“On December 18, 2016, I found out I was pregnant. I was a single 27-year-old woman who knew what she needed to do: place the child with a loving family who could give it everything it desired. I knew I couldn’t financially support a child at this point in my life and that was the main reason I chose to find an amazing family to raise my baby.
I went to work after hearing the baby’s heartbeat and told my coworkers. I then took one coworker (male) aside and asked him if he and his wife were looking to adopt. I knew they had been trying to have kids for 18 years. I knew the couple would be amazing parents by watching how they treated their pug. That pug is spoiled rotten and so loved. They were thrilled that I would consider them to raise my son as their own, and we started the paperwork for a private adoption the next day. Unfortunately, there are so many couples who can’t have children and yearn for a baby. If I could give my child a better life while giving a wonderful couple what they have always dreamed of, it would fill my heart.
I started grief and loss counseling for all the emotions that were pulsing through my veins. Processing the whole situation took a lot of effort and I didn’t want to have regrets about the life changing choice I was making. I absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Feeling the little one kick inside me, wiggle when I drank cold water, wake up and move around. It was the best feeling in the world.
The adoption agency we went through was amazing. We had meetings where we set up a contract about what I want post-birth and what the parents want. Questions like: how often can you see the child? Can you give him gifts? What will he call you?
There were some things that were very important to me as the birth mother and the parents were very understanding and agreed to my terms, as I was very respectful of theirs.
In my 7th month of pregnancy I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was ridiculously swollen and my kidneys weren’t functioning properly. My blood pressure was absolutely absurd and the doctors didn’t know how I was still alive. I should have had a stroke or seizures. They decided to induce me 1 month early. The adoptive parents were frantically getting all the baby’s things together (crib, nursery, etc.) I was induced on July 5, 2017, at 8:00 a.m. On July 6, 2017, I had an emergency C-section and gave birth to the most perfect baby boy. He got a 9/10 Apgar score and was so healthy and happy. I wanted some time with him to do skin to skin contact and breast feed. I contacted his parents 4 hours after he was born to come to the hospital to meet their baby boy. It was beautiful. They were so filled with joy that they had a happy healthy baby boy. My morphine still hadn’t worn off, so I was feeling ridiculously good.
Mentally I was in a great place and I was ready to go home. I pumped to feed my son for 12 weeks. I returned to work 7 days post-birth (my boss was NOT happy about that) but what was I to do? I didn’t have a baby to take care of at home and I could only play so much fetch with my dog. 10 days after birth I went to court to hand over my legal rights as a parent. This is a tough day for a lot of biological mothers. Biologically, we will always be mothers. We grew life. We made a human. But, legally, that’s all stripped away.
The last year has been amazing. I get to see my son grow. I reach out when I want to see him. We talk about him at work all the time. He went to Guadalajara to meet his family when he was 9 months old. Adoption is such a beautiful thing and I am so proud of myself and happy I had such a strong support team throughout the entire process. Now I sit on a board of bio moms at the adoption agency. We meet with families who are looking to adopt and share our story. They ask a ton of questions about what biological moms are looking for in families and I really enjoy chatting with them.
After giving birth to a baby, a woman’s body is completely different. Women typically experience stretch marks, loose skin, and unexpected sagging. I didn’t have that before giving birth and I wasn’t used to this new body. I’ve never been ‘petite.’ I’m a 5’9″ woman with a size 12 shoe who carries her weight in her midsection. I’ve always had a love for food. I was always an emotional eater. Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat. Mad? Eat. I would look in the mirror and not be able to recognize who I had become.
I’d sit down and eat a lasagna with an entire loaf of garlic bread and then feel terrible afterward. Something had to change.
I got pregnant November 4, 2016, and gained WAY more weight than any pregnant woman should. I used the baby as an excuse to shove anything and everything in my mouth.
The day I gave birth (July 6th, 2017) I was 280lbs. Morbidly obese.
Today I weigh 176lbs. I have shed 11% of my body fat in one year. No exercise at all, just eating healthy.
In March of 2018 I started a 45-day challenge. I cut out all sugars, carbs and processed foods. I drank 1 gallon of water a day and didn’t eat past 6:30 p.m. I only ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I didn’t count calories or focus on portion control.
I started this transformation because I was tired of being depressed every time I saw photos of myself or went clothes shopping. I was a size 22 and HATED looking in the full-length mirror.
My acne was terrible from all the processed foods I was eating. Now its 100% clear. No need for makeup and I have a very healthy glow and my hair and nails are growing like crazy.
The biggest change which made most impact is vegetables. I cannot stress enough how eating veggies like broccoli, asparagus, carrots and cucumbers help you feel amazing and shed weight FAST.
My friends and family are all so impressed with my dedication and self-control. There are days I want to cheat (I really miss peanut butter) but I stay focused on working on my dream post baby body.
There are some friends who are a bit concerned because since March I’ve really melted. They joke about me having an eating disorder or not taking care of myself. I’m not starving myself and I’m eating when I’m hungry, I just had a lot of fat to lose!
I feel absolutely incredible about my journey. Sugars and carbs only made me feel tired and bloated. Now I’m going to tone up (start lifting) and slowly adding minimal carbs back into my lifestyle.
Our bodies do so much hard work for us, so I believe we should take care of them the best we can!
My advice for others who are trying to shed some pounds: Drink water. At least 128 ounces (1 gallon) a day. Cut out sugars and processed foods, they will NOT help you get your dream body. Sleep 8 hours a night. Have a friend hold you accountable! I shared my diet plan with 4 girls and we send each other pictures of our foods and what our daily weight is. If one girl gets down or is feeling unmotivated, we help her out.
I want people to feel as amazing as I do, so I’ve shared the documents I used to get started with as many people as possible. It sounds like a very strict diet, but by the end of week 1 the ‘rules’ are ingrained in your brain.
I’m never going back to the old Lauren’s life style, this new Lauren (Unicorn Lauren) is happy and focused on living a healthy lifestyle!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Rubin, 28, of Boise, Idaho. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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