You always see the newspaper articles, social media posts, or hear the stories about the mother or father who lost their child. You think about how devastating it must feel, how horrible the situation must be, and then you go on with your day to day life. You think to yourself “I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me.”
And that’s just it. You DON’T know if that would ever happen to you. You don’t know until it happens to you. And when it does. It feels like the world is caving in on you and as cliché as this may sound, it truly does feel as if your whole world is ending. This is the story of a mother who had already endured and surpassed trials and tribulations. A mother who wanted a child so badly that her heart ached for something more. This is the story of Dominic Gabriel DeLeon's mother.
I remember the night I prayed in April. I was in a happy relationship with my then-fiancée (married for a year now) and we were living together--my world was content. I felt as if the only thing was missing was a beautiful child to love on. And that’s when I prayed. I remember saying to our Lord:
“God, I’m ready. I am finally ready for a child. I know I had said over and over again before that I would NEVER want a child. But after this past few years of healing, I cannot think of anything more fulfilling than being a mother. If you give me a child, I will have the motivation I need to get my life together. If you give me a child, I will try and be the best possible person for that child. I will love that child endlessly and teach them all the things I wish someone had taught me growing up. I will protect that child from any harm and teach them right from wrong. Lord, please give me a child. I know I can be a great mother, if you allow it.”
I remember thinking about this prayer day in and day out, and continuously praying for a child. My husband was very hesitant at first and was afraid that he wasn’t “ready.” A few Sundays later, we went to church, and funny enough, there was a sermon about trusting God as we move forward in life and not being afraid of the “big life changes.” Our pastor, Levi Lusko of FreshLife Ministry spoke about how often, men will be terrified to take that step towards becoming a father. And how nobody really gets a manual on how to be a parent, which is absolutely terrifying. I mean, you’re bringing a whole human being into this world and you’re responsible for not only keeping them alive but teaching them how to function in this crazy world of ours. How to take care of themselves, how to be decent, kind and respectful, how to strive to always be the best version of themselves, to always love others and never judge and criticize their peers. I looked over at Carmelo and said “see, you can never be (air quote) ready”
“God, I’m ready. I am finally ready for a child... If you give me a child, I will try and be the best possible person for that child.
Fast forwarding to July 4th weekend of 2019, I began feeling different. The smell of alcohol made me want to vomit, I was exhausted all the time, but my menstrual cycle was only a day late so I didn't think much of it. When I told my cousin my symptoms when she visited us in Kalispell, Montana, she looked at me with a smile and said “dude you are so pregnant.” I remember laughing so hard while we standing in the sauce aisle at our local grocery store, looking for ingredients to make spaghetti. I thought “no way I’m pregnant, I’m probably just getting sick.”
I humored her and grabbed a box of two pregnancy tests to take in the store restroom. I began to laugh at myself as I took the pregnancy tests back to back. And my laughter quickly turned into disbelief as I saw the sticks turn into a quick positive. OH MY GOSH, I’M REALLY PREGNANT!! I rushed out the restroom and met my cousin outside and showed her the very positive pregnancy tests. She began to cry and screamed out “I knew it!!!”
That day was absolutely amazing. We were already having my parents over for dinner and I called my mom and told her to rush over to our place as soon as possible. As we got to our apartment, Crystal, my cousin, wrapped the pregnancy tests in a little pouch she had and said that she was going to tell Carmelo that “it was a gift for being such a great husband to me.”
Then we all gathered into the kitchen and announced that Crystal had a very special gift for Carmelo. As Carmelo unwrapped the gift, he saw the pregnancy tests. He starred at them and asked, “what is this?” I laughed and responded, “they’re positive pregnancy tests, I’m pregnant.” He began laughing and expressed his disbelief and then quickly began crying and hugged me.
I remember that day so vividly. It was the day my whole life changed. I was pregnant with the absolutely most beautiful child. Althoughe I had no idea what a rollercoaster ride was to come, I knew I was going to love this child with everything I had. I knew I had to make MAJOR changes in my life and making a better life for the little family we were already creating. I could have never possibly imagined that a year later, I would be sitting at Colorado Children’s Hospital, at my son’s bedside, waiting for a miracle.
On a positive note, this is the recording of when we presented the positive pregnancy tests to Carmelo: