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Surprise

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‘My new wife is younger and we have a daughter.’ He smashed photos of my sons. I am worth more.’: Woman escapes abuse, alcoholism, creates her own recovery program to give back, ‘I survived for a reason’

“I was living with a very dangerous individual. With him gone, the nightmare became more real. I felt unsafe in the house. You can’t change locks on a shared ownership home. One day, I came home to find my bed had disappeared, along with all the mirrors. He would not stop until he had destroyed everything. The house was repossessed and I received a Christmas card from him. ‘Hope you and your sons are cold on the streets this Christmas. Here’s hoping you prosper.’”

‘Baby’s here! He’s coming!’ I looked down and saw our son’s head.’: Trans woman describes surprise home birth, ’We might not be the typical nuclear family, but our love is strong’

“Before I came out, Shannon and I decided to try for another baby. I got approved by the Marine Corps to begin my transition and started hormone therapy. Soon after, we announced we were pregnant. At 2 a.m., Shannon and I were getting ready to have our baby. We thought we had plenty of time. I walked into the bathroom and noticed blood in the water. She told me, ‘We aren’t going anywhere. Call 911.’ One push later, our baby slid into my arms. We were all smiles and shellshock.”

‘If you bring me a baby shower gift, please do not expect a thank-you letter.’: Mom urges gift-givers to accept verbal thank yous, ‘We have so many other things to worry about and you need to be okay with that’

“My mom threw me a diaper shower. A few weeks later, a woman approached me in church. ‘Do you know where I live?’ she asked. I told her I did. She went on to tell me her address. She thought since she hadn’t received a thank you letter yet, I didn’t have the right address or it somehow got lost in the mail.”

‘I woke up in a hotel room and rolled over to multiple guys I didn’t know. ‘Where am I? What the heck happened?’ Silence. I quickly ran out the door.’: Woman 1,000 days sober after long battle with alcoholism

“I slowly opened my eyes when I heard my name being called. ‘Yvette, you’re next!’ I was lying on a cold, stone bench in a room with a bunch of other girls. My head was pounding. I quickly realized I was still intoxicated from the night before. A guard opened the door and escorted me down a hall. It was then I caught a glimpse of my reflection…in an orange jumpsuit. Who was this person staring back at me? I did not recognize her.”

‘My mom noticed a hole above my tailbone she could fit her pinky into. The doctors told her, ‘As long as it’s covered with skin, it’s nothing to worry about.’: Woman with spina bifida and fibromyalgia suffers from ‘back attacks’ and ‘wild symptoms’

“During birth, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. In order to save my life, the doctor had to act fast. My mom’s tailbone was broken. Then like any other mom, she diligently looked over my body and immediately noticed a hole above my own tailbone. The doctors told her, ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’ But at 7 days old, I had a temperature of 104 degrees. As I grew, so did the tumor. It tightly wrapped around my bladder and kidneys, slowly killing me.”

‘I woke up in a hospital bed. There was a $100 bill on the bedside table with a note that said, ‘GO HOME.’ My miscarriage left me almost dead.’: Woman quits alcohol and drugs ‘cold turkey’ after addict husband’s death

“I had never smoked a cigarette, never drank a beer, never had a real boyfriend. I was a naïve, 17-year-old virgin. I went to a party with my friends. I paid the guy at the door $5 dollars. ‘The punch is in the kitchen, don’t lose your cup.’ I was found on steps, lying in a pool of vomit. I fell off the Dean’s List. Then I met the man I would marry. I had a front-row seat to the most terrifying horror show imaginable. I was penniless, homeless, trickin’ on Main South for a 40 piece.”

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘A month before my wedding, I woke up unable to see 2 feet in front of me. I chalked it up to a fluke. I was so naive.’: Woman shares emotional battle with Uveitus, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to persevere’

“I woke up with blood-shot eyes. Everything was a blur. ‘This is going to go away. It can’t get worse.’ This is when my eyesight started to deteriorate. Here I was, 26 years old, a month before my dream wedding day. I had the most beautiful wedding dress, and desperately wanted to look good in my wedding photos. ‘How could this be happening to me?’ I was so angry at the world.”

‘When are you going to try again?’ I was still unable to wipe after going to the bathroom. My baby was being reduced to nothing but a ‘try.’: Couple births second daughter one year after first is stillborn, ‘I already WAS a mother’

“As my belly grew, I began being asked the ‘Is this your first?’ question by anyone, from the cashier at Target to the waitress while out for dinner. My answer was, ‘No, this is my second. My first child died.’ You could tell by the uncomfortable look on their faces that my response was always unexpected, met with pity and also toxic positivity. I already WAS a mother.”

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