maternity

‘Here’s to being 30 and married!’ Everyone lifted their glasses in unison. I drove home in tears, 33 and single.’: Woman faces ‘stigma’ for being ‘unmarried and childless’

“My breakup was fresh. I had 2 weeks to shove all my belongings into trash bags. I noticed some whispering, glances my way. They finished off with a hurried cheers. ‘Lisa! Do you have any funny dating stories?!’ The exchange was, frankly, humiliating. I felt like I was deficient in hitting life’s expected mile markers: Marriage. Children. More children. As innocent as conversation can be, it hurts.”

‘You need your husband’s permission.’ I begged. I didn’t feel maternal. I was told I’d ‘change my mind.’: Woman refused sterilization procedure multiple times, ‘they made me feel dirty’

“Every year during my annual exam, I asked to have my ‘tubes tied.’ My doctor always quickly refused. As I aged, I still didn’t want kids and neither did my partner. This time around, I was about to lose my health insurance. I was told the procedure was ‘reserved for women in their 30s or 40s who had at least 2 children.’ As an adult woman, I needed my husband’s blessing to make decisions about MY body. I was stunned.”

‘I took maternity photos in the dress I wore to my husband’s funeral.’: Mom-to-be didn’t know she was pregnant when husband died, ‘As I kissed his forehead goodbye, I had no idea I was carrying his son’

“I didn’t know I was pregnant on the day of the funeral. Clothes were strewn about in a panic as I rummaged through every drawer, hamper and closet 2 hours before I was supposed to meet the photographer. Then I saw it. Hanging quietly in the corner where it had remained for the last 7 months.”

‘Your job at this company is over.’ I was fired for providing nutrition to my newborn baby.’: Woman births ‘miracle baby,’ gets fired 7 weeks later for making ‘natural choice’ to breastfeed in private at work

“My bosses were ecstatic and couldn’t wait for my baby to arrive. They even gifted me a car seat. ‘Hey, by the way, I have a hands-free device I’ll need to bring to work. I’m choosing to breastfeed.’ My desk was in a private room away from patients. I wasn’t asking for permission. I was just giving a heads up. 10 minutes later, I got a message. ‘I have an issue with you pumping at work.’ I was heartbroken and confused.”

‘You will definitely be able to tell something is wrong with the baby when it’s born.’ Parents hope for normal life for child born with dwarfism

“‘I am certain this is skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism) and 99% certain the result will be fatal for the baby.’ There it was. A bomb. He dropped it and then watched me completely break down. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, I didn’t understand at all. Parks did his best to console me, while trying to process the news, too.”

‘When my water broke, it was all blood. Something was very, very wrong.’: Woman and son nearly die in ‘traumatic birth’ due to undiagnosed pre-eclampsia and HELLP

“The nurse brought me an oxygen mask. I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to die, not today!’ and fought off the mask. My mom took my hand, came to my bedside, and said, ‘It’s not for you, it’s for Henry.’ I grabbed the mask and rallied. When everything else in my body was failing me and beginning to shut down, I pushed two times harder and fought to keep him alive.”

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