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Surprise

Surprise!

‘Oooh tough week? What happened, honey?’ I was 15. Women I’d never met were commenting on my weight.’: Woman discovers intuitive eating, self-love after struggling with weight for years, ‘My children will see a vibrant, smart, STRONG woman’

“’Really? That’s what you’re going to eat for breakfast?’ I vividly remember holding my two pieces of cinnamon toast in my trembling hands. Every single one of my siblings had already toasted their bread, buttered it, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Yet, I was the only one singled out by my grandpa. Age 15, I began attending meetings every week with my mother. Strange adult women would applaud and beam at me. I was given jewelry to celebrate my ‘hard work.’ Women twice my age would ask what my ‘secret’ was.”

‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head,’ the doctor said. ‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“I went for my routine check-up with my OB. The vibe of the room felt off. My doctor asked, ‘Have you been out of the country while pregnant?’ So many questions went through my head all at once. Is my baby alive? Is he okay? How’s his head? How many fingers and toes does he have? I was already in love with him, but so scared. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.'”

‘You are GOOD FOR NOTHING!’ I sat in the bathroom, crying, asking, ‘Please, send me a new dad. Please!’: Young man creates his own adopted ‘family’ after surviving traumatic childhood, ‘We may not have the same bloodline, but they gave me life’

“My dad was the disciplinarian at home. DO NOT MAKE DAD ANGRY. I don’t remember hearing ‘I love you.’ From my dad. Ever. He was brought up in the traditional ‘macho’ way. He’d constantly tell me, ‘I had it MUCH worse than you growing up!’ But then something really weird began to happen at school – it made me feel warm and fuzzy. I was validated and encouraged by teachers. Wait, what? A hurricane of hormones was wreaking havoc on me. I was an angry teen who needed to fill the hole in my heart.”

‘Not many husbands would support their wives bringing someone else’s baby into the world, but mine did.’: Woman births 2 rainbow babies after infertiliy, becomes surrogate for struggling couple 

“The day before my vacation to the Caribbean, I realized my period was late. I spoke to my mom on the drive home from work. I’ll never forget her words: ‘Honey, it will probably be negative, but you will be drinking on your trip. Just take the test for peace of mind. ‘ I took it that night. It was POSITIVE! I laid there in so much pain, sobbing, and praying for a miracle.”

‘My ears got hot, my blood was boiling. I took a screen shot of his soul-crushing report card. My mommy instinct was pissed.’: Mom appalled by son with Down syndrome’s report card, ‘Stay angry. Keep fighting for your child.’

“The envelope showed up in Judah’s backpack. I wasn’t expecting his report card, but I was eager to see how the goals we put in place manifested themselves. Imagine my surprise when that paper was littered with the lowest scores possible. My stomach lurched. My logical brain understood, but my mommy instinct was still pissed. Imagine how this little boy will feel when he understands what those 1’s will signify?!”

‘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, ‘People tell me how strong I am. I wasn’t given another choice.’

“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.”

‘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.”

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