Eighteen years ago on February 24, 1995 Lauren Ashleigh Hunter was finally allowed to be born following a difficult two months of pregnancy. I was overjoyed on so many levels. I was happy because our family had grown to four – albeit unexpectantly. I was very happy that I had been able to carry her to term. And I was relieved that my labor with her was considerably shorter than it was with her brother, which was 27 hours.
Allow me to explain some of that so that you will understand the depth of my relief. It took us quite a while, a year and a half, and the beginning of fertility treatments to get pregnant with Michael. We went through a lot emotionally to get pregnant with him. Even while pregnant with him I began spotting and was scared out of my mind and after having experience a miscarriage before all of this started I immediately put myself on bed rest even though my doctor was not worried and said it was normal to spot. After my first experience of a miscarriage I wasn’t taking any chances. I spent a week in bed. I took extra good care of myself. After Michael was born in November I felt much relief and enjoyed my baby. I started on birth control and settled into the routine of being a mother. When Michael was six months old and I was still on my birth control pills Lauren showed up on the little stick from the pharmacy. That simple! That unexpectedly! Just BOOM there she was! Nobody was trying!
When I was seven months pregnant with her I went into premature labor. I went into the hospital. I spent 10 days hooked up to magnesium to stop the contractions. In the beginning they had given me injections to boost the growth of her lungs in case she had to be born early. Those were some massive needles. I do remember those! And I remember every time they tried to wean me off the magnesium the contractions would start up again. I was depressed, terribly miserable and I was really wanting them to take her. But in actuality she was where she was supposed to be. Once they let me out of the hospital they put me on bed rest until a certain date. After that date she was allowed to be born so I was ready to get up and get going. And we walked and walked and walked for days and nothing happened. That little booger stayed where she was. Her actual due date was March 5. But my February 24 they were concerned with her weight because of the shots they had given me in the hospital. They were also concerned about how much more she would gain in that last week. So, they put me in on the 24th and induced me.
Holy moly! I was glad when all of that was over and done. But when I looked at her she was so beautiful. She was having a few problems breathing a first so they gave her a puff of oxygen. That girl has had the scream of the banshees ever since. You could hear her anywhere and everywhere. I’ve always said if anyone ever kidnapped her in a cart at the store they would return her as soon as she started crying.
She has been totally independent from an early age. She preferred to put herself to sleep at 7:00 every night. We lived in the church parsonage and had to have our children’s ministry meet in the parsonage so Lauren could go to sleep in her bed at 7:00 or everyone was miserable. She’s always wanted to know the “why” behind everything. She’s never been the kind of child you could parent with “because I said so”. That’s totally unacceptable. She has always been and always will be a handful. That’s not an easy child to parent but you can be sure one day it will serve her well. And she has always worked hard to understand what she is learning. You can’t just tell her 2+2=4. You have to explain WHY it equals 4. She doesn’t take anything for granted. She must research and understand something for herself.
I can see how all the parts of her have come together to make the Lauren that we know. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has stretched me more than anyone else in the world. I’m so thankful that God chose me to be her mother even though there were times that I was throwing my hands up yelling “WHY ME”!! I am truly the most blessed mother to have ever been chosen. It was choppy from the beginning but maybe that was my warm-up for what was to come. I now have an 18 year old young woman who I couldn’t be prouder of. I wouldn’t have traded her in for anyone anywhere.
Lauren Ashleigh Hunter – February 24, 1995 – 8 lbs 5 oz – 20 1/2 inches long
Happy Birthday, Lauren!