New York City
Sales Account Manager
Mom to Ava, 3
Susan Gould’s maternity leave was as much about giving her adopted daughter, Ava, a solid start as it was about getting to know the Chinese-born beauty.
Though she was nearly two, Ava weighed only 17 pounds when Susan and her partner, Patrick Brennan, adopted the girl in 2010. Ava, who had been suffering from a “failure to thrive,” had rickets, a benign tumor on her arm and an intestinal parasite.
“She had never eaten solid foods,” Susan recalls.
Given Ava’s special needs, Susan spent many hours during her 12 weeks of leave tackling issues that ranged from eye surgery to early intervention appointments.
“I had to get her to every doctor known to man. I had to get her out of failure to thrive,” says the 49-year-old. “I had to set her up. I could do it and I did do it.”
Despite the hours spent in waiting rooms, Susan remembers her maternity leave fondly, and is grateful to MTV for giving her the same benefits other new moms receive. “She didn’t know me, and I created a foundation and a bonding,” she says. “I created a foundation for life.”