This is the story of my nine almost ten month pregnancy. For those of you who have been waiting for this I am sorry. Last week was crazy with my husband working day and night, and me taking on a lot of the responsibilities of our home. I just have to say becoming a mother was the most life changing experience of my life. Three things I would like to talk about are, how I found out, things I experienced during my pregnancy, and what labor was like for me. Everyone’s experience is going to be different, and this is mine. During my first month of my pregnancy I had a gut feeling that I was pregnant, but the first pregnancy test was negative. My hormones were bouncing off the walls, and it lasted for longer than a week, so I knew something was up. A month goes by and I was five days late, and oh I was freaking out at that point. At the time Stephen and I were not financially stable, and I was still in school. Nevertheless I still had to take the test. When I looked at it I was in shock, but at the same time I knew it would be positive. That little plus sign changed my whole world. I went to my room and cried, and asked God for forgiveness, because I knew that at the time I was not close to him. I also knew my parents would not approve. They were already disappointed in me for losing my virginity. I am just being real with ya’ll. It wasn’t a pretty picture. We choose not to wait until marriage, so I am still dealing with the consequences of trying to figure out what being a mom even is. I can no longer go out with my friends whenever I please, my body changed somewhat, and I had to post pone college. However, God somehow manages to redeem the broken, and at that point in my life I was truly broken. I didn’t know what would happen, but I had to trust that God would take care of me, and he did, and is still taking care of me to this day. Later down the line of my pregnancy I experienced abnormal symptoms. I had my first seizure, when I was seven months pregnant. I woke up in a daze as four firemen brought me into an ambulance, before I blacked out again. When I woke up I had IVs in my arm, and people standing over me staring at me. I still did not have a clue as to what was going on. I looked at Stephen and asked him to explain the situation to me. With tears in his eyes and a look of fear and sadness told me what happened. I was so scared, and worried more about Ivan, but somehow God brought him through that, and another seizure that I had two months after that. At that point I felt like my son was meant to do great things for God, and I wanted to do whatever it took to be the mom that he needed to be the man of God that I knew he would be one day. I also had a really weird experience with a nose bleed, and I can’t believe I am telling ya’ll this, because it is kind of embarrassing, but it was the worst nose bleed I have ever experienced, and even my mom was terrified as she rushed over to bring me to the emergency room. Looking back now it is kind of hilarious. I really thought that was it. That on my tombstone would be written, “Here lies Lauren Smith,” tragically died of a nosebleed.” It really is hysterical. However, there were also some positive attributes to my pregnancy. The first time I heard my baby’s heart beat, and watched him move on the monitor of my first ultrasound something inside of me changed. I was filled with so much joy, and looking over and seeing my boyfriend crying, because he was just as happy as I was, and I will never forget it. Another aspect that I enjoyed during my pregnancy, was when I began to feel him kicking and moving around in my stomach. I actually miss the movement and feeling him growing inside of me. However, all of those things were really nice the most amazing moment was the day the journey came to an end. After twelve hours of labor, and being induced I finally saw his sweet face. My heart melted. It was the most powerful experience I have ever had. I will always view Ivan as a gift. He has brought me so much happiness in my life, and has helped me to change in ways that I didn’t think that I was capable of. It was definitely a roller coaster full of ups and downs, but it was one of the best rides that I have ever been on, and I wouldn’t choose another one.