Starting a new family is a big deal. Whether it is a significant other committed to you for the rest of your lives, or a mini-you who will soon be the center of your world and your better reason for waking up every day (and multiple times throughout the night), your life is about to change drastically. There is so much planning and thought that should go into bringing another person – or people – into your life.
Keyword: should. Most people do not know exactly what happens when you are not "prepared" to bring that little one into your life. Your first child really becomes a "practice" baby. It takes incredible amounts of time and patience to force your own sleepiness to subside at all hours of the night in order to check on your infant and make sure that they are okay, comfortable, satiated and hopefully not waking up the rest of the house.
You suddenly and irreversibly take on responsibility for this little one's … everything. Doctor's appointments, feeding, bathroom and sleep schedule become things you never even thought you had to have coordinated for yourself, even though at some point you did.
This is the new reality for a 22-year-old girl, somewhere in the world, who has been swiftly ushered into the world of motherhood. From hiding her pregnancy and avoiding prenatal care at the expense of discovery to forcing herself to relocate to live with another side of the family in order to get better care, she chose to do everything she could, up to and including the impossible, in order to care for her new baby boy.
When she had the baby, she was overwhelmed with the epiphany that she – with the petite frame – was able to bring life into this world. Even so, maternal care did not come as quickly as she had hoped. Since her child was in respiratory distress at birth, and getting him to a hospital with child specialists was top priority, she was not able to hold him for his first four days of life. Following her discharge from the hospital, her support system, which included her mother and her sister, stayed by her side and saw that she made it to see her baby while he spent his first days away from her.
On the fourth day, after seeing countless doctors that had visited him in the NICU, informing her of the status of each of his bodily systems, nothing could stop her expression of overwhelming emotion hearing him cry for the first time. A love like she never could have dreamed of, though she relentlessly sought it, flooded through her, and she decided she wanted nothing more than to stay by her son's side.
After a week in NICU and two more on the surgical floor, baby boy Logan (who remained nameless for three days after his birth) was finally able to go home with his family. They continue to love him unconditionally, mommy striving to give him all the love she knows he deserves. At the same time, she manages to stay in school, to pursue the degree she's been working on since 2013.