Most of you know Lauren, a big part of Be Inspired PR & Inspired by This. In April she joyfully announced that she and her husband Nate were expecting a new baby! Our wedding community poured out their love and heartfelt congrats to Lauren as she and her husband embarked on a journey that would change the rest of their lives.
For those of you who don’t know Lauren, she has Achondroplasia – the most common form of dwarfism, also referred to as a “little person.” Lauren doesn’t let that hold her back from anything. She’s hardworking, creative, a great friend and hands down the most stylish person in the Be Inspired office. However, there are complications Lauren and Nate face as little people that most of us aren’t aware of. Their baby has a 50% chance of inheriting one dwarfism gene and will be little like Lauren and Nate, a 25% chance their baby would not inherit a dwarfism gene and will be average size with no dwarfism, and a 25% chance the baby will inherit both dwarfism genes and will not survive outside the womb. About 4 months into her pregnancy Lauren was eligible for the genetic test that would tell her and Nate what genes their baby inherited. They were devastated to learn their baby was Double Dominant. They also learned that their beautiful baby was a boy. Despite knowing he would not live long past the delivery, Nate and Lauren chose to carry full term and cherish the time they had left with their little boy, who they decided to name Ray.
In June Lauren took maternity leave from us, and although we missed her greatly, we knew it was best as the pregnancy was becoming harder on her body. Baby Ray was quite active in the womb, lots of kicking and moving!
Ray was born on August 7th via C-section, and was the picture perfect 5lb 7oz baby. He was loved tremendously for over an hour before going home to be with the Lord. While our hearts are absolutely broken for Nate and Lauren, Ray was deeply loved during his time on earth, with the best parents he could’ve asked for. We know Ray will be watching over his mom and dad, anxiously awaiting the day he gets to meet them in heaven. He will forever be their sweet little guy.
Lauren has been blogging about her experience in the hopes of reaching other parents who have gone through, or are going through something similar – Little Ray of Sunshine. A huge thank you to our community for surrounding Lauren with your support and encouragement during this tough time. It’s been awesome to see the love pour out for our Be Inspired family member. A big thank you to Amber from Pitbulls and Posies for designing the perfect logo for Lauren’s blog, Jordana from Hazelnut Photography for documenting Ray’s time on earth through a wonderful nonprofit called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Caroline from Paloma’s Nest for making a beautiful wooden box to hold the keepsakes Lauren and Nate have collected to honor Ray’s memory, and our close friends Carissa and Jesi for all their prayers, concern and words of encouragement.
Lauren asked us to share this with you all:
“First off, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has sent us love and prayers, your support has helped us tremendously throughout this trying time. We didn’t know what we were expecting going into this, all we knew was that we really wanted to meet our little guy. The moment Ray came out he let out a few good cries, we were so excited to hear them because we really didn’t think he would be strong enough. After they got him all wrapped up they put him on my chest and everything that I had been through -all the tears, sleepless nights, and uncomfortable days- were so worth it! He really was the sweetest baby. While he was on my chest he took a few deep breaths and then went into a relaxing sleep. Ray was loved on by our family and friends for about an hour. When he got back into my arms we could tell that there was no life left in him. The nurse confirmed it and although we were so sad, we were prepared for it. I didn’t know how long we would have with him, but I am so grateful for the time we did get. We cuddled and loved on him for a while longer and then we made the tough decision to let him go. That was the hardest part of the whole experience. I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped us along the way with prayers and support. It is totally by the grace of God that we are able to make it through this and share our story!”
Nate and Lauren have graciously shared their story and precious pictures of Ray to encourage and inspire all of you. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones… they’re the most important gift on earth.
We love all three of you!!
We love you Lauren and Baby Ray!! Lauren is now taking an extended leave of absence from our team. We invite you to share below any thoughts and prayers for Lauren and her family.