Welcome home, Johnny!

It's always great to reconnect with people from your past. It's even better when your career, that doesn't feel like a career, provides that connection. One of the major positives of being a part of any social media outlet is the ability to keep tabs on with those whom you have, at some point or another, crossed paths. Although it still seems hard to keep track of everyone. Now that most of my friends are in their mid-to-late 30's, my feeds are full of ultrasound images, birthday party invites, first day of school snapshots, and a plethora of "responsible adult" lifestyle choices. So it seems we are all on the same path full of scheduling conflicts and jam packed weekends. That being said, it feels as if there is an unspoken understanding now between us all, after being hurled into the lives our parents once lived. We find ourselves wishing we could do more together or, at the very least, interact every once in a while without relying on facebook comments or Instagram likes.

With all of that said, I feel an extra connection

to this Mama, The years have ebbed and flowed, but while living in the same small city, we were always able to rely on the fact that eventually we would just run into one another. Usually at the grocery store, the same way she still does with my Dad to this day.

Kimberli, or if you're my mom, "Kimmie," has

known me since I was born. Our dads worked

closely together at a local auto body, which

started the now 31 year long connection we

still have. My dad describes her father as his

mentor, and even to this day. twelve years after

his passing, my dad still gets emotional when he talks about him. To me, his name was "Grizz," but it

wasn't until I was a bit older than I'd like to admit

that I found out, that his name was, in fact, Steve,


was a presence, as you can assume you'd have to

be in order to get a nickname like that. But, he was always very kind and ALWAYS had that awesome beard. Even as a little girl I remember thinking it was special. As a kid my dad would sometimes have to bring me back to the shop after picking me up from school to finish up his workday, and to this day the smell of new tires and grease still remind me of being a little girl in that shop, and of Grizz. Between soccer games with my older sister, and her mom Barbara occasionally watching us, I did my best

to mimic and follow Kim and my sister Morgan around. Luckily for me, Kim thought I was cute and was WAY nicer to me than Morgan at that age. Disclaimer: I don't blame Morgan. Good God I was obsessed with them, so I can only begin to imagine how irritating it was to have me leeching onto their fun.

I have nothing but fond memories of growing up near the Jenove family, so I am thankful for the internet allowing us all to keep tabs on one another, especially now that we are moms and that age gap doesn't matter anymore. FINALLY I'M A COOL KID! (I typed that knowing full well, I am indeed, NOT a cool kid.)

Kim contacted me in the midst of a busy surge both personally and professionally in the beginning of December, so I was also simultaneously sucked into the vortex that is Christmas shopping. In this line of work, at least for me, it tends to be all or nothing, and sometimes I can go a month or two without a birth. Then I blink my eyes and have a baby due every other week. I actually stunk at getting back to her quickly, like one of those things stuck on the tip of your tongue and every night you lay down having that nagging feeling like you keep forgetting something, but are too mentally fried to nail down what it was exactly.

That was how my brain was functioning at that moment, so my half written reply caught dust for a few days until, like a punch to the gut, I was reminded of what I had been meaning to say. Kim was very understanding and was kind enough not to hate me for my radio silence, and still wanted to work with me. Whew! I would still be kicking my own butt if I allowed this opportunity to witness her little man come into this world pass me by.

With a due date of January 18th quickly approaching, and then PASSING us by, it seemed Johnny Junior had no plans on evicting himself willingly. Kim and her partner, Johnny, share a gorgeous 4 1/2 year old girl Karlie, who decided upon her arrival back in 2014 that she too would put up a fight, leading us all to believe Kim is just far too welcoming and comfortable for her own good. Having passed her due date, the wonderful Lonnie Morris, CNM ND, founder of The Childbirth and Women's Wellness Center, allowed Kim to wait it out a bit to see if their little man would decide to make his entrance on his own. Unfortunately, Junior had his own plans, none of which involved leaving Kim's cozy uterus. So, on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 30th, Kim began her road to induction at Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood, New Jersey.

In my usual form, I stalked Kim VIA text every few hours to get a feel for how she was progressing, since inductions can go any which way, and there is no telling how any Mama will progress. Kim started her induction at about 3;30pm, and by 5:30pm her contractions were officially 5 minutes apart and consistent. By 7:30pm she was set to start Pitocin, which by 9pm sped her contractions up to one every 3 minutes. At that point I sat in my sweats at home waiting (not so patiently) to change my clothes and rush for the door. By 10pm her contractions were between 2-3 minutes apart and I took that as my cue to get ready. By 10;30pm Kim was at 6cm, and my car was finally warm enough to start driving. Have I mentioned this was all happening the night after our infamous "snow squall"? It seems this little man was holding out to be born on one of the coldest nights of the season! I arrived at Pascack Valley at 11pm to find Kim off of her Pitocin drip and using the comfort of a hot shower to keep her pain manageable. Even through her pain, Kim was still throwing out an occasional "I'm sorry," while still had the presence of mind to kid around with Johnny who was by her side throughout her entire labor. Within 40 minutes Kim was being helped by Johnny back to her bed where Lonnie checked her progression, finding she had hit the much anticipated 10cm mark.

This warrior of a Mama went through an induction, a Pitocin drip, all of her contractions, and a half hour of pushing without the use of an epidural, and at 12;15am on January 31st, she was finally rewarded for all of her patience and insanely hard work with her healthy and beautiful baby boy.

Johnny Pascual Laguer Jr weighed in at 7.7lbs and 20inches long, with a head full of gorgeous curls, looking much like Karlie's twin, a perfect mix of both Mommy and Daddy.

It was such an immense pleasure to play a small role in Kim's birth story. Being able to catch up with her, getting to know Johnny, and document Junior's entrance into this world will surely be at the top of my 2019 highlights.

Welcome home, Johnny Junior!

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