Mum’s the word

Wichita moms share their stories

Written by Sara Garrison

Motherhood is an incredible experience of peaks and valleys, combined with magnificent, sometimes humbling moments in between. Although the experience of being a mom is different for everyone, one important element remains constant — a mother’s love for her child is everlasting. Here, three Wichita moms share their stories of motherhood and what makes being a mom so special.

Dr. Anna Stork-Fury

Beloved Wichita OB-GYN, Anna Stork-Fury, MD works with mothers each and every day. In her personal life, Anna is a mother with seven children ranging in age from 3 to 18 years old.

“Being a mother is an unbelievable experience,” says Anna. “Each day as a parent you experience things that are exciting and rewarding. We love to watch even the smallest of accomplishments every day, whether it is our older children getting good grades or watching our youngest discover something new. We enjoy watching them grow.”

Anna grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. In high school, she met and fell in love with her husband, Shilo. The couple has been married for 20 years. In 2002 they moved to Wichita for Anna’s residency training, and since 2006 she has worked in private practice at College Hill OB-GYN.

“Because of the demands of my job, I am so grateful to have such an amazing partner and husband. Shilo is a stay-at-home dad who does an amazing job raising our children,” explains Anna. “Shilo is loving, caring, encouraging, engaging, funny and strict when he needs to be, and he has always been a rock for our family.”

Anna and Shilo are parents to Sierra, Claudia, Nathan, Sophia, Stella, Steele and Stone. The family enjoys their free time together, spending many evenings and weekends watching each child participate in sports activities.

“By teaching children to be active while they are young, you are instilling healthy habits for life,” says Anna. “We want to instill in our kids that it is OK to have treats, but we encourage exercise as a good part of promoting overall health. Plus sports are not just about being physically healthy; they encourage working toward a goal, mind over matter and leadership.“

Three years ago, the couple adopted their youngest child, Stone. Being adoptive parents has been an incredibly rewarding and impactful experience for the family.

“Adopting Stone has been beyond special for our family. We are so blessed that someone chose to entrust us to raise her child. We think of her every day,” says Anna. “Stone is an amazing kid. I wish more pregnant mothers would consider adoption. It is such a selfless loving act.”

As an OB-GYN, Anna delivers about 300 babies each year. “It is so exciting to be a part of a delivery, watching a mom and dad experience the birth of their child, is so special,” she says. “It is so wonderful to see the mom and dad meet their baby for the first time.”

Anna believes patience is an important key to parenting: “As a parent it is important to have patience with yourself and your kids. Parenting can be exhausting. It is essential to have a good support system in place.

“I have enjoyed every stage of my children growing up. Each stage has been unique, different and exciting,” Anna continues. “What I love about having a big family is having my kids know that they always have someone to talk to and we always support each other and we have each other’s back.”

Taylor Gould

Teen Leadership teacher at Maize Middle School and Maize South Middle School, Taylor Gould and her husband Garrett, welcomed their first child into the world last November — a daughter named Finley.

Taylor and Garrett grew up together, having met on the school bus in second grade. The couple were high school sweethearts who recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary.

Taylor describes motherhood as an incredible, life-changing experience.

“Being a mommy means everything to me. Finley has rocked our world in the best way possible,” says Taylor. “After I became a mommy, my priorities changed. When you become a mother, it is amazing how your heart grows exponentially. The love you have for your child is a whole different kind of love. Being a mom is a huge accomplishment and it is so rewarding.”

As a teacher, Taylor teaches about 150 students each semester. Taylor believes becoming a mother has influenced her not only personally, but professionally as well.

“I love my students so much. Being a parent makes me appreciate my students more and appreciate my student’s parents more. Now, I put myself in the parent’s shoes. I look at my students and think, if they were Finley, how would I want her to be taught? Every child has a story. I try to be intentional to get to know my students as people and help them move forward to be the best they can be.”

“Being a mom is the greatest miracle ever.” — Taylor Gould

Taylor says her mother Shelley Funk, has been an outstanding role model for her as a mother. “If I could be half the mom that my mom was to me, then I am doing good,” says Taylor. “She is so selfless and will do absolutely anything for our family. I admire her so much.”

Taylor has a few suggestions for other new moms or mothers to be.

“It is a huge responsibility to be a parent,” says Taylor. “Sometimes motherhood can be challenging, but time moves so quickly. It is important to be present and enjoy every moment and every stage of your baby’s life.”

Taylor continues, “Being a mom is the greatest miracle ever. It is fun to see her grow and develop a personality. I am so grateful that I get to raise Finley with my best friend and husband, Garrett. He is an amazing daddy.”

Jackie Davis

As a single mother of multiples, Jackie Davis strives to enjoy every minute of being a mom. Jackie struggled with infertility for over 2 ½ years before becoming pregnant with four babies.

“Struggling with infertility solidified how much I wanted to become a mother. Later, when things got crazy with four babies, I knew that this was what I was made for, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” explains Jackie Davis. “I love being a mom and I try to appreciate every moment with my kids.”

Not long after she discovered she was carrying multiples, Jackie had complications with her pregnancy. Jackie spent the majority of her pregnancy on bed rest with 7 ½ weeks in the hospital. Then, on April 9, 2004, at just 29 ½ weeks gestation, Jackie gave birth to three boys and one girl.

“My babies were born at around three pounds each and were immediately placed in the NICU at Wesley Medical Center,” says Jackie. “My daughter coded her first night and had to be resuscitated. At birth, their outlook was questionable, but we have been blessed with four healthy kids. I am always cognizant of what a gift my kids are.”

Sammy, Joey, Aidan and Brenna are now 14-year-old teenagers who have their own interests and activities.

“Sammy is easy-going and friendly to everyone. He loves computers and wants to be a coder. Joey was our smallest baby who was born at 2 pounds, 10 ounces. He is now our tallest and loves sports, especially football and golf,” says Jackie. “Aidan is creative. He loves magic and vlogging and Brenna loves to write, draw and sing. When they were little, she had the boys wrapped around her finger.”

In their free time Jackie, Sammy, Joey, Aidan and Brenna enjoy spending time together watching movies, riding bikes and participating in their family Ping-Pong tournaments.

“My children are all different but I love supporting each of their interests and activities,” says Jackie. “My greatest hope for my kids is that they will know they are loved and they will love the Lord and love others.”

In her professional life, Jackie works at Young Life International and focuses on prayer in Europe.

“I encourage new moms to develop a network of friends and community. It is important to talk to other moms, who know what you are going through,” says Jackie. “The words ‘me too’ are some of the most comforting words in the world that you can hear as a mom. Learning from other mothers’ experiences is so helpful. I would not have been able to be a sane mother of quads, without my church that loved us so well. Now, as a single mom, a great network of friends and being part of a church body is even more important.”

Jackie continues, “It’s cliché but it’s true: The days are long, but the years are short. I encourage moms to enjoy every minute and savor your kids. Every memory and tradition, no matter how small, is important.”

There are 43.5 million mothers in the United States between the ages of 15 and 50. — Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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