Emily Vanderheyden – Entering Motherhood, The Next Chapter

You da mom!


Paula Le, Reporter

The idea of having children, frightening for some and exciting for others. Emily Vanderheyden, Senior Class of 2021, recently gave birth to a beautiful child back in April 2021. Entering motherhood for Emily has been hands down one of the best turn of events, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Initially, Emily did not believe she was pregnant back in 2020. Her fiance at the time, now her husband, instinctively knew before she did. He kept telling Emily that she was, but she denied it. She even took a test that said negative. The course of events changed, however. “I took one a couple of weeks later and it was positive.” She expressed that she was excited, nervous, and scared altogether. The thought of balancing school and her being pregnant was hard; however, she was able to overcome it.

The months leading up to the birth of Emily’s child were, in simple terms, difficult. Her husband was away, in the military.  “My emotions were all over the place. My husband was away and every little thing would get to me.” Like any expecting mother, she had morning sickness and didn’t eat a lot. If you know anything about morning sickness, it may cause nausea and vomiting not only in the morning, but throughout the day. Additionally, Emily revealed that she had support throughout her pregnancy, but for the most part, had to go through it by herself because of COVID. “I couldn’t have anyone come with me to my appointments or anything. When I gave birth I could only have one person with me.”

There is always a prediction of the gender of a newborn. Will it be a boy or a girl? Who’s right and who’s wrong? Emily commented that she and her husband thought their child was going to be a boy. “My husband kept saying it’s a boy. At first, I said no but then I was convinced it was a boy. We had a gender reveal and it was a girl.”

During the nine-month duration, she often craved Olive Garden and cheese, and around the time of her due date, looked forward to eating crushed ice. One thing Emily misses after giving birth is her daughter’s kicking.

Emily never expected to be a mother at such a young age. “The most rewarding thing [about being a mom] is showing my daughter and I that through all this, I’m graduating. If I can do this, then I can do anything, whether it’s easy or hard.”

Teenage pregnancy can be a scary thought for many girls, notably those who are single moms. “It is scary, but I would say just enjoy every moment. It’s not as scary as people make it out to be. I would say just stay positive and keep yourself busy. Having a positive outlook makes things a whole lot easier.”

If her daughter is reading this from the future, a word of advice Emily would like to tell you would be, “It doesn’t matter what people think. Make the most out of life.”

Congratulations Emily! The Paper Cut family wishes you and your family the best.