Memphis is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms! Each month we will feature one special mom as MMB’s mom of the month.
Meet our August Mom of the Month! Christina’s story is nothing short of incredible, so we are excited for the opportunity to share it with all of you. Check it out!
I have to start my “mom” journey with my sweet husband, Barry. We met online during his first deployment in Iraq with the Texas National Guard in December of 2004. We married 3 days after we met in person (on his 2-week leave) on August 17, 2005. Little did I know, how crazy, bumpy, and sometimes scary our life was going to be 13 years ago, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
We were so in love and ready to start a family right away! We had Hannah in March 2007, Abbi in March 2009, and Emma in June 2011. Unfortunately, I had really bad postpartum depression that got progressively worse after each baby. So bad, in fact, that I ended up leaving my husband in May 2012, which I had thought was a good decision at the time. We separated and ultimately our marriage ended in divorce. I was so unhappy with who I had become and so tired of trying to change my husband into who I thought would make me happy. This was the turning point in my life when I decided to make a change and made a commitment to follow the Lord. He changed me to be a better mom, a better person, and loved me when I felt like I was unloveable. I tried my hardest to save my marriage by myself and I failed. It wasn’t until I let go and let God do the work that Barry and I became friends again and ultimately getting remarried.
In August of 2016, our pediatrician urged us to rush our sweet Hannah to LeBonheur ER because her stomach was unusually distended. After so much testing, we were admitted and told that her liver was failing. We were in and out of LeBonheur so much between August and December, it became our second home. Further testing and medications brought us to a diagnosis of Cryptogenic Cirrhosis (which basically means that the liver is failing and they don’t know why). She got so bad that she ended up in the Pediatric ICU and they weren’t sure she would make it. We prayed. Our church family prayed. Our community prayed.
We were finally told that Hannah would be placed on the National Liver Transplant list in the middle of September. I know people wait years to receive organs from a transplant list, so I asked what other options we had in order to get her well sooner. That’s when I was informed about being a live donor. They take part of your healthy liver and transplant it into the patient with the unhealthy liver. (Did you know that the liver is the only organ we have that regenerates itself?! Amazing!) I went through all of the testing and was a match. The date was set and we were ready. Then, we received a phone call on the weekend before Halloween with the BEST news! Our doctors told us to come to the hospital right away because they found a PERFECT donor match for her. We brought her in and she had her liver transplant on Halloween. We had SO many people praying for her! She did amazing and was out of the hospital within a WEEK! God is SO good! She has been a completely new kid, running around and playing with all of her friends and family and is still doing amazing to this day. How amazing is that? She was on the National Transplant list for less than 6 weeks.
In February 2017, we found out that we were expecting another surprise! In May, we found out we were having our fourth daughter, Baylee in October 2017, what a precious blessing and sweet addition she has been! My husband left for his military training in MS on Jan. 22 and was only home for a weekend here and there until he left for El Paso, TX on March 20. I was able to visit him by myself at the beginning of June for a few days before he flew out for Kuwait. He will be gone until March/April 2019.
Through all of this crazy, bumpy, and sometimes scary life, I could not have hand-picked a better man to share it with. While it is hard a lot of times, I am blessed to say that I have some of the best friends, family, church family, and workout community for support and doing life with! “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11b-13)
MMB asked Christina…
1. What is it like being a mom of 4 while hubby is off serving our country?
CRAZY lol. Really though, it is crazy. I love my girls and I do my best to keep us busy and active at our church and school, so we are constantly around people who are so supportive, LOVE on us, and pray for us constantly. My older three are such great helpers with the baby! We love and miss Daddy SO much, but it is an honor to serve our country at home while our soldier is serving our country overseas!
2. Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself:
(1) I absolutely LOVE working out with the Fit4Mom community! (2) I absolutely LOVE music. I have played piano since I was 6 and have played piano/keys in the worship band at our church for the last 7.5 years! (3) I absolutely LOVE anything craft/art related where I get to use my creativity!
3. What is your best mom hack?
As a mom of 4, I totally take advantage of “Kids Eat Free” opportunities. Our family’s favorite is McAllister’s. Kids Eat Free Tuesdays from 4-close and all day Saturday. I get to choose a healthy meal, someone else cooks it, and did I mention kids eat free?!
4. What do you love most about Memphis?
Our huge community of family and friends! From working out at Shelby Farms to meeting up for lunch at Pyro’s, doesn’t matter where we get together to hang out or workout as long as we are together!