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Baby daughter changes young mom's head and heart

May 14, 2001|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer
  • Julieta Moreno (above), 26, of El Centro snuggles her nearly 4-week-old daughter, Rebecca Alexis Moreno. CUAUHTEMOC BELTRAN PHOTO

More than three weeks ago, Rebecca Alexis Moreno was ushered into the world, the first child of proud parents Julieta and Ruben Moreno of El Centro.

Equally important, Rebecca's birth immediately granted 26-year-old Julieta admittance into an exclusive club, a club being honored today throughout the United States and a club that was honored all over Mexico and the Imperial Valley on Thursday, which was Mexican Mother's Day. Mother's Day in this country is today.

OK, motherhood may not exactly constitute club membership, but with the life-changing experiences to which Julieta has been privy since the April 18 birth of Rebecca, she makes a good case.

A driven counselor for the Imperial County Behavioral Health Services who's just weeks away from obtaining her master's degree in school counseling from the University of Redlands, she said Rebecca has altered her in so many ways.

"It changes your head and your heart. I really feel that before (I was pregnant) I would think about school and work, more about myself," she said. "Now, I'm always thinking about her. She's always in my mind.


"The thing that's amazing is the enormous love that I feel for one little person," Moreno added.

Even while pregnant, reading baby books and attending different birthing or parenting classes, Moreno didn't fully know what to expect.

"I've read all the books and gone to all the classes, but actually going through it and raising a child, it's hard to explain," she said.

Granted, Julieta hasn't been a mom quite a month but says she understands where her parents were coming from.

"Motherhood has given me an appreciation of my grandmother and mom. I've had strong women in my family and now I can pass that on to my daughter," she said.

"When I think of motherhood I think of my mom. I think of how I was raised. I think of how much I'm going to teach my daughter; morals, her own education," Julieta said. "And I think about how much mom has done for me and now it's my turn to do that for my daughter."

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