Heartbreak Leads To Clean Life
April 6th. That was the day that changed Melissa’s life—the day she delivered her 1-pound baby boy at only four months pregnant.
“He was just so small,” said Melissa, through tears. “I was still doing drugs. I wasn’t taking care of my body. That’s why it happened.”
The months after her baby’s death were dark for Melissa. But when she found out she was pregnant again, she quit drugs cold turkey.
“I had promised myself that if I ever get pregnant again, I was not going to be selfish again,” she said. “I stopped doing drugs. I cut off everyone (bad) in my life. I’ve been attending church and I go to some NA meetings … God gave me another chance to be a mommy again. So I’m doing things the right way.”
Melissa signed up for a paid community volunteer program and the Central Coast Super Thrift Store chose her to work with them. “I really like the thrift store. My clothes are from the thrift store. You just find so much cool stuff. I (can’t believe) some of the stuff people donate—they are like brand new or in good condition. When I was placed here, I told the guy helping me at the program, ‘Oh my gosh, my dream job!’ He didn’t believe me, but it is!”
Melissa, 27, grew up in Santa Maria to drug-addicted parents who eventually became Christians and quit using. After graduating high school, Melissa got pregnant with her now 8-year-old daughter of whom she has shared custody. She used drugs for years and tried a recovery home, but did not complete the six-month program. She couldn’t kick her habit, even when she got pregnant last year, leading to the early birth and death, of her child.
“It was so bad,” Melissa said. “For my mom, it would’ve been her first grandson. When I delivered, the doctor said, ‘You were going to have a baby boy.’ My mom just fell to her knees. She only has daughters and all of her daughters only have daughters. This would’ve been the first boy.”
The baby growing inside of her now gives her strength to be a better person. Melissa attributes much of her renewed focus to her time at the thrift store where she is busy with work that matters, is surrounded by positivity, and where God’s love is evident. Melissa’s boyfriend, who is also clean and sober, is a big part of her support system, as is her family, including the grandparents she lives with.
“The job is going great, sobriety is going great. My relationship and my pregnancy are going great,” Melissa said. “I’m just so blessed that God gave us a second chance to be parents again. I’m on top of the world right now.”