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!
Nineteen years ago today God blessed us with our first child, Michael Devon Hunter. This is the first birthday that we are not together. It’s also his first birthday at college. We celebrated it this past weekend. He has been wanting a bike to use on campus. So we bought him a bike. It’s just so hard to think of how many birthdays have come and gone. I remember the cakes, the candles, the parties, the sleepovers, the presents….and now he isn’t big on cake so I made him a pumpkin pie. And he tells us what he wants and goes with us to pick it out and we pay for it.
Michael was actually born at 11:00 a.m. on November 14, 1993. It fell on a Sunday. However my labor began when my water started leaking at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday November 13, 1993. Yes, that is 27 hours of labor. I am proud to say it was all natural! No drugs. No epidural. I remind him of that on a regular basis when it benefits me as I’m sure all of you mothers do. It’s especially useful to my benefit that I pushed for two hours. As it turned out his umbilical cord was too short so every time I would push him down he would move down but when I would stop to take a breath he would bounce right back up again. After two hours the vacuum was my best friend – even if it did give my baby a misshapen head for a few days. It all became clear when the doctor was barely able to get him out enough to cut the cord. I do remember my doctor saying at one point “if you want him out you’re gonna have to push harder”. Thinking back on it now I’m thinking I should have kicked her in the teeth with my foot – the proximity was so close. But looking at Ron and telling him to “make her get him out” was sufficient enough. (I really wish I had thought of kicking her though!)
At any rate, 27 hours later I had a beautiful baby boy. In looking for the right picture of him I decided to spare you the freshly born pictures. Here is a picture taken when he was about 3 weeks old. Considering my actual due date was December 4th and he was born November 14th this picture is a little closer to his actual due date anyway.
Can you stand the cuteness?! I realize that everyone thinks that their baby is the cutest baby in the world. But look at those chubby cheeks, that perfect little nose and those big brown eyes. PERFECTION!
Just to show you how much he has grown the following picture was taken in church this morning in church while Pastor Rob was preaching. I don’t know who the man is sitting further down the row. If I knew anything about editing photos I could probably edit this. But I love this picture of Michael. He’s grown into quite the man of God that his dad and I have prayed for him to be. We couldn’t be prouder of him if we tried.
Happy Birthday Michael! You’ve given me 19 of the happiest years of my life. I couldn’t ask for a better son. You are exactly what Daddy and I prayed for you to be. We continue to pray that you follow God’s leading for your life and follow his will for your life whatever that is and wherever that will lead you.
Today is my baby’s 16th birthday. So I was getting ready to head to the hospital for my induction. I spent most of the 7th month of pregnancy in premature labor with 10 days in the hospital to hold off the labor. But in the end they had to end up inducing me. I should have seen all of that as a preminition of things to come with her.
I’m not sure how we got from pacifiers and sippy cups to this day. I must have blinked somewhere along the line. Because here we are. I knew this day would come but I didn’t expect it to appear at lightening speed. I wanted to share a few baby pictures with my readers today. She was adorable as a baby and she was stubborn and independent – much like she is now. Her personality has pretty much remained in tact the last 16 years. She has just matured over time.
I wanted to put in some pictures of the day she was born but those pictures are buried in containers still stored from the flood last year. And I have just been too sick this week to feel up to going on a picture hunt. Ron had a few of her baby pictures here on his computer. So we will go with those.
Big brother Michael seeing Sissy for the first time with Grandma
Alll propped up for a picture - looking beautiful
Look at those blue eyes and that wet ring around her neck. She was teething and drooling.
This is one of my favorite pics of her. She woke up from a nap talking to her baby.
Lunchtime - EVERYONE knew Lauren had eaten when she was done.
She just loves it when I show this picture around.....
A MOVIE STAR!!!!!!
She loved her pacy!!!!
Notice the pacy in the last picture – just within reach. Silly girl!!
And here is my baby today!
She's not a baby anymore!
Sixteen years ago today she was getting ready to start her journey in the world. Today she is blasting through full force ahead. 16 years old!!! Who knew!! Look out world, here comes Lauren!!!
How is it that my sweet baby boy is 17 years old TODAY?!?! Seriously? When did that happen! I don’t know if I should be happy or be sad. It seems like just yesterday I was just starting my 27 hours of labor with him. And now he is 17 years old? He’s so close to being gone. I don’t want him to be this old. I don’t want him to leave me. I know I have spent the last 17 years preparing him to leave. But that doesn’t feel natural. Continue reading