Mamahood Exposed: She Saved My Life

30.1.12

You fall in love, get married and have babies, and everything is perfectly arranged like that right?  Wrong, things don't ever go as we planned, but that doesn't mean things can't be amazing...

Hi, I’m Liz. I blog over at, The Blue Eyed Owl, about all things vintage, handmade and my life as mom, wife and indie business owner. Since my blog is more business centered I have yet to tell the story of my journey to motherhood with any of my readers. It was very therapeutic to write about this and I have a feeling I'll be sharing more of my life on my blog as a result. Here is my story...
My daughter saved my life.
I was quiet in high school, introverted. I had extremely low self-esteem. I had popular friends and was with that crowd, but never really in it. I tested my limits. I did everything I could to escape. I had a supportive, loving family, but I pushed them away. My parents did their best with me, but it was clear I needed to figure life out on my own. 

I was smart, in AP and honors classes, but I far from reached my potential. I “Cliff Notes'd” my way through those classes and was the Queen of BS essays. By some miracle, I managed to graduate with honors and a scholastic diploma and was accepted to every university I applied to. I chose Arizona State. It was close to home. I wanted a new beginning, but was terrified to leave my comfort zone.
I thought graduation was a fresh start. I was going to take control of my life and do something great, the new me. Enter...the boy.

The summer before I started at ASU, I was introduced to a boy who would end up being the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. He had a cool car, cool friends and was a master manipulator. I was hooked. He had never had a girlfriend before. I thought I was special. It turns out I was just the only girl who had ever fallen for his act. I was putty in his hands. 

To this day I don't understand how I stayed with someone so emotionally abusive, controlling, jealous, and terrifying. My friends tried to talk sense into me. They went to my parents and asked them to forbid me from seeing him. My parents knew better. I was 18 and I was rebelling and had blinders on when it came to this boy. They needed to stay close, so they could protect me. I cried more tears my freshman year of college than I had my whole life prior. I drowned my sorrows and escaped with alcohol and partying. I was on a fast track to nowhere. I should have been in jail or even dead. It was the darkest time in my life and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
  
In the fall of my sophomore year, I found out I was pregnant. The boy accused me of cheating and said it wasn't his. He left and went out with his friends and didn't come back for days. I was on my own.
I made a decision right there and then that I was better than this. This baby, no bigger than an apple seed, saved me. I stopped drinking and smoking and lived a healthy lifestyle. I chose a major, elementary education. I reconnected with my family and eventually moved back home. I worked full time waiting tables, went to school full time and was pregnant. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
The boy went to jail. He had been hiding several arrests from me and was gone. 

On July 15, 2004 my Bailey was born. She almost died. God still wasn't sure if I deserved her. Her heart stopped, and she was ripped from me via emergency c-section. The prayers that came from that OR and that waiting room convinced Him. This child was needed more on Earth than in Heaven. 

She was healthy and happy. I was even more determined to be good for her. After a rocky year of trying to involve the boy in her life and have a "real" family, I gave up. We had my family and his family, but he would never change. 

Bailey was raised by a village. I went back to school a month after my c-section with a handicapped parking pass and a breast pump. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and friends gave Bailey more love than any traditional family could have. It turned out she didn't only save me, but my whole family.

For 18 months I didn't even consider another relationship. It wasn't until I was okay with myself that I could even fathom it. One day I realized, I was a great person. I was proud of myself for the first time of my life. This child made me see that I deserved to be happy.

Enter...the man. I met Matt when Bailey was two. I'll spare you the details but trust me when I say he is OUR soul mate. I was so worried that Bailey would never have a "real" family. She has so much more. 
 I continue to live every day for her and my future children, but more importantly, for myself.
 My daughter saved my life.


Are you a Mama with a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton@hotail.com. 

17 thoughts:

  1. Love it! Thanks to BOTH of you for sharing this story and this series!

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  2. that was a gutsy post. Thanks for sharing. AND it is amazing the way things work out right? ;)

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  3. Beautiful story Liz... Bailey is very lucky! You have an amazing family!

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  4. That was beautiful. What a journey.

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  5. Tears! Such a sweet and amazing story... it is amazing how much we can go through and still come ot ok on the other side.

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  6. What an amazing journey, and I am so glad you have your happy ending with them. Yay Liz!

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  7. This is a beautiful story and almost made me cry. I can relate to it SO MUCH. I had my oldest son at 18 by a very abusive man. I have raised him on my own since he was born almost 11 years ago. I met the man of my dreams in high school, but we lost touch and came back into contact about a year and a half ago and it changed everything. I love him so much and we got engaged in November. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I will be visiting your blog to read more! I think we have A LOT in common.

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  8. This was so moving to read. It was also refreshing to hear such honesty in a world where fairytales rule. Thank you Liz.

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  9. Oh, mama ... tears are a'flowing. LOVE and hugs to you, my friend. Thank you for being so open and honest with your story. <3

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  10. Liz you deserve her more than anything! Your life has made you strong for many reasons & her being one of them! Great story & so glad it has a great new beginning:) hugs to you and fam!

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  11. all I can say is wow....this is amazing! so happy you found your soulmate!!!!!

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  12. Wow! What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  13. This is so sweet. Isn't it amazing what these babies can do to us? I'm pregnant with my first, he isn't even here yet and I'm already smitten!

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  14. Just found your blog & am in love! Great series (will have to submit my own story) and Great share! Sounds like you have come a long way :)

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  15. You are such an inspiration, despite the struggles you experienced in life. We can really get to meet someone who will care for us, as well as someone who will hurt us. That kind of man doesn’t deserve you and your daughter, Joanna! Just focus on loving her, because she’s a blessing and a reward for all your success. Thank you for sharing your story with us! I wish you all the best!


    Jonah Navarrete @ Florida Defense

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    1. Hi Jonah, apologies but this isn't my story. At the top it introduces Liz as a guest poster sharing her Motherhood story. This was part of a series I did that shared true stories of motherhood by strong and wonderful women. My goal was to show that motherhood comes in all different looks and is not perfect but is true and inspiring. Thank you. Liz is a wonderful woman who is an inspiration to us all indeed!

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