MS. REBECCA SHEIR
The woman we're going to hear from next never thought she'd have to think about balancing work and parenting. Twanda Washington was in her early 40s. She was focused on her career as a high-powered regional sales manager for AT&T, and then, all of a sudden, there she was with a positive pregnancy test. Just shy of 9 months later, Emily Berman met Twanda, who recorded this radio diary, as she experienced her first few weeks with her brand new son.
MS. TWANDA WASHINGTON
If you would have told me that I would be having a baby, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I had accepted the fact that I was 40 years old and would not be a mother.
MS. TWANDA WASHINGTON
Today is April 16, the day before I go into the hospital to give birth to Patrick Ramone Amos, Junior. I'm here with my fiance Patrick Amos, Senior. We're having our first child together, but you are not a first-time parent.
MR. PATRICK AMOS
So I have two sons from my first marriage. Both are college students. I never thought that I would start over again, at least not in that way. I feel blessed to be his father.
That's why I love you. My family flew in from Chicago. So we had a total of six people supporting us. This is Pat's mom and his aunt Emma. My dad and my mom actually drove up from Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1
We had made up in our minds early on, whatever it took, a second mortgage or whatever, if we had to sell off the family values, we were gonna make this trip.
So here's the baby's room. He has so much stuff. He's so blessed. The night before the actual delivery, my father called everyone in the room and he just said, we are going to pray. We all grab hands and he said a really, really nice prayer that P.J. would be healthy, I would have a great delivery, I will have a speedy recovery. He prayed that we would definitely have the support we need and help raising P.J. And he really just asked God to watch over his life.
Hey, this is Mikey. I'm Twanda's little brother. All right. So we're just sitting in the waiting room, just waiting right now. As the door keeps opening and closing, we keep watching and -- nope, that's not him.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1
Oh, my God, he is gorgeous.
So everybody meets us back in the labor and delivery suite.
Hey, mom, skooch over, let me see.
Talking about how much he looks just like his father.
And I could not stop staring at him. It was like, you know, here you've never met this person and you have so much love for them immediately. You just fall in love.
Today P.J. is 13 days old. I have survived two weeks of being a mother. My house is upside down. My kitchen has baby bottles everywhere. He is not even eight pounds and he has taken over my entire house. He is actually holding his bottle. He's done that twice already. I'm like, wait a minute, what five-day-old baby holds their own bottle? So I'm like, okay, slow down because there will not be another baby coming after you. So you don't have to really develop too quickly there.
Good morning. I'm sitting here with P.J. about 3:30 in the morning and I just had my first diaper explosion, minus the diaper. As I was changing him, next thing I know a green volcano erupted and it went about five feet across the room. And I dodged it, like, oh.
It's amazing. I heard about it, but I never experienced it. And I just got my first poop.
He softened my heart so much. You know, you want to give this little person the world and protect them. Well, I'm starting to learn him. He's starting to learn me. It's been a great trip so far.
That was Twanda Washington of Upper Marlboro, Md., and her newborn son, P.J. Her story was produced by Emily Berman.
Time for a break, but when we get back, the toll bullying can take on a mother and her child.
My children sometimes don't want to go to school because of it.
And how autism can change a mother's approach to parenting.
MS. KATHERINE WALKER
They had to grow up a lot faster than children who don't deal with a disability in the family.
That and more in just a minute on "Metro Connection," here on WAMU 88.5.
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