Have you ever met someone and feel like you have known them for a long time? Meet Lauren. I met this girl the beginning of this year after I had my baby. We never really hung out but for some reason we just have similar souls and still keep in touch. I think the world of her and hope our lives cross paths again and that we stay friends for a life time! She is currently living in Utah, an amazing photographer, and a beautiful mom to her sweet boy named Holland.
Here’s her story:
“I dropped him off at work… Started on my way back home when I found myself pulling into the parking lot of Walgreens. The thought of taking another pregnancy test made me sick to my stomach. I had grown to hate those stupid sticks after so many months of them slapping me in the face and letting me down. I hadn’t taken a test in months, but for some reason I had this voice inside me that kept saying, “it’s ok this time… It will work… Take the test.” And so I bought a familiar $8 of wishful thinking and drove home to our little house on the corner in Provo. I did the deed. Got it over with. Put the stick on the counter. And walked away…. For a long time.
I was preparing myself mentally and emotionally as I walked over to read what I thought would be another wasted test and another night of tears.
And then… I was pregnant.
I literally dropped to my knees because the shock would not allow me to stand…. I don’t know what came first… The tears or the laughs… But they eventually came together in unison along with my arms and hands folded in prayer. I don’t know how many times I said thank you in that prayer, but I know that those were the only words said to my Heavenly Father in that prayer and I’m sure He was crying happy tears right along with me.
I spent the next hour at target picking out an adorable outfit to surprise my husband Christian with. To tell him we were finally going to be parents. Our prayers were finally answered, but answered nonetheless. He opened the outfit, his eyes right along with it, and we both held each other and cried… And cried… And cried.
And then it stopped.
Our sweet baby’s heart had stopped after it had so immaculately and meticulously formed. I was no longer pregnant, and the waiting began again. I hated being back in the same place we started after feeling so much love and excitement of a baby on the way. And so we cried… And cried… And cried… And cried. I found my hands again folded with my arms praying to my Heavenly Father… But this time they were not happy tears, they were incredibly sad but genuinely grateful ones. I remember praying the day we found out we lost our first little one, and after expressing how broken my heart was, I remember expressing my gratitude of the feeling I was able to have to finally feel pregnant, to be pregnant, to express thanks to my God who made this possible. It was possible. I could get pregnant. And I knew it would happen again. So I continued to put my faith in God. I continued to pray. I never allowed myself to be angry. Of course I was sad… But I was ever so hopeful and never stopped trusting. We kept trying. We kept praying. We kept positive.
And then it WAS positive. And this time for good!
We were ecstatic. We were hesitant. We were so incredibly happy. We were beyond thrilled but completely nervous. We were ready to jump in with two feet, but our hearts were cautious to get toes wet. But we put every ounce of faith we had in God… And hoped on. Prayed on.
I embraced every feeling of being pregnant. I craved the morning sickness and the never-ending fatigue. As long as I had these two things… I was still pregnant. I couldn’t wait to wake up every morning and read my pregnancy apps to find out what my little fruit-sized baby was up to in the growing world. Usually that was followed by the infamous “morning” sickness…. Which really should be called all day- every day- never go away- sickness. Feeling gross for so many weeks eventually I started to get a taste of defeat…
And then it kicked
And suddenly I fell in love with the sickness and baggy eyelids all over again. There was a human being inside of me. Growing. Waiting to be mine. He was a he and that he was a son… To me. Suddenly pregnancy was not only my life it became my love. I loved every kick, every pound, every hiccup, and every movement. It was magical to me. It was miraculous. And then came the last 10 weeks. it became hard… It became tiring… It became painful… Oh how it was painful haha but amidst all of the uncomfortable parts of that last part of pregnancy came days closer to meeting my guy.
And then it was time.
September 24 was the day.
I had been praying for months for this day… For the past 9 months I had envisioned the moment where I would first hold my new son after he was born. I imagined it being after an exhausting but rewarding labor where I would feel this connection with my body, my epidural would allow me to enjoy labor, and there would be that perfect moment where I would push one last time and then I would hear his cry, matched by my own, as the doctor would lay him across my chest. It would be complete bliss, I would look gorgeous in the photos following his birth with our new family of three, and I would be so calm shortly after labor holding my little bundle of joy while everybody in the room gushed over my new mom glory and our immaculate new little handsome.
And then labor happened… And it was anything but what I described above.
To make a long gruesome story short… My epidural wore off. I had a gallbladder attack. I was throwing up. I was pushing for hours. My contractions were on top of each other and I didn’t even have time to enjoy my pineapple ice chips because I was in so much pain and felt so defeated. Three hours of intense pushing, followed by a failed attempt at forceps… The next thing I knew I was being wheeled into the operating room completely exhausted and disappointed I wouldn’t have the experience I had been praying for for so long. I was discouraged. I was more tired than I had ever been in my life. I was freezing. I was helpless laying there as they cut me open to bring my baby into the world… Something I wasn’t able to do on my own.
And then… He cried.
Holland was finally visible and I didn’t care anymore how he got here.
Although I did not deliver Holland how I dreamed and hoped I would, I will never forget Christian bringing him over to me carrying him with his newly-fathered hands. We both sobbed as our baby was now here. Now safe. Finally ours. Finally in our arms. Finally tangible to our newly parented hands and visible to our newly-awakened-to-life-eyes. Although I mourned the loss of the experience of delivering my sweet boy on my own… It doesn’t change the fact that I indeed was the one to bring him into this world. Even meeting my son upside down was the most majestic feeling… Complete and total bliss.
The next two weeks consisted of total obsession. Around the clock baby loving that consumed my time, my thoughts, and all of my effort. I had breakdowns full of “I can’t believe your mine” and “how could I love you any more?” Tears. I was a complete mess in the best of ways. Then the contrast came full of “how do people have more than one baby?” And “will I ever have ‘me’ back again?” Tears. And lots and lots of them. I was tired beyond belief. I was emotional beyond measure. The baby blues had set in, and I had a few days where I was overwhelmed to the brim and starting to overflow with doubt, discouragement, and despair. Was I cut out for this? Where is this so called baby bliss? Will I survive? (I know…drama queen) Why do I feel so alone? Why didn’t anybody warn me that there would be days I wouldn’t feel bliss but only feel inferiority and insecurity? I felt so much guilt and longed for how I had felt those first two weeks. I prayed more in that week and a half than probably my whole life. I pleaded with my Heavenly Father to feel the love and support of my Savior. I begged for strength. For energy. For peace. For optimism. For help to be the best mother I could be. I prayed to simply be reintroduced to the magic I felt I had lost.
And then Holland smiled.
He looked me in the eyes and smiled clear to my soul. All of the sleepless nights, the breakdowns, the doubts, the fears, and the self-doubt disappeared in that moment. I finally felt that he knew me. He was telling me that there is no other woman in the world he would rather have than me to be his mommy. He had chosen me and loved his choice. That really was the turning point for me that picked me up out of those “baby blues”. I was still adjusting. It was still hard. But my little boy knew who I was, and we became best friends instantly.
My journey in becoming a mother has been the hardest, happiest, most rewarding and completely refining experience that has introduced me into what life is truly about. I have never felt more lucky, more blessed, more loved, more esteemed, or more confident than I have these past two months after giving birth to my son. Holland has taught me more about life than I could ever learn by myself. I love more. Laugh more. Appreciate more. Gratify more. Strive for. And yearn for all that is good. I want nothing more than to be the best I can be to never let this little boy down, but to always make him proud for the life I live. I learned really fast that my life has never had more meaning than spending my time raising this sweet little person, even if that means my life completely changing. It’s a whole new life and a whole new kind of love. My life was no longer just for me, but more for my child. My sole responsibility was to love, to nurture, to teach, and to bring him closer to his Savior Jesus Christ, and that is the best full-time job I could ever ask for.
The most important thing I have learned is that motherhood is impossible alone. Motherhood is meant to be a never-ending companionship with our Heavenly Father. Motherhood is the ultimate and perfect lesson to rely on The Lord in every thing and in every way. I have grown closer to my Savior than I ever have before. I have trusted Him completely. I have relied on Him confidently. He has lifted every burden and wiped every tear. He has taken every doubt and every feeling of despair when I have questioned myself as a mother. He has also qualified me more than i thought was possible… Helped me conquer what i didn’t think I could do… He has refined me into the most beautiful role I could ever have. And I am eternally grateful for the greatest gift he could ever give me. I can’t believe my Heavenly Father would love me enough to trust me with such a sacred and special calling. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am brave. I am tough. I am special. I am loved. I have meaning. I have purpose. I have a calling. I have a name.
And that is the name of Mother.”