In honor of Lauren’s eighth birthday, I’m sharing all about her birth! It’s the unedited memories of a mother delivering her most precious, silent baby and laying her to rest.
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Music provided by ZingDog / Pond5
Photo provided by Amy Watson
Welcome to episode 53. I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news, and I’m gonna start with the bad news. We have had to postpone the Creating Light retreat.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get enough people to make it work, but I am not canceling it. I am postponing it until fall. So if you were wanting to come to. The retreat, it’s in Park City, Utah, and we are gonna figure out a date that works better for people, and we’re gonna hope that Covid has become a distant memory by then.
I know when I started planning this retreat, I really thought by April with the vaccines and everything else, that we would be good to go, but it just isn’t quite there yet. So just as this year has taught us, we’re just gonna have to wait. We’re gonna have to adapt, and that’s okay. I think it’s gonna be even better.
I’m still so excited and I want to get together and meet you and talk to you and interact with you face to face. So, Just put it on your calendar for a fall if you wanna start saving up. I know we’ve got government money coming and just planning for childcare and all of the things that I know that moms need to put into place to take a few days for themselves.
Please start doing that now and. Just believe that it’s gonna work out, and I think it always does. So that retreat is postponed and I am really pretty bummed about it, but I know it’s gonna be perfect and it’s gonna be even better in the fall. So plan on that and keep watching and make sure you’re on my email list so that you can get all that information first.
The good news is I have a couple of spots right now for new clients. I had some clients finish up, and so I have spots for clients starting now for my three month program, and if you start now, you will be a new woman. By summer. Your life won’t be different, but the way you look at your life and your grief will be different.
So if you have any questions, go in the show notes and you can get all that information. And there will be a link to sign up for a consult call. All we do on that call is we talk about what’s going on for you. I tell you how I can help. You’re gonna feel so much better just leaving that. Short call because it just gives you hope, right?
That there’s a chance that you don’t have to do this alone. With support and with the tools and the skills that you need, you can get to where you wanna be. Go ahead and do that. If you’ve been thinking about coaching, it’s gonna be so fun. Today is just gonna be a special episode. I haven’t scripted this out.
Normally I have quite an outline, but today I was just going to share because. My daughter, Lauren’s eighth birthday is coming up this weekend and I thought, I haven’t really shared her first story, so I’m just gonna do that today. I don’t know where it’s gonna go, and I’m gonna try to keep it kind of brief, but I.
This is just a special episode of Lauren’s first story, if that’s something that you’re interested in, as many of you may know. But if you don’t, I’ll start from the beginning. Lauren was our fifth daughter and she, her pregnancy was perfect, boring, really nothing to be concerned about except for I had slightly high blood pressure, but barely just.
Nothing we were concerned about. I had ultrasounds every single week. I was lucky. My doctor had this little tiny laptop ultrasound and he would check everything out every, every appointment and everything looked great. Um, my plan was to labor at home as much as I could and then run over to the hospital and pop the baby out for a bunch of different reasons.
Most of my other children. So my first baby, I had went into labor naturally, but the rest of them just did not want to get out of my stomach. And so we ended up inducing because I would just go way overdue. So this time we had moved to a new town and I actually could see the hospital from my house. It was a really small town.
I was really excited. So I thought I’ll labor at home and I would just even walk or drive over to the hospital. Pop the baby out, you know, do it naturally. That was my plan, and I was really excited for that. I, we were all ready to go. Everything was, you know, car seat was in the car, grandma was there, and I had gone for a hike.
We’d gone for a hike, we’d gone to a national park, we’d done a whole bunch of things and we were like, ready for this baby to come, so ready. And actually that night, I started feeling contractions and I was so excited. ’cause I was like, it’s happening. It’s happening how I want it. Everyone was so excited.
My little girls were so excited. Yeah, I started feeling these contractions, but it was nighttime and I thought, I’ll let everyone sleep. I’ll just walk around, I’ll do my thing and I’ll just be timing these contractions. So I had my little journal. And I was timing contractions and they were kind of regular and then they were not, and they were farther in between.
Finally, in the middle of, I don’t even remember, it was probably like five in the morning. I gave up and I thought, I’m just gonna go to bed. I’m exhausted and nothing’s really happening When I woke up. I wasn’t feeling awesome. I wasn’t feeling contractions and I just thought, darn it, like I had hoped this would happen, but we had an appointment for the next day and I figured it was gonna happen anytime.
So we, we kind of hung out and that was when I realized, hey, I hadn’t felt her kicking. And so we went to call the doctor. And the funny thing is, looking back, I called the doctor and I was like, well, I have an appointment tomorrow. But I’m kind of not sure if everything’s okay. Like maybe I should just have an appointment today.
And even the receptionist, she didn’t say, Hey, you should come in right now or anything. Um, we just made an appointment for later that afternoon when we went in and it was a doctor. It wasn’t my doctor, but he, he couldn’t find the heartbeat. And of course they send you, they get the ultrasound and they kind of look and then they send you to the big ultrasound and.
Of course, we found out that she did not have a heartbeat anymore, and we were just a few days before our due date. That was really, really hard. They, again, everything was very shocking and so they just took us back. They took me back a back way from the ultrasound room into the little labor and delivery room, and my husband went home to tell our children what had happened and to tell my mom and.
Looking back again, I don’t know why, like nobody said, Hey, go home pack. Like talk to your kids, gather yourself, come on back. I think everyone was just in so much shock that it just all happened. And so I was there at the hospital kind of getting started. They were gonna induce me. They just decided to induce me right away.
We started that process. My husband came back and I decided at that time because I had. Experience laboring and I had experience with being induced. I just decided I’m gonna do what I normally do, which is, you know, we get everything started and I would walk as long as I could and do everything that I could, as long as I could to help the baby move down and help labor progress.
And then when I would get exhausted, I would get an epidural. Rest. And then usually we were able to push the baby out. And so I thought, okay, I can do this. This is something I’ve done before. I’m confident and I’m just gonna do the best I can to labor and to get our baby here. And that was what I did. And that was the plan.
And we went through that time. We knew it was gonna be a while. ’cause when you start from nothing, um, to delivery, it takes a little while. We found there was a Duck Dynasty marathon on tv. Now, this was eight years ago, but we didn’t even own smartphones. I, I don’t even know if we had an iPad. We might’ve, but we didn’t even really have anything to do or anyway, so we just found this Duck Dynasty marathon on the TV in the hospital, and, It was a show that we had watched that was just kind of silly and funny and it was a good distraction.
And yeah, just tried to do the best we could. I don’t remember like crying a lot or, I mean, obviously we were just devastated, but I think you go into that mode of. You gotta do what you gotta do. And we were doing the best we could. And I remember that they don’t, they wouldn’t let you eat during labor.
And since we hadn’t, we didn’t plan on. Going to the hospital. Like I hadn’t even eaten lunch. We were actually gonna go to the doctor and then get some lunch after. Um, but they took me right back. And so I hadn’t eaten and I had been up all night the night before and I was just exhausted. And I was like, come on, you’ve gotta let me eat something.
And the nurse, uh, who was in charge, overrode those rules and was able to bring me some soup. And it’s just so funny. It was basically broth that they let me eat. But that meant a lot to me, just that. They knew how hard things were and that I needed like something, so I was able to have that little bit of soup.
Um, a few other things that I remember from that time is I remember that the room was small and they were kind of moving things around and they took the warmer, the baby, warmer out, and I just watched them do that and. Just realized like she doesn’t need, need the warmer, you know, she’s not gonna need the warmer.
And that was, um, tough. That was a tough moment. Um, but yeah, we eventually, I got to the point where I needed the epidural and, oh, this is a fun story. So we had the on-call anesthesiologist in. Super nice guy, but small town on call. He came in in like his work clothes. I don’t know why he didn’t have scrubs anything on.
Um, we tried to do the epidural and it just like would not work. It wasn’t working. We were having a really hard time and it was awful. I was thinking like, I’m already in this labor. My baby has died and now this epidural, which I do not like, needles and. I do my best to like breathe through it. Um, but it, it was really hard and it just wasn’t, it was so painful and it was not working.
I, I think he had to try like three different times and that was terrible. Um, I had also had a really hard time, like they could not get an IV on me. I think my veins were just like, Everything was just so hard. I remember that they could not get a vein and then they could not get this epidural and those things.
It’s just that adding insult to injury, uh, where it’s just like, can anything just be a little bit easy? Um, so that was really, really hard, but I got the epidural and then decided to just try to rest until it was time to push and. Again, my husband was like a rock. He was there, he was helping. I know he was, you know, it was not easy for him.
It’s not easy for him to watch me struggle and suffer with, with those things. But we, we were doing it and my in-laws came. They were obviously super devastated and they were kind of talking to us a little bit about arrangements, and I remember thinking, You’ve gotta be kidding me that I am delivering my baby who has died and now I have to plan a funeral at the same time and I just like, could not handle it.
Um, they were trying to make phone calls. They were trying to ask questions. We were trying to find out, ’cause we wanted to bury her in a different town than the town that we lived in and like transporting. And it was, it was just, Really hard. And I know everyone was just trying to do the best they could.
Everyone was trying to support us in the ways that they could. Everyone was grieving, everyone was in shock, and it was just really hard. Um, the bishop from my church, he came over and he gave me a blessing and he prayed with us and. Talked to us and I know that he was just so sad. Everyone was just so sad ’cause everyone was so excited for us to have this little girl.
I also had a friend who helped with Angel baby things and she had kind of taken it on to help and be a support when babies had died because her nephew had died and she knew how important it was to have support there. So she came over and talked to us and had some little tiny clothes and things, but we weren’t gonna need that because Lauren was full term.
We already had clothes and we had blankets. We had everything that we needed and none of that stuff was gonna fit, but it meant a lot that she had it. She also had like little bracelets that matched. We have a matching bracelet set for one for Lauren and one for me. And, and just, I remember her just crying and I think it was the first time she had, you know, had to serve.
A friend, like a good friend, um, her husband and my husband were both in the military together, so we knew them really well. And so she came and talked to us, um, and left and we made a plan to have a photographer come and, and have her come help us the next morning. And we ended up delivering Lauren really in the middle of the night, like three in the morning.
She was born and we had asked them to kind of get her cleaned up and, and everything before we saw her. And yeah, it was just really hard. I remember not knowing, no one really prepared us for what it would be like, what she would be like, what she would look like. Um, we had a lot of questions, but I think we just didn’t know what questions to ask.
And so, They took her, cleaned her up, wrapped her up, and they brought her to us. And then everyone kind of left and we just had that time with her. And, um, I remember being really scared and not really knowing what to do, um, but like being excited to meet her. And so we got to spend some time with her. And then we were really exhausted, so we asked them to just take her to the nursery and take care of her for us so we could rest.
And nobody really told us like we could have had her stay with us. Um, like I didn’t know that at the time, but, you know, we did the best we could and I’m really at peace with the choices we made. And so later in the morning, Um, we did have my children come and meet their little sister, and of course everyone was really upset, but we got pictures and we got the, my friends helped to make hand molds and footprints and that we could keep, and they helped us stress her into a little onesie.
They had offered, um, like a white, like a burial gown. And I just thought, no, like I want her to be warm and cozy. And my mother-in-law had bought these little fleece sleepers and I just thought, that’s what I want her to wear. That’s what I want her to wear. So we got her dressed up, we took pictures. She, we put her little bracelet on her.
We held her and talked to her and spent some time with her. And then we went home. And again, I just. Nobody told us that we could have spent more time with her. We just didn’t wanna be in that hospital. We didn’t know what to do. Um, and since the delivery had gone well and I was doing well, um, I delivered her at three in the morning and by 11 they discharged us and I was home and just was supposed to rest.
And I don’t, I mean, Yeah, I just remember coming home and showering and just, I think that’s when all the emotions let loose, and I remember just sobbing in the shower and I, yeah, just everything came out and everyone was there at our house and we’re trying to figure out funeral arrangements and or burial.
We didn’t do a funeral. We did a burial. And just figuring all of that out. And yeah, I was supposed to rest, they kept telling me to like, go lay down. And I just didn’t wanna be in my room alone. I didn’t wanna be alone. ’cause when I was alone I was just so sad. So, um, we just did the best we could and, and yeah, it was surreal.
I mean, most of you probably can understand that it was surreal. Um, we were able to figure out, Some logistics. We had friends that had lost a baby as well and they built beautiful, beautiful handmade caskets and, um, we were able to get a casket for her that was so gorgeous. And, um, we ended up actually going and getting her ourselves and putting her in the casket and driving her to my husband’s hometown where we were gonna bury her.
And we did a little, just a graveside service and it was close to Easter, so we were able to get some really cute matching Costco dresses. I don’t know if you shop at Costco, but they have really cute, um, affordable Easter dresses. And so my mother-in-law went and picked out these matching dresses for my four little girls and, and we buried our fifth little girl and we had roses and.
We went and picked out her gravestone, um, right then and there after the service because we lived quite a ways away from the cemetery. And I felt like that was something I really wanted to do was to get her gravestone set up. So, and picked out and, and all of that taken care of. And yeah, we stayed that weekend and my milk came in and it was really hard.
Really, really painful. Um, really difficult, and it was all really overwhelming and surreal to be driving that far with my baby in the back in a casket. And I just delivered her like a few days earlier and it was just, it was crazy. But we all did the best we could. We headed home and that’s when you know, the rest of life after loss starts and really hits you.
But I was so grateful. We had so much support and love and help and we had, you know, our faith and the prayers of so many people to help us through that, that time. So, um, I’m not gonna edit any of this out. I know I got a little bit emotional. It’s a little emotional. Know, but I just wanted to share Lauren’s birth story with you, and I want you to know that she was beautiful and she was perfect.
She had so much hair and her skin was perfect, and she was just beautiful, and I was just still scared to hold her. I didn’t know what to do, but we held her and I’m so glad we have the memories that we have and the pictures that we have that we were able to. Lay her to rest in the way that we did, and so grateful for all the support that we had, and I’m grateful that I’m able to talk about her and share her with you.
And I hope that you’ll feel comfortable sharing your babies with me too. And whatever your experience was, whatever happened, I want you to know that you did the best you could at the time. You don’t have to beat yourself up for any choices you made. Um, there were so many things of course that came to mind that I wondered if we could have done differently, if things would’ve gone differently, if she would still be alive.
But pretty quickly I realized that thinking that way was not gonna work. It wasn’t helpful. It didn’t help anything. It just made me feel awful. And I knew that I had to have compassion, like just full compassion for myself, for the. The way everything happened and to know that that was what was supposed to happen.
It wasn’t my choice, but I do believe in a father in heaven who loves me and loves you, and that if that was the plan for Lauren’s life, then I had to accept that everything. It went the way it was supposed to instead of thinking how everything went wrong. And that has brought me a lot of comfort over the last eight years and truly peace.
So I wish you guys peace, and I’m excited to celebrate our little girl. Um, this weekend. We’ve got some. Some good plans and I’ll probably share over on Instagram a little bit if I feel up to it. Um, it’s at Amy Smooth Stones Coaching. I hope you’ll join me there and if you struggle with your birth story, whatever that looks like for you and you do have regrets and pain surrounding it, I really encourage you to go in the show notes and sign up for a consult call.
I know that you can find peace around. The birth of your baby, whatever that looked like. If it was surgery, if it was in the bathroom, if it was a still birth, if it was horrible, if it was whatever it was. I know you can find peace around it. I have no doubt, and I would love to help you find that peace.
That’s. What I’m here for. That’s the path that I feel like Lauren set me on. And so please reach out or you can email me, email@example.com. I’d love to talk you through it. All right guys. I’ll see you back next week with a regular episode.