Posts by Moody Baby:
Kristen Wiig says IVF was hardest experience of her life
,08 Aug 2020 in Tips
Kristen Wiig is speaking a truth that so many mothers know: IVF can be such a long and difficult road.
In a super candid interview for the September issue of InStyle, Wiig opened up to Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown about how she became a mom of twins, and how it took so much to get there. Like fellow celebrity moms Gabrielle Union and Amy Smart, Wiig describes the IVF process as “a lot of stress and heartache”. And like both Union and Smart, Wiig’s path to motherhood eventually included a surrogate.
As Wiig tells Brown, basically three years of her five-year relationship with fiancé Avi Rothman “were spent in an IVF haze.”
She continues: “Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life. I wasn’t myself. There are so many emotions that go with it—you’re always waiting by the phone and getting test results, and it was just bad news after bad news. Occasionally there would be a good month, but then it was just more bad news.”
It eventually got to the point where Wiig stopped talking to people about the process because she would feel so sad when someone asked (a feeling many parents who are trying to conceive can relate to).
What got Wiig through the loneliness and sadness were the fellow IVF mamas who supported her.
“But when I did talk about it, every time I said that I was going through IVF, I would meet someone who was either going through it, about to go through it, or had a friend who just did it. It’s like this underground community that’s talked about but not talked about,” she explains.
Wiig says she was initially very resistant when her doctor suggested considering other routes to parenthood, telling them, “Nope. Don’t ever bring that up again. I’m getting pregnant. I’m doing this.”
But eventually, she decided to seek out surrogacy, an experience she calls “bittersweet” but also beautiful.
Wiig tells Brown: “I became really close with our surrogate, and it was her first time doing it so we kind of went through everything together. When the children were born, I wanted to make sure she was OK and she wanted to make sure I was OK. It was a lot of navigating through emotions and respecting that she had a connection with them and trying to be really honest about how I was feeling. Ultimately, I realized that I’m very fortunate. I’m grateful. I’m a different person now.”
The twins are now 9 months old and Wiig says that while she was initially hoping to keep the details of their births private, being photographed in public with the twins opened her family up to scrutiny as people wanted to know where the babies came from.
“As private as I am and as sacred as this all is, what helped me was reading about other women who went through it and talking to those who have gone through IVF and fertility stuff,” she explains. “It can be the most isolating experience. But I’m trying to find that space where I can keep my privacy and also be there for someone else who may be going through it.”
Thank you, Kristen. By talking about your journey you are helping some other mother who is still on the hardest part of her road.
7 good news stories making us smile this week
,08 Aug 2020 in Tips
The start of 2020 so far has been nothing short of a whirlwind, and families everywhere are gaining a new perspective on what is important in life: Each other.
Right now the news is an important source of information that can help protect our loved ones, but it can be hard to read too many news stories about the many problems we all face without seeing at least a few that reaffirm people and goodness.
We can honor what we have endured this year and carry hope for the future by recognizing the good things that are happening in a world dominated by “bad news” headlines.
Here are 7 “good news” stories keeping our hearts full this summer:
11-year-old boy gets scholarship after video of him dancing in the rain goes viral
Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old ballet dancer from Nigeria, was just offered a scholarship to one of the most distinguished ballet schools in the world after this video of him dancing in the rain went viral.
“A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video,” Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Within a day, I was trying to find him.”
Within two days she had tracked him down and offered him a full scholarship to ABT’s virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop, a three-week intensive program, and she also offered his ballet teacher at Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria a spot in the National Training Curriculum. Leap of Dance Academy doesn’t have a dedicated indoor dance spot, so Anthony and his classmates often practice outdoors.
The 11-year-old is pretty pumped about going viral and busting stereotypes.
“When people see ballet they think it is only for girls,” he said. “How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer.“
These 3 sisters gave birth on the same day, in the same hospital
These three sisters truly had a miracle birth as they all had their babies on the same day.
On July 3, sisters Daneesha Haynes, Ariel Williams and Ashley Haynes gave birth to their babies at Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital. Babies Emrie, Adrian and Sincere came into the world in the span of a couple of hours.
As if these women’s sisterly connection isn’t already strong enough, the sisters had a running joke that whoever gave birth first gets a free meal. Congrats to these three strong mamas who really put family first!
Ryan Reynolds helped reunite this woman with the teddy bear that holds her mom’s voice
As reported by CNN, a teddy bear containing a late mother’s voice was recently returned to a daughter in Vancouver.
Mara Soriano, who lost her mother after a battle with cancer in 2019, received the bear as a gift from her mom and was devastated when it was stolen from her U-Haul.
After reaching out on social media for help, the search caught the attention of big names like Ryan Reynolds, TV personality George Stromboulupous, and Kraft Peanut Butter. The trio eventually joined forces to create a $15,000 reward for the return of the bear.
On July 29th, the beat was returned to Soriano without a scratch.
“Every time I look at that bear now it’s just a reminder that my mom really is with me always,” said Soriano “that she’ll always come back to me.”
Viral photos from the Black Fatherhood Project show how strong Black fathers really are
Photographer Naisha Bailey-Johnson is changing the way America sees Black dads and eviscerating damaging stereotypes with her beautiful art.
“I really want people to just view our community in a different way,” she said. “I’m protesting the narrative with my artwork.”
The collection is called the Black Fatherhood Project, and its purpose is to dismantle the negative stereotypes surrounding Black men—especially those who are fathers.
The Today Show interviewed the photographer, and she shared the importance of imagery through pictures to show the power and positivity in Black fatherhood.
“I just want to spread positivity,” she said. “We deserve respect. Let’s put that out into the atmosphere.”
OB-GYN who delivered this mom also delivered her baby
On July 26th, 2020, Lauren Cortez gave birth to her son Logan with the help of her OB-GYN Dr. Bryan Cox.
Dr. Cox was the same doctor who helped Cortez’s mother deliver her over 25 years ago. The spectacular moment was in no way a coincidence, with Cortez saying how she reached out to Cox to be her doctor after hearing the 5-star-reviews from her mother.
“My mom always spoke to me about how caring he was,” Cortez told TODAY Parents. “He builds a really strong connection with you where you feel like you’re just hanging out with a friend.”
After snapping a memorable pic of the new mom and her doctor, the picture blew up on Twitter with over 767,000 likes.
Little girl goes viral after hearing for the first time
On August 2, a young girl could hear for the first time after being deaf since birth.
4-year-old Mavis Malone, who was born deaf as a result of a rare condition, received cochlear implants in August and has now gained her hearing.
ABC News captured the moment that young Mavis could finally hear her mother’s voice and her reaction was tears of joy.
The successful surgery was a blessing for Mavis’s parents, and now the family can bask in the newfound ability that their daughter has.
This nurse in Beirut comforting 3 babies after explosion is our new hero
When photojournalist Bilal Jawich showed up at Lebanon’s Al Roum hospital in the aftermath of a massive explosion that rocked the city, he found a hero in scrubs, holding three little babies.
She told him she’d been working in the maternity ward when the blast hit. She lost consciousness but when she regained it she just found herself carrying the three babies, like she’d saved them while on auto-pilot.
“I noticed the nurse’s calm,” Jawich told CNN, adding that there were injured people all around her.
“However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children,” the experienced photojournalist explains. “People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task.”
The babies and their moms are now recovering in other hospitals.
All women don’t have an equal opportunity to breastfeed—that needs to change
,07 Aug 2020 in Tips
There’s a lot to love about breastfeeding. It’s a healthy, free source of nutrients for a baby, and keeping your little one close while they feed facilitates a beautiful early bond. For some mothers, however, the choice to breastfeed—or not—is one that’s fraught with guilt and frustration.
What often gets missed in the emotionally-charged dialogue surrounding breastfeeding is that opportunities to nurse aren’t equally available to all mothers. In fact, socioeconomic factors can profoundly impact a mom’s ability to breastfeed.
Many of the broad social and economic factors impacting individuals and communities worldwide have specific implications that impact equal access to breastfeeding for many potential nursing mothers, such as poverty, hunger, limited health care and education opportunities, as well as economic downturns, poor job quality and limited job growth.
These barriers to entry are referred to by advocates as breastfeeding inequality. August is National Breastfeeding Month, and understanding just how deeply these issues impact successful breastfeeding for women warrants a closer look.
Income inequality is tied to breastfeeding inequality
It’s easy to imagine the ways that being wealthy might make it easier to breastfeed—from being able to afford a private lactation consultant to being able to take time off from work to establish breastfeeding—but individual wealth is no guarantee that breastfeeding will be easy. That said, the actual statistics on nursing among women living below the poverty line make it clear that breastfeeding inequality is directly tied to income inequality.
While 68% of wealthy moms are still breastfeeding when the baby reaches 6 months old, only 38% of mothers below the poverty line are still doing so. This is quite a significant gap.
This gap widens in regions where economic downturn and poverty are especially prevalent, creating an even greater burden for prospective breastfeeding mothers. Wealthier states like California, Oregon and Washington have breastfeeding rates over 90%, while poorer states like West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana breastfeed at rates between 61-57%. The national average is 79%.
Educational opportunity is tied to breastfeeding inequality
Education is also an important piece of the breastfeeding inequality puzzle. As it follows, the better an education a mother receives, the more likely she is to eventually find employment offering a livable wage and benefits like paid maternity leave. However, if mom is from a low income family or area, her chances of enrolling in higher education drop—by a lot. In 2016, 78% of college-age students from the highest economic bracket were enrolled in college, compared to 28% of those whose parents were in the lowest income bracket. And while 56% of mothers with advanced degrees breastfeed their babies for at least three months, only 36% of those who state their educational level as ‘high school’ do the same.
So, why do these differences have such a profound impact on a woman’s ability to successfully breastfeed?
- Lack of good jobs and maternity support in the workplace: For many mothers, access to a period of paid maternity leave can mean the difference between breastfeeding their baby and being unable to create a successful nursing routine. In America, the Affordable Care Act demands a dedicated non-bathroom space for mothers to nurse as well as adequate breaks to do so, but there’s language in the bill that leaves room for unethical employers to skirt the requirements.
- No community education and support: Supportive and educational groups for moms can make a big difference in helping a new mother feel secure in her efforts to breastfeed, but they’re often run by higher income hospitals and organizations that aren’t present in low-income communities.
- Lack of lactation support in hospital: While hospitals in high-income areas and with Baby-Friendly designations offer lactation consultants, they may be stretched thin, and if a mom’s time in her room doesn’t coincide with a consultant’s availability, she may leave the hospital without ever receiving help.
Creating equal opportunities for women who choose to breastfeed
If these statistics don’t sit right with you, you’re far from alone.
Organizations like the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, La Leche League and other supporters of breastfeeding are constantly promoting legislation to help protect the rights of nursing mothers, while creating awareness of the systemic issues that suppress a mom’s right to accessible breastfeeding. Awareness campaigns like National Breastfeeding Month, World Breastfeeding Week (annually the first week of August) and Black Breastfeeding Week (annually the last week of August) are opportunities for all women to help amplify the message about breastfeeding inequality, and advocate better access and opportunities for all women who choose to breastfeed.
There’s a lot of work to be done in order to close these gaps, end the endless debate over breast and bottle and give every mother the right to choose breastfeeding if she so desires. These focus points are key to the cause:
More lactation support in hospitals: Better lactation support in hospital plays a fundamental role in successful early breastfeeding. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, a UN/WHO program, offers education and support to new mothers as they learn to breastfeed. Improving lactation support in hospitals also means continuing education on the social and practical aspects of breastfeeding for professionals like midwives, nurses and doctors.
Accessible lactation support and education, both professionally and from peers: Professional lactation support as provided by groups, in-person clinic visits, in-home consultations or even online can provide resources and relief for mothers who may be struggling with breastfeeding. Support groups of peers, often led or formed by maternity-focused clinics and organizations, can also offer helpful feedback and guidance as well as essential emotional support.
Support for breastfeeding moms, both from workplaces and childcare centers: For employers, offering support requires moving beyond meeting bare minimum legal requirements when making provisions for new and nursing mothers in the workplace. Enacting proactive policies that support and protect mothers as well as offering comfortable lactation rooms and flexible breaks is key. In a childcare setting, learning the proper storage and handling of breast milk and allowing a mother to come and breastfeed is key.
If you’re eager to learn more about breastfeeding inequality, this informative visualization has some powerful statistics to share, so read on.
A love letter to my boobs 💓
,07 Aug 2020 in Tips
What a wild ride it’s been, huh? We’ve been through so much in my 37 years of life and yet I never took the time to stop and thank you for all that you’ve done and for everything we’ve been through together.
I remember when I was about 11 years old, riding in the backseat of the car looking out the window (this was in the ’80s, we weren’t great with seat belts then) and feeling pain on my chest. I told my mom, shyly, thinking something was really wrong with me, she panicked and took me to the doctor the next morning. “Her breasts are developing,” he said with a tone in his voice that almost seemed to mock both of us for not realizing that, well, my boobs were growing.
I remember that summer not wanting to take my t-shirt off because I was ashamed of how you looked.
Kind of there but not really. Suddenly causing attention in a way I did not want nor did I know what to do with. You, dear boobs, made me feel uncomfortable and I wasn’t a fan of you.
I remember that quickly changed in high school—my not-so-big but also not-so-small breasts made it easy for me to buy clothes, wear bikinis and also get the attention of the boy I liked. I remember the first time he touched you over a shirt, feeling so adult and also so not ready for anything.
I remember when in college I thought you were suddenly way too small and all I wanted was to get implants. I insisted that was what I wanted to my parents, when really I was following my friends, all who had done it before me for very different reasons. I hate pain, I hate needles, I didn’t really want to go through surgery but everything around me was telling me that I needed you to be bigger.
I remember how, in an act of rebellion, I got my nipples pierced. Something many, many years later would cause issues with breastfeeding my first baby. But how was I supposed to know that? Or even think about it? Back then I didn’t think I would meet anyone who could put up with me or keep up with me enough to get married, let alone have children. My piercings were my pride for a decade, something very few knew were there, my way of making my boobs different to others. Maybe more memorable?
I remember my first pregnancy, how suddenly no bras fit and blue veins covered my chest, almost like rivers of blood filling up my breasts which were soon going to become essential in my baby’s life (or so I thought). I remember how my coworker commented on them, making me feel so disgusted, so used. I was carrying life but I was still being sexualized and harassed, because it never stops. It made me feel 11 years old again when those stares began.
I remember giving birth—in a way that I didn’t expect—and having a tiny slippery baby laid on my chest. I could barely breathe afraid of him falling off. He latched onto you, and we all thought he was a champ at breastfeeding, except he was not. Days and weeks went by with poor weight gain and I started to feel like a failure, like you boobs were failing me in my most important role in life. Defeated, I started pumping and bottle feeding my skinny baby and soon he was chunky and happy, just like he is now years later.
I remember being engorged, leaking, milk stains all over my shirts and bras. I remember being in love with your new quality and at the same time being constantly uncomfortable by it.
I remember hating being attached to the pump for hours a day. The bzz bzz bzz of the motor getting on my nerves. Not realizing that my body, again, was part of something so surreal and magical, I was making milk. Until I wasn’t anymore and we switched to formula and I felt like myself again. I had my body back.
I remember finding out I was pregnant with twins and sighing because I was not going to be able to breastfeed again, I knew I didn’t have it in me to feed two babies for hours on end without any extra help (thanks, global pandemic). So here we are, attached to the pump again, seeing these two little girls eat what my body produces, still in total disbelief that we (you and me, boobs) were able to do all of this.
I remember going to the beach for the first time, my favorite activity ever, and seeing how deflated you looked. Stretch marks covered what used to be perky smooth skin, a reminder of the huge sacrifices I’ve made with my body in order to create and support my three children.
So dear boobs, thank you.
Thank you for putting up with me all these years.
Thank you for supporting me in such monumental changes in my life.
Thank you for providing nourishment to my children for as long as you can (no pressure, I’m ready to stop when you are) and I’m sorry I ever wanted to change you. I didn’t realize until now how special you both are.