Children

‘They’re gone, we lost them.’ A substitute teacher touched my belly. There was no belly. I had to mutter these words.’: Couple struggling with Fragile X Syndrome, infertility, finally pregnant with rainbow baby

“We were having identical twin girls. My husband and I were overjoyed. But our twins did not develop their brains. We lost both our little girls. Because I am a teacher, I had to write to all of my students’ parents about what happened, asking them to explain it to their 5-year-old children. There was no belly. I had to mutter the words, ‘They’re gone, we lost them.’ It leaves behind scars, fears, and triggers.”

‘I grabbed mascara to hide my puffy eyes. ‘But you’re pretty enough, mama.’ The words stopped everything.’: Mom reminds us it’s okay to ‘lower your standards every now and then’

“‘Let mama throw on some clothes and put makeup on.’ Some days, I embrace the chaos. I laugh it off. It’s fine. This was not one of those days. I felt the tears welling in my eyes. There I was, day 3 of dry shampoo, on my knees in my 6-year-old’s closet 10 minutes before we had to leave. My toddler sitting atop the kitchen table, spilling milk from his brother’s cereal while the dogs licked the sticky floor. The words came from the other side of my bedroom door. I stopped frantically searching for a bobby pin. I just stopped.”

‘Babies… babies…’ she repeated in her tiny voice. There was nobody else around. We were visiting her big sister at the cemetery.’: Mom knows daughter has connection with big sister in heaven, ‘I’m seeing the signs to prove it. And that brings me so much comfort.’

“They have a beautiful relationship even though they never met in this life. There have been times when we drive past the cemetery, and without any prompting she waves and says, ‘Hi Sissy,’ then tells me her Sissy is in that cemetery. Their relationship goes deeper than I even know. It’s something more. I mean, obviously. She was seeing babies in the cemetery when she was too young to have any understanding about where we were or why.”

‘He loved me for who I am, I want everyone to see exactly who I am! I will never be ashamed again.’: Woman with prosthetic leg learns to love herself after tragic loss of husband, ‘If you live with a disability, a malformation, a birthmark–DON’T feel like you need to hide it!’

“When I was about 23, I got my robot leg. I did wear dresses but I didn’t like to wear anything too tight on my butt because you can see the edge of the prosthetic. I hated it. I was so ashamed of showing that part of my body. The shamefulness slowly disappeared, this summer when I lost my husband in a motorcycle accident.”

‘After my C-section, I heard, ‘Wow! He’s got a big birthmark on his face.’: Baby is born with Port-Wine Stain and Sturge-Weber Syndrome, ‘Never did I think I would have to consider what anti-seizure medication would best keep my child thriving.’

“A bright reddish-purple color covered more than half of my newborn son’s face. ‘Will this birthmark fade? Will it get worse? What will other people think? Can this lead to other health issues?’ Looking back now, those first months of Leo’s life, I was living in fear. I was consumed by anxiety, exhaustion, and confusion.”

‘We won’t charge you for her.’ We already had 5 children.’: Mom of 10 has all-natural birth at age 43

“Let’s just say, passion wasn’t an issue in our relationship. We were headed to the movies and had a conversation that I might be pregnant. He asked me to take a pregnancy test in the movie theater restroom. I just swung my arms in a rocking cradle motion as I walked towards them. My family started asking if we were done. My mom even told me I needed to make John an appointment for a vasectomy. Funny story.”

‘Gabrielle, look at me.’ I burst into tears and told her I was struggling. ‘That’s it. I’m coming over. I’m taking the baby. You are going to eat and shower!’: Overwhelmed new mom thankful to friend for ‘showing the hell up’

“She could see I was avoiding eye contact. She showed up to my house, took my baby. I stood there, staring at her and my baby. Like, ‘What do I do now?’ She looked at me and said, ‘We are fine! GO TAKE A SHOWER. I know what I’m doing!’ Sometimes the kind of love I need is this.”

‘I was pregnant at my college graduation ceremony. Ready or not, we were parents. We were young and dumb.’: Mom realizes she ‘needs to slow down’ as her children grow older

“‘My entire adult life, I’ve been a father. Now I am not sure who I am without them,’ my husband said, sitting across from me at the restaurant. I wasn’t ready for this. I failed to anticipate this. ‘Slow down. You are fast-forwarding,’ you might say. And you would be right. I need to slow down.”

‘If you’re humming a wiggles tune while checking out college campuses, I see you. It’s a crazy ride. And you’re not alone.’: For all the parents raising teenagers and toddlers at the same time

“In our home, we’re currently raising a 17 year old, 14 year old, 7 year old, and 5 year old. For the greater part of my time as a parent, I’ve been parenting children at nearly every possible stage of development, emotionally and physically. It’s confusing, gut-wrenching, and beautiful. All at once. All the time. Every day. It’s knowing I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, while also wondering if I’m getting any of it right.”

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