Dana Hosty, Social Worker, OKC Veterans Health Care System

Me:  Your baby girl is due in just a few days.  How old are you now and how old were you when you had your other children?

Dana Hosty (Social Worker, Oklahoma City Veterans Health Care System):  I will be 47 at the end of March.  I was 27 when my oldest was born, Nick.  He’s 19 and a freshman at college.  I was 31 when my 15 year old, Noah, was born.  I have a stepson who is also 15, Tommy.   Interestingly, Tommy and Nick share the same birthday, August 26th.

Me: How has this pregnancy been compared with the first two?

Dana Hosty: I was at a place in my life where I was preparing for my oldest to transition to college and my youngest and stepson would be finishing high school in 4 years.  My thoughts were on making sure I did not stagnate as a professional and as a person.  It had become very important to me to have other interests in my life from which I derived pleasure, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.  My children were going to be out of the house soon and moving on with their own lives.  I needed to make sure my life doesn’t consist solely of sitting on the couch watching television.  Then POW! A baby…starting all over again.  I find I continue to have many days I struggle to wrap my brain around what this will be like for us.

I remember first thinking something was off when I ran my third half marathon of the spring on May 14th.  That race did not go well and I felt like I was really struggling.  Being a runner since the spring of 2012 and practicing yoga since the fall of 2014, I’d become pretty tuned in to my body and recognized when things were not ‘right.’  I remember at one point wondering if this was the start of menopause.  I chuckle about that now.

I was not experiencing any of the ‘typical’ pregnancy symptoms, with the exception of fatigue.  The only physical symptoms I noticed were significant fatigue and to put it politely, my bras seemed to suddenly become too small.  I am amazed and believe sincerely that there are powers larger than me at work.  After some research, I learned that what we have been blessed with is not a common event.  It is rare that women my age have an unassisted pregnancy, much less one without complications.

This pregnancy has been more challenging for me physically and emotionally.  I consider myself to be in good shape.  I exercised regularly.  I am healthy, but this has been hard.  I believe my age is more of a factor than I wanted to believe.  I had big plans to continue exercising regularly and all I seemed to be able to do have been to go to work and sleep.

Me: What’s something that has helped you get through this pregnancy?

Dana Hosty:  One of the thoughts that have kept me going, some days quite literally, has been knowing my husband always wanted more children.  He has spoken often about having wanted a large family and how blessed he is to have my sons now in our blended family.  We have been married a little more than three years.  To be able to have this child means so very much to me.

My husband is an amazing man.  I’ve not encountered a more generous, loving person.  I feel blessed to be able to give him something he’s always wanted.  There is no physical or emotional challenge bigger than reminding myself of this blessing, this gift.

Me:  Tell us something you’d want your baby to know about you?

Dana Hosty: That I love God and trust in Him and His plan.  That while she was a complete surprise and while it has taken me some time to adjust to the idea of having a baby again, I would not change a thing.

Me:  Sometimes carrying a child results in some self-discoveries. What’s something you’ve learned about yourself during this pregnancy?

Dana Hosty:  I’m stronger than I thought I was.  I thought running half-marathons was hard.  This has been much harder physically.  I’d forgotten much about what it’s like being pregnant. I’d expected to have problems along the way with this pregnancy given my age.  Surprisingly, I’ve not experienced any problems or issues.  That being said, I’m finding doing the most simple of activities very challenging. Just walking from my car in the parking garage to my office feels like a Herculean effort most days.  Preparing a meal for my family is very taxing and requires tremendous effort.

Me:  What’s something you worry about for your child?   

Dana Hosty:  I worry about the other side of being an older parent.  While we are in good health and established in our careers, I worry she may have to deal with caring for my husband and I as we age.  I hope we are able to care for and protect her.

Me:  Parents often have wishes for their children.  What do you hope for the most for the little girl inside of you?

Dana Hosty:  I hope for her health and happiness.  I hope she knows how wonderful she is.  I hope she is happy with who she is.  In this day and age of immense pressure on women, I want her to be happy in her own skin.

 

 

 

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Jim Duea, Airspace System Inspection Pilot and Manager, FAA

Me:  Today, at age 70, you’re standing next to your Beechcraft Bonanza.  I understand this older picture is from when you were just 2 years old, atop the wing of an older Bonanza.  These pictures are decades apart, yet you’re smiling in both.  Should we be surprised by this?

Jim Duea (Airspace System Inspection Pilot and Manager, Federal Aviation Administration, Retired):  Love of flying runs in my family.  My dad was a pilot in World War II. He flew P-47 Thunderbolts in Italy.  That’s a big fighter aircraft used in WWII.  After he got out of the Service, he did some private commercial flying.  I’d go to the airport with him since I was 2 years old and watch airplanes, so my love for the Bonanza and flying go way back.  In high school, I found out I needed to wear glasses.  I thought then all my hopes of being a pilot were crushed.

I went into the Army in 1964-1967.  I spent a year in Vietnam and a little over a year in Germany…In Vietnam, since I couldn’t fly as a pilot, I’d volunteer to go on missions as a gunner in helicopters and as an assistant crew chief on the cargo aircraft the Army had just because I liked being in the air.

After high school, the vision restrictions to fly had changed.  They’re not as restrictive as they used to be.  I knew then I could fly as a private pilot.  When I was in Vietnam, I saved all my leave and nearly every penny that I could so that when I came home on leave, I could take flying lessons. I still had about a month of leave after Vietnam, so I spent about 2-3 weeks flying almost everyday just to get my student license.  I continued that afterwards in flying clubs and such just to get flying time and eventually qualified for my private pilot’s license.  After that, I found out the GI Bill was available to help supplement the cost of additional ratings you need to fly commercially, like a commercial’s pilot’s license, flight instructor ratings, multi-engine instrument rating, all of those I got assistance from the GI Bill.

Me: Tell us something you’ve learned about flying?

Jim Duea: I’ve had flights that for 3 hours, it was unbelievably turbulent.  I’ve also had trips over the ocean where I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it back to where       I needed to go because I was low on fuel and the weather had turned sour.  One of the first things you learn in aviation, much like with life, if you get in trouble, confess. Tell someone you have a problem.  They will then assist you. Let them…When you’re 26 years old, things don’t scare you as much as when you’re 70.  When you’re 70, wild and crazy is next to dying!

Me:  You never gave up on your dream of flying. What would you say to someone trying to make a dream come true?

Jim Duea: Don’t lose that vision.  Keep that vision in mind all the time.  You’ll find ways, you’ll find openings, opportunities to do what you really want to do in life.  If you focus your attention on something you want to do, you’ll see opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise.  For instance, you’re driving down the road looking for a parking spot.  Your focused total attention is on that.  You will see the exhaust from a car 2 lanes away that indicates they’re maybe pulling out of the parking space.  You would never have noticed that if you’re just driving down the street.  My advice is to just don’t lose your focus.  Keep that dream.  Keep thinking of what you want and you’ll be able to accomplish it.