In These Shoes

Before Dru was born, I shopped and shopped for the best, cutest, softest, sweetest, safest possible baby products—and I loved every second. The carseat alone took me weeks because I read thousands of reviews before finalizing my decision. During the months before Dru was born I also got Freshly Picked Moccasins. They were so small, so sweet. I kept them in Dru’s soon-to-be room and would go in there from time to time and dream of what it would be like to have my own baby’s smooshy, soft toes slide into those comfy little shoes.

FP Moccs

By now, I’m sure you know things did not go according to plan. Not at all. You can read my whole account of that awful time, but for the sake of brevity I will just say that we were devastated and felt robbed of a “normal” experience. Nothing about our stay was normal. I still dream of those light and airy hospital rooms, with a baby lying on its momma’s chest, preparing to go home the next day together to start their life. So sweet, so magical. My baby never stayed in my room. He didn’t get to come home with us for weeks. My hospital room was dark because the sunlight hurt my eyes. My body ached. My heart ached. Nothing was how I imagined it to be.

We tried to make the best of it… Or probably more accurate is that we just tried to survive. Someone else fed and snuggled my baby because that’s the way it had to be. I stayed in my hospital bed and missed out on some of the sweetest moments of motherhood because that’s how it had to be. After a shift change, several days after Dru had been born, my new nurse came in one night to check on me. She checked the usual things blood pressure, oxygen, etc. and when she was wrapping up, she went to feel my liver and push around on my stomach. She sweetly said, “Wow! You don’t even look like you had a baby!”. I thought I would die. I tried to muster a closed lipped smile, then I looked away to hide my tears. It was meant to be a compliment and I’m sure under different circumstances I would hug her for her kindness. But that comment made the pain well up inside me, more intense, burning hot on my skin. Because I didn’t feel like I had had a baby. Almost as though no proof existed. Yes I had a baby, but I didn’t know him. And now the large stomach where I helped him grow, where I first felt him kick and LIVE was also gone.

Eventually things did settle down, we were all released from the hospital, our major travels to specialists calmed down and when Dru was several months old we came home to stay permanently. It was such a wild, overwhelming ride that my mom had to remind me often that someday I would look back and this would all just feel like a really bad dream. I remember carrying Dru into his room, a place we had spent very little time together. It was peaceful. My eye caught the little Moccasins on the bed. I picked them up and my mind leapt back to before Dru was born. Everything turned out so differently than I had imagined it would. I knelt down to the ground and slid my own baby’s smooshy, soft toes into those sweet, comfy shoes that I had so hopefully chosen. And it was exactly as I had imagined it would be. At the risk of sounding overzealous, those little shoes made life a bit easier for me. They gave me back a moment I so badly wanted, when I had missed so many before it.

FP Moccasins

I have been a Freshly Picked lover since before I was pregnant with Dru. He has had two pairs. His moccs have been on his feet for some of the worst days of our lives. Days filled with bad news and long doctors visits. They have also been on his feet for the best days of my life. Days when he showed he was more than his condition. Days when we got to have those warm, sunny, feel-good moments that we hoped for when we first found out we were having a baby. He took his first plane ride in his moccs. His first steps, his first time down a slide, his first time being admitted to the hospital—all in his Freshly Picked moccs.
It probably sounds like I’m going overboard, but looking at those little shoes fills me with memories of the most important days of my life.

Freshly Picked Giveaway

Oh, yes! The greatest news of all. This week I will be giving away a brand new pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins to one of my readers. You will love them as much as I do!



Freshly Picked provided me with a new pair—the adorable weathered brown pair that you see in these pictures—in exchange for telling my story as part of their Storyteller Campaign. Although these moccasins were provided to me for no charge, I would only give my true opinion here. So if you didn’t catch it, these are the best shoes ever.


  1. by Laurel on August 15, 2016  2:25 pm Reply

    Love this beautiful story Lauren, I love Moccasins. I think every child should have a pair I saved up my hard earned money as a child so I could buy a pair one summer and wore them out I don't think a day went by that summer that I didn't wear them.

    • by Lauren Parker on August 16, 2016  12:54 am Reply

      I love that story! There is something magical about summer moccasins!

  2. by Michelle Jensen on August 15, 2016  3:00 pm Reply

    Oh this breaks my heart hearing about what you went through. I just wish we didn't have to go through really difficult experiences but I guess that's not for us to say. One of my favorite bishops wrote me a letter with a quote from Pres. Neal A. Maxwell paraphrasing: we hardly talk about the wintry doctrine of suffering. Yet how can we expect to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ if we don't go through difficult things. That's basically what it said. I hope that gives you some comfort, knowing that suffering can bring you closer to Christ. I wish I could have been there for you during this awful time. We are praying for you, David and Dru everyday. Love you! ❤️

    • by Lauren Parker on August 16, 2016  12:53 am Reply

      Wow, that is really powerful. Thanks for taking the time to write that out, Michelle.

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