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and the Moms Who Live Here

ETMB’s Mom of the Month | East Texas Moms Blog

mom of monthEast Texas Moms Blog is taking some time in 2018 to shine the spotlight on some moms in our East Texas community. We hope these stories continue to shine a light so bright, that it brings us together and let’s us know we are not alone in this journey!

Meet Rebecca and hear her tell her story of motherhood.

The title “mom” has changed me in ways I never imagined when I was that little girl
dreaming of being a mother, rocking my babies to sleep and feeding them bits of cereal
and singing silly songs like we all used to watch in the Cheerios commercials.
Motherhood has taught me persistence, faithfulness, and to look for purpose instead of

My story of becoming a mother starts a little differently than I expected. But it has taken me on a journey that has completely transformed my heart.

The second they laid Gavin, my 15 year old son, on my chest after he was born, I began
looking that boy over from head to toes like we all do. Inspecting every little part of him.
Things were normal, the doctor and nurses were doing their thing and my husband and
I were oohing and ahhing over Gavin. His little pug nose, his sweet little lips….

And then I saw it.

His left hand wasn’t right. Where there were supposed to be fingers
were only little nubs.

birth defectsI immediately asked the nurse that was standing over me “What is wrong with his hand?”
Full of panic. I was devastated and in shock. I saw the look that transferred between
Eric and the nurse as she whisked him away.

After that, things get a little fuzzy for me. Eric and the nurses were under the lamp
looking him over, calling a lot of extra people into the room. I do remember my doctor
starting to spill out a lot of statistics to me about babies with birth defects and, as
strange as it sounds, I found comfort in that.

As I lay there confused and crying, Gavin’s life flashed before my eyes. Panicky
thoughts and questions ran through my mind. Would he get picked on at school? Who
would be his friends and accept him? Who would he marry? How would he wear a
wedding ring?

Needless to say, I was a mess the rest of that day and into the beginning of the next.
Feelings of fear, overwhelmed, anger, and an overwhelming amount of love for this new
baby swirled inside of me. It was a jumbled up mix of emotions, thoughts, cries and
everything you can imagine in between.

But then, little by little, different “angels” started to show up and calm my scared momma heart.

The “Angels”

My favorite “angels” were an older gentleman and his beautiful granddaughter, Melissa.
I will be honest here, I can’t for the life of me remember his name but hers is forever
imprinted on my mind and heart.

The grandfather walked into our hospital room the afternoon after Gavin was born and
asked to speak to “the mom of the baby with the hand.”

Can I just stop and tell you that at that very moment when someone asked who was Gavin’s mom for the first time, my heart was overcome with pride. That baby is mine. That was my first glimpse into the
strength that I had been given to be his mom. Everything he needed me to be for him, I
knew, in that moment, that I had it in me to be just that.

From there the grandfather started telling me the story of his granddaughter. You see,
his granddaughter had been born with a hand very similar to Gavin’s. He started
rambling off stories of her childhood and adult life. The fact that she had just graduated
from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Engineering. That she had played
on the golf team and had driven a bus as her job during college.

All the things that this very fearful momma needed to hear. The things that gave me a
glimpse into what Gavin’s future could and would be. To top this amazing story off, not
only did that wonderful gentleman share his granddaughter’s story with us, but Melissa
came to visit us that evening in the hospital. All the way from downtown Houston. If you
have ever traveled in Houston or lived there, then you know that traveling from
downtown Houston during rush hour to North Houston isn’t a hop, skip and a jump. She
traveled upwards of two hours to see us that evening.

As she held Gavin in her arms, looking into his sweet face and telling him that he was going
to do amazing things in this world, tears streamed down my face. I thanked God for
my little boy and for making me his mom. And for these people that were willing to get
uncomfortable to give us a glimpse into the possibilities when we could only see the

From here, the story continues to unfold. Gavin had two “toe to hand transfers” by the
time he was three at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Los Angeles, CA. That simply
means that eight doctors spent 10 hours taking one toe from Gavin’s foot and attaching
it to his hand to give him a finger. The purpose would be that he have two fingers that
would give him a pinch, which would raise the function of his hand from zero to 75%. I am
happy to say that both surgeries were successful and Gavin has a functioning two
fingers on his left hand. As I said, the miracles just kept coming.

That little baby boy that they laid on my chest that evening 15 years ago is now a
thriving teenager. He plays football, basketball, runs track (y’all, that boy can run!) and
has an endless amount of friends. He is compassionate, generous, loving and most of
all confident and strong.

birth defectsGavin’s story is far from over. And my story as his mom is still developing as well. Being
his mom has taught me that we are only limited by our beliefs about ourselves. What we
truly believe about what we can do in this world is the only limit for us. As I watch Gavin
thrive I see glimpses of the man that he is becoming. His impact in this world will spread
far and wide. His left hand isn’t his limit, it is his show of his limitlessness.

Watch out world, nothing can stop this kid! Especially not a few missing fingers.


Rebecca is a proud momma of two boys, Gavin and Gage, and is married to her college sweetheart. She is a life and business coach that strives to empower women to live their life on purpose filled with intention and authenticity. Rebecca is also pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling and has dreams of serving the women and teenage girls of East Texas. Her day doesn’t get started until she smells the coffee pot brewing, she reads books like her life depends on it (and sometimes she thinks it does), she has been accused by her children of loving her two pups as much as them, and she runs a lot of miles to hold on to her sanity. Feel free to connect with Rebecca at

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