I am a mom of two children who are younger than the age of three. My first is two years old while, my second is ten months old. I am currently expecting baby number three. I had issues conceiving my first, and did not ever think I would have kids. When I found out about him, I was happy, and in shock. I felt ready. Then, a year later during the spring I also find out that I was pregnant again with another child. To me, it was a big surprise because I thought that my first was a miracle. At the time I found out I was pregnant, I was having issues with the father of my children, and my sons medical issues. It was a very tough time for me. It got even tougher when the father of my children left us.
My dreams, goals, and world was crushed when he left us. I never thought that life would get to a point where I would have to be alone, and my children would be without their father; that was never the plan. So now I had to figure out how we were all going to fit in a little room, how I was going to pay for everything, and how my children and I were going to survive. Things became harder as time passed, but I kept pushing forward. I worked and was there for my children. After my daughter was born things got better. The father of my children and I were talking more, and we also decided to reconcile. When February of 2016 came around, we conceived again, but things got worse again. The situation did not get worse because of the baby because we found out about baby number three in May 2016. It was just a lot of issues were going on, and things got really out of control.
So now I’m on baby number three, and really do not know what to do. I kept it a secret. I found out in May when one of my cousins found me sleeping on the couch, and asked me if I was pregnant because usually I do not take naps during the day. Because of that I went to Walgreens weeks later to take a test. I told the father of my three children to take me to buy something I needed because I did not want to let anyone know. I had a feeling that I was pregnant. I went into Walgreens, and he waited for me outside. I did the test in the bathroom at Walgreens, and cried like a baby when the test confirmed a positive. I thought it was not possible. It was really tough for me since I never expected to be a mother of three in so little time, and by myself. The dad would only be available sometimes but, was not any help. When I told him he was also surprised, but he told me he would help me. We had even more issues after that, and I felt like I had no way to help myself or my children.
I was really worried because I did not know what to do with my life. I decided to ask someone who knew my situation from the beginning, and had had more experiences than myself. She was my supervisor, but treats me like she’s my mom. She explained to me that my children were a blessing, and that God put my baby number three there for a reason. There was nothing that I had to be worried about because little by little things were going to get better. I believe in her so I decided to take her advice. She told me to get myself together, get checked out, and to do what I had to do for myself and my children. So that I did. I got out of my room because I was really depressed, and did not want to leave. Started eating normally, and did what I had to do for my children. Little by little my situation started to get better. It’s still complicated, but better. I have since got a lot done, and still things are falling into place. My children are now in school, baby number three is healthy so far, and growing, and I feel that my family goals are getting accomplished little by little. I have learned that in order to do better you have to work hard for what you want, be positive, do not give up, but most importantly have faith. I also learned to be even more grateful than I already am. I give thanks that I noticed that I had so many people that were not even part of my blood help me, and support me. I thank my ex-supervisor Ms. Priscilla, Stronger Generations, my friends that I met there, friends that I met at Centering, Dr. Meadows, my mom and aunt, and my children for helping me grow. If it was not because of them I would not have grown or became stronger.
**Erika Rodriguez is one of Stronger Generations’ Young Parent Ambassadors. To learn more about Erika and her story, check out her bio at https://beproudtoparent.org/2017-2018-young-parent-ambassadors/ **