure for when you start a family.)

Some of my favorite memories from your third year:

  • You say Dark Vader.  I tried to correct your pronunciation to Darth Vader (focusing on the “th” sound).  Your response was, “Well, but he is dark.”
  • You can make light sabers out of anything:  sticks, toothpicks, screws, straws, q-tips . . . anything.
  • After seeing several people get baptized at church in a Jacuzzi-type-tub, you began to refer to it as being bathtized.
  • Your memory is amazing, especially in retelling Bible stories.  One night at dinner, Daddy and I were talking about helpers.  You broke in with, “Jesus had 12 helpers.  They were . . .” and you proceeded to name all 12 disciples.  We had no idea you even knew this, but you learned it from the Bible story/song CD you listen to at bedtime.
  • You also need the least sleep of all of us, so it seems.  You can go to bed at 11:00 p.m. and be raring to go at 6:00 a.m.  Every. Day.  While not a favorite memory, it’s still something I won’t forget.
  • You request “the dancing song” almost every night before bed time.
  • Your favorite meal time prayer is “Share and Share.”
  • You LOVE to sing! One of your favorite songs is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” You also do a hilarious rendition of Styx’s “Renegade.”
  • You still love trains, but they are slowly being replaced by all things Star Wars.
  • You heard Daddy and me talking about the gathering (our house church group).  You broke in excitedly and said, “I want to go to the gathering.”  Then you proceeded to sing the chorus to Styx’s “Come Sail Away,” “a gathering of angels appeared above my head . . .”

There you go, my sweet, silly, train loving but not as much since Star Wars entered your life, light saber obsessing, fierce, head strong, stubborn, hilarious, ready to go at the crack of the sun’s first ray of light, song singing (especially at meals), Bible storytelling, strawberry eating, come play with me begging, midnight snuggler.

I love you with everything that is in me.
Mommy

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
-Psalm 103:1

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3 responses

28 03 2012
Linda Shepherd

Happy Birthday Jason! The Shepherds sure do love you!

27 08 2012
burruss

This is so sweet:)

6 09 2012
waylandms

Your sons are so cute! I love this post!

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