~ Meet Heather
My name is Heather Totten. I am 32 years old and a stay at home mom of 3 children. Yes, your math is correct, I am expecting my FOURTH child and I am due February 5, 2006. Some people have called us 'crazy,' but we could not be happier … including my 3 children who are trying to the name the little person in my belly and arguing who gets to sleep with him/her. My oldest child, Alexander is 6, Maria is 3, and Sydney is 19 months. My husband's name is Brian and he is a 34-year-old Regional Operations Manager for Overnite Transportation. We have been happily married for 9 years as of the end of August. Brian is my best friend and I could never go through these experiences with anyone else.
I was born in small town Ohio as an only child to an engineer and a teacher. My mom stayed home with me and went back to work part time teaching when I was older. I began riding horses at the young age of 5 and began competitions at age 8. Horse back riding was a huge part of my childhood through my teens. I put almost everything on hold in order to ride and compete. When I grew up I knew wanted to marry, but never put much thought into having a family, let alone a large family. That seemed to come later in life.
I met my husband the beginning of my sophomore year at Wright State University. We dated a year, were engaged 3 years, and then we married in 1996. Our marriage has been great. People have asked us our secret, but there is none. We just both try hard to work on our marriage daily and keep each other close. That formula has seemed to work well for us so far because we are definitely more in love today then the day we married.
After 2 years of marriage, we became pregnant with Alexander on our second anniversary weekend. He was born May 16, 1999 in Columbus, Ohio and has been running ever since. He is a wonderful big brother. He is the big brother I wanted and could never have since I was a first born and only child. He was so excited and jumped up and down around the room when we told him the news about our upcoming pregnancy. He anxiously awaits every doctor's visit to listen to the heartbeat and loves pointing out how big my belly is getting, even now at 16 weeks. For the record, he has predicted both 'girls' correctly and now thinks we are expecting a 'boy.' We will see if he is once again correct. I know he also 'wants' a little brother, so his emotions and predictions might be mixing.
I was not always a stay at home mom. I worked up until Alex was 2 1/2 years old. But, around the time Alex was born, my husband's career began to grow. In the transportation business, if you want promoted you need to be able to move. We said we'd move, but little did we know we'd end up moving 5 times in 5 years for his career. This included selling and buying 4 houses in very short time frames. We lived in Columbus (Ohio), Boardman (Ohio), Manassas (Virginia), Dayton (Ohio), and finally to Fishers (Indiana). To be fair to our family and especially myself, I decided to stay home. So we moved and sold our house once again after 8 months of living and working in Boardman to Manassas, Virginia. It was there I became a first time stay at home mom, 500 miles from all my friends and family. It was a shock and a big change in the beginning, but I don't regret even a minute of it now. It is definitely the hardest, but most rewarding job I've ever had. As I settled into my new career at home, we were expecting our second child, Maria. Maria was born in Virginia on July 6, 2002. She is the wonderful little girl I always wanted. She is quiet, calm, friendly and as girlie as she can be. She is Alex's best friend and nothing can come between the two of them. For a special Valentine's party at pre-school last year, Alex was allowed to invite one guest. He immediately asked the teacher if he could take Maria, but she told him it had to be an adult. Even the age difference doesn't seem to hinder their relationship. I'll see Maria playing 'Harry Potter' dress up with Alex and I'll see Alex play 'Care Bears' with Maria. Of course they are siblings after all, and it is not all like the commercials, but more often then not they get along very well.
After 13 months in Manassas, my husband's career would again spark. It took us from Manassas and this time brought us home to live near family and friends outside of Dayton, Ohio. With sheer excitement to be living near home, we were blessed with a surprise. I was pregnant again! We had talked about having 3 or 4 children, but were beginning to settle in with the fact we had 2 happy, healthy children. Sydney was born January 23, 2004 and I think she came out smiling. She is a ball of energy and a bundle of joy in our hearts. She fits in perfectly with Alex and Maria. She is the compliment of the two. I see a lot of Alex with her outgoing energy, but she will take the time to play house, dolls, and puzzles like Maria. Alex and Maria both take turns playing with her and helping her grow and learn. We blame Sydney a little for where we are today. Not the fact we moved again, but for the fact we wanted a fourth child. Sydney opened our eyes to a larger family. She made us realize parenthood was such a blessing and a wonderful experience to be a part of. The three children get along so well and have their own social hierarchy. I enjoy daily watching them play and learn from each other. I can't wait to see what four will do!
So, that brings us to this pregnancy and today. Like I said, we did end up moving away from Dayton and family once again, but we have finally settled and now for quite awhile. Brian has reached a point in his career that moving will slow down, if not stop completely. For the first time in all our moves we feel at home again. We have ventured to find friends, a social life, joined a church we all enjoy very much, Alex has started Kindergarten, and my favorite cousin lives within walking distance with her 2 daughters. So the decision was made earlier this year that we would try for our fourth child. It only took one try, like the rest, and once again I am pregnant ... 3 babies worth of pregnancy weight and all. Maybe some day I can get my body back, but from experience, I know it is well worth the wait.
Hope you enjoy my journey with me as I experience, for the fourth time, the joys of pregnancy and motherhood.