Evan Nicole Fields and her son, 4-month-old Ayden Elijah Christopher (Courtesy photo)

Being a first-time mom can be quite an emotional experience because — as the saying goes — babies don’t come with instructions. And sometimes they come unexpectedly. Meet first-time mom Evan Nicole Fields, 2014 graduate of Cordova High School, and mom of 4-month-old Ayden Elijah.

Only four short years ago, Fields was attending Southwest Community College and working as a food server at a popular Cordova eatery — now all that seems a lifetime ago.

“It’s crazy. I can’t believe I’m somebody’s mother. My priorities changed the second I saw my son’s face in that delivery room,” said Fields, 21. “I’m responsible for him, and he depends on me for everything. He is all that matters. Everything else — even what I want — comes second.”

Ayden was a “surprise,” said his father, Christian Christopher.

“That might not make sense to some people,” Christopher said. “Evan and I have been together for a little more than three years. We were both trying to figure things out – our careers, going back to college. We were both working, but we both want to be successful professionally, especially now that our son is here. He deserves all that we can give him.”

In Fields’ family, everyone helps. She and Ayden live at home with her mother, Charlotte Fields, and younger brother, Jason, also a graduate of Cordova High School. Fields’ father, Lawrence Fields, helps where he can.

“Although Ayden was a huge surprise to us, he came and rearranged everything. We all decided together that Evan would stay home with the baby during the week,” said Charlotte Fields. “He’s too young to be in daycare. She decided to breastfeed, and that has enhanced their bonding experience. I keep the baby on weekends when Evan goes to work.”

To celebrate her 21st birthday last month, Evan spent time with a couple of high school friends who had gone off to college. Charlotte offered to keep the baby, but Fields insisted on taking him with her.

“We don’t smoke or drink, so there was nothing crazy planned,” said Fields. My friends hadn’t seen the baby yet. I didn’t even have to think about it. I take him with me everywhere. It’s so hard to be away from him when I’m at work. I call home and tell my Mom to put the phone to his ear.”

That carefree only-have-to-worry-about-myself life is forever past. On-demand feedings through the night, frequent diaper changes, breast pumps, the baby crying “a lot sometimes” is all a way of life now. As Ayden gets older, the challenges will grow and evolve with him. But “this little person” defines who Fields is now.

“I want to go back to school, and I have to continue working,” she said. “I don’t know how my mother and both my grandmothers did it, but they managed. I guess I have to just keep working through things as I go. The mothers I grew up around made everything look so easy. This is the hardest job I will ever have, but being a mother makes me happy.”

Fields believes the future looks bright for her and Ayden.

“I don’t have a lot of answers, but I’m not afraid of what is ahead of us,” said Fields. “Ayden has taught me so much about loving completely. I love my mom, my dad, my grandma, my brothers, Christian and all my family. But I never knew you could love another person the way I love Ayden. We have our own language, our own way of communicating. He laughs a lot, and that makes me so happy.

“I will enjoy my first Mother’s Day with him. He’s too young to get me a present, or flowers, or even a card. But he is my Mother’s Day gift. He is my everyday gift. I will always remember my first Mother’s Day. I thank God for my baby and a family who loves and helps me. I am so blessed – so grateful.”