At the age of 22 I found out I was going to be a Mommie. I was a junior in college, still totally dependent on my mother. Believe it or not I was in disbelief. I always thought I would never be a mother because I never wanted children. I knew my actions came with consequences but I didn’t believe it could happen to me. I was not married and not even in a relationship with the father of my child. The summer before starting my senior year of college, I enjoyed being a carefree young adult. I had no worries in the world. I return back to school and quickly realized the “big fun” I was having quickly faded away. My life changed the moment I knew I was pregnant.
Telling My Mother
I had a close friend sit with me to break the news to Mom. I knew it was time to tell her because the father of my child wanted me to abort the baby. That was definitely not an option for me, and I knew Mom wouldn’t agree with that choice either. At the time, Mom traveled for her job. So, I had to tell her over the phone that I was going to be a mother. Surprisingly, she didn’t yell or scream at me. She asked me my plan and I told her I didn’t know.
I was a very blessed and spoiled young adult. My mother paid for me to have my own 1 bedroom apartment. I had a very nice car and two cell phones. I didn’t work or have any bills, Mom provided everything for me. When I told her I had no plans she told me to look around my apartment. She said my apartment is now my home for me and the baby. I’m not sure how we ended the conversation but I felt relieved that she finally knew.
After the initial disappointment Mom was the best. We discussed and decided on my plan of action together. She told me not to worry about working, and to just finish school. She would continue to pay my living expenses, however I needed to apply for public assistance. I asked her what was public assistance and she said Welfare. She explained that she could pay for my medical expenses but she that was not going to do it. She said because of my choices I had to do what was best for my situation.
I was a young mother with no income, no health insurance, no higher education, and no help and support from the father of my child. I definitely applied for assistance. Looking back it was a stepping stone and the reason for my success now. With the assistance, my son had free childcare and I was able to complete my education. I took advantage of every aid available so I could succeed.
A Doctor’s Orders
Jaylan’s arrival into the world was scary but God definitely had his hands over his life. I had to have an emergency C-Section because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. My Obgyn was not available so his partner was called. After a quick introduction and prayer I was wheeled into the operating room. I asked Mom if I could go to sleep and she said yes. I told her I was afraid to sleep because I didn’t think I would wake up. She reassured me I would be okay. The doctor who delivered Jaylan was very assertive. When he spoke, the nurses moved and did exactly what he said to do.
I was asleep during the surgery but I could still hear everything. I remember him yelling at his staff. After my anesthesia wore off, I told my nurse about the doctor yelling and screaming at people during my surgery. She told me and Mom he is very passionate. Furthermore, she shared how his wife died during child birth but the baby lived. The nurses know when they have his patients that they are to follow his every instruction. In that moment, we knew God orchestrated the delivery of Jaylan.
After I was discharged from the hospital I decided I should go to Florida to live with Mom until it was time to return back to school. Mom needed to go back to work and I needed help with the baby. We both knew I would be a single parent so I needed to learn how to take care of Jaylan on my own. She showed me how to make his bottles, change his diapers, give him a bath, wash his clothes, pack diaper bags, and lots of other essential things parents have to do. She taught me how to be a mother.
I will never forget the day we had to go to the grocery store. Mom pulled into the parking lot and placed the car in park. She said to me that we are going to pretend I’m not here. Mom then asked, “What are you going to do? Are you going to get the basket first and then come back and get the baby or do you take the baby out of the car with you and then go get the basket”? Mom and I did lots of exercises like that to prepare me to be alone with Jaylan.
After three months of being with Mom I returned back to school. Jaylan and I moved into a new 2 bedroom apartment and I officially was a single parent. The first night being alone with Jaylan was very scary but overtime we got into our own routine. During my pregnancy, and a little time after, I still attended church. At some point I stopped going. My feelings were so hurt I couldn’t bare to go to church.
Public Sin, Private Pain
From the time I knew I was pregnant I felt so burdened. My mistake was public, everyone knew what I had done. On top of that, I had no support from the father of my child and then discovering he had multiple women pregnant was humiliating. For about a year I literally felt my heart hurt. The embarrassment and shame I felt can never be put into words. To go to church during that time was so hard. Everyone looked and stared at me.
But there were two women that never changed. Ms. Lee and Elder Houser were always so nice. They always encouraged and uplifted me. They always made it a point to speak to me and give me affirmation and praise. When people make mistakes it’s easy to punish and discipline, but harder to find love for them. Their actions displayed Christ. They never asked about my situation they just showed love and kindness, something I desperately needed and wanted.
My Purpose: Jaylan
Jaylan is now 13 years old. He has been by my side through everything. He has been my motivation to finish my bachelor’s and master’s degree. And he is the best big brother to my younger son Kenden. Overall, Jaylan has changed my life for the better. I do my best and give my all for him. I purposely want him to know you can overcome anything! Jaylan has been my only positive for many years. He has been my focal point and has kept me focused and driven to succeed. Jaylan gave me purpose.
My pregnancy with Jaylan wasn’t filled with happiness and joy. It was gloomy and the darkest moment I have ever experienced. My pain was indescribable. That situation changed me. In many ways it changed me for the better, but I must also admit that I still have things to work on.
Honestly, for an entire year of Jaylan’s life I was bitter and depressed.
Looking back over my experience, I think about our young people. Oh, how they go through so much. They too are dealing with depression, addiction, homosexuality, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, rejection….. the list can goes on and on. I often question what are we missing to not have the ability to reach them? Why are we so afraid to talk about the ugly truths and hide the issues we faced as young people? Why are we so quick to punish instead of offering advice, guidance, leadership, truth, and most importantly love? Love is what got me through my pain.
It was only a small few I felt and knew loved me, but I hung on to that for life. It was that kind of love that brought me back to church and has secured my faith in God. The Bible tells us that love is patient and kind. It’s not easily angered nor does it keep record of wrong (1 Corinthians 13-14). I strongly believe love is where we have to start. Love can break barriers and helps open the heart to receive what’s missing and needed. My experience showed me that we must have compassion, patience, and understanding with one another.