Tiny Raisheda Angus has a giant heart. She drives neighbors to doctor visits and opens her home to folks down on their luck. She loves children most of all.
Raisheda had her first child when she was 16 years old. Now 27, her seven living children range in age from 3 weeks to 11 years. Four of her children were born preterm:
- Akilah died of sudden infant death syndrome
- Nevaeh returned to the hospital with breathing problems and was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three weeks.
- Ashawn has behavioral problems
- Newborn Tah’Jai spent three days in the NICU
Raisheda learned about Safe Spacing and enrolled in the program after Tah’Jai was born. “Most of my children were born less than 18 months apart,” says Raisheda. “I wish I had known about safe spacing before. I didn’t know my body needed to heal.”
Raisheda thinks birth spacing also makes sense as a way to bond with her children. Her second youngest child, song Ja’Mine, is barely one year old. When she was pregnant with Tah’Jai, she couldn’t care for Ja’Mine when she had to be on bed rest, so he went to live with her mother.
Back home now that the new baby has arrived, “Ja’Mine doesn’t understand that I have to take care of Tah’Jai, that Tah’Jai is the baby now. It’s stressful.”
Raisheda wants one more child but plans to wait at least two years before getting pregnant again.