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A Labor of Love: Birth Stories for Tyler and Emily

Laurie Cepkauskas

To say my pregnancies and labors were similar would be the biggest lie of the century. They were night and day. My children however, are also separate individuals. They are basically a relation to how I carried and delivered them. Tyler is the sweet, gentle soul while Emily is, well...Emily! She’s as tough as nails and never does anything without some kind of drama! Together my kids make one amazing team and we are excited to do some GOOD as a family with Baby Jack and give back to causes important to both Tyler and Emily! [see info below]

Recently, my sister who currently 8 months pregnant (see her baby shower I threw her!) asked me how my birth labors went with both my kids. In an attempt to ease her fears I began to tell her about my labor and delivery with Tyler, then froze when it came Emily's story.

I had a picture perfect pregnancy with my sweet boy. 


I looked like one of those pregnancy models with a fake belly. I was GLOWING! I felt amazing! My labor was pretty much mirror imaged to my pregnancy. I never felt a contraction. I actually got my epidural before they even began because the anesthesiologist was going to surgery. He was born on May 30, 2013 after three pushes and was a perfectly healthy 7lb, 14oz baby boy we named Tyler John. 

She sighed some relief and said “how about with Emily?” I froze!


My labor & delivery with Emily was ENTIRELY different from mine with Tyler.

At 13 weeks I suffered a subchorionic hematoma and they prepared me to lose my baby. Thankfully she kept growing! At 19 weeks they told me she had a severe heart defect. “She will require open heart surgery shortly after birth.” I was numb. At 33 weeks they confirmed that she would also be born with Down syndrome. To say that pregnancy was tough would be an Understatement. So why would I expect my labor and delivery to be any different? It was a beautiful Saturday morning in January, I started to feel cramping in my belly. I was only 39 weeks pregnant so I knew it couldn’t be. “Could it?“ The cramps started to intensify and before I knew it they were coming every 2 to 3 minutes. We get in the car and rushed to the hospital. By that time I was already 7 cm dilated. I got there in just enough time to receive my epidural but it only took on my left side. The room flooded with doctors and nurses from all over the hospital because we had a prenatal heart defect. I was prepared to give birth to her and have her whisked away to the NICU. I felt every contraction and every push. Emily was born on January 30, 2016 at 8:07 PM weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz. Thankfully I was able to hold her for a brief moment before they took her to the neonatal intensive care unit. My story continues on with a courageous fight to save Emily‘s heart. (blog coming soon)

My kids continue to teach ME about life and motherhood daily and keep me on my toes celebrating milestones (at Emily's own pace) and enjoying Tyler entering Kindergarten. As part of Team Baby Jack, we love to push KINDNESS into the world and bring comfort to those in need. Our family has needed plenty of LOVE  over the years and our Emily's Heart prayer followers have been there for us. Let's pay it forward. Now we want to - as a family - give back because I was blessed with two perfectly imperfect children that I can call my own who make me want to be a better person. 

Join us in purchasing a Baby Jack lovey for yourself with code GIVELOVEY (or a new baby/birthday gift) and Baby Jack will then donate a lovey to match to Ronald McDonald House with Emily and Tyler. This offer ends September 12!!


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