‘How the hell did I end up here?’ It took me months to say, ‘My child died.’ We hung her stocking. I’m finally ready.’: Mom celebrates stillborn during holidays for surviving twin to know ‘her sister’s spirit is with her for her lifetime’

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered, ‘How are you?,’ with a forced, fake, ‘Hanging in there!’ just to make the conversation easier. We hung her Christmas stocking on the mantle this year. I am painfully aware that on Christmas morning, that stocking will hang empty as the others burst with gifts. ‘Why me? Why our family?’ But for now, we honor her absence. I am finally ready.”

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‘We found a hole.’ His heart was beating. What did we miss?! I wasn’t a special needs mom. I didn’t have the qualifications for that.’: After 5 kids, 2 miscarriages, mom births baby with Down syndrome, ‘he is our extra special little man’

“‘His heart could be repaired,’ I thought. We could get past that, carry on. And then the doctor said, ‘This is very common with Down syndrome.’ That I didn’t want to hear. Surgery wasn’t going to fix that. I put it out of my mind. Our baby wasn’t going to have Down syndrome! Then the doctor said, ‘You have the option to terminate.’”

‘At 15, I caught the attention of an older man. ‘You’re jailbait. You could ruin my life.’ He blamed me for the entire affair.’: Autistic woman escapes domestic abuse, ‘It is not my job to carry his pain’

“I didn’t understand at the time, but he was triggering autistic meltdowns. He objectified me constantly and often talked publicly about my genitalia, how no man had ‘had me before.’ Months before my 20th birthday, I proudly displayed a photo of my brother in uniform on the TV, which was ‘too imposing.’ I immediately threw my belongings into a trash bag. It was like a light bulb went off in my head.”

‘6 weeks pregnant with our surprise third baby, my husband of 7 years packed his bags and left me.’: Woman empowered to embrace single parenting after husband leaves her during pregnancy, ‘You are worthy. I finally believed it.’

“My face was red and my eyes were swollen from sobbing. When we were good, we were great. When we were bad, we were absolutely volatile. She dropped the inevitable bombshell. ‘Where do you think this is coming from?’ ‘What he put me through,’ I replied. ‘Deeper, Amber.’ It hit me. There was no miracle. Our marriage was over.”

‘I can feel her head!’ You were pregnant, living under a bridge. Those precious cries are something I’ll never forget.’: 911 dispatcher shares act of kindness for homeless woman birthing twins, ‘sometimes all you need is a little love and support’

“It was 4 a.m. and 39 degrees outside. You had no pregnancy symptoms and found out barely a month ago you were expecting! The contractions hit. You thought you had time to get to the hospital. When they increased in intensity, you realized that was not the case. You quickly dialed 911 and they transferred you to me. This call was a rough one for me. You were in so much pain, cold, and all alone. As a mom too, I can’t imagine how you felt. I could tell you wanted to do better.”

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