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Breaking the Cycle

Meeting other parents helped me gain the confidence I needed to be the best parent I could be.

Breaking the Cycle Zaina Newborn Baby Ziana

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Volunteers are an extraordinary part of PEPS - mothers & fathers deeply rooted in the PEPS community and passionate about supporting new parents.


PEPS groups bring new parents together to connect, share, learn and build critical support networks during the earliest days of parenting your new baby.

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Inspire others parents by sharing your story with PEPS!

- Zania C, PEPS mom

To give you a good impression of why PEPS means so much to me, I need to take you back in time a bit….

A few days before my daughter was born, I was arrested for a bench warrant from my teen years, and then released to Harborview Hospital, because I was so far along in my pregnancy. I became very stressed out at the hospital, and then was told that my blood pressure was too high to be discharged. They wanted to keep me, and I was transferred to Northwest Hospital. I knew I was going to be induced, and was not ready to have this baby. I was scared.

I grew up being abused. I was hit, neglected, and the unimaginable happened to me: I feared I was doomed to repeat this cycle of abuse with my own child though I knew that I did not want to. I also was aware of the lack of support I had, and had just put a restraining order on my daughter’s biological father. I knew I wasn’t able to count on him due to safety reasons. I was painfully aware of all of this, and the fact that there was no turning back.

I was in labor for over 20 hours, and finally gave birth to my beautiful, and oh so perfect baby girl, Zianah. I had hemorrhaged, and lost so much blood that they wanted to give me a transfusion, but I had refused, because I just didn’t want anymore medical help. I was just too exhausted.

Within weeks I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression. I felt like I had made a big mistake by having this baby and becoming a parent. I loved my daughter, but believed I wasn’t good enough for her. I thought I was already a failure. I strived to be perfect. I wasn’t allowed a break ever. I never let Zianah cry it out, and tried so hard to make breastfeeding work. I feared that if I didn’t do everything right she would become a failure like me.

I started a Post Partum Mood Disorder support group, and had learned from one of the ladies about PEPS. I was immediately intrigued, and decided to look them up when I went home. When I finally did look them up I signed up right away. I had intended to spend the little money I had just to meet other moms, with new babies, people who could relate to me.

You can only imagine how relieved I was when I found out that I could get a scholarship. When I went to my first PEPS Group meeting I had hoped to meet moms who were in similar situations as me, or at least meet women who I could connect with, and share the highs, and low’s of being a mom. Now - I didn’t actually meet any moms with similar situations as myself. In fact there was only one other single mom, who was actually co-parenting with the father of the baby. I feared I would not fit in at all, because of this. These women were married, and had good jobs! How would I be able to relate to these women? It turn’s out that those were not the things that connected us.

It was the babies and all of us being NEW on the job as parents! I met some wonderful mothers, fathers and babies as well. Meeting other parents helped me gain the confidence I needed to be the best parent I could be. The confidence I gained was essential to my becoming a better mother. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect mom, but there is such thing as a good mom!

The PEPS experience has helped me bond with my daughter picture, and has created so many positive memories. By being able to bring Zianah with me to the meetings we spent time learning about each other, and priceless time basking in each other’s undivided attention.

My daughter has friends that she has known since practically from birth, we have done dinner dates, walks and coffee. We’ve also talked on the phone, and now still continue to meet as a group every other Tuesday. The families I had once thought of as strangers who had no idea about the realities that I have seen, have become friends that I can share my thoughts with - whatever those thoughts may be.

Thank you, PEPS Donors for making it possible for me to join this Group by donating toward the scholarship fund. I don’t know where I’d be and how I’d parent without my special PEPS friends.

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