Love

‘I screamed, ‘I love you! Please don’t leave me!’ She had changed her tampon regularly. She started seizing and stopped breathing right in front of me.’: Mom loses daughter to Toxic Shock Syndrome, ‘My beautiful girl was a fighter’

“It was my daughter’s 19th birthday. She wasn’t feeling well, but still wanted to go out to dinner. When we got home, my baby was sick to her stomach. She was completely out of it. Something wasn’t right. I hug her saying, ‘It’s okay, the ambulance is coming.’ Then, all of the sudden, she looks at me, takes a deep breathe, and closes her eyes. I held her as she took her last breath. I didn’t want to let go. I prayed God would take me instead.”

‘My youngest was called the n-word in kindergarten. He’s been told his skin is the color of poop. Someone yelled a racial epithet at us from a truck.’: Adoptive mom addresses the ‘wide mouthed, gaping stares’ her mixed-race family gets from strangers

“Raising a child of a different race was overwhelming. I hate to even admit how I once accidentally shaved his toddler head bald before desperately seeking out a Black barber. But slowly, we learned what products worked on his skin and hair. We stepped out of our comfort zone. When I share how I have two 20-year-old’s and a 10-year-old, people ask if the 20-year-old’s are twins, or they comment on the age gap. I know my older two keep things from me. I worry about the safety of all three of them.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘My heart skipped a beat. A single outfit stopped me in my tracks. It was a familiar print, from my son’s final outfit.’: Mom caught off guard by emotional memory when she least expected it, ‘I fought back tears’

“Tiny little elephants danced across the pink fleece in front of me. It was a familiar print. I’d entered that very store years ago, searching for a final outfit for my gravely ill son. Shoppers were oblivious to me. As I got my daughter dressed, she smiled back at me. I teared up.”

‘You’ll never regret having kids. The second that child enters this world, he’ll steal a part of your heart you didn’t know you had left to give.⁣’: Woman claims a mother’s love transcends all circumstance, ‘No matter the chaos she brings, she’s worth it’

“You may regret it when you’re 34 weeks pregnant, and it takes so much effort to do the littlest things.⁣ You may regret it when you’re in labor with excruciating pain so intense it takes your breath away, as sweat forms in places you didn’t know produced sweat.⁣ No matter how much you can’t afford her, no matter how much time you don’t have, the second that child is placed on your chest, something changes.”

‘She had a severe fever. I thought she’d sleep it off. The next morning, her breathing was off. I should have listened to my gut.’: Local ‘mom tribe’ step in to breastfeed newborn while mother’s daughter battles life-threatening flu

“That night, she got worse. Her eye turned pink. She sat next to the couch and cried, coughing so hard she vomited. When the ambulance arrived, I passed off my other kids to a friend, said goodbye. That’s when I lost it. I had no idea this would be 1 of 9 nights my daughter would remain in the hospital. I had to be strong for my sweet girl. My newborn was stuck at home. I posted to Facebook about it. Suddenly, text after text came flooding in.”

‘I’m 30 years old, I’ve never had a child, and the first thing they say is, ‘We need to remove something from your body.’ It was completely crazy.’: Woman diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis determined to conceive through IVF, ‘He gave us back the hope we had lost’

“We started noticing I was in a lot of pain during intercourse. One night, I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear it. I was taken to the ER. They told me I had an ovarian cyst rupture. I had no idea what that meant. They gave me some pain pills and told me to ‘rest.’ I went on like nothing was wrong. My periods were not coming on time. I’d miss an entire month or two. I was dealing with all these emotions while trying to maintain hope. Time was flying by, and I still didn’t have a baby.”

‘I knew something was wrong just by looking at him. ‘It’s not a blood clot. You have a 5-inch mass in between your heart and your lungs.’: Woman diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma fights to live for her daughter, ‘I’m too young to die. I have a 3-year-old daughter who needs her mom.’

“My first symptom hit like a ton of bricks. I felt heaviness in my chest I couldn’t explain. We had to run to catch our connecting flight. This is the exact moment I knew. I could not run. I WANTED to, but my body wouldn’t let me. I ate well and exercised often, so I knew something was very, very wrong. My friends said it sounded like I was having an anxiety attack. ‘I’m only 32 years old. How can this happen?’ Our lives changed forever.”

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