Pregnancy Scare #8; Fearless Mom: Elaina Cook

Elaina Cook

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Name: Elaina Cook
Age: 27
Year you graduated high school: 2005
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2012
Number of children: 1

The Uh Oh Moment: I found out that I was pregnant while at work at the age of 25. I did not confirm my pregnancy until after work that day. I bought a home pregnancy test after discussing it with my best friend who lived in New York and went to my boyfriend’s house to take it with him for moral support.

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Elaina working that rainbow dress at 7 months.

When I felt that I was pregnant I had numerous thoughts running through my head. There were only two distinct thoughts that I remember vividly. One of my thoughts was that I need another place to stay. I was living with my mother at the time and I had one year left of my master’s program. My second thought was that I did not want to keep it; I was not ready to have a child while still in school and living with my mother. So I packed up my belongings, found an apartment, and moved out before telling my mother that I was pregnant. When I finally told her my reason for moving out, she was disappointed but she understood and was shocked that I followed her demands.

When growing up the rule for her daughters was if you get pregnant no matter the age, you no longer could live at home with mommy.

The Mom Moment:  I officially considered myself a mother when I felt the baby kick for the first time while she was in the womb. Of course I was carrying the baby for four months prior but it didn’t feel “real” until I felt her kick.

***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad.***

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From the womb…

Father/Dad: I have known my child’s father for ten plus years. In a sense, we were best friends. The relationship was loving but still strained. There were numerous questions about infidelity throughout the entire relationship that were never resolved before nor after the baby was born.

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…to the world!
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Ain’t no better blessing than a healthy baby girl.

At the time he provided me with the moral support that I needed to assure me I could handle a situation of this magnitude. He convinced me to keep the baby and listed all the reasons why having a child with me would be so great. He witnessed the birth of his daughter while still hiding the fact that he was seeing his wife….

Throughout my entire pregnancy my child’s father was secretly reconnecting with his wife who I was under the impression he was separated from. Now grant it, yes I was aware that this man was married when we started seeing each other. Knowing him for ten plus years when we started dating, I never questioned or challenged him. When he informed me that he divorced his wife I believed him. My guard was completely down and my intuition was turned off. After two months of secrecy of the relationship, our mutual friends informed me about it, how long it was going on, and what his future plans were in regards to me.

Over time his compassion and love towards me being pregnant became a burden and a setback for him. So when I found out what transpired, I forced him to move out of the apartment and he has not seen his child since the day he left (three months old).

Them vs. You:  When it comes to my parenting style, I am still learning. My daughter is young and she is at the age of exploration and learning how to establish her own independence. However, in the future, I do believe I  will adopt my mother’s authoritarian parenting style and combine it with my own style in the hope of becoming an authoritative parent. Growing up I did not have an opinion when it came to socializing, academics, etc. With  my daughter I want to value her opinion without being dismissive when she gets older with the hope of establishing such a relationship where she is comfortable enough to come to me with a problem or a concern. Of course, it is not okay to be friends with your children, however, I do want my child to feel comfortable enough come to me at any moment.

The harshest thing my mother ever said to me during my pregnancy was, “When you have a daughter you will see.” Now this may not sound harsh, but I heard this comment every time I voiced what I did not like in regards to what I wanted for my unborn baby in addition to how I was going to raise my baby. Her comment was basically saying that I will regret disagreeing with her ways. I felt that was a bit much, especially at the age of 25, I expected my mother to see some value in my opinion. I felt very disappointed and alone during my pregnancy because everyone that I expected to be there for me turned their noses or backs towards me.

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Fearful Moment: My scariest moment thus far as a parent was when my child was returned to me from her father with scratches all on her face. He refused to give me an explanation and I felt helpless. My job is to protect her at all costs and I felt like I failed her at that moment.

Fearless Moment: My favorite first moments are the day she was born, the first time I saw her crawl, and after I came in from the store I saw her walk for the first time. Her first word was “ball” which is so weird to me because I expected it to be momma or dada.

Support System: I had no support system from family the way that I intended, and at this point there was nothing prepared for the baby’s arrival. I cancelled my baby shower and decided to max out my credit cards to buy what I needed for my child. My motto was and still is: at the end of the day no one owes me anything and I need to provide for my child at all costs.

My sister witnessed everything that transpired and moved in with me to help me with the baby so that I could find a better job and finish my last semester of graduate school. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude and appreciation for my sister.

She was my rock throughout my entire pregnancy. Our relationship has always been strained growing up, but this pregnancy brought us closer than ever before. So every day I try my best to remind her how much I appreciate her. Grant it we had some rough patches with her stepping up to help me with the baby but we were able to work through it as sisters.

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Elaina and Micaela. “My motto was and still is: at the end of the day no one owes me anything and I need to provide for my child at all costs.”

I lost so many friends along the way during my pregnancy because I realized many of their true colors as time went on until the birth of my baby. My closest friend’s reaction was surprise. No one in my social circle thought that I would actually be pregnant.

Final thoughts….

I found my strength from God, my sister, and my friends. My friends and family gave me the courage and the strength to surpass the negativity and the constant nights of worrying. Prayer every moment when I feel low gives me the power to face it all. Without God’s forgiveness and love I would not be the mother that I am today.

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Ms. Independent

"My daughter is young and she is at the age of exploration and learning how to establish her own independence."
“My daughter is young and she is at the age of exploration and learning how to establish her own independence.”

MEET ELAINA AND MICAELA TONIGHT AT 6:00 PM @ WWW.PSFEARLESSMOMS.WORDPRESS.COM

P.S. # 8

[Blue] is definitely my favorite color in the whole world. It reminds me of water. I enjoy large bodies of water. [They’re] calming. I instantly relax and meditate. The crashing sound of waves, the sweet smell of a river just brings my mind to peace. When I’m stressed I resort to the water. Sail away….

 

I'm a poet so I just picture flowing with the water and where I end up is where I will be.
I’m a poet so I just picture flowing with the water and where I end up is where I will be.

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Full story coming Monday, August 25th @ 6:00 PM!

Suspended

According to Dictionary.com, suspend means
to attach so as to allow free movement.

The definition that is relevant here is to keep from falling, sinking, forming a deposit, etc., as if by hanging.

In the interest of growing and experimenting with my style, I decided to invest in a pair of suspenders. suspenders-11-5

Being raised in the church, I learned early on the value of a belt (even though at one point, Monday – Saturday, I was a Baggy Saggy Barry myself). Especially now, if I walk out of the house and forget to put on a belt, I feel like less of a man; incomplete and juvenile. I feel improper and unkempt. As if I have no type of act right and home training.

But now that I know my pants size and I refuse to go even one waste size too big, I am ready to try a different anti-sag style/method.

Hence the suspender search.

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As I am in the men’s clothing store, checking out the variety (which I found by the belts) I realized something as I looked at what seemed to be pieces of a D.I.Y parachute set; I don’t know how to put these on.

I thought about bothering one of the employees for a quick tutorial, but once I receive their assistance, I feel this moral obligation to buy something. I wasn’t sure if I was walking out with these straps yet.

Then something a little bit more unsettling came to me: I was never taught how to put these on….
90% of my hygienic habits, pride in appearance, impeccable fashion sense, even my growing self-awareness came from the influence of women. How to tie a tie, the proper color belt to wear, how to fold and wear a pocket square, what side of the street to walk on, all came from various male figures in my life. My knowledge of chivalry and etiquette is a gumbo of different dudes and old heads that have been in my life. I have a conglomerate of tips and tricks on how to be a better man from all walks of men. I have a plethora of “son do this” from everyone but one person….

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I grew up thinking my father was dead. Some years ago I learned that my father was alive and well. When I was younger, he used to be around a lot and the family loved him. Then all of a sudden, he’s somewhere in the Baltimore/Boston area; possibly with another family.

As I figured out the D.I.Y straps in the security mirror, I felt suspended; to hold or keep undetermined; refrain from forming or concluding definitely. There was no primary instructor on my male know-hows. I was robbed of having an exclusive source on gender definition. I taught myself how to shave when I was well into my twenties. My grandmother introduced me to the two barbers in my life. A deacon in my church showed me how to tie a tie. I Googled different knots. I figured out how the right watch can set off the right outfit. And at well over 25 years of age, I STILL struggle with the whole black vs. brown wardrobe conflict.

Men. If you made it, you need to be there. The only excuse for not being in your child’s life is death. Everything else, you need to work through. In this day and age of easy access to ANYTHING, children need their primary teachers/filters. That’s Mommy AND Daddy. My Grandmother did a damn good job but as you see, there were some quiet assists. I’m grateful for the men that stepped in when needed, but where was my head coach?

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So I DID end up asking a floor staff in a different menswear store about the suspenders. And I boldly took my new found knowledge to the first store because they were $2.00 less there. Now guess who has another option in is growing repertoire of style. THIS GUY. Yet another random man helping me out….

P.S. My sister randomly sent me this one day.