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Surprise

Surprise!

‘I told the nurse, ‘Tie my tubes. I’m done, I don’t ever want to do this again!’ I begged my fiancé to find another woman. ‘I just can’t do it, I’m sorry.’: Woman births rainbow baby after still birth, 3 miscarriages

“At 18, I’d miscarried 3 times. Here I was, at risk of losing another baby. My OB said, ‘Your plan was to have a baby and bring a baby home. I know you still want that.’ Each month, I counted his kicks the way kids count raindrops on a car window. I texted my mom, ‘I can’t do this. What if I’m making a mistake?’ It was go time. I closed my eyes as tight as I could, clenched my teeth, and pushed.”

‘My dad killed himself, didn’t he? That’s why you cried so much when I was a baby?’: Mom doesn’t let labels define her, ‘I am more than just an amputee or widow’

“I still remember that day. The taste of blood and dirt in my mouth. Later, when I sat up in the hospital bed and felt the missing weight of my right arm, I looked over and saw nothing but a stump wrapped in bandages. It was the most horrific thing I’d seen in my 10 short years. But life moves on, and I slowly gained a sense of new purpose. There was more to me than just one label.”

‘You have to work. Stay-at-home moms are lazy and uneducated.’ He brainwashed me. He refused to adopt my girls in order to get child support money.’: Man adopts wife’s children in wake of divorcing abusive ex

“I got pregnant one month after meeting my daughter’s  biological father. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I can stay home and take care of the kids.’ Instead, I cried myself to sleep every night in fear of being killed. ‘A stay-at-home mom is lazy and uneducated.’ He brainwashed me. I was forced to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I wasn’t allowed to see my kids.”

‘If you start to feel like you don’t like it, you can tell me to stop,’ I said. ‘I don’t like that,’ he practiced.’: Mom turns playful tickling with son into consent lesson, ‘We all deserve to enjoy living in our own bodies’

“My 3-year-old asked me to tickle him. Tickling is one of those activities that can move quickly from fun into boundary transgression. I wanted to connect with him playfully in the way he was asking and model safe physical experiences at the same time. It’s not one serious, awkward conversation. It’s not The Sex Talk you’ve known and dreaded. It’s a foundation built over years.”

‘I won’t let you die, Gunnar.’ I was heading towards end-stage illness, and an end to my fight.’: Son of quarterback, Boomer Esiason, advocates for others with cystic fibrosis, ‘I now live the miracle’

“I was 22 years old and feeling lonelier by the day, as my disease progressed faster than I could have imagined. One day in particular, I broke. I cried and cried. My mom saw it happening through the kitchen window and rushed to me in the driveway. She hugged me. I still think about that hug.”

‘She came to us asking why she felt so much anger. Jeremy gave her a hammer. The slightest thing sets her off, boiling just under the surface.’: Daughter ‘relieved to know she wasn’t alone’ after parents help her to ‘release anger safely’

“Our 12-year-old has been struggling with anger lately, erupting when the slightest thing sets her off. ‘Why do I feel this way?’ We found an old desk on the side of the road. Jeremy gave her a hammer. We wanted her to dismantle it. It went faster than I anticipated.”

‘Doctor…please believe us. Our son is not OK.’ He looked at us like we were crazy. ‘He looks perfectly fine to me!’: Mom urges ‘trust your gut’ after son’s Stage 4 Neuroblastoma misdiagnosed, cancer cells detected during ‘cancer-free hospital party’

“Pepe let out the most painful cry I’d ever heard. Cries of, ‘Mommy, I’m hurting.’ Days passed. He developed an uncontrollable cough. It was written off. The doctor looked at us like we were the sick ones. ‘Are you SURE this is the baby you describe as so sick?’ The next afternoon, I had a voicemail. ‘Hello, Ms. Zapien. Please get a hold of me ASAP!’ I felt the blood drain from my body. A mass the size of my fist was pushing down on Pepe’s left lung, and they were forming all over his little body.”

‘Lindsey, you have a problem.’ I shuddered in fear. I was lying on the bathroom floor. ‘No, no, no. Not again. Is this really happening?’: Woman 401 days sober after grueling addiction to alcohol, ‘I promise you, life gets easier’

“The night before, on my 21st birthday, I participated in an escapade that led my boyfriend and I into a terrible fight at a country club. The cops had to break us up. Nobody knew I’d spent hours in a holding cell after being arrested. Or that I’d blacked out on the highway and cheated on a few of my boyfriends. Or even that I’d drink a bottle of wine after my nursing shifts and show up to work hungover, my patients’ lives in my hands. I didn’t want to believe I had a problem.”

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