A little background info about me:
I'm 28 years young
I have 2 amazing children, Liam (5 years young) and Livy (3 years young)
I have a loving and supporting fiance' (who is also the father of my two children)
I have 6 brothers and 3 sisters that were adopted
I've had 31 foster siblings if you count all the kiddos my parents have fostered over the years
I have 2 amazing parents that have been married for 28 years
I resigned from Sallie Mae on September 25th 2013 as an Instructional Designer to finish my Business Management Degree & focus on the non profit organization.
I graduated from Frankton Jr./Sr. High School in 2006 with an Academic Honors Diploma
I attended Hawaii Pacific University
I graduated from Ivy Tech Community College in December 2011 with my Associates Degree in General Studies
I am currently seeking my Bachelor's Degree in Business Management at Western Governors Univeristy
I founded Central Indiana Mothers Inc. on February 9, 2013
College and working as a full-time live-in nanny. When the family I nannied for was re-stationed (military family) I decided to move back home to Indiana. After moving back I became a full-time, live-in nanny for another military family located in McCordsville, IN. My nanny contract ended in August 2010 so I decided to go back to college, once again at Ivy Tech, so I could at least finish my Associate's Degree in General Studies. While taking classes I began working at Sallie Mae as a Customer Service Specialist.
Two weeks after I started working at Sallie Mae I found out I was pregnant with my now 2 year old son Ozell "Liam" Ellsworth. When I found out I was pregnant I was extremely overwhelmed. I had just started a new job, recently purchased a new home, and had a lot on my plate with work and school. Even though I had a lot on my plate I continued to excel in school and graduated in December 2011 with my Associates Degree. I had never felt more accomplished :) At this point I was able to fully focus on work and creating the little human growing inside my belly. During my pregnancy I looked everywhere for a "mommy group" to meet new mom friends and "learn" how to be a mother. To my surprise I was unable to find any so I created my own mommy group on Facebook, Central Indiana Mothers, on January 19, 2011.
Originally I just wanted to meet a few other mothers, setup playdates, and create friendships; but it turned into so much more than that! Once I started adding my mom friends to our Facebook Group, and my mom friends starting adding their mom friends to the group it really took off. Our facebook group has grown to over 400 LOCAL mothers, "REAL" mothers, who come together to form a community where judging and criticism are left at the "door". Our mothers share stories, give advice, setup play dates and much more. I have met so many WONDERFUL mothers through our facebook group and absolutely love the fact that everyone is able to be "real" and share their stories without feeling judged or ridiculed. It truly is a MOTHERS Community! a CIM Community!
During my 35th week of pregnancy with my son I found out I had pre-eclampsia. The ONLY sign I had was extreme migraines. My blood pressure runs extremely low so that was never an "identifying factor." I went to the hospital on April 6th, thinking they would send me home with some headache medicine. To my surprise, after running multiple labs, the Doctor said they would have to induce me because I had severe pre-eclampsia (my liver enzyme count was that of 6 humans). I successfully delivered my beautiful baby boy on April 7, 2011. The feeling of seeing your child the first time doesn't compare to anything in the world. After spending six wonderful weeks (which is not enough maternity time if you ask me) with my son I retuned back to work at Sallie Mae. Two weeks later I was promoted to a Servicing Specialist II. Six months later I was promoted to an Instructional Designer.
One month after that I found out I was pregnant with my now 8 month old daughter Olivia Loree Ann a.k.a "Livy". One month after that I was diagnosed with hypermesis (extreme morning sickness). I was on multiple medications, tried all the natural remedies, yet I was still getting sick. Shortly after the diagnosis my employer approved family-medical leave (FMLA) and the doctor placed me on short-term disability. My doctor released me from her care on June 16th literally 4 days after my FMLA ran out, when I went back into my place of employment I was told that my position was "DISPLACED." I had LOST MY JOB (been fired if you will). I was told that I could "reapply for any open positions with the company but nothing was guaranteed." I honestly cried for a week straight. I had two children to take care of, had bills that needed paid, and now had to look for a new job. I was terrified!!! Luckily I was approved for unemployment insurance, but it was still nowhere near the amount of money I was making in my previous position.
I began looking for various resources (food, clothing, and childcare assistance, baby pantries, pre-school programs, and educational opportunities) that were offered throughout the local community and State of Indiana. I spent countless hours researching public assistance programs, free programs for children, food pantries, free events, low-cost activities, etc. (basically anything for a now "low-income" family). I went to the Family and Social Services office, submitted an application for food stamps and Medicaid, luckily I was already receiving WIC for myself and my children and Medicaid for my children, so that helped some. I grabbed every brochure that was in the FSSA office then went to the Division of Workforce Development and grabbed every job posting, application, and resource flyer they had as well. When I got home I realized that there are a lot of mothers out there (working or non) that need these services as well. I began posting the information I found and tons of mothers started sharing their information and resources they found. The group discussions spread like wild fire. Mothers were sharing their experiences at various public assistance offices, how you sign up for the programs, what you need to qualify, and much more. Our group became the "go to place" to get information about local community resources, state public assistance, advice from other mothers, and more.
On October 25th, 36 weeks pregnant at the time, I went to the hospital for yet another extreme migraine but this time I had a HORRIBLE sharp pain in my abdomen. This time around I expected that I would be induced so I was much more prepared. I had my bag packed and ready in the car, I called my mother (my fiance' was in another state on a job assignment) and explained that I needed to go to the hospital, NOW!!! She picked me up and rushed me to the hospital. The doctors ran labs and decided that since my liver enzymes were so high again (that of 5 humans instead of 6 . . . HAHA) I needed to be induced immediately. I again had pre-eclampsia with this pregnancy. I successfully delivered a beautiful baby girl on October 26, 2012.
All in all losing my job was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me. It made me understand the struggles of mothers, families, and children everywhere. The struggles that many Americans face, that those with good paying jobs, don't understand. I was able to use my time off to help other mothers (while helping myself), build lasting friendships, and find friends for my babies. I took a bad situation and turned it into something positive. If I hadn't lost my job Central Indiana Mothers, Inc. wouldn't have ever come to fruition. Our "Facebook Saga" became an official non-profit organization, Incorporated in the State of Indiana, on February 9, 2013. Two days later I was re-instated as an Instructional Designer with Sallie Mae. GOD really does work in mysterious ways :)
I am so grateful to each and every mother out there who has made this organization what is is today. Honestly wit out each and every one of our mothers we would not be the organization we are today. Our mothers are the heart and soul of the organization. We do this for THEM! The MOTHERS of Central Indiana.
I hope my story will inspire other mothers to never give up and follow their dreams, no matter where they lead. Life is too short to give up. BE STRONG, SHOW THE WORLD WHATCHA WORKIN' WITH!!!
Congratulations!!! Meet StephanyMae, Central Indiana Mothers Founder and Executive Director.
Please take some time to read about our Founder & How CIM Began. Her story is truly inspiring and the reason this organization exists is because of each and every one of you.
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My Story & How CIM Began:
Hello Everyone! I'm Stephany, Founder and Executive Director of Central Indiana Mothers Inc. Usually I wouldn't get all sappy and go into full detail about myself but for you to really understand how Central Indiana Mothers began I must "spill the beans." Straight out of high school I went to Hawaii Pacific University to pursue my passion of Marine Biology. After my first year in the program, 3 months of which I was on a research vessel in the middle of the ocean, during high tide season, I realized that Marine Biology wasn't going to work out for me since I got sea sick every time I went out on the water. :( I stayed in Hawaii for another year, while taking online classes at Ivy Tech Community