Children

‘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.”

‘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 7 kids, 3 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.’”

‘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.”

‘How far along are you?’ You were unknowingly pregnant, alone, living in a tent under a bridge. I tried my best to keep you calm. My heart broke for you.’: 911 dispatcher recounts phone call from homeless woman that ‘changed her life forever’

“It was 4 a.m. and 39 degrees outside. You were cold and all alone. ‘Can you feel for any parts of the baby?’ You yelled out that you could feel her head! My heart broke for you. Those precious cries are something I will never forget.”

‘Help me!’ The color drained from my face. I awoke to cramping and blood dripping on the bathroom floor.’: LGBT couple navigate homophobia, reciprocal IVF journey, ‘our girls will be filled with lots of love’

“Our babies! Were they gone? We drove the 3 hours to the IVF clinic. The doctor informed us, ‘One baby is still there, and next to the baby is a blood clot 4 times its size.’ I remember my eyes filling with tears. I began crying on my wife’s shoulder. ‘What you two are doing isn’t right.’ No one ever tells you how hard it will be to have kids when you’re gay.”

‘I met a guy. He was unlike any person I’d ever met. We fell in love hard and fast. Slowly, he earned my trust.’: Woman credits husband for helping her overcome childhood abuse

“When we got married, I had no idea how to relax my body. How to communicate without completely shutting down for days. I struggled to show emotion, to be vulnerable. It took 5 years of marriage for me to believe he wasn’t going to hit me when he got mad. The simple act of raising his arms triggered me and made me flinch.”

‘This is addiction. This is ‘just one more time.’ ‘Just a little hit.’ It’s a 3 a.m. phone call we knew was coming, but prayed never would.’: Family mourns loved one lost to addiction, ‘drugs don’t love you, your friends and family do’

“Addiction is a room (and whole hospital waiting room) full of brothers, sisters, nieces, uncles and friends beating themselves up because they didn’t save you. It’s a doctor saying the words ‘legally brain dead.’ An empty chair at every family event. It’s a daughter, a son who have to figure this world out without their dad. This is a man who loved with everything he had. Drugs don’t love you. Your family and friends do.”

‘That is a mean mug.’ I saw my little girl for the first time. She was NOT impressed.’: Parents surprised by daughter’s hilariously angry face after birth

“The next day, after a well deserved rest, the family appeared to meet our baby girl. With them taking photos and taking turns holding ‘the potato,’ we really starting to notice her face. She was NOT happy with being evicted. I told my husband as he was holding Luna, ‘check out that face.’ She had his stupid mean mug face, but unlike him, she made it look good.”

‘I want my mom!!! I want my mom to come back!!!’ He was totally inconsolable. I’ve never felt more in tune with a person’s emotion.’: Daughter’s advice on getting through the holidays without your mother

“I was dropping my son off at daycare. When we arrived, there was another little boy who’d just been dropped off by his mom. He couldn’t have been more than 3 years old. And he was wailing. This child was genuinely distressed. He wanted his mom very, very badly. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more in tune with another person’s emotion.”

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