New Mom

‘At 15, I became pregnant with my daughter. I had to raise a child while still growing up myself. I received hate and rumors spread.’ Teen mom beats the odds to graduate college and ‘reach success’

“Everyone recognized me by pregnant belly, rather than by my face. I dealt with dirty looks and whispers in the hallways. In college, I got pregnant with my son. It wasn’t easy. I have been in abusive relationships, been days away from planning a wedding, only to find out I was ‘only an option.’ I wanted to give up, on everything. But I was strong for my children.”

‘Oh honey, you should really wait until you lose the baby weight.’ Other customers heard. It took everything in me not to cry.’: Adoptive mom shamed for ‘baby weight’ by jewelry store employee

“I was taking my son to get my wedding ring cleaned. I was feeling so amazing with my baby boy on my hip. I asked about getting my ring soldered together. The lady looked at me and made a scrunched-up face. I didn’t even want to stand there to tell her he was adopted. This was just my body – I didn’t birth him.”

‘Motherhood is really tough.’ You’d think, ‘Well that’s crap.’ Birth was traumatic. As a child of sexual abuse, a traumatic birth can be very re-triggering. I didn’t count on that.’

“I expected to be handed my baby like I was Beyoncé in a floral garden and the heavens open up. Instead, I felt like a potato cake seagulls were fighting over, one stitching me up, one folding my boob like a hamburger to stuff in my baby’s mouth, and one pressing so hard on my stomach I thought she was going to touch my spine. Yep, didn’t count on that.”

‘I yelled to my husband, ‘This is the only child you’re getting, I can’t do this again!’ The doctor had to take the baby out in a split second. He was purple, had the cord around his neck, not crying.’

“The waiting game absolutely killed me. I was crying, desperate and confused. I felt like somebody was trying to take my baby away. My husband and I had to plan to spend time together. Our marriage and our relationship come before everything, and we don’t take it lightly.”

‘Are you ok tonight?’ I was in the grocery store trying to pretend everything was OK, but it wasn’t. I was bawling my eyes out. ‘This isn’t a forever feeling.’ I’m so grateful to you.’

“I was afraid to leave my house without my husband. ‘I know this is hard for you,’ he would say. ‘Can you tell yourself that you’re safe?’ ‘No,’ I would respond. I reached out as a bit of a last-ditch effort, right there in the grocery store, tears running down my face. The response was incredible. Those women saved me.”

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