I did it for them

Jana, Son Cire, boyfriend Craig, and their new addition Monarch.

I was staring at the hospital ceiling somehow believing if I screamed louder, it would hurt less or be over sooner. My breaths became jagged as I feared I couldn’t handle what lied ahead. 

Anxiety had set in.  

The midwife stared into my eyes and urged me to calm down because my stress was making the pain more intense. Less than 10 minutes later, a 6-pound-9-ounce baby girl was in our arms.  

Three weeks before graduation, most students are anxiously planning a celebration, or working tirelessly on final projects, or planning their next educational endeavor. 

On April 20, this was all put on pause for a few days as I welcomed my baby girl into the world.  

Monarch Anita was born at 7:10 on 4/20 – a birthday everyone jokes could only be for Craig’s and my child. 

She is simply perfect.  

Our baby is named after the butterflies Craig and I saw when we began dating almost three years ago and the primary definition: a queen or ruler. 

But her middle name holds a special place in my heart. Monarch’s due date fell on April 17, my mother’s birthday and the anniversary of her mother, my Nanny’s, death. 

My Nanny’s middle name was Anita and she despised it to the point that she used her maiden name as a placeholder for her middle name after marriage. We always had a special bond and as I grew older, a sarcastic sense of humor that we shared before she passed away.  

 “Moni” as we already affectionately call her, is the root of her brother Cire’s new obsession. For two Christmases, he asked Santa for a baby sibling, but was crushed to learn she was a girl. 

At 5 years old, he has been a spoiled mama’s boy and only child his whole life and I was nervous to see how he would handle having to share me.  

Now, Mommy is old news. His baby sister is the center of his world.  

Days that once consisted of morning sickness and doctor’s appointments in between Zoom meetings have transformed into coffee-fueled, lazy days at home staring at a face that reminds me of mine.  

I have still managed to attend the classes that will help me earn my second degree in just a few short weeks.  

As a child, my first dream was to be a mother. Everything else in life could be figured out later or planned along the way.  

I have found it be an incredible experience to have my children while pursuing my education. An event that some may see as an obstacle has been my inspiration. Before I had my son at 21, I didn’t have solid plans to go to college even though it had also been a life-long goal. 

Cire’s birth lit a fire under me to chase my passions.  

It’s almost as if my children have brought my education full circle: my son inspired me to begin and my daughter has now brought it to a close.   

While I may have never joined a sorority or lived on campus, I’ve shown the little footsteps following behind me that nothing is impossible.  

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