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Surprise

Surprise!

‘How could this happen? I thought things like this only happened to older moms or if it ran in your family.’: Mom of Down syndrome baby finds community of support, ’She was made for us’

“’She has a few markers that are consistent with Down syndrome.’ I felt like someone told me my entire family had just died. I felt like I was in a nightmare. ‘I’m not equipped to handle this.’ I listened to my nurse talk about her twin brother with Down syndrome. I couldn’t believe it. That was the first moment where I felt, ‘Maybe I can do this.’”

‘Flesh was hanging off the roof of his mouth. ‘Your son has no immune system to fight this.’ We were trapped inside the house for months in total isolation.’: Mom to medically complex, autistic sons urges ‘find your village’

“His lesions were so severe he couldn’t eat. Rashes covered his entire body. We had to inject him with Pedialyte every 15 minutes just to keep him from passing out. In the midst of trying to be a normal family of 3, we suffered 3 miscarriages. Here we were, emotionally and physically exhausted, still yearning for hope. Little did we know, after 11 pregnancies, baby B would surprise us with blood in his diaper at just 2 months old. We knew something was terribly wrong.”

‘This boy is never going to be up for adoption. Don’t get too attached.’ It was too late. I was in love with him.’: Foster mom fights for her adoption journey, ‘This is what I waited for, prayed for’

“My daughter was 12 and I still wasn’t married. My hopes of having children dwindled away. Suddenly, the cutest little 3-month-old boy entered my life and instantly stole our hearts. ‘His aunt wants to adopt him.’ They dropped a bombshell on me. ‘I have been his mommy. Nobody else was there through the sleepless infant nights. It has been me all this time, loving him.’ I felt like my heart had been shattered.”

‘I’d get married at Taco Bell and wear a piece of string around my finger if it meant spending the rest of my life with the person I adore.’: After abusive relationship, woman says marriage isn’t about material possessions.

“I had it all — the cars, the house, the material things. When I got married, I ignored all of the glaring red flags and thought maybe he would change. The truth of the matter was he was not the right person for me. I had no idea how to get out. I felt stuck. What would I do if I left? It took me a while to realize my happiness was worth so much more than any financial security or material comfort.”

‘I checked the mail to find a strange woman asking my husband for child support. 8 years into marriage, I found out he had another daughter the exact age as our 6-year-old.’: Woman with vitiligo shares incredible journey, ‘Never give up on your dreams’

“At 17, I got pregnant. Life completely changed. After discovering my husband’s double life, I went into the shower to find a white spot under my arm. I tried to scrub it off, but it wouldn’t move. Every time I checked, the spot was bigger and bigger. ‘Is it cancer? Is it contagious?’ I asked the doctor.’There’s no cure.’ As he pulled up pictures on his laptop, I began to cry. ‘I’m going to be a monster.’ Here I was, my marriage ending, horrified no one would ever want me again.”

‘What’s it like being a little person?’ I was touched without my consent and forced to apologize. I was so naive.’: Woman with Achondroplasia urges ‘I’m not a little person, I’m not a dwarf, I’m just Chandler’

“For so long, I thought the compliments were genuine. People would brag about how smart my brother was and be in awe over my sister’s art, while I got a pat on the head for just being…me. When I’d move my head out of the way and say, ‘Don’t pat my head,’ I got, ‘Your daughter shouldn’t talk to me like that. You should teach her manners.’ If I said ‘no’ when being asked if they could shake my hand, because they ‘always wanted to shake a little person’s hand,’ I was ‘rude.’ I felt trapped.”

‘Is this normal?’ My husband watched me jump into that black hole in an effort to pull her out.’: Woman tells how autism affected her marriage, ‘I could only see what was visible in my autism-centered world’

“She withdrew into her own world. I would stand right in front of her, screaming her name. She didn’t even acknowledge I was there. The doctors called it autism. It was still up to me to figure out how to make it better. I pushed everyone away, including my husband. A mother is only as well as her sickest child.”

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