A Birth Story: Why My Husband wasn’t in the Delivery Room

As I sit here in the middle of the night unable to sleep, although I desperately need to with a newborn and toddler, I instead think of the craziness the last week and a half brought.

I always enjoyed reading birth stories when I was first pregnant and I thought that maybe sharing mine would do some good. I have heard it all. From horror stories to blissful ness and everything in between – no birth story is the same. My sons birth story was pretty average. I labored at home until I couldn’t walk and went to the hospital. We were there for about four hours and he came into the world. It was a beautiful moment with my husband.

This time around was a bit different. It happened on the day my 37 week appointment was. It was my first ‘check’ and I was so excited to see if little Cece was moving along at all. My obgyn (who is amazing) checked me and I was only about 1 cm along (nothing). She told me it was a good start and sent me on my way.

I went to work and thought nothing of it until a couple hours later. I was cramping and I remember telling my boss that it had to be because of the check. This is totally normal, right?!

I picked Ben up from daycare and couldn’t walk the full way down the stairs. I again figured it was just cramping from the check that morning.

When I got home I texted my husband to find out if he was going to be late or not and that I was ‘feeling weird’. He came home and I went straight to bed. I just couldn’t sleep. I had to keep moving. It was a weird feeling that just NEVER stopped. I was pacing the floors until around midnight when I told Adam that I think I needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t think I was really in labor so we packed up our son and headed to labor and delivery.

They checked me when I got there and I was about 3 cm dilated. They wanted to keep me for a little while before either giving me a room or sending me home. The reason for keeping me? It was a nonstop contraction and they were worried about the baby. Literally – non stop. The most of a break I received (the nurses said) was about 20 seconds. They told me they wanted to watch the baby for awhile and would be back in an hour.

Well, about 30 minutes later they came in and said they didn’t think the baby was liking this nonstop contraction and wanted to check me again. Well, this time I was a five. I got sent to a room ASAP!! The time I got to my room was around 1:30 am (Cece was born at 2:09).

At this point Ben was not allowed in the labor/delivery room so Adam had to wait in the waiting room with him until my parents arrived. I got to my room and promptly asked for some drugs. They came. They missed. They did it again. This was the worst. Not having a break from a contraction to get an epidural is very hard. Thank goodness for my labor and delivery nurse. The unsung hero’s I tell you! She was my nurse, my doctor and my ‘Adam’ throughout the whole process.

I never got checked again. My doctor said she would be back in a couple of hours and to try and get some rest. My nurse told me she was going to step out to tell my husband how things were going. Before leaving she asked if I needed anything.

I told her I had to poop.

She looked at me and said she wanted to check me really quick. That’s when all hell broke loose. She said the head was coming out and to not push. She called the front desk for someone to tell Adam and after that she called my doctor.

While on the phone with the doctor (phone in one hand) I told her the baby was coming. My nurse literally caught my baby while she was on the phone trying to get someone in. Seconds later six people run into the room and couldn’t believe that the baby was out.

Cecelia was born at 2:09 am. About forty minutes after I got to my room.

In the meantime Adam is rushing to my room (which he was never in before) and stops short because he hears a baby crying. He thought ‘no way I’m going in that room – it can’t be the right room’. He went back to the front and they assured him to go go go.

He walked into the room with his daughter on my chest. My parents had just gotten to the hospital and he had no idea what was happening to me. What a scary thing for him.

I am lucky that things happened fast, but it also wasn’t awesome. The drugs didn’t work (since they were given about ten minutes prior to her coming out) and I didn’t get the antibiotics needed for group B (which I tested positive for). We had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours before we could be released so that they could watch for any signs that group B made it to her.

I really shutter to think what would have happened if I decided to ignore what I was feeling and stay home a little longer. I truly believe that we would have been on the news for having a car baby on the way to the hospital. Ladies! This is a lesson. Always. I mean ALWAYS listen to your body.

One thing that was kinda nice was that Ben was there and he was literally the first person (other than Adam and I) to see his sister. Yes, it was around 3:00 in the morning, but it couldn’t have been more special. Luckily we have it all recorded to show them when they’re older!

We are very lucky that things went well and the baby was in the right position.

Now is the time for healing. Now is the time for loving. Now is the time to *try and get some rest*.

Mom of Fame – Lisa

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We both met Lisa when we were going to college at Michigan State University. She is a completely genuine person, has a great sense of humor and has fun wherever she goes. We can tell she is using those same traits to her advantage when it comes to motherhood.

We met her at a park near her house where she says they basically “live” during the summer. Her 2 year old daughter and 5 year old son had to walk right by the playground to come sit with us (basically torture.) But they were good sports and even took a few pictures before they went to go play with their dad. It gave us some time to have a great chat with their mom. 

She is a teacher who spends her days taking care of other people’s children (middle-schoolers—scary, right!?) and the rest of her time taking care of her own! We had so much fun interviewing Lisa and found ourselves laughing the whole time. She talked about having her first-born while living away from her family, dealing with medical issues, and how she stays calm amidst the chaos (lots of singing—especially Christmas music)! She is an amazing mom and you can see it on both of her kiddos’ faces. Welcome to the Mom of Fame, Lisa, you definitely deserve it!


What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

I think the best piece was when I was told, “the days are long but the years are short”. Because when my son was born he was a hard newborn—he was colicky and had allergies, it was hard. We were up 5 or 6 times a night and I would remind myself of that. Like, this time is long right now but it’s not going to be like this forever. They sleep eventually [laughs]. And now he’s going to kindergarten. I’m like, “oh my gosh, how is he going to kindergarten already!?”

It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.

I would [give that advice to other people]. I think it just reminds you to appreciate the time. It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.

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How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

When I was pregnant with my son not many of my friends had babies and we lived in a different state at the time so I don’t think I really had an example of friends with young kids to watch. I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t know that I even had a “this is what it’s going to look like”. We were kind of winging it daily. I read all the pregnancy books, but I never read the “now you have a kid” book. Which was probably a mistake. But I’m really happy with our family and how things are. This is how I wanted it to be. I think everything is actually really good. We have a fun time together.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I’m a pretty calm person. Even when the kids are upset I’m usually pretty calm through it and it helps to calm them down sometimes. Even if I’m kind of flustered I try to remain calm. I read somewhere once to sing to your kids, at times when they’re [upset], especially as babies. I just remember with diaper changes, the kids going nuts on the diaper table and I would just sing. And I read that it was more for you than for them. So sometimes I just sang whatever I wanted! It was a lot of Christmas songs, whatever month it was!

I’m a determined and hard-working person. I think in raising them already I’ve been pretty determined about things. I gave up milk protein because I was really determined to nurse [my oldest]. I feel like that’s a good lesson for my kids; I want them to be determined, hard-working people. I hope that’s a strength.

We have a lot of fun. I feel like we’re always doing stuff. We live [at the park] pretty much. We just always look for fun activities, even if we’re just at home. We do dance parties and “fun wrestling”. I just hope my kids are having a lot of fun because I feel like we are.

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Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

Ohh, let me think [laughs]. I think overwhelmed is when they’ve been medical issues—beyond the daycare colds that they all get.

When it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming.

We’ve done the hospital visits, stayed overnight at the hospital, we’ve done specialists. [It’s overwhelming] when it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming. I feel like we’ve generally been pretty calm through it and then afterwards we were like, “oh my God, that was really scary!”

In the day to day, I feel like going back to work when they were babies was an overwhelming time, too. Because both kids went on sleep strikes then. So just working and functioning and hopefully doing good at your job. I think the medical stuff has always been harder, though.

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Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

No! [Laughs]. I don’t know. Free time! And sleep. I don’t feel like I’ve actually slept in five years!

[I’ve gained] everything. This is just my life now. The kids are my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I want them to learn to be kind people and caring and hard-working. I just want them to know that they’re very loved. We moved back to Michigan so that they could be surrounded by family. So there’s a lot of people that love them and see them. I just want them to know that they’re loved and share that love. I want good people. You want the world for your kids, right?

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What was the difference in having your first child in North Carolina (and away from family) and your second in Michigan (with family around)?

It was harder [in North Carolina], for sure. [Our first] was colicky and difficult and we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. We never had a break. The first time we left the house without him was months and months in because we didn’t know who to get to babysit him. It was different because there wasn’t a ton of support. People flew down to see him but then they would go back. I remember when people left the first time I was just crying and my husband went to work too and I was like, “oh my God, everybody left me with a baby here. By myself.”

In Michigan [with my second] we had a lot more support. People came to the hospital to see her. That was nice. I remember in North Carolina my husband had to leave the hospital while I was in labor to go take our dog to the kennel. When he came back I was in *labor*. He was *late*. He went and I was peaceful, and he came back and I was like, “where were you!?” Here, we took [our first] to grandmas and it was no big deal. It was definitely easier, for sure.

Mom of Fame – Katie

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Recently we had the pleasure to “meet” another wonderful blogger. Katie is the creator of the blog Homespun Habits, a special education teacher and a mother to three beautiful children. We aren’t sure how she does it all, but she seems to do it while also having fun! Her blog is another one we would really recommend, especially if you need some DIY inspiration! Here is a little more about her in her own words:

I am a special education middle school teacher. I am currently teaching where my children go to school and feel so blessed to be able to be there with them.  I also teach a couple of classes every semester for a state university. Blogging is something I have always wanted to do and just recently took the leap. I am approaching my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. We have 3 kids. 2 boys and a girl ages 8, 5, and 3. We also have 3 dogs so it is always a little crazy at our house. At times it can be overwhelming but we wouldn’t change anything!

We loved Katie’s answers and pictures, and we think you will too! She gave us an honest view of motherhood by touching on post partum anxiety, being flexible when necessary, and adjusting to having a daughter after two sons.

Welcome to our Mom of Fame, Katie! Thank you for participating in our interview!

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What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

“You can’t do it all.” And “you be you”. Those 2 things have stuck with me and I would definitely pass that advice on to anyone. I’ve learned the importance of simplifying life.  It makes things so much easier. Be you. Don’t try and be anybody else. You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

Honestly, at this point I don’t really remember how I imagined it. I’m sure it was more like happy music playing in the background with kids holding hands and skipping along the sidewalk. Wrong!!! Haha! Although those precious moments do happen…they are few and far between. The reality is motherhood is hard. Everyday brings a new challenge.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Oh man I feel like I could use 3 strengths 😉 No but really I am super organized. That definitely helps to manage the constant chaos of 3 young kids. I’m a hard worker. I hope they can recognize that one-day and implement it into their own lives. I’m not perfect. I’m trying to take each day at a time and be more flexible and not get upset when things don’t go perfectly.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

I can still remember when my oldest was a newborn. My husband worked 12 hours shifts (which he still does). The days were sooooo long with a baby that I was just getting to know.

Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess.

It was summer time and it was so hot outside. I can remember sitting outside on the backporch just rocking the baby praying that I could make it until my husband got home. I felt so overwhelmed with that first baby for a while. He totally rocked my world as I knew it. Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess. I had post partum anxiety and didn’t figure it out until he was about 6 weeks old.

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Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost everything about myself. I don’t say that in a sad, depressing way. But life is no longer about me. Everything I do, every decision I make is based on my kids and their well being.  I do find that as they are getting older I get to get a little bit of “me” back.

I have gained so much. A new persepective and outlook on life for sure. Seeing life through the eyes of a child is a much more magical place to be.

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What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I want them to learn to be kind and always love others. Hard work pays off. Don’t expect anything from anyone and don’t do things for people expecting something in return. Choose happy. You are responsible for finding your own happiness. Always remember it’s okay to not be okay. Most importantly I will love you forever and you can always come home.

What is biggest difference between raising your boys and your girl?

Boy was this a shocker for me. After having 2 boys the little miss rocked our world. I always envisioned this sweet little girl with braids quietly playing on the floor with her Barbie dolls. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Our little girl is a firecracker with a huge personality and attitude. We wouldn’t trade her for the world though. She keeps up with “her boys” as she calls them and doesn’t miss a beat while shes at it.

Mom of Fame – Amanda D.

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When we started this blog we just wanted to try to stop the shame and bring the fame back into motherhood. We know, from experience, that being a mom is the hardest job there is and we wanted to honor the moms out there that do it every day. We have been having so much fun getting to know different types of moms and hearing their differing answers to the same questions. What we didn’t realize when we started, is that we would be able to “meet” other moms trying to do the same thing. Amanda has her own blog called This Growing Home. We have read her blog and encourage you to do the same. Although we feel like we know her after reading her blog and chatting with her for a bit, she will probably do a better job of introducing herself:

Hi Friends! I’m Amanda, the author for the blog, This Growing Home. I’m the proud mama of a five year old boy, one year old boy, and a soon to arrive (7/26/18) boy. That’s right, three boys! 

Our days are filled with wrestling matches, dinosaurs, and lot’s of coffee (for mommy!). On super special days (when mommy decides to put on make up and dress like an adult), we like spending time at parks, zoos, and splash pads! Otherwise we hang out in the back yard or watch Netflix (Dinotrux and Rescue Bots for the win!)

I’ve been a SAHM for five years, and love spending time with my boys! My blog, This Growing Home, was started as a way to connect and find community with other mamas. It’s a place where I write about real life mama things like parenting, money saving, DIY, and anything mom related. I am all about encouragement, support, and real life motherhood.

Welcome to our Mom of Fame, Amanda!


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What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

I totally believe that there’s no perfect way to parent. I have gotten a ton of advice through my five year mama journey, and I’m so appreciative of all the other mamas who have invested in me! Some things worked for me, but others weren’t quite right for my mommy style. 

The one thing I would definitely tell other mamas is, do what works for you. You and your little one(s) are unique, so don’t force yourself into someone else’s successes or compare your journey to another. 

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I don’t think anyone has a real clear or accurate picture of what motherhood is until they’ve experienced it themselves. And even then, every mom’s experience is different. I think most of us probably imagined all the love and joy of motherhood without realizing there are also dark moments of loneliness, frustration, and exhaustion. But, those tough days that end with a long ugly mom cry (you know the ones), make the good moments more meaningful. 

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Let me just start by saying that I’m definitely not stronger than any other mama out there. Motherhood is tough stuff and not for the feint of heart!

Honestly, I consider myself successful if I’m able to love my children more than myself.

I think every mother views strengths differently. One might say her strength is being able to follow a killer schedule, while another considers her strength to be that she is flexible and doesn’t stick to a rigid schedule. And both are right, because it’s all about what works for you. 

Honestly, I consider myself successful if I’m able to love my children more than myself, teach them through my own example, and provide a safe environment for them to learn and grow. Those are the strengths I try to develop in my mama journey. 

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

If I’m being honest, it’s a daily occurrence! Every day has it’s own struggles that I am learning to overcome. 

Every time I faced something new (bringing baby home from the hospital, learning how to do everything with one arm while holding a baby in the other, explaining right from wrong to a two year old, adding another baby to the mix) I felt so overwhelmed I wasn’t sure I’d be able to survive it. But, eventually you figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how to adapt to the new changes. 

Motherhood is all about overcoming overwhelm, but none of us are perfect at it, especially when we try to do it alone. In fact, that’s a big reason why I started my blog. I was so exhausted from trying to do everything on my own and was desperately seeking a community of other mamas to share my burdens and journey with. I wanted other mamas to know that they aren’t alone and that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times. Those feelings don’t make us bad moms or failures, and there are others feeling and facing the same things. 

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Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I have definitely lost parts of myself since joining the mom club: being able to sneeze without peeing, my perfect record for never being late, long showers spent on relaxation and reflection, or never second guessing that whatever entered my stomach might come back with a firey vengeance (thank you heartburn). 

On a more serious note, I think all mamas feel a sense of loss of the person they once were. Motherhood is about purging the selfishness from ourselves and directing every ounce of strength toward our children’s needs. That doesn’t mean completely giving up the things we loved and enjoyed before baby, but it’s re-prioritizing and letting go of those things that aren’t as important or distract us from our new happiness. 

When you direct your attention away from yourself, you begin to see the world differently.

As much as we might lose, though, there is so much that can be gained! When you
direct your attention away from yourself, you begin to see the world differently. You’re not as critical of your imperfetions, or as judgemental of someone else’s. You start appreciating the small blessing’s in life like four uninterupted hours of sleep, not having to cook your own food, or being able to use the restroom alone. 

The most valuable thing I’ve gained though, is confidence in myself. As a shy introverted person, I spent a lot of energy worrying about what other people thought and how I could meet their approval. As a mom, I realized it was impossible to be everything for everyone. Instead, I focused on what was best for my little one, and trusted myself.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

Hopefully they learn all the wisdom and knowledge I have to offer, without picking up any of my bad habits or characteristics. A mama can dream right?!

What has been your favorite/funniest ‘boy mom’ moment?

I think the most beautiful aspect of motherhood is that there isn’t just one moment. It’s a lifetime of memories that fill our hearts. Recently, I remember my oldest son comforting the baby in my belly as we waited to board an elevator, rubbing my stomach and saying “It’ll be alright baby, it’s not scary.” Or my one year old son trying to blow dandelion seeds, but only managing a raspberry noise and spit bubbles. There was also a time when my oldest was so impressed by something that he said, “It just totally blew my brain out!” I responded with, “Oh my, what should we do about that?” And he answered, “I guess we will just have to catch it, and shove it back in!!” It’s impossible to pick a single example, because there are too many “favorite” moments for us to choose from.

Mom of Fame – Trisha

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Trisha made it look so easy. She has 3 adorable kiddos all with their own personalities. Her youngest daughter was in her lap just wanting to cuddle, her oldest daughter was sitting next to her convinced that she could answer our questions better than mom, and her son was jumping off of the playground into her husband’s arm. When it was time for dad to head home they divided and conquered; 2 of the kiddos went home with him, and one stayed with mom (with the promise of stopping for popsicles on the way home!)

Although it looks easy now, Trisha told us that it was not always that way. She was very honest about her struggles as a first time mom and detailed how it gets easier with each stage they go through (including having siblings to play with).

She is a full-time working mom with a husband who also works a full-time job as well as spends some “free time” as a volunteer firefighter. She has a lot on her plate, but she does it with such ease that you wouldn’t even know. We are so glad that we got to hear her perspective and are very excited to welcome Trisha to our Mom of Fame!


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What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

It’s all a phase; the sleeping, the crying, the eating. Everything just gets so much better.

That everything is a phase and everything gets better. Which, at the time, I didn’t believe anybody. I’m like, “no, this is not going to get better at all”. But it’s funny because that is the one piece of advice that I give to all of my friends who are moms for the first time. That everything gets better. It’s all a phase; the sleeping, the crying, the eating. Everything just gets so much better. It’s tough when you’re in it. I remember I would just cry. I would just cry. But, I mean, I made it. I had three.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

So the first thing I thought of was the unconditional love. I had no idea that I’d be able to love another person as much as I love these kids. Even, I mean, I love my husband. I love him so much but it’s a totally different kind of love. And something that I wasn’t expecting at all.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

This one was really really hard.

Patience

I think patience. I mean it’s probably not…it’s better than it was [laughs]. I mean, it’s tough, but I definitely think I’ve acquired a lot of patience over the years.

Prioritizing What’s Important

Sometimes I feel like you can get wrapped up in stuff. And you have to stop and be like, “you know what? Nope, I don’t have to go to the grocery store today, I’m gonna spend time with the kids”.

Asking for Help

I am a…I don’t know if it’s Type A personality…but I want to do everything myself. I don’t like to give up control. And it was really hard but I finally had to ask; whether it was my parents to come over and watch the kids, or getting a cleaning lady, or just having help of some kind. And that’s not easy for me to do at all.

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Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

Well that’s easy. That is when [my first] was born. You know, you read the books and your friends with kids tell you what’s kind of their experience, but until you’re in it you have no idea. The first 3 months, she cried nonstop. And when [my husband] went back to work, he was home a couple of weeks, it was the worst. I cried all day. I think part of it was that I probably had a little bit of depression after, too, but I didn’t realize it. And it was the winter, she was born in December. So it was dark really early, we couldn’t really get out of the house. That was the hardest thing. And you’re going from total independence to somebody who totally relies on you. I don’t think I was quite as ready as I thought I was. But it was really hard. She cried a lot. There were a lot of tears; from both of us.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

That’s easy, being able to go to the bathroom alone [laughs]!

I think it’s hard to balance family and work. It’s hard…like, the guilt feeling, of working all day and coming home and then wanting to go out and see people, or do stuff. Because you feel bad, you’ve been gone all day. It’s gotten better, thankfully, but that was hard to balance everything.

When you’re pregnant with your second you worry. Like, “how am I going to love the second one as much?” And you do! It’s amazing how it works.

[I’ve gained] more love than I thought was possible. Going back to the unconditional love thing. I mean, this [having her daughter cuddle with her while she does the interview] makes me so happy right now. It’s just a love that you never thought possible. I feel like, too, when you have your first kid you love them so much. When you’re pregnant with your second you worry. Like, “how am I going to love the second one as much?” And you do! It’s amazing how it works.

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What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I want them to be good people. I want them to want to help others. We do a lot of talking about being respectful and caring. I just want them to go out in the world and do good things and be good people, and help, and volunteer. We’re going to try to get into some volunteering stuff soon. We used to do a lot with the Humane Society and then we stopped. I want to get back into that and show them that you can do good things.

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Tell us a little bit about how you handle situations when your husband gets called away at the fire station. 

The fire station has its challenges. Many times we end up taking two cars places because you never know when he will get a call and it’s tough getting stranded, especially with all the kids. It never fails, though, he always seems to get runs right when it’s bed time [laughs].

It has been an adjustment to our family. We have to be more thoughtful about travel plans and our outings sometimes have become more local because he only gets so much time to be checked out. The kids love it though. Anytime they get to go to the fire station and play on the trucks is a huge highlight of their day.