Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This is our 10th installment of the Mommy Spotlight and I am so proud to feature our next mom. Susie and I meet because she is one of dearest friends cousins, after formally meeting, I felt a connection to her, she has a way of engaging you and drawing you in that is amazing. She is so fun and so lively and there is never a dull moment when Susie is around. We became fast friends, and I count her as a very dear friend. She has gone through so much and I have been able to witness her strength and grace first hand. So without further fanfare here is Susie Darko:

Modern Mom: Did you always know you wanted kids?
Susie:Growing up I knew that I always wanted children. Even more as I got older I knew that I couldn't see my life without being a mom. I feel as a woman that is what we were hear to do. To procreate and to nurture.

MM:Describe your son in five words?
Susie: Five words that describe my son is affectionate, charming, daring, intuitive, loving and observant... I know that you asked for 5 but I couldn't resist....LOL the list can go on and on when it comes to him....LOL

MM: How did you handle getting your degree and having to take care of your son?
Susie:Going back to school after years of being out was challenging but going back to school after having my son was even MORE challenging.. School for me is all about motivation that's why it's taken me a while. If I didn't feel like I was in a good place mentally I wouldn't have attended this past semester.  So with me there was a lot of stop and go. Prior to having him I had taken some time off due to circumstances. Once I got back on my feet again I started thinking about school again. I had only 3 classes remaining and I didn't want to NOT finish since I was so close to the end. While being in school I had a lot help. EJ's dad and I would rotate schedules. For the days that I had to attend classes he would pick our son up from the sitter. So that wasn't too bad. The most challenging part was when I had assignments or studying that needed to be done. It's hard when you have a full time job and then go to school part/full time and then have to come home to take care of your children/family full time as well. It's not easy. There's really no REAL time being spent with your child so every free moment that I would get I would want to spend with him and do the other things that may have needed my attention and then sacrifice a good nights rest to study for an exam or read up on some chapters.  Many of times I would use my lunch break to get a majority of my school work done but in the end it was ALL WORTH IT!!!.. My baby was able to see me graduate. Even though he doesn't understand now I know one day he will.

MM:What surprised you the most about motherhood?
Susie:What surprised me about motherhood.....hmmm. I can honestly say nothing...Matter of fact I take that back. I think in motherhood people take for granted the strength of  woman.  As woman we wear many hats and I think sometime people don't realize that. Mothers make things happen for their families and do whatever they need to do to make ends meet. The other thing that surprised me about motherhood is that people also take children for granted. I always knew that children were smart but they deserve more credit. They're intuitive and aware beings. They're VERY aware of their surroundings and the people in them. So you should always watch what you say and do around them cause though their eyes may not be on you their ears our always listening and lastly motherhood takes place the moment that you discovered you are pregnant. Everything you do from that moment on is with caution.

MM:Before you had your son, you were pregnant and suffered a terrible loss, how were you able to cope with it and make the decision that you would try again?
Susie:Before having my son, I was pregnant the year before but suffered a stillbirth at 9 months. To be exact I was exactly 38 weeks. In the beginning my pregnancy was going smoothly and at the later stage my doctor felt that the baby wasn't putting on enough weight for her gestational stage. So with that he thought that an induction would be the best thing to do. This way the baby could receive the proper nutrients that she would need outside of the womb and gain weight. For those that may not know what an induction is this is when the doctor intravenously gives you pitoycin which is an unnatural stimulant to help speed up the contractions and help your cervix to dilate for delivery. As I'm typing this it brings back memories making it feel like it happened yesterday. That was a very hard time for me.  I remember going for my weekly visit February 25, 2008 and my doctor doing an ultrasound to check for the heartbeat. Her heart was beating at about 135 beats per minute. He felt that everything was looking good and that I should prepare to come in that following Friday for the scheduled induction. I was OK with the decision because it was in the best interest of my little girl.  My actual due was March 14, 2008 but I was gonna have this baby 2 weeks early I was READY. I remember the night before packing up my hospital bag and picking out her outfit which was a pink and white romper that had little flowers on it and with the matching hat and a brown GAP sherling coat. I couldn't wait to meet my little girl. I was prepared at least so I thought. Out of all of the times that I had gone for doctor visits this was the first time that my mom would accompany me. My doctor asked that I go to see my specialist  first before actually getting checked in at the hospital. I guess because of my age and personal reasons I was seeing both facilities. I remember getting on the table and the sonogram tech applying the warm jelly on my belly.This routine was no different from any other visit. So at least I thought. The tech ran the monitor over my belly but I could tell that something wasn't right.  As a pregnant women that always goes to her visits you know what to listen out for and with this visit there was something wrong.   The sonographer kept going over my belly but the room was DEAD SILENT.  I saw her look to see if the volume was on but it was. I can tell by the look on her face that something wasn't right. She asked that I continue to lay there and that she would be right back. This is when I started to freak out. My mother knew that something wasn't right and started to ask questions but I knew. That's when the tears began to roll down my cheek.  The doctor comes in and introduces himself and proceeds to check my belly but the answer was written all over his face. He tells me that he is not catching a heart beat. ................I FROZE.........I felt my heart sink down to the pit of my belly. The room was completely silent and then my mother starts screaming....I didn't know what to do.....I could not process what was being said to me. How could this be. I was just in here the other day and her heart was beating fine. What could have happened in these last few days? After I got myself and my mother together I was instructed to go straight to the hospital to deliver the baby.  So many thoughts were running thru my head....I thought I was dreaming....I arrived at the hospital and prepared for delivery. The staff was aware of my arrival.  The air was so thick at the nurses station, I saw the looks on their face trying to read mine. I know that they see this often enough in their profession but seeing an "expectant" hopeful mother makes that feeling always feel like the first time.  The entire staff was WONDERFUL to me. I had so much friends and family in my room. I guess the staff allowed that so that I could be as comfortable as possible. It helped for that time. On Saturday March 1, 2011at 5:05a.m, I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Her name was Cassidy Noelle. Ohhhh how I loved that name. After delivering the hospital gave me some time to be with her and I must say that she looked as if she was sleeping.  As I looked at her I wondered if she ever felt any pain and I prayed that she didn't. After losing Cassidy I wasn't sure how I was gonna to cope. I had such a huge emptiness inside that there were days that I didn't know if I was going or coming. The hardest part was leaving the hospital empty handed. I felt so light, I remember never wanting to leave the hospital because I felt that I was leaving her behind, It took time. I stayed home for almost 3 months and went back to work. Going back to work helped a little. It took my mind off of everything. My loss gave me time to reevaluate my situation and as much as it hurt me, maybe it was meant to be. The person that I was having the baby with just wasn't the right one for me and I looked at it as if GOD was protecting me and her from that situation. It was hard, but it's my reality.

MM:Did you ever consider not having kids after your loss?
Susie:The thought never crossed my mind not to have children. I was not going to let my loss as well as a "disguised" blessing deter me from ever being a mom.

MM:When you found out you were pregnant again with your son how did you feel?
Susie:After losing her, I reconnected with Ej's father and I decided to give the relationship another try.We discuss having baby together and within 3 months after the loss of Cassidy I discovered that I was pregnant again. I was in awe. I couldn't contain the excitement that I was going thru. It seemed just like that!!! This is who I was meant to be with. This is who I was supposed to have a baby with. The craziest part of this all is that I needed to hear the doctor confirm this for me and on my very first visit he had giving me a due date and unbelievably my due date was March 1, 2009. I almost fell of my seat. That was the day that my daughter Cassidy Noelle was born. How ironic was that!!!!!!! This was fate.
MM: How is your life changed after all that you have been through, and after becoming a mom?
Susie:Since having my son I view life completely differently. I realize that nothing is ever promised and it can be taken from you at any given moment.  I respect life in a whole new way.  During my pregnancy with my son I had a very close friend that was pregnant at the same time and she suffered a miscarriage at 5 months.  She suffers from a weak cervix.  To be there with her and watch her give birth to her little girl and too see what a 5 month old baby looks like at that time outside the womb was incredible. How can some people in society believe that at that stage it's not a baby is beyond me.  Her baby had features and all of its body parts formed.  Too me to go thru a lost any stage I will never take a human life for granted.  These situations have made me LOVE even more. I love being a mom.  I love EVERYTHING that it comes with. I've enjoyed every stage that his life has offered me.  I feel very lucky to have him in my life and has a completed a part of the woman that I've become and still evolving to be.

MM:What is the best and worst thing about motherhood?
Susie:The best and worst thing about motherhood is: (BEST) Watching these little people evolve into their own characters and developing their own personalities.  Watching them go thru various stages in their life.  Having the most interesting conversations and answering endless "Why" questions, I mean the list can go on.  As far as the WORST.  The only bad thing is if both parents work, you don't have much time to spend with them.  By the time you all get home it's almost time to go to bed and prepare for the next day.  There's not enough hours of the day to spend with them.

MM:Do you have any advice for those out there that share your story?
Susie:The advice that I have for expectant moms is to listen to your body and never feel as if you're asking your doctor too many questions. This is your right. Also know if you have suffered a loss that you are not alone and that whatever pain you are feeling or have felt that it gets better with time. You may never forget what has happened to you but you will get thru it.

Susie is amazing. I was pregnant at the same time she was when she was pregnant with Cassidy. I remember my friends were scared to tell me about her loss! I remember crying and wondering why these things happen. I saw her strength and when she told us that she was pregnant again we were all overjoyed! I clearly remember the day, she told us after a friends party we were in the street crying and hugging! Susie message is correct. You can't really predict these things, some things just can't be explained away. From her experience I learned that if something doesn't feel right ask! I learned not to be afraid to ask the doctor any question no matter how dumb you think it is! It is there job to answer!

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