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LAUREN HACKER

WITHOUT using labels, who are you? 


I’m a perpetual worrier riddled with anxiety (social especially) trying to better myself and be the best person for my family.





Describe your kid. 


Ivey Jane is the Best… I’m biased  She is an independent, inquisitve, ball  of energy. My love language is touch, so I just knew she was going to be a cuddler... annnnddddd.... nope! We are at the "no" stage, so I rarely get a hug or kiss. However, she shows her love in other ways.  She loves to hold my hand and sit in my lap. She can be a bit shy, until she gets to know you. She makes me see life in a completely different way, and I get separation anxiety when I am away from her for too long. It bothers me more, I am sure.


Describe your household. 


Loving. 


On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most beastly, how would you rate yourself as a mom?


I would say a 9... my husband would probably say a 10.  I am very intense! If I could put Ivey Jane in a bubble, I would. 


Where are you from and where do you live, and what do you like about this place? Is there anything you loathe about it?


From South GA, Valdosta, but I currently reside in Athens, GA (Normaltown). We love it. The area we live in is very walkable, and we have made our own little compound… complete with chickens in the city limit. 


What do you adore about being a mother? 


I have a little best friend. Seeing her learn new things daily puts me in a state of awe!


What do you despise about being a mother?


The worry! Am I teaching her enough... Is she happy... What will the world be like when she gets older... How do I navigate the world today... all the questions!!!


What is something you’re proud of so far in your motherhood journey?


My patience and my ability to breastfeed (We made it to 15 months). 


What do you think is the biggest misconception about motherhood?


That it is easy... It is not! It was not easy for me to become a mother, and it is not easy on a day to day basis.  


What do you think is the most common thread of motherhood?


That it defines who you are. I love being a mother; it is my greatest accomplishment. However, I want Ivey Jane to see me as so much more. 


Where and when do you feel most at home? 


With my husband and daughter…. Anywhere they are is home.

“I don’t have a favorite place. I have my favorite person, and whenever I’m with my favorite person, it becomes my favorite place.”


What is something that's stopped you in your tracks in the past year?


Ivey Jane was recently pretty sick and John was out of town for the week. Shout out to all of the single mothers out there (my mother included). That week was rough. That week also made me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have a healthy child. The amount of hurt I had for her, just for an illness, was overwhelming. 


Who or what kind of mother do you look up to and why? 


I look up to any mother who can stay in the present. I know there are so many beautiful things I am missing by constantly thinking about what "could happen.s never been a good sleeper. She had colic.


What do you dream of for yourself? For your children? 


Simple:: A long, healthy, happy life!


How did you feel about being pregnant? What do you remember most about pregnancy?


I did not like being pregnant. I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in high school, so seeing my body change was very hard. Nobody talks about not liking it... so that made me feel bad. Looking back now, I wish I would have taken some photos. Now I am very proud of what my body went through; it is not the same... but it gave me the most precious gift. 


What, if anything, do you want to remember about your birth story? Early motherhood?


My birth story was interesting. When my mom came to visit the next day, all of the nurses said, "your daughter was the one who pushed her baby out so quickly." 

But  I remember it differently! I went into labor in the middle of the night; I didn't know it was labor though. I was having some pains, and I couldn't sleep. I got up and took a shower, and just started pacing. Now, I was three weeks away from my due date, so I thought it was Braxton Hicks. By the time my midwifery clinic opened, I knew that I had to see if I was in labor.  The pain was very intense. I walked across the street to the hospital; that part was easy. When I told them I was in labor, they told me likely not... since I was still 3 weeks away from my due date. They hooked me up, and I sat in a room. When the nurse came back in, she said "there are  no contractions." I said... "um, I just had 3 while I was in here." The machine was hooked up wrong! I was already 2 cm dilated, so they told me to go get admitted. When I got to the room, I was at 4 cm. Now, the anesthesiologist was running late that day. I didn't get my epidural until 3 pm. They told me to keep pressing whenever I needed to. I couldn't do it... I had to be able to feel my legs. After the epidural, I stopped dilating, so I was given a little pitocin. Then my baby's heartbeat kept dropping. They told me they thought the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. This was close to 10 pm. The midwife told me the baby had to come out. Well... I was at beast mode then. I pushed.. I pushed... then they said I didn't need to push as hard... um, nope... so they changed the count for me. One more push, and she was out! The most beautiful little baby ever! 


Thoughts on…


Aging?


 Arghhhhhh! My pregnancy was "geriatric," and I know that Ivey Jane will likely have one of the oldest moms in her friend group. However, I have really worked on myself over the past few years, and I have come to actually believe in the phrase, "you are only as old as you feel." 


Postpartum depression/anxiety/PTSD? 


The struggle is real. I remember going in to see my midwife after giving birth and answering the questionnaire. She took one look at it and said, "um, we will need to see you back sooner with this PPD." I quickly stated that the questionnaire answers weren't going to change. Hi, it's me: I've got all the feels (anxiety/depression).


Miscarriage? 


Gutwrenching. However, if we didn't move forward from the miscarriages, we would have never had Ivey Jane. 


Body image?


 I could talk about this for days... I will leave it short though. Any kind of eating disorder / body dysmorphia is a disease. It is a lot like addiction; you are never "cured." Be kind to yourself and others with the issue.


Partnership/marriage? 


Marry your best friend!!! Putting a child out of the equation... if I did not see or talk to anyone, but John, for days... I would be fine! If John would let me, we would move to an island, homeschool Ivey Jane, and love life. 

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