Sunday, October 14, 2007
Where do I even
start with this girl who will be an official teenager this week? I guess, the beginning. This child came into the world with a vengeance. I was talking to Megan the other day about Lauren's birth, and trying not to scare her since it is too late for her to turn back on the baby path. My pregnancy with Lauren was relatively easy, no morning sickness, just some sciatica and gagging on my toothbrush. I was completely unprepared for the drama of her delivery. We did have a little trouble picking a name. We wanted cute and hip, but not trendy. David shot down Katya, we already knew a baby named Mariah, and when we heard someone else talking to their McKenzie at the movie theatres, it just didn't sound right. David also didn't think the world was ready for a little girl named Remmington, Rhett, or Austen. Lauren turned out to be the ONLY name we could agree on at the time.
Finally, the day arrived. We went to the hospital in the morning after trying to put it off as long as possible, I had woken up having contractions. When we got to the hospital, they of course sent us home, or to the park, or anywhere to walk around, just not there. I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to walk around when every five minutes I'm doubled over in pain?" When it became every 2 minutes, we went
back. Several hours later, we were moved to the operating room, because three hours of pushing labor is apparently, not normal. I really didn't want to have a c-section. Of course, I also didn't know that babies could die from being in the birth canal too long. So with oxygen for Lauren on my face, and suction, Lauren came into this world. Of course, by this time, I was completely doped up on demerol and couldn't stop shaking or even lift my arms for that matter. I lay there exhausted, wondering how blood managed to get on my face, while Karen fed my baby the bottle that the nurses brought.
When we went home, things did not get much better. Here was this beautiful baby girl, with this perfect little round face and I still could not feed her. We spent several teary sessions on the phone, both with Mom and the La Leche League. We did eventually figure it out, but not before I had one of the goofiest moments ever in my life. With all the sleepless nights, pain, and newness of the situation, I was a bit loopy. I have to add, I had spent many years babysitting and nannying. I was driving home with a crying baby and the thought suddenly popped into my head, "When are this kid's parents going to PICK HER UP?" The realization struck me right then, I was the actual Mama - forever.
Well, this precious little girl had personality plus from the day that she was born. She loved attention! One of our favorite memories is the time that she climbed up on a chair at Elmer's Tacos and sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the entire restaurant. She has become a regular at Elmer's. Every time we go, she asks to clean their tables or sweep their floor. Occasionally, they will let her, and sometimes they give her a soda or a frybread as a thankyou. I think she loves it more than a bean and cheese burrito. For a while, she asked for a job application at just about every restaurant that we went to. This was at about age 10. It was fun watching people try to figure out what to tell the little girl about why they could not hire her.
Lauren would sing for anyone at anytime. She sang Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam as a solo at a stake music festival and always seemed to have a singing part in the ward primary program. She was so excited to find that Orangewood Elementary, where she went to 5th and 6th grade had a drama department and put on a play each year. She is above as the feather bedecked Lily St. Regis in Annie during 5th grade and she played Zanita, the mayor's daughter, in The Music Man during 6th grade. She was great and we loved watching her performances. She also always participated in choir and got to go to California to a choir festival.
It's sometimes easy to only see this top, over-the-top side of Lauren. However, inside is the biggest heart that anyone could imagine. Once, we were driving down the road and she told me that her heart was full of love for the whole world. I couldn't do anything but smile and believe her. She never ceases to amaze me with the power and sense of self that she has. Of course, she has her moments of humanity and self doubt, but she often has to remind me that being herself includes liking things that her mom may not like.
I think that so many things that are wrong with the world stem from people who do not understand that they are sons and daughters of their Heavenly Father. This girl KNOWS that! I am so glad that I get to be the mom of this young lady. I look forward and am terrified at the same time of watching her mature as a young woman. I love her so much!