Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon welcomed daughter Ella Grace in December

By Natalie Stone
March 02, 2018 10:00 PM
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When Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon gave birth to her daughter in December, there was one very special person she wanted in the delivery room: her mother, Mama June Shannon.

But ahead of Pumpkin going into labor, Mama June, 38, was seven hours away recovering from eye surgery — and was advised by doctors not to travel. Still, that didn’t stop the mother of four from traveling last minute to be at the hospital where her granddaughter Ella Grace was welcomed into the world.

After undergoing a successful eye surgery, Mama June was overjoyed when she was able to see Pumpkin’s pregnant belly. “I can see how pregnant you are,” a tearful Mama June said on Friday’s episode of Mama June: From Not to Hot.

Although Pumpkin, 18, and her boyfriend, Joshua Efird, hoped to stay with Mama June for her weeks-long recovery — during which she had to sit in a massage chair because the doctor was worried her retina would detach — the expecting mother was worried about being far away from her doctors.

“I want to be here for the recovery for mama, but the fact that I’m seven hours away from my doctor and it could be any day now that I give birth, I’d rather be home,” said Pumpkin, who chose to go home. “I want to go back home just to be on the safe side.”

And it’s a good thing she did. While preparing to film interviews for the reality show after returning to Georgia, Pumpkin’s water broke on camera.

“What does it feel like when your water breaks?” Pumpkin asked the show’s hair and makeup artist, Meredith, who told her: “Kind of like peeing. Maybe a little gushy feeling.”

“Either my water just broke or I peed on myself,” said Pumpkin, who immediately went upstairs and changed before leaving for the hospital with her boyfriend.

While en route to the hospital, Pumpkin called Mama June and told her, “I’m a little nervous.”

“I know that you need to get better, but I want you to be here,” Pumpkin said to her mom. “I don’t want to do this without you mama.”

Despite Mama June being advised by doctors not to travel, she wasn’t about to miss her grandchild’s birth.

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“I really don’t care what my doctor says and I know it’s a major risk, but I’ve got to be there for my baby girl,” said Mama June, who immediately left with boyfriend Geno and youngest daughter Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson to be by Pumpkin’s bedside. “I can’t believe she’s having this baby and I’m not there.”

“I know Pumpkin’s important, but your vision, the reason the doctor wanted you to stay there in the first place is so if anything went wrong, you were close by,” said Geno. “Now you’re seven hours away if something goes wrong, then what are you going to do?”

But for Mama June, “that’s the risk that we take.”

While Mama June was battling traffic, Pumpkin was enduring labor pains. “It is horrendous,” she said. “I’m just ready at this point to be a mama, have my baby here and then also have mama here.”

Though Mama June wasn’t certain she’d make it to the hospital prior to the birth, she arrived just in time to see Pumpkin, who had been “in so much pain” for more than six hours, give birth. “I wouldn’t miss this for anything,” said Mama June.

At 5:01 a.m. on Dec. 8, Pumpkin welcomed her daughter: “Everyone meet Ella Grace. She’s 7 lbs. and 14 oz. and she’s perfect.”

“This is one of the greatest days of my life and I’m so glad that I was able to make it,” said Mama June. “Even if it has messed up my eye, it was all worth it to be able to be there for Pumpkin.”

“It definitely was worth the drive at the end of the day, definitely,” said Mama June. “I would not change anything I’ve ever done to be here for this moment.”

Despite the joy she felt while sitting in the delivery room after the birth of her granddaughter, Mama June appeared to be battling blurry vision.

“Are your eyes okay?” Pumpkin asked before handing Ella Grace to Mama June, who didn’t reply before cameras faded to black.