While I met Lauren about six or seven years ago through our, then fiancés (now hubbys), it was really a tragedy that brought us so close together. I reached out to Lauren after reading a Facebook post requesting prayers to get her through a really tough time. Lauren and her husband Pat suffered a devastating miscarriage (you can read about it through Lauren’s eyes here). After all of the struggles Jimmy and I had getting pregnant, I couldn’t image seeing that + and then having it taken away so prematurely. I checked on Lauren frequently to see how she was doing, and tried my best to let her know I was here for whatever she needed.
From that point on, we have talked almost daily. We can be unabashedly ourselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. We offer each other advice, support, and gentle slaps upside the head when the other is being a little crazy. This also means that we tell each other WAYYY TOOOO MUCHHH. So, when Lauren had exciting news to share with me, she was a little nervous because it was during my “I can’t be happy for anyone getting pregnant/poor me/why not me/my life is just so horrible” phase. To her surprise, when she told me, I cried happy tears. I was so ecstatic that my friend who had suffered so much, was now getting the blessing she and her husband deserved. She helped me get out of a time so dark and lonely, and for that I will be forever grateful.
It was also during this time that began my Baby Planning/Maternity Consulting education. I was learning a lot, and sharing anything I thought may be helpful with Lauren. Then, one day, she called and told me that her friend who she had wanted to be her doula was also pregnant, and she would probably not be able to attend her birth…
“I’ll do it!!!!” I blurted excitedly.
And, from there, the planning began. I hopped onto DONA later that day, and made the arrangements to attend my training before her birth. We set up appointments, I helped her through bed rest, and did my best to really understand her birth wishes. And then, on June 6, 2013, Lauren and I learned first-hand that you can come up with an iron-clad birth plan, but sometimes outside factors can change everything. For example:
- Sometimes, even on your first baby, labor can be so quick!
- You can be unsure if your water has broken.
- Sometimes even the “Spray Tan” or “Leather Pants” episodes of Friends isn’t enough to get you through a mean f*@#ing contraction.
- Sometimes epidurals don’t work in time.
- When your epidural doesn’t work, you STILL have the strength, stamina, and perseverance to push your baby out. And it’s amazing. Women are freaking amazing.
- Sometimes, in spite of staying at the head level, dad’s see things they were not expecting.
- Sometimes scary things happen during delivery, and mom and baby are separated.
- When mom and baby are reunited, God, it is just. So. Good.
- Sometimes, nine months after a baby is born, you can be sitting in your Lactation Counselor training course, wishing you knew then what you know now.
- You can be sitting writing a blog post a year after a sweet baby boy is born, crying at the memory, feeling so blessed to have been a part of his birth story.
While I am sad that I won’t be able to attend this little man’s first birthday party (as I await another birth), I hope Lauren and Pat know that I celebrate the life of this sweet, curious, entertaining, happy, smiling, bright little boy every single day. <3
HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY LANDON!!!