I haven’t written in a while but for good reason…we welcomed my daughter, Ava Marie, on June 7th, 2015. She is my heart and pride and joy!

I have never before experienced this type of perfect love: motherhood. She makes me strive to be a better person each day.

I have taken the last three months to soak in every second with her. I’m not a person who slows down, who says no, but the minute you have your baby everything changes.

I sing to her, read her books and just talk with her. She is precious, fragile and she’s mine.

I immediately want to protect her, guide her and teach her right from wrong. I want her to be safe. I’m sure these are all things my mother wished for me. And now I feel the pain my mother must have felt when I told her I was in an abusive relationship.

I look down at my precious baby girl and I want to shield her from any pain but I also know I have to trust her and let her be her own person. I will guide her and I will share with her my past in hopes she does not follow that portion of my life. I will assure her I will always be here for her. I will make sure her daddy knows to constantly tell her he’s proud of her, to let her know she’s worthy and should never be treated unfairly.

I’m so thankful she has the father she does. I’m so thankful I never got pregnant with my abuser. I’m so thankful I can show my daughter what a healthy relationship looks like.

I wish I could place a bubble over my daughter to assure she would never be hurt but I know I can’t do that so instead I will do my best to guide her to make good choices and stand up for herself and to always remember she is a strong woman.

Felicia Cortez