I was 18 years old, fifth in my class, accepted to Wright State for nursing school, scholarships had been received, and my roommate was chosen. I graduated in May of 1997; summer had begun. I was having fun working and hanging out with friends.
My plans quickly changed. I missed my cycle and discovered I would be bringing a baby into the world. I NEVER, ever thought about abortion and quickly applied, was accepted to, and began college at Lima Technical College that fall.
My parents were my rocks during my whole pregnancy, especially my amazing mother. She supported me every single day, through ups/downs, happy/sad days. I often questioned my pregnancy and why I was not able to be away at college. However, over the course of the next nine months, I learned so much about people, small towns, life, and support–more than I could have ever learned going away to college.
I was blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered a healthy, 9-pound, .5-ounce baby girl on March 31, 1998. She was beautiful; she was MINE. My heart instantly jumped out of my chest and has been attached to hers ever since. I love her more than words can say! She has been such an unexpected blessing in my life that I usually get tears in my eyes just talking about this change in my path.
I continued college and worked as a nurses’ aide at a community hospital. I graduated with my Associate’s in Nursing in 2000, changing roles, now an RN at the same hospital. I still wanted to get my bachelor’s degree. I applied and was accepted to the University of Cincinnati, worked hard, and in June 2002, graduated … goal accomplished!
My husband and I had a beautiful wedding, and my unexpected blessing stood by our side on Aug. 24, 2002. We enjoyed life, and I loved being a nurse. We soon had an “expected blessing,” another baby girl in May 2003. I decided to get my Master’s and was accepted to Wright State University, began in the summer of 2004, and we had another “expected blessing,” our third baby girl, that September.
I loved Women’s Health and wanted to help other teen mothers know that life would be okay with unexpected blessings. I found it harder to be in college with more children, but again my husband, parents, and in-laws were so supportive. We welcomed another expected blessing, our first son, May 31, 2007. I graduated one week later. My education plans had come full circle, and I earned my Master’s Degree as a Nurse Practitioner from the college I planned to attend right out of high school.
I work in an OB/GYN office and am able to meet with teens when they find they are expecting an unexpected blessing. I try to give them, and often times their parents, advice that I think important. I have shared my story with many of them and cried happy tears with some, too.
Life doesn’t always turn out how we think it should, but it turns out how God plans it for us. My husband and I welcomed our fifth child, another expected blessing, in November 2011. All five of our children bring us so much happiness. I try to cherish every day I have with them. I know I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t been blessed with the unexpected. My message to all mothers is whether unexpected or expected, be thankful that you were chosen to be a mother because each child is a blessing!