gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 87

Amanda Anderson Amanda and Sophia Anderson Amanda's journey to motherhood was a diffi cult and challenging one, fraught with fear and the need to make the type of decision that every new mother hopes they will not ever have to make. She shares her story in hopes that mothers facing similar challenges will not feel alone. Amanda and her husband Mark set out to start their family, thinking that it would take some time to get pregnant. One month later they were expecting twins. Their joy turned bitter sweet when at 13 weeks gestation, they were told that the amniotic sac around one of the twins had ruptured. They were given the option to terminate the pregnancy but decided not to. At 20 weeks, Amanda was placed on bedrest at home. At 24 weeks, when the hospital deemed the babies possibly viable, she entered the hospital where she could be monitored for the rest of the pregnancy. Sophia and Emily were born at 27 weeks and 3 days. Sophia was 2 pounds, 6 ounces and responded nicely to the CPAP machine. Emily was just 1 pound, 9 ounces and her lungs and other organs had not developed past the 12 week gestation point. Amanda and Mark were told that she was extremely under developed and would not survive even through mechanical means. The heartbreak of losing Emily was overwhelming but the couple knew they had to cope as they needed to be there for Sophia, who had months of treatment in front of her. Today, Sophia "is a pretty easy baby,” notes Amanda as she cuddled Sophia. Through tears, Amanda kissed Sophia and said she would not change the course of their decisions. "If I had, I wouldn't have this sweet little girl,” she said. Amber De Leon Amber is the mother of a young boy, Ethan (6) and a toddler, Lucas, soon to be two. Ethan has just entered preschool and is demonstrating a strong sense of independence and self-reliance that she finds both delightful and a little disconcerting. Lucus, on the other had is a precocious active pre "terrible-two's” boy full of independence and desire to have his own way. "He wants what he wants when he wants it,” notes Amber. In comparing her two boys, she recalls that Ethan was not as independent at that age and believes it might have been partly due to her being a stay-at-home mom at the time and having more time to spend with him than she does with Lucas. Today, she works full-time at U.S. Bank in Gilroy and has a trusted babysitter that she feels is like their "second mom.” She notes that balancing home and work during the week can be very stressful but on the weekends, she allows herself to let go and concentrate on the boys. When asked about her thoughts of motherhood, she shared "It's someone else that is the most important thing to you. Their well-being is important; to help them to succeed.” At the end of the day, Amber says she is looking forward to her second exposure to the "terrible two's” and that every new thing Lucus and Ethan do adds so much joy to her life. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Lucus, Ethan and Amber DeLeon APRIL/MAY 2018 87