Fast Forward to 2010. I was 25 years old. When I went to the doctor this time the pregnancy test came back positive! I could not believe it. The doctor was so happy and excited for me as I was told I could not have children. I was over whelmed with excitement, love and an instant overwhelming feeling of needing to protect this miracle. I called my parents and they were so happy to be having a grandson or grand daughter. My only worries and fears were my current situation. You see the man lets call him Anthony (he does not deserve that title) I lived with for the past eight years at this time was useless. Why I stayed so long I finally figured out. I was meant to have my child and I was in love with the idea of being in love. Sounds stupid I know but it is what it is. It was not love at all. My parents both knew from the get go what type of person he was and I failed to listen because I was stubborn, and had my pride. The situation was also different now that I was pregnant (as well as I was meant to have my child, I just didn’t know it then). I was very good at hiding and faking that all was well in our relationship but I knew my parents knew better. We just did not speak about it. They stated what they needed to say and I continued moving forward. We both worked full time but we were always broke. Never had enough money for rent and groceries because of his spending habits. Many days and nights I cried over this situation praying it would get better. Coming home to no hot water and seeing the meter had been tagged, or tying to figure out what I could throw into the rice for nutrition was heartbreaking. Somehow though he always had money to go to Bingo with his mother or to lend her rent or gas money. That family was a whole other story and breed. They all were conniving, manipulating, liars and con artists. The mother and oldest son had utilities and lines of credit in the father’s name (the father lived far away) without him even knowing. They brainwashed the youngest daughter to only call and use her dad when she needed money. All of the children only called the father when they needed money, he was like their personal debit machine. Even though they used him they did not have one good word to say about him. It was so bad the father would call and ask to see his grandchildren and the oldest son would say “Okay, we will come and see you but you have to send me $1500.00, and pay for the gas in my truck and for the cabin to stay in at the lake.” The father would agree because he wanted to see his grandchildren. You get the picture here of what I was dealing with. As I prayed every night, I was looking for signs that things would get better. I had wonderful amazing supportive friends. A strong group of women. Although they did not know the full extent of everything just having them by my side made me stronger. One night I woke up sometime after midnight. I had to be about seven months along. I was restless so I went outside for some fresh air. I sat on the bench beside my door and just stared into the sky. I was full of worry and almost panic. I asked out loud for the Lord to give me a sign that my baby and I would be okay. I was wrapped by a giant hug of warmth. Of peace and of calm. The words that went through my head were, “It’s the calm before the storm, but you will make it through.” We fought daily and I was in tears daily. I knew in my mind I should leave but I wanted to try as he was the father (he did not deserve that title) of my baby. I went two and half weeks over due and after three inductions, seventy-two and a half hours of labour (I did not take to the epidural) my baby boy was born via emergency c-section. I had a sudden urgency to keep him protected. I did not want Anthony’s mother near him or Anthony for that matter. I released myself from the hospital after two days as I could not get any rest there (big mistake, I should have stayed the week). I was in so much pain and Anthony was useless. It was December and he couldn’t even shovel a sidewalk. I was out there with staples in my stomach shoveling. I came home to getting up every half an hour for feedings, diaper changes, housework and cooking. I finally got it in my head F@#% You, I am raising my son and doing it all for him, not for you. Things took a severe turn after my son was born. My mom and dad said it perfectly. Anthony became jealous of my son. He broke off our five-year engagement on my first Mother’s Day and posted it all over Facebook. I was not even aware of it until I started receiving phone calls from family and friends. Talk about humiliation. (I think in my mind though this was a relief as I knew I needed and wanted to leave). He was going out on dates, coming home with hickies, coming home wacked out of his mind with his pupils so dilatated all I could see was black and foaming at the mouth. I started investigating and found phone records of hours of texting and calls to his ex. This is when it got really bad, but not on my side (I won’t go into details). I started locking my bedroom door at night as I couldn’t have been bothered to see the state he would return home in late at night, while my son and I slept in my bed, me watching over my baby. Anthony would sleep downstairs. My best friend in Lethbridge would sit on the phone with me in the evenings and began witnessing these turns of events. She told me to get out and to start recording every single event with time and date. I did this and kept my book a secret (thank goodness I did as it served a greater purpose a few years later). I stayed for as long as I did so I could tell my son when he was older that I did honestly try. And in my mind, I knew that when I left it would be the right timing and I would not have any what ifs or regrets. The final straw was when my baby was asleep in my arms. I was on my bed talking to my girlfriend. Anthony was on some kind of rampage unaware I was on the phone and my girlfriend was overhearing everything. Once he realized I was on the phone he grabbed it and smashed it on the floor breaking it. He jumped up on the bed and went to punch me in the face coming down at my baby. he stopped, realizing what was happening and put his fist through the wall beside my head instead. He then walked out of the house. It was in that instant I called my dad and told him to have a trailer here the next day. There was NO WAY I would have my baby or myself in that type of environment. I was coming home. That night as my baby was asleep beside me in my arms, I had a dream. I don’t know who it was. All I heard was a voice coming from around me. It was muffled at first and I was straining to hear what it was saying. It was a woman’s voice softly saying. “You can do this, but you must do it now. You must protect my baby. You must go and never look back. I am with you.” Anthony left at 6:00am that morning. I don’t think he actually believed I would leave as he saw me as weak. He stated non of my family or friends were allowed in the duplex or on the property. A quick phone call to police changed that situation very fast. My two girlfriends were coming over to help me load my items onto my dads’ trailer at 8:00am. Well by 7:30am I had everything out onto the front lawn. I had put my baby in his car seat and with every ounce of strength I had I carried it all up and down the stairs and out to the front lawn all by myself. We had everything loaded on the trailer within forty-five minutes. I hugged and kissed my girlfriends good bye. I thanked them for everything and never looked behind me. (I thank each and everyone of you women who stood by my side and supported me. You each hold a special place in my heart). As we drove in my Lancer following my dad and the trailer, I looked up in to the sky and there was a sun dog around the sun. I knew this was my change and it was going to get harder before it got better. I felt protected though. I still felt the presence and strength from the voice I had heard in my dream. She sat with me the whole way home. I could also feel the connection between my parents and I. I felt their relief and happiness. Like a giant weight lifted off of them and I. I never shed one tear on the way home back to Millet. I reached into the back seat and held my five-month baby boy’s hand for the next six hours home. He smiled and cooed at me the whole way. I would walk through fire for him, protect him from any harm and take my last breath from him. I was his Mamma Bear and he was and is still my Baby Bear.