I have been inspired by friends in the last few months who have shared the stories of the days and times their babies were born. I want to have those memories tucked away somewhere besides my heart. 

I was always afraid I wouldn’t be a good mom. Like really scared. I remember the night I unloaded that burden from my heart to our pastor Bob during Thursday night prayer service. It felt like wanting something with everything you were, but being desperately afraid that if it was put in your hands, you would tumble and shatter it. I knew the importance of the role of a mommy in a Godly home. I knew what God would require of me, and I just didn’t know if I was enough to do it all. When I look back on that lie the enemy put before me that I bought, I see how ridiculous it was. I remember Bob encouraging me to fix my eyes on Jesus and to pray for and trust that He would and already had – in ways I had yet to see – equipped me with all that I would need to live this ministry for a family and God’s kingdom. I will never be able to thank Bob enough for all he has walked with me through. 
Then I prayed. Then we waited. Then one Saturday morning the most glorious blue plus sign told me that God was going to give us a baby, but also assured me that He had called me to be a mommy. I knew then that if He was making a baby in my body, He was also going to give me everything I needed to be what this child needed. 
Then pregnancy was awesome. I never had morning sickness. I didn’t ever feel super tired, and had energy to house shop and work out every day. Before you all roll your eyes because you were sick every day and almost dying, hang tight – pregnancy got hard.
I got a cold. That became the flu, and that became bronchitis. I was sick. I was so sick I couldn’t breathe. I had a fever and chills and my whole body hurt. My lower back hurt so bad I couldn’t sit or stand or lay still. I called my doctor , and they had me come in. Amber the nurse asked if it felt like I was having contractions. I did not know what that felt like so I didn’t know how to answer. She took my blood pressure, and it was high. It was too high so I was sent to the maternity ward to be monitored for contractions. As it turns out I was having contractions and was dilated to a one at 32 weeks. This is scary. I was so scared for my baby in the first moment that the monitor showed I was contracting. I had done my homework so I knew this wasn’t good. I called my sweet husband on my short walk over to maternity to get checked out. He was there so quickly and I curled into him the minute he walked in. My doctor was there shortly after telling me I had to stay overnight to be monitored. I have the best friends in the world who I called to update and joked with that the nurses liked me so much they were keeping me for a sleepover. Underneath the want to reassure everyone else that I would be fine, I was trying to assure me that I would be fine, and mostly that Lauren would be fine. 
After my overnight stay my doctor came back and told me I had to go on full time bed rest until Lauren was born. I was also going to have to take high blood pressure medicine 6 times a day. I couldn’t get my head around all of it. I read all the books. I worked out, and drank a whole gallon of water every single day. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Here I was trying to do it all right, and I was taken down by a cold!
It took a bit to get the bronchitis to pass. After I was over that, my blood pressure stayed high – even with all the medicine and bed rest so I started getting steroid shots twice a week to build up Lauren’s lungs. Everything swelled. 
Days turned to weeks, and many airings of Gilmore girls and snuck in chores later, I knew something wasn’t right. It just over 37 week I went in to see my doctor, and my blood pressure was so high that she sent me to labor and delivery to get ready to be induced because I was also dilated to 2.5 centimeters. I wasn’t expecting this. I knew I didn’t feel well, but I still thought we had a few weeks to get everything together. I was saved once again by my husband and my dear friend Alissa. She helped him finish Lauren’s room and cleaned my house so that I wouldn’t have to think about it. She is Tante to my babies which means Aunt, and that is fitting because when I think of her, I consider her more than a friend. She is my sister and will always hold a special place in my life and heart. 
I was at the hospital settling into my labor and delivery suite while doing a terrible job of relaxing. After more observation, Dr. Hajovsky came in to tell me to get a good night’s rest because if my water hadn’t broken by 7:30 AM, she would break it for me. She told me I could do this and that she would take the best care of me and my baby Lauren. 
Rob came and stayed the night, and several friends came by to say they loved us and were praying for me. I had a shower that morning early and put on my makeup so I didn’t look awful in pictures. Lauren had been trying to throw herself a surprise party for so long, I just knew she would be there fast. Dr. Hajovsky was right on time and as soon as she started checking me, my water broke. She said she thought today was the day! She told me to rest and if I needed her I could have the nurses call her. She went to check on other patients while I got cleaned up and waited. It wasn’t long before contractions became real. It wasn’t long before I was stalled at 5 centimeters with a climbing blood pressure. 
I stayed there for hours as the waves of pain rolled in and out and back again. I had this idea that I wanted to have a natural birth, but as my blood pressure climbed it became clear that option was not best for me or Lauren. I asked God to give us wisdom, and he sent it through Dr. Hajovsky. She came in and said it was time to get an epidural done. She said that was our best option and with Rob encouraging me to do it I said OK. I’ve written before about this decision so I won’t say too much now, but it was the absolute right choice for my baby and me. 
After a nap, it was go time! My nurse named Jennifer was incredible. I started dilating very quickly, and did a few practice pushes. The funny part about this – yes, there were hysterical things that happened while I was laboring – was that they were short on nurses so Rob had to hold my left leg while I was pushing. There were 15 other babies born the same night Lauren was, and I actually got the last birthing suite. The original plan was for him to stay right next to me, but Jennifer asked if he got sick easy. He said no, and she said,”Grab a leg!” He said, “Grab a what?” The look on his face made me laugh out loud. The look of his face as he made his way to grab my leg and was out of the “cheap seat” view was priceless! He was a trooper and held my leg for me the whole time I labored. 
Not long after, Dr. Hajovsky came in and said it was time to REALLY start pushing, and that was when the real work started. I didn’t push for a whole hour and as soon as she said she could see her head, I bubbled over with joy. Dr. Hajovsky said, “Hey there, less giggling and more pushing,” with a big smile on her face. It was one more push, and then Lauren was out and then plopped right on my stomach. There she was. After what was really over a month of my body laboring, she was there. Right where I could see her. She was stunning but not really crying so they checked her out and gave her some oxygen. I held my breath in prayer as I watched her nurse work with her while Rob took pictures. Then her voice rang out, and I exhaled in praise. In that moment my fears were realized and relieved. After all that time and extra care, there was a chance her lungs wouldn’t be strong enough, but in what felt like years was actually taken care of in minutes. 
That night Rob and I were the only ones allowed to hold her until more tests were done. After that, they bought her to me to feed her, and I fell asleep with her next to me while she was sleeping so sweetly. 
I could hardly sleep because I kept waking just to look at her. She had always been part of God’s story. He chose me to be her mommy. He brought Rob and I together as part of His plan to grow His kingdom through our family. We named her Lauren which means crowned with victory, and Amelia which means mighty worker. We named her that she might be crowned with the victory of Christ and that she would mightily work for His kingdom – that His name and renown would be the desire of her soul. 
As I crawled into bed with her at 10:15pm last night like I have the three December 13ths before I told her this story. I used different words so she’d understand, but the heartbeat in it is the same. I hope she knows how much I love her. I also hope she learns the importance of fixing her eyes of Jesus and standing in His truth. I hope she adores Him and that she calls Him Savior one day. 

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