Growing up, Newcastle resident Emily Krah always wanted to be a mother, she said during an interview on Monday, Aug. 2.
When she was young and someone would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would reply with “a teacher and a mom” or “a singer and a mom,” always being sure to include her desire to have children in the answer.
Krah has two sons with her husband, Logan Krah—Raylan, 5, and Jace, one and a half—and she spends most of her days with them, in addition to her work as an Usbourne Books & More seller.
Krah grew up in New Harbor and graduated from Lincoln Academy, where she first met her high school sweetheart, Logan.
The couple was married in 2013 and lived in Jacksonville, N.C., for a few years while Logan finished up his four years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
During this time, Krah took a course to be a birth doula, which she explained as “basically a support person for the birthing person, for the mom, for their partner … emotional support, physical support, nothing medical.”
However, shortly after completing the course, Krah found out she was pregnant with her first child and was not available to practice her newfound skills.
She and her husband then moved back to the area and, in 2019, built a house on a nice piece of property they had owned for two years.
“We always knew we wanted to be back here,” Krah said.
She was able to coach one client through the birthing process as a doula, but said it is hard to find clients in the area and that doulas are more popular in cities like Portland.
“It’s just a really interesting process to go through with someone and help them make the decisions that they want and help them advocate for themselves,” Krah said. “And then to see the final product of them going through their birth. It’s a really cool moment to witness.”
Krah said she was always fascinated by the birth stories on the TLC channel that her grandmother would watch and that she and her sister always played house growing up.
“I always had been really interested in birth and pregnancy,” Krah said.
Krah took classes at Midcoast Dance Studio in Newcastle from the time she was six through high school and started teaching there at the end of 2016 with then-owner Faye Cain.
In March 2020, when COVID-19 upended life as we know it, Krah tried to do online dance classes with the students, but found it very challenging.
“It’s really hard because the kids will have their iPad on the floor,” Krah said with a laugh.
It is clear Krah has a passion and a gentle way with kids. During the interview, she would stop talking to address one of her kids and calmly answer their questions or logically explain to them why they can’t use the baseball bat in the house, for instance.
Krah is currently an Usbourne Books & More seller who hosts virtual book parties. She has amassed a collection of nearly 600 children’s books, which is the reason she became involved with the company in the first place.
“I really wanted them to have more books. I grew up with a huge bookshelf. My parents read to us all the time. My grandparents were teachers, they read to us all the time,” Krah said.
She said that Usbourne has a very wide and unique selection of different kinds of books for kids.
Krah said a very colorful and interesting book piqued her son’s interest and he started asking about different things in the book. Then by the time he was two, he was talking full sentences.
“We couldn’t get him to talk at all before this,” Krah said.
Krah has also held several book drive fundraisers and handed out books through her church, Damariscotta Baptist Church, the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Newcastle, and the New Harbor Food Pantry.
One of the most successful drives happened in 2018, when she came up with a “Pie the Book Lady” fundraiser. Every time a certain amount of money was raised, she would stream a Facebook Live a video of her oldest son throwing a pie in her face.
She said $1,500 was raised to purchase books to hand out.
Krah said she is grateful she is able to spend so much time with her two children while also staying involved.
“It’s really nice that I’m able to stay at home with them, but then at the same time, be able to still help in different parts of our community,” Krah said.