Twenty three years ago I looked down and held my first child for the first time. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a mom. I would pretend that my cats were my children. Of course they didn’t like the idea much. My mom ran a daycare from the home and had become a second mom to so many children. You would think after having all these kids come and go from our home that I would change my mind, but no. I enjoyed practicing changing diapers, feeding and playing with the younger kids. I Right after high school I married my high school sweet heart. I thought that this was going to be my happily ever after. We would get married, have kids and the prefect home, marriage and life. We hadn’t been married long before we wanted children. Here I was 18yrs old just married for 8months thinking I was ready to have a baby. I was going to school full time and working full time. My husband was also going to school full time and working part time, but we were young and thought we could do anything because we were in love. I ended up getting pregnant and I couldn’t have been happier and couldn’t wait to tell my husband at the time. I pictured our child helping his daddy fixing the car and how I was going to be the prefect mom with the prefect family. I had no idea what being a mom really meant.
My husband came home and I told him that I was pregnant. I thought he would be so excited being that he was the one who came to me and said he wanted to start a family. However, when I told him he didn’t respond the way I thought. I pictured me telling him that we were going to have a baby and that he would be so happy that he would embrace me and we would celebrate with joy. That isn’t what happened. I told him and he was angry. He pushed me down and said that if I wanted to stay married I would have to have an abortion. It was an abortion or a divorce. When I heard those words I was heartbroken. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He was everything to me but I knew that I couldn’t get an abortion either. At that moment my life fell apart and I could barely breathe. With each beat off my heart it felt as if it was being ripped out. I cried and begged him and tried to remind him just how much I loved him. He told me again that it was an abortion or a divorce. I told him that I couldn’t kill our baby and he said well than that’s it, it’s over.
I had to move back in my parents’ house. I tried to continue with my life by going to school and working but I became really sick with the pregnancy and had to drop out of school and quit my job. It was if my life was over. One night as I was sitting alone in my room the grief had become too much and I planned to take my life. Just as I went to go through with it I cried to God for help and I felt my baby kick for the first time. God had sent me an angel in the form of a little baby girl to save my life. At that moment I had hope again and knew that I had to fight for her, my little Stephanie. I had a new purpose and that was to be the best mother I could be to her.
The day had come when I would meet my precious little girl. After a long complicated labor they placed her on my chest. I was too weak to hold her. At that moment I felt love like I never had felt before and a fear of not going to be able to be a good mom to her set in. I was of afraid of making a mistake and I thought how could I give her the life she deserves without a dad in it?
When I finally was able to hold her I looked at her tiny little face, hands and feet. I’m a mom I thought to myself, I’m a mom. The more I looked at her and held her in my arms my courage and determination grew. I didn’t care what I had to do but I was going to give her the best life that I could. Life hasn’t been easy but I am so grateful that I choose to give her life and to become a mother.
I have six kids now and with each of them my heart grew. When I met my husband now and we had Shannon I wasn’t sure if I could love another baby as much as I did Stephanie but when Shannon was born, again my heart grew. I fell in love with that little girl and understood love even more. With the birth of each of my children my love grew and my mission in life became even clearer. As a mother I have made many mistakes and have got a lot of things right. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals but I do know that they need to be handled with care. Even though life has been hard and I wish I could have and could give my children more I am so thankful for being a mom. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a mom has made me understand what love is, has taught me to pray with all my heart, has caused me to hurt like I never thought I could, and has given me a reason to enjoy life.
This Mother’s Day I want to thank my children for giving me the title of “Mom.” I want you to know that I love each and every one of you with all my heart. I am proud of each of you and pray for you every day. I hurt when you hurt, cry when you cry, celebrate when you celebrate, and smile just at the thought of you.
I love you Stephanie, Shannon, Samantha, J.J., Sydney, and Sarah!
With all my love,
Your Mother, Trish Iiams