I’m proud to introduce you to Allison Evans. Working Smarty Mom, she’s got her hands full with three beautiful kiddos. I’m excited to share her story with you. She’s such an inspiration. Let’s get to know Allison!
Allison’s Smarty Mom Stats
Married to: David Evans
Mom of: Broughton (boy, 4 ½), Ansley and Crawford (boy/girl twins, 3)
Years in Charlotte: Eight years
Originally from: Birmingham, Alabama
Occupation: Wife, mom and part-time marketing consultant
Share your pregnancy/delivery stories.
We had a very difficult time having children. It was a process for us. The excitement of trying turned into the dread of specialty doctor visits and eventually fertility treatments. I had to get through treatment for endometriosis but after an early loss we found ourselves thankfully pregnant with twins. Very quickly however, we lost one of the twins.
Our anxiety then turned into being thrilled to have a single, healthy pregnancy. However, after just over 36 weeks of a very normal pregnancy I had a feeling that something wasn’t right and my fears were confirmed when an ultrasound confirmed our daughter had no heartbeat. I was encouraged to deliver her naturally and I did – reluctantly. Physically it was a typical delivery but mentally and emotionally it was the hardest thing my husband and I had ever done. We were in shock but somehow managed to get through the night. We did get a chance to hold our baby girl in our arms before the nurses took her away to prep her little body for a burial. Our lives changed forever. The petty arguments and little life problems seemed to fly out the window.
Our sights were set on family, friends and what matters in life. Our life got back to a “new normal” and we found ourselves pregnant, with help from fertility treatments, four months later with our son. I had switched doctors at this point (I went on a mission to find a doctor that would be my partner during the continued process of trying to start a family – the persistence paid off and was worth the search) and we had a very thoughtful pregnancy and delivery plan…get this sweet boy here healthy and alive! And by the grace of God, we did. He is an amazing child and will be 5 in May. Twenty days after his first birthday I was feeling a little off. We had never gotten pregnant on our own before so I knew the chances were very slim but that is how I felt. On a whim, I peed on a stick (in Target) and about fell out of my hovering stance – I was pregnant! Six weeks later we went in for our fist ultrasound. I had been preparing myself for all kinds of scenarios…just in case things were not ok. We knew everyone in the doctor’s office and they were happy to see us back and see pictures of our son. As the ultrasound tech turned the monitor away from us – I felt my heart drop. I looked at my husband and we heard the words “Well….huh um….it’s twins and they are as healthy as they can be.” My husband turned a light color of white ☺ and I just laughed. I was able to carry them just over 36 weeks and three years ago I naturally delivered a healthy girl and boy. God is good!
Tell us about Anna’s Gift.
Anna’s Gift is a fund that was established by our family to help families in the first 24 hours of suffering a loss.
It is administered by The Carolinas HealthCare Foundation, Inc., with David and I being part of the advisory committee, in an effort to establish the country’s leading perinatal bereavement support practice. Our goal is to provide immediate materials, tools and support for those who suffer the loss of a child.
The fund will support such things as:
• Patient teaching and educational materials
• Memory boxes
• Digital cameras, DVD transfer devices, and photo printers to provide pictures for memory boxes, etc.
• Materials for infant foot and hand molds and related keepsake boxes
• Funding for support group meetings, should the need arise
• Funding for additional grief support-related educational programs for unit nursing staff
• Funding to allow CMC staff to train and aid less fortunate hospital organizations establish a perinatal bereavement practice
What made you want to start Anna’s Gift?
Immediately after our loss, we had family and friends asking what they could do. Our response: figure out a way to help others in similar situations. From there, a bank account was established in David’s hometown and the fund grew overnight.
We spent the month following Anna’s death speaking with organizations and individuals who have had similar experiences. We explored how the funds could be put to the best, most-immediate use.
We decided to transfer the funds to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization who would allow us to set up a fund in Anna’s honor and focus primarily on perinatal bereavement support during those initial stages when a parent loses a child.
We partnered with Carolinas Healthcare Foundation to establish a Fund known as the “Anna’s Gift.”
To read a brief description and donate you can go to:
What’s a typical day in the Evans household?
My youngest comes pitter-pattering in at 5:45 with his goggles on and flashlight in hand. My daughter and older son wake up, stumble down the hall with bed head and don’t want to say two words or look at you. Then we are off to the races – eat, clean up, dress, load up, drop off, load up, nap, snack, play, eat, clean up, dress, pass out from exhaustion. Oh and several bribes along the way.
If you won the Lottery tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would do?
Set aside enough for my children’s education (along with as many nieces and nephews I could afford) and then on the boring side, pay off any debt and on the fun side plan a trip every three months to different places around the world to visit and while there identify a fund to contribute to (win-win – I get a fun trip but also get to give back).
Favorite place to eat with your family?
Pizza Peel! Great beer selection and the kids love the few games/arcades they have. Never knew a small stuffed animal could cost 100 quarters ☺
Favorite activity to do with your family/kids?
Stay in our pajamas all day – playing around the house and outside. No place to be – no requirements but to be happy (on and off) and have fun (and take a nap!).
What’s your ideal date night?
Not having to be home by a specific time, going to cozy restaurant and having a nice dinner with a great bottle of wine. Dessert optional.
Something most people don’t know about you?
I grew up with two brothers and three stepbrothers – the only girl.
Minivan or SUV?
Urrghh – I had an SUV for so long but with the announcements of twins turned to a minivan and I have to say I thank my car for opening its doors and being low enough that my three can get themselves partially buckled in without me.
Favorite Smarty phone app?
Zulilly or Flipboard – depends on if I am in a shopping mood or need to get smart mood.
I could not live without…
hearing my kids’ laughter at least once a day. I am guilty of tickling until it hurts sometimes.
What an amazing story and mom!! Thanks for sharing it, Jen!
I received the precious collection of items from “Anna’s Gift”. When we lost our baby girl (Lily) at 8 months, Allison gave me strength. We emailed over the months when I was in mourning and she taught me that there is life after loss. I’m so inspired by Allison and I’m honored to know her. Such an amazing gift and such an amazing mother.
Thank you for sharing your story and for helping so many families!