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#DearMama-Meet NaToya

#DearMama-Meet NaToya

This mama right here. We first bonded through our sons being in the NICU; she messaged me when I began to share DJs journey once we made it home, whereas they were still awaiting Jordans discharge. I loved seeing the ups (and praying when there were downs) for her and "Super Jordan". Sadly after 251 days in the NICU, Jordan went home to be with the Lord. Again, I could relate to T because I too know what its like to lose a baby. So today on Mothers Day I'd like to share with you guys my friend, NaToya.

How has your journey changed you?

I've always heard that having a baby will change you. As a first time mom, I had no idea what to expect, but I was ready for the challenge...or so I thought. Having Jordan at 25 weeks changed my entire perspective on life. Both my husband and I grew tremendously during our 8 month NICU stay. Our marriage was strengthened, because we truly had to lean and depend on each other. We had to be strong, for each other and for Jordan.
Personally, Jordan's Journey taught me a lot about myself. I am detail oriented and I always follow a schedule. I need a plan!! Well, obviously God had other plans and I had to go along for the ride. I had absolutely no control over when I could hold my son, when I could change my son's diaper ...so many things we would normally take for granted. I now know the true meaning of "taking it one day at a time".

Best memory of Jordan

Goodness I have so many! March 8, 2016. After 15 days of looking at my son through an incubator, I was finally allowed to hold him. I have soooo many memories that I would love to share. Jordan was so full of personality and my wish is that I could share him with the world. He never let his condition define him and that makes me most proud.

Jordans first and only time breastfeeding. NaToyas other best memory💙

Jordans first and only time breastfeeding. NaToyas other best memory💙

Words of encouragement for mamas on a similar journey

Take it one day at a time. No one could have prepared me for the NICU life. It's okay to not be okay. Everyone will say that you should be strong for your child, but you do not always have to be strong...you're a mamaand you hurt for your child. It's perfectly fine (and healthy) to express your feelings. Journal, talk to someone, do whatever you need to do to preserve your mental health.

Our NICU journey felt like a storm, but now we are truly in the eye of the tornado. Living without Jordan is by far, the hardest thing I've ever had to do. If you are in the storm, hold on. Know that each baby is different and our journeys are unique.

Although it's hard, try not to compare. Know that whatever you feel is okay. However you feel is okay. It sucks....it does. But I also know that God is still good and He is still in control.

First bath and clothes on Mothers Day last year.

First bath and clothes on Mothers Day last year.

Thank you Toya for allowing me to help you share such a special part of you. I was thinking of some way to wrap this up and I came across a quote that couldn't have fit better,

‘Am I still a mother, as I have no child with me’, My reply is this, ‘If you have held a child in your womb you are a mother, and I can think of no one who deserves that accolade more, than those who have had to give their child back’.
— Zoe Clark-Coates

Instagram @natoyasanders

Happy Mothers Day 💙

#DearMama-Meet Salina

#DearMama-Meet Salina

#DearMama-Meet Gianna

#DearMama-Meet Gianna