I remember wanting children ever since I was a little girl. As the youngest of six, I never had a younger sibling. I suppose I wanted someone to boss around the way I was bossed! The home I remember the most while growing up was a yellow single-family dwelling with the cutest yellow wooden bench on the front porch. Its number address was the year of my fathers birth, 1941. The street name reminded me of Christmas because it was Mistletoe Circle.
My fondest childhood memories occurred every summer and on weekends when our parents had to work, my oldest brother, who was seven years older than me, would make us lunch. He’d cook mackerel sandwiches on light bread with kool-aid to drink. We’d sit out under the wooden gazebo in our back yard and eat, play and tell stories.
Because I had five siblings, I always wanted a big family. I revered my mom and thought she was superwoman. I still do. She worked, kept the house, cooked and took care of all of us including my Dad. She still takes care of the five of us left. I used to watch her in admiration as she went about her motherly duties and couldn’t wait to be as great a mom as she inspired me to be.
When I grew up and married, we wanted a child right away. We tried unsuccessfully for nearly a year. It was repeatedly upsetting to see one negative pregnancy test after another. My doctors said I was too stressed and needed to stop focusing on trying so much. At the time I was in nursing school. So I buried myself in my school work.
As the months passed, I’d sneak an occasional test every once in a while. They were all negative, of course, until my clinical rotation at a local clinic. My sister was there for an appointment and asked a friend who worked there to give me a pregnancy test. Finally, after eleven months of trying to conceive, I was pregnant! We were ecstatic!! My daughter was born jaundice at only 35 1/2 weeks, three days before my baby shower. I forgot to tell guests I had her and when they showed up, they got to meet my daughter. She is 23 years old now with a one-year-old daughter of her own.
My daughter was just over a year old when I discovered I was pregnant with my son. We had discussed having another child even though we weren’t in the best position financially, our marriage was struggling and I had just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. To my surprise and the doctors, I tested positive at only 10 days pregnant! My son was born at 40 weeks and one day! It was a LONG pregnancy!
At 8.5 pounds, he was born with double pneumonia, sepsis, and a heart murmur. They told us he wouldn’t make it through the night. But God! We were able to take him home after eight days in the NICU. He came home healthy and sleeping through the night. He is 21 years old now. Won’t He do it? Both birthday was really hard on me and I ended up back in the hospital after both.
So, I decided to not have any more children for a few reasons. One reason was that I didn’t want to bring another child into our toxic marriage. Another, my health was failing me and I wasn’t strong enough physically or mentally to raise another child. Plus, the difficult pregnancies and births scared me. Also, after divorcing, as petty as it sounds, I didn’t want my children to have different fathers. I told myself I had the best of both worlds, one girl and one boy. I was done.
I didn’t regret my decision until my children were in junior high and high school. I began to realize that in a few years I would be an empty nester. They were my whole life. My greatest accomplishments; the one thing in life that I didn’t fail at! Soon, I found myself with baby fever. After talking to my kids, they admitted they always wanted another sibling. I took parenting classes to become a foster parent. More than halfway through, I found out I would be denied because, with a packed house, I couldn’t provide a foster child with their own room.
Back at square one, I prayed to God for another baby. My fiance at the time and I never conceived. After we broke up, I still prayed and prayed hard. In 2012, my nephew and niece welcomed twins. Unable to provide a stable home for them, my niece unselfishly placed the twins in more capable hands. Through the grace of God, my prayers were answered. I was given their twin daughter when she was only six weeks old. I had the baby for which I prayed so hard. Nobody can tell me that God doesn’t exist!
The twins, Xaviana (nicknamed Zy) and Xavier (Mann) are six years old now. They both live with us. They attend the same elementary school as my kids did years ago. Sometimes I must admit, it’s hard as a disabled 45 years old raising six-year-old twins. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Their mother is in their lives and provides support for them. I live with my mom (their great grandmother) and brother (their grandfather) and we all work together with their mom to provide the best stable environment for them to grow up in.
So my decision to have children of my own was the best I ever made in my life. They were and still are my purpose in life and my greatest accomplishments. My second best decision was accepting the answer to my prayer six years ago with Zy and 6 months ago with both twins. I know I was created to be a mother. It’s the one thing in life that I had the best example of in my own sweet mother. I can only hope I’ve been half the mother she has been to me. If I’ve accomplished that, then I know I have succeeded in life.
Left top- my daughter Brittney, Right top- my son Trey and my Mom, Left bottom- my Granddaughter Avianna, Right bottom- Myself, Xavier and Zy
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