since i've only blogged about jude, i decided to blog about another child of mine-jade ashlee! in my human growth and development class this semester, we had to write an essay about one of our own pregnancies or someone else's pregnancy. i, of course, chose my own-i have a lot of experience to pull from! i decided to write about my pregnancy with jade because she is not only the only girl i had, but at the time, the last mason girl born into the family (as a mason) was misty mason-i'm sure some of you remember her from school. misty was 24 years old that year. it seemed that mason men only knew how to make boys...you can imagine our surprise when we found out about little jade "ashalee" (as my father likes to call her). here is my essay:
I will never forget discovering my 3rd pregnancy. In fact, I’ll never even forget the actual conception. The Summer Olympics were being held in Sydney and the Yankees and Mets faced off in the World Series. My husband and I had been married for 3 years, 7 months, and 7 days. We had a 29 month old son, Alex, and a 13 month old son, Austin. We were at the point in our marriage where I was wondering what I had been thinking when I had married my husband. It’s not that I wanted out or that I didn’t love him, but I just realized that I didn’t really know him. I was warned that this happened to everyone at the 3 year mark.
I had just been in and sang at my best friend’s, Kristin’s, wedding on October 14th, 2000. (That same day was the funeral of the Grandmaster of my Taekwondo Association. His name was Hang Ung Lee. He was a great man.) The two songs I sang were popular for weddings that year: “Angel” by Celine Dion (I sang this one as a duet with Christopher Phillips), and “I Need You” by Leann Rimes. I remember feeling sad because I missed that feeling that Kristin and Matt seemed to share at their wedding. I wanted that feeling back so I prayed that God would help me to see my husband the way I used to see him, that he would fill my heart with passion and fire. It worked – we got back that spark and the result was me getting pregnant.
I was excited, but also scared. My second son had been born prematurely and had so many health complications. I didn’t want to see another child of mine suffer like that again. I also had become content with the idea of having two sons and not having anymore. I just knew I wouldn’t have a girl anyway; the last Mason girl born was 24 years old at the time. When we told our families, we all assumed another Mason boy was on his way.
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I had the typical morning sickness that started around Christmas Day. However, I’ve always been lucky in that my morning sickness didn’t last too long, nor did it hinder me in my daily routines. I still had 2 babies to take care of, so I didn’t get any extra rest, but I was 20 years old and had plenty of energy. The only complaint I have about any of my pregnancies is the heartburn that plagued me every second of everyday! I would get heartburn from water! It was terrible, but luckily, the only time I ever have had heartburn is during pregnancy.
The pregnancy continued into the New Year. 2001 was the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium. A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit all of El Salvador, killed at least 800 people, and left thousands homeless. George W. Bush became the 43rd president of the United States and yet another earthquake hit Gujarat, India, killing more than 12,000. That was just in January, the 3rd month of my pregnancy. We had debated whether or not we would find out the sex of our baby, but we thought we better be safe since we only had things for boys. So, we went in at the end of February to see what God had in store for us.
The tech must have thought we were nuts because both of our sons and both of our mothers came with us. All of us held our breath as she tried to get just the right angle, but our little peanut was not having it. She kept her legs crossed the whole time. My husband took the boys out for a breather while the nice lady kept trying to get a good view. Of course it was at that moment, when there were no males left in the room, that Jade Ashlee made known our future of pink, frilly things! My mom, mother-in-law, and I sat there in shock. Really? A girl? Are you sure? Well, my husband and sons came back into the room and we all just bawled. We were going to have a baby girl!
The year and my pregnancy continued on normally. Gladiator won for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Popular songs were “Hanging by a Moment”, by Lifehouse, “Fallin’”, by Alicia Keys, and “Drops of Jupiter”, by Train. We stayed busy with our boys and getting ready to bring a little girl into the house. I always would get tons of energy in my 3rd trimester so spring cleaning that year turned me into a mad woman! I love spring cleaning anyway, but I was a woman on a mission and cleaned nonstop from the month of May right up to minutes before driving to the hospital to deliver my daughter.
July 4th, 2001 was spent just like every other July 4th since we had been married. We were at my in-laws’ house swimming – oh, yes I did – cooking out, and later shooting off fireworks. I first noticed the small little squeezes in my uterus while watching my father-in-law, husband, and brother-in-law take turns lighting fuses and running away from the disappointing displays. There was one particular firework that shot off several flaming balls that landed everywhere around us. I was sitting on the tailgate of a truck when one of those mortars exploded right underneath the truck! It scared the mess out of me and my contractions suddenly got stronger. I kept silent because I knew I would rather labor there and at my own house than at the hospital.
The celebration ended and my husband and I loaded the boys up and headed home. On the way there, I informed my husband that I was in labor. He asked me if I was sure. He always asked me that because I’m always so calm and he seemed to expect the hectic rushing around and screaming that he saw in the movies. I told him I was very sure. After all, I had already been through this twice before within the past 3 years. When we got home, I gave the boys their baths and put them to bed. Then I washed the dishes, put in a load of laundry, tidied up the house, and took a shower. By then, my husband’s grandmother was there to stay with the boys and my contractions were extremely hard.
We got to the hospital around 11:30 p.m. the nurse checked to see if I had dilated at all and she informed me that I was only 3 centimeters and since it did not appear that I was in hard labor, I would probably be sent home. I told her that I knew I wasn’t going home and that my baby would be there soon. She must not have believed me because when she came back in the room at 12:30 a.m., she informed me that my contractions didn’t register strong enough to make any change and since my water wasn’t broken, I would be sent home. However, when she did a “just in case” exam, she discovered that I was at 6 centimeters. She asked if I wanted an epidural or anything for pain. I declined because I’m a follower of the Bradley Method of natural childbirth. Instead, I asked if I could walk around because my back was killing me just lying there in the bed. She said that would be fine.
My mother-in-law walked with me up the hallway and when we had turned around and started back to the room, I asked her to please get the nurse because it was time. When I got back to my room, I was at 10 centimeters and it was time to push. The nurse kept telling me not to push until the doctor got there, but I wasn’t even pushing! Jade Ashlee Mason popped right out on her own just as the doctor walked into the room. He barely even caught her! My mom and mother-in-law didn't even have time to leave and go wait with the rest of the family in the waiting room! Jade came out face up instead of face down, which is why my back had been hurting so badly. Because of that, we often call her “Sunny-side up”.
Jade Ashlee was born at 1:11 a.m. on July 5, 2001. She was 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 19 inches long. As soon as she came out, her daddy scooped her up, kissed her cheek and danced with her right there in the delivery room. He wanted to make sure he gave her her first kiss and first dance. She had brown hair and blue eyes, which later turned green. She was the first Mason girl born into the family in 24 years. She was, and is to this day, the healthiest child - never had an ear infection or even a little cold as an infant!
Today, she is 7 years old and will be 8 in July. She’s creative, artistic, compassionate, and absolutely gorgeous. Even though, at that time, I was content with being the mom of two boys, I can’t imagine my life without my sweet baby girl. I’m so grateful that God gave her to me and humbled by the blessing of having her in my life. Mama loves you, Jade!