labor

‘Are you ready to hold your baby?’ She takes a deep breath, sits up as straight as she can. We’re very careful.’: Child loss photographer reminds grieving parents ‘this little life mattered’

“The room is still, almost silent. I meet their beautiful baby, I hold their baby, talk to their baby. All while taking a mental assessment of how much posing I can do. I ask who he got his beautiful wavy hair from, or his button nose or long toes. I talk, but not too much to overwhelm anyone. I work gently, efficiently. I capture every single detail. No one wants this. Their child existed. Their child was so loved, and so wanted.”

‘When can I see the baby?’ New moms hear over and over, before she’s even left the hospital.’: Mom reminds us to ‘nurture the mother’ post-delivery

“Before she’s had a chance to sleep. Before she’s showered off the blood. ‘When can I come see the baby?’ Her estrogen and progesterone levels are plummeting. She’s shaky. Hot, cold, sweaty, and weak. Her crotch is swollen, puffy. She has stretch marks, hair loss, acne, blurry vision, and dry eyes. When you walk into her house, look at HER. Admire the baby, sure. But don’t forget to nurture the mother.”

‘Why did you cut her?! She didn’t give you permission to do that.’ My blood boiled. He just stared, his face blank.’: Doctor performs episiotomy on mother without her permission during childbirth because he had ‘somewhere to be at 7 p.m.’

“Snnniiipppp. My doctor used scissors to cut me open ‘down there’ to make it easier to push the baby out. ‘What did you do?!’ I asked the male, 50-year-old doctor, with fear in my voice. Even the nurses paused. Just 30 minutes before, my doctor told me, ‘I have somewhere to be at 7 o’ clock, so you better be able to push this baby out soon.’ My husband’s rage was rising. I squeezed his hand. ‘We can’t do this now.’”

‘Your boyfriend has to deliver the baby.’ I was squatted on a bathroom floor, 20, convinced I was going to die.’: Woman delivers baby on bathroom floor after ‘grumpy midwife’ tells her to ‘go home’

“The contractions were progressing extremely quickly, but the midwife seemed grumpy and fed up. She didn’t believe me. ‘Go home. This could go on for days.’ Days?! I couldn’t cope with another hour of the pain! As soon as we pulled into our driveway, I ran to the bathroom. ‘Call an ambulance!’ I yelled at my confused boyfriend. ‘My body is pushing. I can’t stop it!’ I’d only known him 3 months before we got pregnant.”

‘I felt the doctor reach inside me. Blood spilled out. I couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes.’: Mom survives ‘near-death birthing experience,’ admits to ‘physical, emotional trauma’ 10 years later

“My son was limp and blue, an umbilical cord choked around his neck. My face was so swollen my eyelids were turned upside down. I heard whimpers, more gushes. I called out to my husband. His voice weakly managed, ‘I love you’ as I was wheeled out of the room. He was left sitting on the hospital room floor, in a pool of my blood. The family my husband and I had always dreamed of was now painfully impossible.”

‘I looked down at my wedding ring, and my heart broke. Where would she wear a wedding ring?’: Mother learns of child’s limb difference diagnosis, looks at her as ‘my perfect daughter’

“Our daughter was missing part of her left arm. Would I look at her differently after her arrival? ‘This is her eviction notice,’ the doctor said. They paused to let me see her. As she turned, I saw her little eyes ever-so-slightly open, looking at me, her mom. My heart melted. She was my perfect daughter.”

‘I adopted a deployed soldier. I knew he’d be my husband. People thought we were nuts.’: 10 months after ‘random selection’ pairing online, couple says ‘I do’ after emotional military homecoming

“I signed up through a website where you ‘adopt’ someone who is deployed. I figured, ‘Why not help someone serving their country?’ We exchanged a few emails. Just small talk. As the days got closer to meeting him in person, I got nervous. I was hours away from meeting my potential husband. My heart just knew.”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

‘I was 15, pregnant. My principal looked at me. ‘Your mom didn’t graduate. Your dad didn’t graduate. Just drop out.’ I never felt more hopeless.’ Teen keeps pregnancy against all odds, loses son 18 years later

“The hardest part was telling my mom. She had NO IDEA I was even having sex. My baby daddy would walk by me like he never even knew me. Yet, if I knew then, pregnant at 15, that my child would pass away in a tragic car accident at only 18, would I still have chosen to keep him? The answer is yes. A billion times, YES.”

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