Jo-Anne Gauthier is a self-advocate that lives in Cranbrook. She is on the BC Self Advocacy Foundation Board of Directors and the board of People First in Cranbrook. 

 

Jo-Anne GauthierHello, my name is Jo-Anne. I am a wife and a mother of 2 from Cranbrook BC. I would like to tell you my story about being a mom. It was definitely easier said than done. My husband Mike and I just bought our first house when we found out we were pregnant with our first child.

Mike and I, along with our Doctor, were very happy our dreams of starting a family were coming true, but others in our life had other feelings about our pregnancy. When we announced it to other people, we received comments such as, “Oh no, you’re not going keep it are you?!” and “Are you going have someone come into your home and help you?”

We also got alot of questions asking what we would do if something happened to the baby. We discussed it with our Doctor and decided we would deal with it when and if the time comes. When we received any of the comments, all i could say was, “Would you give up on your baby?” I knew the answer would be no. When we become pregnant people still did not believe we were capable.

As our two girls grew up this got harder instead of easier. People started to report untrue statements to social services to try and have our kids taken away from us. But with our doctor at our side our kids never left our care.

Our girls are now 20 and 24 and our doing phenomenal things that make us extremely proud. I am so glad I didn’t listen to the negative comments from other people. My kids are the greatest gift of my life. So no matter your situation or what people tell you don’t give up on your dreams.