Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Perchable Spotlight: Stay-at-Home Single Mom

Stay at home single mom...I had never heard that phrase before I met this inspiring woman, Jessica Moore.  She gave her testimony at church a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about the amazing sacrifices she has made for her son. I stopped her on her way out of the sanctuary to ask if I could share her story with you.  I told her she needed to be recognized for the mother she is to her son, Jlynn, and tears welled up in her eyes.  I write this as a gift to this incredible, Perchable mom.

Jessica's son Jlynn was born two weeks past his due date and they both struggled through a rough delivery.  He was having difficulty nursing and had severe jaundice due to the lack of fluids.  She was sent home with a light that Jlynn was to lie on and she says, "It was so awful to hear him scream while I gave him the light treatments.  No one likes to hear their baby cry."

She really wanted to nurse and she continually met with a lactation consultant to get the correct latch then supplemented with formula.  At his one month check-up, he was still at his birth weight.  Yet another lactation consultant came in to watch her feed him.  She also asked Jessica to bottle feed so that she could watch how he was sucking the bottle.  After ten minutes, Jlynn had barely managed to drink an ounce.

By the grace of God, this consultant's daughter had just completed a speech therapy program and she knew a bit about facial muscle tone problems.  She referred Jessica and Jlynn to an infant feeding specialist and pulled strings to have Jlynn seen before the weekend.  The specialist determined that he didn't have any muscle tone in his face or his tongue therefore he could not suck or swallow anything properly.  When I asked her how she felt when she heard the diagnosis, she said, "I was overwhelmed but relieved I had an answer.  I just wanted to get my baby better."

Rather than go back to her job at Progressive, Jessica decided that it was much more important to be with her son.  He had a long road ahead filled with doctor visits and therapy sessions and a traditional job would not be supportive of that schedule.  She looked at www.wahm.com, a work at home mom resource site, to find reputable companies and did everything from selling newspapers to customer service.  She worked when he slept and says that, "Somehow, God always showed me the way to pay the bills."

Jylnn's therapy uncovered sensory issues, additional muscle control issues and the beginning signs of autism.  Jessica attacked his therapy with a dogged determination and, because of her early intervention, Jlynn was released from his intensive therapy regimen by 2 1/2.  

Jessica realized through this process that she wanted to make a difference in many children's lives.  She has been working for the past two years to obtain her teaching degree and began substitute teaching this fall.  Her schedule aligns with Jlynn's so that she can maximize her time with him.  He still needs therapy as issues arise, but Jessica isn't afraid to fight for him.  "I pray that he grows up to be a well adjusted Godly child that does things for God's glory."  I have faith that she is already leading him on that path by being a wonderful example.

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