Mom. Mommy. Mother.
There is no greater joy — or responsibility — than being a mother.
So in my opinion everyone who entered momaha’s “Mom-To-Be” contest is most-deserving. Unfortunately, contests don’t work that way. Sigh.
I was charged with an extremely difficult task: selecting three finalists for our Most Deserving Mom-To-Be contest.
When the applicant stories filtered in, I was impressed with all the different kinds of moms (and soon-to-be moms) nominated. Every message had a unique take and heart-warming anecdote.
We had 24 entries for this contest.
I read the entries, printed and re-read them. I highlighted characteristics and little nuggets that made me smile, laugh or cry – and I cried a lot.
One mom nominated her daughter — a single mother who put herself through college and showed that you could rise above the odds. She was deserving.
One father nominated his wife who helps special needs children. She was deserving.
One woman nominated her sister — who is a cancer survivor. She was just as deserving.
I narrowed the list down to five mothers. Bit my nails, then tightened it to three mothers. Three extremely devoted moms.
Now it’s up to you — momaha readers — to decide who will be named the “Most Deserving Mom-To-Be” at the Baby Love Essentials Omaha Baby Fair on Sunday, March 10 at the Ramada Convention Center, near 72nd and Grover. Winners must be at the 1 p.m. presentation.
Read and vote below.
Votes will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. March 7.
I encourage you to share this post. Happy Voting!
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NOMINEE NO. 1: JOEY MILLER
When I became a widow at the age of 29, I thought all my dreams of having a family were over. After spending countless hours grieving and finding my new self, I unexpectedly found love again. We’ve now been married for over a year and half and are extremely excited to welcome our baby girl into our loving arms and hearts in just a few weeks.
Through my loss, I believe I now have an even deeper understanding of how to treasure every moment. I believe this has made a positive impact in my life and how I choose to love, nurture and savor moments with my loved ones.
Just a few weeks ago, I arrived at my parents house to pick up my mom for my baby shower. Within minutes of arriving, my dad passed out and exhibited signs and symptoms of a cardiac arrest. Although I have only received minimal training in CPR, I immediately began administering chest compressions. While trying to save my dad’s life, my life flashed before my eyes. I was certain he was going to die. I became overwhelmed by the thought that my little girl would never meet her “Papa.”
Thankfully, within minutes the paramedics arrived and took my dad to the hospital. After undergoing many tests, it was determined that my dad needed a quadruple bypass. My dad is still in the hospital, but is expected to fully recover from the surgery and the three ribs I broke while performing chest compressions — Sorry, Dad!
When my little lady arrives in a few weeks, my life experiences will do nothing but make me appreciate my family and special gift even more. I can’t believe how much I already love her an I haven’t even met her yet.
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NOMINEE NO. 2: LAURA WILWERDING
My wife is eminently deserving of the “Mommy-To-Be-Award”. Why, you ask? She deserves it because she has been dealing with her pregnancy and our two other children on her own.
Let me explain. In 2009, I landed my “dream job” in another state. Prior to that I had been a stay-at-home dad with our first child while I finished school. Just before I started my job, we found out that we were expecting our second child. At the time it made sense for her and the kids to stay behind near family and friends while I got established at my new job. It is now 2013 and we still haven’t managed to figure out a way to get the family back together in one place.
Since I took that “dream job”, she has been pregnant twice (our third is due this March) and has taken care of our children while working full time as a social worker. While I do my best to come back when I can, I still have missed more than my fair share of family celebrations, sick days, family movie nights, doctor visits, bedtimes, school meetings, and snow days. She has done, and continues to do, all of the heavy lifting.
My wife deserves this award because every morning she has to get up alone and do what needs to be done to get everyone ready for school and out the door before she goes to work. Then, after a full day at work she has to be there for our children, to nurture, comfort, and parent them. She does all of this without me, whether she is healthy or sick, happy or sad. Our kids are thriving, and that’s all down to her. She is simply the best.
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NOMINEE NO. 3: STEPHANIE HULSE
Stephanie Hulse was nominated twice. She’s a young mother of three and pregnant with her fourth. At 17 weeks pregnant, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a blow to her personally, and to the family. Stephanie could have reacted in many ways, but she chose dignity.
She has had a mastectomy and will begin chemo treatments this week while pregnant. Stephanie has handled this devastating blow with grace and power. Stephanie sees this as an opportunity to be open and honest about her journey with many others and remains the most caring and determined young mother she has always been.
I can not think of a better example of a dedicated mom who shows her children what love is by her actions with them, and then with the world around them. Thank you for considering this young woman who I can not be more proud of.
A portion of the second submission for Stephanie:
Although I am sure she feels fear and uncertainty for what the future holds for her and the precious little baby she carries, she has already shown to be an inspiration. I hope you choose Stephanie, not because she has cancer or hard times but because despite all that, her kids come first. She is truly the most deserving!
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