My relationship with MOMS Orange County began in 2009 when my husband, Ricardo, and I were pregnant with our daughter, Allison.

Our Home Visitor worked with us to prepare for Allison’s arrival; helping me find resources for basic needs to be sure I was healthy during my pregnancy. Once Allison was born, I attended Mommy & Me classes. It was more than worth the one-hour bus ride each way. Seeing Allison reach her development milestones ahead of schedule and spending time with the other mothers and babies was so important to me.

So when I became pregnant with my son Richy three years later, I knew I had to invite MOMS into my home and life once again. Thank goodness I did! There was still so much more to learn — and with Allison now in her “terrible twos,” I welcomed my Home Visitor’s offer to help Allison adjust to my pregnancy. After Richy was born, my husband Ricardo and I both participated in Mommy, Daddy & Me classes, where we learned to encourage Richy’s development with play, infant massage and art. Ricardo got to meet other men and really enjoyed the classes with them.

I again found a strong circle of support, helping me feel less alone and more empowered as a mom. Usually a shy person, I found myself a leader in the Mommy & Me group and able to be a resource to other moms who had the same concerns I did when I first began my motherhood journey.

Thanks to MOMS Orange County, I have confidence and the skills I need to raise my children — and I’m proud to share my experiences and help parents participate more fully in their children’s lives.