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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mom of the Month - Stephanie Gay Hatfield

I am very excited to feature our June Mom of the Month, Stephanie Gay Hatfield! She sounds like the most dedicated, hard working, determined momma around. Having started out her motherhood adventure when she was 18 years old, she has worked REALLY hard to provide for her family. Her sister who nominated her had so many positive things to say about how far Stephanie has come in a few short years.

My parents had me when they were 18 and 19 years old and it was not an easy road, so it's with great pride that I feature another young mom who has made a wonderful life for her children, is caring, supportive, and THERE - even when she's working hard at night or during the days she is always there for them.

Congrats, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing your life with us. Beautiful children and momma!

Images shared from Stephanie Hatfield 

  • 1. Describe your children in 3-5 words. How did you choose their names? 
    Connor- energetic, smart, determined, loving Ava- stubborn, loving, funny, smart Kaitlyn- helpful, independent, creative
    Kaitlyn Amber- Her mother picked out her name. Connor Michael- Connor has always been my favorite boys name (my pick). Michael is my husband's first name (his pick). It just went perfectly together Ava Natalie- I always wanted to name my daughter Natalie (after my grandmother). I was having a hard time with a middle name. My sister was over and helping us choose names. She rattled off Ava Natalie and it stuck. We couldn't think of a better name because ironically Mike had loved the name Ava before we shared that with anyone else.

    2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby?
    Kaitlyn is seven Connor is five Ava is four
    Kaitlyn is my step-daughter. I was only 18, when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was terrified. I had never missed my period and was on birth control. When I hadn't gotten my period, I didn't know what to think. Mike was at work. I went to Walmart, picked up a pregnancy test and immediately checked out. I couldn't wait, so I went straight to the Walmart bathroom. I had received a positive home pregnancy test. I was so scared. As soon as Mike was home from work, I told him and he was so excited. I waited a few weeks before working up the courage to tell my mom and brother. My mom made me tell my dad that same day. After my immediate family knew, we told his family and our friends.
    Connor was 9 weeks old when I found out I was pregnant with Ava. I thought I was scared when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. How am I going to afford two children at 20 years old? I was even more scared this time. I cried A LOT before telling anyone. I told my mom first on our way to a family reunion. When we finally accepted that we were having another baby, we told our friends and family. It took us a little while to accept it. Mike of course was very happy. He's always wanted a big family since he was a foster child. He never had a dad growing up.

    3. How would you describe your pregnancies? How was delivery, birth and labor for you? 
    My pregnancy with Connor was absolutely miserable. I was sick 24/7 and even in and out of the hospital hooked up to IVs because I was dehydrated from getting so sick. I gained 9 lbs the entire pregnancy. Labor was just as miserable as the pregnancy. I had kidney stones while in labor. I was sent home 3 times before finally being admitted. Contractions were close and the pain from the kidney stones was awful. I was in labor for 3 days. I was finally induced. I had back labor the entire time. I had my husband and my mother in the room with me. I was in so much pain and my mom was trying to be so helpful. Finally was able to get an epidural- Smooth sailing from here. It was the best thing. I was able to get a little sleep. My water broke and I didnt even know until the nurses came in to check dilation. Once we reached 10 cm. I pushed for 20 minutes. Connor Michael was born at 9:39pm. 7lbs 2 oz + 19.5inches.
    Pregnancy with Ava was very different. I was sick for the first trimester, but not nearly as bad as the first pregnancy. The second and third trimester was smooth as could be. No problems at all. I started having contractions April 19th. I called the doctor, but she told me not to go in. I went for 3 walks throughout the day and rested at home. I tried to get some sleep, but was having back labor again. I knew it was time to go to the hospital the next morning. I called my mom, and she met us there. I had forgotten how much the back labor hurt, until i was experiencing it again. I wasn't able to get an epidural just yet, so the doctors had given me a different pain med through my IV. This was the worst decision EVER. I was so out of it. I knew exactly what was going on around me, but couldn't move, think, or even communicate. The med hadnt worn off yet, and i was able to get the epidural. Just after, they came in and broke my water. I remember the nurse saying,if you start to feel any pressure, call us right away. Not two minutes after the nurses walked out, we had to call. They asked if I was ready to push and i screamed NO. The med they had given me was just now starting to wear off. I want my baby girl to be born while i couldn't do anything. I felt paralyzed, it was AWFUL. I waited as long as i could, until I couldn't wait anymore. Baby was coming out whether I was ready or not.Thankfully, by the time she was born, I was functional. Ava Natalie was born on April 26th 7lbs 5oz and 21inches.
    4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words. 
    I would have to say I am a fun, loving, caring mom.

    5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you?

    I hope my children will understand why I am strict with them. I hope they will say I am a fun mom.

    6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of? 
    Like I said before, I became a mom at 19 years old. I never went through the partying stage as I wasn't really able to. I am proud of myself in that aspect. Every now and then I will go out for drinks with friends and family but back to mom duties as soon as I am home. I wouldn't have it any other way smile emoticon

    7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom?
    The most difficult part of being a mom has been figuring out my husband and my work schedules. We have never put our children in daycare so family has been a huge help with caring for our children while we are at work.

    8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier? 
    Right now our children are 7, 5 and 4. Today they are very self sufficient. When they were much younger, gates were our best friend. This way we could get things done around the house and the kids were confined to one room. I don't know how we would've done without them!
    9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother? 
    I would have to say learn as you go. You will never know all you need to know being a new mom. Ask questions when you have them and don't always take other peoples advice. There will be many people that tell you to do things a certain way. Do things that way you are most comfortable. The child is YOURS, not theirs. What works for one mom may not work for another.
    10. What is a typical day like for you? 
    6am- I wake up, shower, get ready for work 7am (if the kids are awake)- get breakfast ready 7:20 am- leave for work- dad has the kids during the day 1:30- my mom or sister will come over to hang with the kids while we are at work a few days a week 5:30- I get home 5:45- make dinner 6:15- Eat dinner 7:00 bath time 7:30 bed time
    11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? 
    I don't necessarily have five things I would like to do as of today. I want them to travel as much as possible and see as many things. We recently bought a timeshare while on our honeymoon in February so we can travel as much as possible and cant wait to start!!! Our first trip will either be a cruise or Disney. We also will be traveling to South Carolina frequently because Kaitlyn (my step-daughter) just moved there with her mom. Even though she comes up once a month, we will go down there as well to see her smile emoticon
    12. What are your favorite summer outings, events, plans, trips, etc. you like to take your family on? Tips for making the most of your summer with kids? 
    Summers are hard for us. I work 8-5 M-F and my husband works nights and weekends, so there isn't a lot of family time. I go to the beach almost every weekend while dad is at work and we have a few cookouts with family. We would like to plan a camping trip at some point during the 8 weeks Kaitlyn is with us. We also will be driving to SC for Kaitlyn's first day of 2nd grade to get her on and off the bus. She will also show us what she likes to do in her new state!

    13. Tell us a time where you felt like you failed at parenting... but then realized you truly had not failed, things worked out fine. 
    For the first 4 years of being a mom, I was a waitress/bartender. I always worked nights and oftentimes went days working double after double just to make ends meet. A little over a year ago, I started a new job working 8-5 M-F while still working as a bartender/waitress at night. I felt like I was never home. I finally said screw it...I quit the restaurant job. I didnt realize how much time I had missed out on until now. I never was a part of the nightly routine with our children and it upset me a lot when I first quit. I am so grateful I can cook dinner, give baths and tuck the kids into bed now. 

    I felt for a long time that I wasn't doing what moms should be doing at night. I sat down talking to my husband about this. He said "You didnt fail, you were working to give them food on the table and a roof over their heads." And this is when I realized I didn't fail {by working nights}. 

    My husband had it all under control and I can do this part now because we basically switched roles. I work days and he works nights!!!! I do miss spending the days with them though!
    14. What makes you a strong mom? 
    What makes me a strong mom is always knowing I can lean on my family. They are always there for me if I need anything, especially my mom. Connor and Ava are so close in age and often times fight over everything. When I need to vent, my mom is the best one to call. She keeps my mind straight! She often times says "this to shall pass." I just have to keep it in my mind, they wont always be this age and the times I am frustrated will pass with time! I love my children with every ounce of love I could ever have!

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