By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Ed.D.
“I prayed for those babies for 16 years,” Demeteria Ford stated as she reflected on her journey to motherhood. For as long as she could remember, Ford always wanted to be a mother. However, getting to motherhood was not easy.
At the age of 19, she had a tubal pregnancy which caused some damage to her female organs, and made it hard for her to conceive years after. She also suffered from endometriosis and was pained with “surgeries every year to get rid of it.” No matter what obstacles she faced, she was determined to be a mother. “I prayed, kept the faith, and kept it moving.”
At the age of 30, Ford adopted a little girl and loved her like she gave birth to her. With this love, she still wanted the full experience of being a mother and feeling the baby grow inside of her.. “That was such a dream of mine because I wanted to be so much like my mother.”
At the age of 35, she started In vitro fertilization (IVF). There were three possible embryos that could work, so Ford and her husband agreed to use all three. It was a “painful process” for Ford as she had to take injections and do many other things for this process.
After going through this first round of IVF in 2003, they received a call with devastating news when the doctor told them “you’re not pregnant.” Ready to give up, Ford cried, and even became angry at God. “I was depressed for days and weeks, “ she reflected. With everything she was feeling, she was determined to keep the faith.
With hope, they decided to try again, and this time, she had a lot of strong eggs to work with. The doctor told them she could put one of the embryos in or three. Knowing that this could be her only chance again, she said, “please put them all in.” Ten days later, they received the call that they were pregnant.
The tears started falling as she thanked God for all three of her blessings. She was pregnant with triplets. “It didn’t seem real. I had to pinch myself until I saw them on the monitor of the screen, and then I heard their little heartbeats, and it was just pure love ever since. I vowed to do anything and everything to take care of those babies because I knew I prayed for them and God blessed me with them.”
Although she was happy and excited about her babies, her pregnancy was stressful and hard. She was hospitalized the majority of the time, couldn’t hold any food down, was bed ridden and depressed. “I just prayed and was crying all the time, and stressed out.”
At 29 weeks, on August 28, 2004, Ford gave birth to her blessings, two girls and one boy, and her life changed forever. Because they were born prematurely, there were new challenges that she and her babies had to face as two of them were born with a hole in their heart. Medication was able to repair the heart of one of the babies, but the other one had to have surgery at one day old. She also couldn’t see her babies right away after giving birth. It wasn’t until a few days later that she was able to meet them. Her babies spent a lot of time in NICU, and even though she herself was recovering, when she could, she managed to see them everyday, pumped breast milk for them, and would spend time with them, bonding with each of them the best she could. “I went from one incubator to the next one,” she stated.
“It was a beautiful thing. I loved it. It was tiring, but I knew I had to do what I had to do, and they deserved it all.” The babies were able to come home after two months, and caring for “three babies, with three different personalities, and three different needs,” from a toddler, to school age, and now as they are about to graduate from high school, wasn’t easy. It was very challenging but rewarding, and it made me feel good like I was just really doing what I was supposed to do,” she said.
Recently, she was troubled with other challenges such as getting sick with COVID, watching her mother become ill with COVID, and then losing her mother and going through a divorce at the same time. She was her mother’s caretaker and she always looked up to her. She took care of her until the day she passed and “it was the hardest day of my life,” she said. Ford even went into a deep depression, but she knew she had to pull it together not only for her children but because her mom would want her to be okay. Growing up, she watched her mother work hard taking care of her and her four siblings, and that always meant something to Ford. “The way my mom cared for me, I took all of that and put it right into my children.”
She is still grieving her mother and since it is mother’s day, it makes it even harder. In addition, she was also diagnosed three years ago with rheumatoid arthritis. She has good days and bad days, and days where she can’t even open her hand. With all of this, Ford still puts her trust in God and keeps the faith.
Ford has done her very best taking care of her children, making sure they have everything they need, taking them to their activities, helping them with school, and so much more. Her children are now graduating this month from Hightower High School and she couldn’t be more proud. Her daughter Anise Ford is graduating with honors and will be attending the University of Houston to major in sign language and minor in theater. Her son Jeremiah Ford is undecided but he knows he wants to pursue a modeling career. Amber Ford has aspirations to attend Texas Southern University for graphic design and would like to pursue modeling as well.
The advice that Ford has for those women who are struggling to get pregnant is to “put your faith in God. It may not come when you want it, but it’s always on time. Give it to God, pray about it, and just watch it manifest.”
It is not easy being a mother, but it is very “rewarding.” There are a lot of sacrifices that come with motherhood, but it is a joy to be able to watch your children grow. Ford closed with, “I put myself on the back burner for 18 years, but it’s okay now …because it’s the biggest gift anybody could give me.”