Her kids have always slept through the night, and even if they don’t, she still manages to look like she has had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. There is always a well-balanced, home-cooked meal on her dinner table. She either happily stays at home or holds down a fulfilling job while still finding time to join the PTA, run the school’s book sale, and makes it to every single soccer game. She is usually white, middle to upper class, heterosexual, and neither too young nor too old. But above all… she’s a myth. And it’s this myth that divides women and pits mothers against each other while fueling the flames of the manufactured “mommy wars.”
This is the story of how I, quite accidentally, became a milk donor after the birth of my second child. It has truly been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Because I have come to believe milk donation is so important, not only for the babies who receive the milk, but also for the mothers who give it, I decided to write this essay in part to help spread the word so that other women will consider donation too.
We had come to terms with Quinn’s condition and were anxious to meet the little guy, but not quite so soon, especially since we had spent most of the pregnancy facing numerous health scares. Our many doctors told us that our son’s health would depend on his arrival: the later he was born, the better. Since my first son arrived two weeks early, I repeatedly told this guy to stay put and crossed my fingers that he would listen. But in a rebellious fashion that mirrors my own, Quinn decided to do things on his own time.
Despite being early and carrying my first child, my body felt built for labor. I dilated quickly and contractions became rhythmic almost immediately. I found myself totally silent and occasionally wept over the situation. I used my wedding ring as a focal point and comfort object to touch, as my heart sank with each contraction knowing my husband was going to miss the birth of his first child.
Ladies and gents, meet Dexter. This dude was SO STOKED about being born that he decided to give life outside the womb a go five weeks early, and actually attended the baby shower planned for his mom!
I’m new to it all — breastfeeding, changing diapers, not sleeping through the night because every cough and rumble makes me jump. I feel pretty inept at all of it. Happiness, I guess by its nature, is a fragile kind of thing — poised on some sort of ledge ready to go either way.
After Courtney’s son spent four and a half months in the NICU she had to challenge herself to feel confident in her ability to keep her son safe. First step? Getting out of the house.
I knew I was pregnant with Toga before I should have known I was pregnant. I hadn’t missed a period — in fact it had only been a week since conception. Life with a military man had its perks when it came to knowing the exact date of conception — but I KNEW. I dreamed about her, my beautiful blonde haired baby.