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‘I’d rather die than have a poop bag attached to me.’ My boyfriend didn’t sign up for a sick girl.’: Woman with ulcerative colitis learns to ‘love herself’ despite invisible illness

“’Great, how do we get rid of it?’ The look on my doctor’s face immediately made my stomach drop. ‘There is no known cure.’ Everything I ate caused intense pain and had me running to the toilet. When I told my boyfriend, he nodded and we drove home in silence. I told him if he wanted to end the relationship I would understand.”

‘There’s an issue with her hand.’ I was scared. It was inverted backwards, and she only had 3 fingers.’: Mom ‘shocked’ after daughter born with limb difference, ‘I was determined to protect her every way I could’

“The moment I gave birth to her, I noticed the doctor and nurses exchanged glances. They wrapped her up before handing her to me. ‘We want to get her cleaned up first.’ I didn’t understand. I quickly opened her up and checked. I was shocked. I told my husband, ‘God created her like that.’ The doctors were accusing me I ‘must’ve taken drugs’ while I was pregnant. ‘Her deformity is the reaction the drugs had on the baby,’ they said. Babies ‘like these’ come with ‘a lot of baggage.’ She is different, not less.”

‘Is he a drug baby?’ I heard the whispers. ‘You’re making a huge mistake.’: Southern woman adopts African American child in ‘little town known for racial divides,’ aims to break stigmas, ‘I want my children to be inclusive, kind’

“On a holiday weekend, we received a call. ‘A baby boy is in the hospital and needs a home.’ I was scared to say yes. Just 3 hours later, a car pulled in our driveway with a 6-pound, 3-day old, baby boy. Time stood still. She handed him to me with two Walmart bags of random items, some paperwork and wished us well. We had no idea what the future would hold. Everything about this decision looked crazy to most people – even us.”

‘I’d be single and a virgin forever. ‘The boys called me ‘big girl.’ I’d never be able to be naked in front of a lover.’: Woman loses 115 pounds after drug addiction, traumatic childhood, ‘I regret nothing, I finally had an opportunity to blossom’

“‘Are you using drugs again?,’ one of my professors asked me. I am a recovering drug addict, who lost 115 pounds and changed my entire life. I had a girl assume I was sick, a close friend expressed to me that I ‘took the easy way out.’ The smaller I got, the more attention I got, the more confused I was. I had sex for the first time after my dad died with a guy who blocked my number the day after he took my virginity. I wanted to stop hating myself, I wanted to be genuinely happy.”

‘I wasn’t thankful last night. I can be a real witch at bedtime. It saddens so much to admit that.’: Mom ‘upset, frustrated’ kids climb in bed with her at night, ‘I threw in the towel’

“We’ll call bedtime ‘rest,’ because it sure as hell isn’t a good night’s sleep. So, when one of my kids can’t fall asleep, it freakin’ frustrates the heck out of me. Then I feel guilty because my poor child is frustrated she can’t sleep, and here I am, making it worse by getting upset with her. I wasn’t thankful last night. Nope. But then she puts her head on my chest.”

‘Dad can I have 3 dollars?’ My friend needs a chest binder and his parents aren’t supportive.’ My son came out as Trans at 11.’: Father embraces transgender son’s new boyfriend, lifestyle, ‘our job is to love the kids we are given’

“There are days I’m so tired and weak I can’t help but cry. I carry a lot of weight for my kid, in support of who he is now. ‘We have something super awkward to talk about.’ ‘Okay, what is it?’ ‘I know you’re in middle school now. Sometimes sex is a thing with kids that age. But I’m worried about it, and want you to wait. I don’t want you to experience sex for the first time as the wrong gender and have it hurt you.’ He’s dealing with a lot. Much more than I ever did as a 12-year-old.”

‘How’s your son?’ ‘He’s a homeless heroin addict. I don’t know if he’s alive.’ I left the nail salon in tears.’: Mom’s son ‘missing’ due to opioid addiction, ‘until we meet again, I love you to the moon and back’

“Last week, I ran into an old friend at the nail salon. I hadn’t seen her in 18 years. ‘Kerry, is that YOUUU?!’ She gestured to sit next to me. I obliged. With every question, she tried to one-up me. ‘My son is studying at YALE. The other is on the honor roll again! Isn’t that just WONDERFUL?’ Then, she asked about my son. I completely froze up. Half my brain wanted to lie, the other half wanted to say ‘Shame on you.’”

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