The Howards planned to try for baby number two after their son Langston’s second birthday. But then, Jacqueline was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. After extensive chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, the parents were thrilled to learn they were expecting – nearly five years after they’d first planned. Zora Joy brings joy indeed to this family.
Baby name background: I am a huge fan of literature from the Harlem Renaissance. My son is named after one of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes, and my daughter is named after my favorite writer, Zora Neale Hurston. I selected Joy as a middle name because of my cancer journey. She is the answer to countless prayers.
Favorite maternity clothes store: I primarily shopped online and was able to find great clothes for work at Nordstrom and Top Shop and weekend ensembles at ASOS.com.
Pregnancy cravings: Frozen yogurt! With lots of fresh fruit.
Labor and delivery experience: (It was) harder than expected. After more than 24 hours of labor, I had a C-section and later developed an infection. Thankfully my husband, family and friends have been very helpful.
Hardest part of being a new parent: Not sleeping. Zora sleeps most of the day and is awake at night.
Best part of being a new parent: Holding and kissing Zora. She is my living proof that life goes on after cancer.
Best advice you’ve received: As a working mom, it’s easy to try to be superwoman. When my son was a toddler, I learned superwoman does not exist, and it’s OK to let some things go in order to keep my sanity.
Dream for your child: It is my goal to give her the best opportunities and teach her about love and kindness.
More about Jacqueline Howard
Spouse: Sterling Howard
Gig: Corporate citizenship director for a financial institution
Latest addition: Daughter Zora Joy, born July 8, 2016
Older sibling: Langston, 7
Hospital/birthing center: University of Michigan Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, Ann Arbor
OB-GYN: Von Voigtlander’s high-risk team
Photo by Nicole Adams