All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"
When Andrea Grant was 9 years old, she and her brother found themselves in a house fire that happened due to a gas explosion. Grant would recover, but would end up with more than 85 percent of her body covered in burns. The Jacksonville woman, as an adult, was told that because of the burns on her stomach, she wouldn’t be able to carry a child past four months. Because the skin of the stomach has to stretch, they worried that her skin wouldn’t be able to. The 24-year-old woman has defied the odds. She’s currently 37 weeks and planning to carry her baby boy to term. The first time around (she’s a mother to a 4-year-old named Jada), she stayed covered up. This time around, she decided to do a photo shoot with photographer Terrence Armand and wasn’t afraid to expose her scars to celebrate something truly beautiful. One of the images would soon go viral, garnering more than 20,000 likes.
“I really didn’t think that was the response that was going to happen,” Grant told the CBS Jackson, Fla. affiliate, “but I’m honored.”
The beauty takes extra special care of her skin to help it stretch. Twice a day she applies a combination of oils and butters to her stomach to ensure that it can do what it needs to do. The stretching is sometimes painful for her, but it’s worth it.
Grant also told CBS 47 that she created a group called “Beyond Scars” to encourage burn survivors and help them meet other women and men just like them. The Red Cross is affiliated with the group, and Grant is the perfect person to lead it, as her positive outlook (and smile) is infectious.
“Once you build your confidence, no one can take it down,” she said.
Check out a few more images from the photo shoot (and her shower) below, as well as her interview with CBS 47.
According to E! News, Tatyana Ali and new husband Dr. Vaughn Raspberry are officially parents. Ali reportedly gave birth to the couple’s first child on Friday. Last Friday.
“Tatyana gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Friday, Sept. 16,” the star’s rep told the publication. “Tatyana is home resting comfortably with her newborn.”
The bundle of joy comes just two months after Ali said “I do” to Raspberry in Beverly Hills in front of family and friends.
The pair met online and created a connection after writing letters back and forth for a while. They would go on to Skype, eventually meet, and fall in love. And now, they’re a big, happy family. Based on all the thoughts about motherhood that Ali was sharing via her People blog leading up to her son’s birth, she is more than ready for this next big stage of life. She’s got her superpowers all ready to go for her little guy.
“I can actually feel my superhuman gene switching on,” the actress wrote in June. “Senses heightened, split awareness, nesting in full effect, achieving bra sizes and levels of organization I have never reached before, a drive to put the needs of my child before myself??!! This is just the beginning!”
Congratulations to the happy couple on their bundle of joy. As she said, this is definitely just the beginning — the beginning of something beautiful.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan writer Kira Piekoff, Aimee Garrison, a 33-year-old Michigan native and marathoner, recounted how she almost became paralyzed during her pregnancy last year.
Aimee said her pregnancy was flawless for nearly 25 weeks until a slight pain began to creep in her shoulder. Like anyone who exercises regularly, Aimee thought nothing of the pain and believed was simple the result of a strained muscle. “It had bothered me before. But I blew it off as weights,” she said. But as time unfolded, Aimee realized that the pain was becoming increasingly worse—to the point that she couldn’t apply mascara without both her right arm and back aching.
To find relief and solutions, Aimee visited her obstetrician who then sent her to a doctor who specialized in treating marathoners. That doctor told Aimee she had a pinched nerve and gave her a variety of exercises to help her stretch. However, the stretches and even a visit to a chiropractor provided no relief. The pain became intense Aimee couldn’t even sleep for two weeks. “It was so bad I thought, This can’t be a pinched nerve, it has to be something else,” she shared.
When Aimee went back to the hospital, a doctor suggested she get an MRI. Although the MRI requires patients to ingest a contrast agent, which is a liquid that makes the MRI image show more clearly, that could potentially harm fetuses, Aimee decided this was her last resort to find a legitimate diagnosis. “I had to sign my life away saying they weren’t responsible for the baby. I cared more about my baby than myself, but I was like, do whatever you have to do. I felt like a horrible mom,” Aimee said.
After studying her MRI results, doctors told Aimee she had a tumor in her spinal cord and it may have been growing since she was a child. Tumors found in spinal cords can cause disruptive bowel movements, inability to walk and affect the body’s nervous system. Although doctors wanted to remove the tumor immediately, that would’ve required Aimee’s baby to be born at a mere 28 weeks. Dr. Daniel Orringer, however, told Aimee since her tumor was growing slowly, they could wait another ten weeks for the fetus to be born full-term and in the interim they would help her manage her pain. Dr. Orringer told Cosmo, “It was a little bit of leap of faith to say yeah, it’s probably a low-grade tumor, we can probably sit and wait and hope things will be OK. That was the hardest thing to do as a doctor — to know when not to operate as well as to know when and how to operate.”
After giving birth December 22 and later recovering from a 20-hour spinal surgery, five-months later, Aimee is finally getting her life back. She’s able to run again and help her husband take care of their children. And although she still experiences pain in her right arm and shoulder, doctors tell Aimee it may take up to two years for her nervous system to regenerate itself. Still, Aimee is appreciative that her health scare turned out well in the end. “When you’re pregnant, you know there’s an end. With this, I don’t know if there’s an end. I might feel the way I do forever. But it could have gone worse ways,” she said.
We shared with you the other day that Tika Sumpter told Fit Pregnancy and Baby the reason she waited quite some time to spill the beans on her pregnancy is because she wanted to enjoy it without having to deal with nosy people.
“She’s my first child, and I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me,” Sumpter said. “I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?’ Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family. So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some friends.”
Well, if she was hoping to keep some things private about her personal life, it’s not going to happen. People have already done their own investigation and say that Sumpter’s The Haves and the Have Nots co-star, Nick James, is her boyfriend and the father of her daughter. Bossip stated that sources who know both actors confirmed the news to them, and even called her child a “swirly seed.”
From there, the less than positive comments came flooding in, even on Sumpter’s social media. She responded by basically saying that she’s not seeking validation on how to live her life from strangers “who need a big hug.”
This is probably the sort of criticism she was hoping to avoid at the beginning of her pregnancy when she was looking to celebrate it and get her mind right. Really, can you blame her?
I know how terribly selfish this will come off simply because of the fact that based on my gender; society expects me to have this inherent desire to bring babies in the world. I know that as woman I am not expected to make any fuss about raising children because I’m a mom and if you ask some folks (read my children’s father) this is what I was born to do, right?
Hello, I’m Opal and will never be the proverbial pregnant and barefoot woman anyone wants me to be. I’ve decided that after two children and a miscarriage I have absolutely no plans to conceive, ever. I would consider having a hysterectomy but I’m pretty sure doing so would have some effect on my self esteem as a woman—guess I’m a girl after all. I’ve recently suffered through a miscarriage but the possibility of having a third child felt like the real trauma. Throughout the duration of the pregnancy I had mixed feelings about having another baby but I was faithful that the dreadful feeling and difficult days would be worth it after giving birth.
I love my kids and all the good that they bring to my life. My two boys are the only reason there were moments of relief after the loss of my third baby. I strongly believe that all children are blessings but I also believe that women should know their limitations. You can’t mention the Duggar family from the TLC’S reality series 19 Kids and Counting without people questioning their reasons for bearing 19 children. I am sure Michelle Duggar has had her fair share of tumultuous days but that could very well be the number of children she is equipped to handle. My number is much lower than nineteen but I think two children suits my current financial and mental disposition.
I’ve been beyond selfless for my two small children but like Jodi’s mom said so eloquently in the movie Baby Boy, “Mama got to have a life, too.” I am not referring to having a life in only a social context. I am no good to my boys when the overwhelmed, exhausted mommy that is too busy being all things at all times that she isn’t allowed more moments where she is allowed to simply just exist and enjoy her children.
The reality of the miscarriage set in and though I was mostly grief stricken I still felt a strong sense of clarity and relief. I have an obscene amount of respect for women like my mother who have enough children to start a basketball team. If you are a parent, then you know what I mean when I say having children requires superhuman levels of patience. Children need a lot of your attention and if you are really good mom then they are going to need you to occasionally interact with them.
Whether you have one child or five the most important part about being a parent is providing your children with a stable environment to thrive in. I’m not sure how anybody else feels about his or her children but I am determined to give my children a fair shot at a valuable life. I want to be able to provide them with all that they need emotionally, mentally and physically. I’ve had some overwhelming moments here with just my two children. There were times where I was sure that I would never graduate, never lose the baby weight, never start an emergency savings account, never not be so tired that I can’t play with my kids.
I want to be sure that I can give my children all of the good parts of myself. A mommy that has been relentlessly depleted sometimes loses herself so greatly in the day to day that she tends to forget to revel in the blessing of getting to know and love their creation.
I’ve accepted that I am currently not emotionally built to raise more than the two children I have. I’ve taken a vow to actively take steps to prevent future pregnancies and am not interested in anymore “go for the girl” talk. I cannot say that I was happy to lose the baby but I will say that I was inspired to continue making measurable strides towards creating the best future for the two I have. One of those things happens to be preventing another pregnancy. I think big families are beautiful—in a “Facebook picture of someone else’s big beautiful family that I can click “like” and keep scrolling” kind of way.
Opal Stacie is a freelance writer based out of the Miami area. Connect with her on twitter @OpalStacie.
We told you back in July that actress Tika Sumpter surprised a lot of people when she stepped out for an AKA induction ceremony. And no, it wasn’t because she was becoming an honorary AKA, but rather, because she was very pregnant. She revealed the next month that she is indeed expecting her first child, and early next month, she is scheduled to give birth. The question some had was why she waited so long to say anything (“some” being people who don’t understand how the whole privacy thing works…), so she decided to be open about her hesitancy in an interview with Fit Pregnancy and Baby.
“She’s my first child, and I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me,” Sumpter stated, before sharing that she didn’t want to deal with a long line of questions from the public. The “public” even included some of her friends.
“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?'” the 36-year-old actress explained, as the Internet has already started claiming it’s her Haves and Have Nots co-star Nick James. “Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family. So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some friends.”
Sumpter said that she found out she was pregnant around Valentine’s Day. After having a crazy craving for some McDonald’s during a surprise trip to San Diego with her beau, she caught the itis when she finished her meal and was out cold.
“Afterward, I immediately fell asleep,” the actress recounted. “When I woke up, my boyfriend was like, ‘Ha-ha! Are you pregnant?’ I said, ‘Maybe. Go get a test!’ He brought back a generic-brand test, and right away it said positive. I could not comprehend it. So I said, ‘Go get a name-brand test!’ He did, and that one said yes too.”
Sumpter still has the stick, which she had to show to her mother who didn’t believe the news initially.
“One of the first questions my mother asked when she found out I was pregnant was, ‘Are you going to get married?’ I’d love to, but maybe in a year or so. I’ve been with my boyfriend for more than a year and a half.”
Sumpter continued: “Our relationship is not dependent on a ring. I love him to death, and he loves me to death, and that’s all that matters to me.”
But she admitted that the opinion of her boss, Tyler Perry, also mattered to her, as she was scared to tell him she was expecting at one point.
“It’s hard to be pregnant, because you get scared about your job. I even felt worried about telling my agent and manager. Then when I was five months, Tyler Perry texted me, ‘Are you pregnant?’ Inside, I was thinking, ‘Oh, my god, how did he know?’ I wrote back, ‘What are you talking about? You’re crazy!’ But when I saw him that afternoon, I told him. He just said, ‘I knew it! Tika, this is going to be the best time of your life.’ I feel lucky that he’s been so supportive.”
Check out Sumpter’s full interview over at Fit Pregnancy and Baby, including how she’s handling cravings, rejecting guilt, being open to a natural birth, and how she dealt with a fibroid growing during her pregnancy.
Many of us have heard stories of conception thanks to the “juice” that had people feeling loose. But a new study claims that alcohol can actually negatively affect a woman’s fertility.
In Denmark, researchers conducted a study to see how alcohol consumption affected participants’ ability to get pregnant. A total of 6,120 Danish women, aged 21 to 45, who were in relationships with men and trying to get pregnant were told by researchers to monitor their alcohol intake. And based on the responses to the supplied questionnaires, it was found that the fertility of women who drank less than 14 servings of alcohol per week were not affected (one drink has approximately 12 grams of alcohol.) On the other hand, women who drank more than 14 servings of alcohol per week, decreased their chances of conceiving by 18 percent, Broadly noted.
Ellen M. Mikkelsen, lead researcher of the study, pointed out that this observation isn’t a complete account of how alcohol affects a woman’s chances of getting pregnant because the study’s participants may have under-reported their weight and height, two factors that heavily influence fertility. “We can never know for sure. We know that women often underreport their weight and over-report their height. We validated our findings against a registered database, and it seems like Danish women are generally quite honest,” Mikkelsen said.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s stance on the matter also confirms Mikkelsen’s findings, as they advise, “Women should avoid alcohol entirely while pregnant or trying to conceive because damage can occur in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant.”
Mikkelsen concluded by noting that while the study needs more research on how alcohol affects a woman’s body, she believes hormonal changes caused by the vice influence the reproductive system.
Though much has been relayed about the inappropriateness of asking a woman — whether single, betrothed, or married — when she’s going to have a baby, few talk about the inadvertent shaming that sometimes still comes following an announcement of pregnancy, and it can all be summed up in one word: “Finally!”
That’s the word that struck a not-so-nice chord with a Facebook friend of mine when she recently posted that she and her husband were expecting. Everyone was, of course, excited for their news and felt the joy that naturally comes along with the thought of a newborn baby, but in the midst of that some still had to impose their own beliefs about her procreation timeline on her Facebook timeline, and in turn damper the moment.
Responses like that were just one of the reasons my friend was hesitant to make her news public, even though she and her husband haven’t even been married quite two years. That was a fact that immediately sparked irritation in my mind as I thought of people rushing her into parenthood when the newlywed phase of her union had barely subsided. But the other reason my friend was hesitant to share the news is that she’d miscarried before, twice, and the thought of having to tell everyone she’d lost another baby after “finally” becoming pregnant in their eyes, was a scary one. It was also a thought that made the f-word so hurtful and inappropriate at the time.
Women talk a lot about having control over their reproductive lives — and in many ways we do, thanks to contraception, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and the right to choose — but sometimes no amount of medical intervention or healthy living can alter our reproductive course. When people use words like “finally,” they’re expressing a sentiment that implies the man and woman absolutely chose to have a child for the first time at this point in their lives and that may not be the case.
Of course it very well may be, and that decision shouldn’t be criticized either because no one knows better when they’re ready to bring a child into this world than the ones who are going to raise him or her. But for women who’ve suffered the loss of an embryo or tried for years to get an egg to implant to know avail, or have partners with low sperm count or erectile issues, “finally” can be a painful trigger word. It’s a reminder of their long road to pregnancy and can make expectant parents feel like their inability to conceive was their fault. It can even heighten fears that this time may be just like all the rest and they’ll never see a baby “finally” come to full term and realize their dreams of being parents.
While all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds pregnancy announcements makes this time in a couple’s life seem like a very public one, matters of fertility are actually quite private and sometimes painful. Most of us will never know what it took for a pair to get to the point of becoming parents, be it emotional, financial, or physical barriers that led to their expectancy coming about at a particular point in time. But what I do know is “finally” simply isn’t the word to convey excitement over the new life coming into the world. Congratulations is.
You can’t really hold a man accountable for what he says when you tell him he’s going to be a dad (unless, of course, he says nothing and just walks out the door.) Pregnancy is news that turns a person’s world upside down. It has financial, emotional and spacial implications—I mean, hello, that one bedroom apartment can’t accommodate a baby. If you and your partner have been trying, his excitement can go to some pretty weird places. If you haven’t really been trying but, hey, were open to the idea of having kids, your partner will go to some even weirder places. Later, when you’re assembling your child’s fifth birthday album, you’ll just laugh at these hilarious things a man says when you tell him you’re pregnant.
Earlier this year, we reported on a pregnant teenager who contracted the Zika virus in Central America and decided to keep her baby. Although she was commended for making such a brave choice, the teenager was also ridiculed for not aborting her infant. So how do doctors react when they have to diagnose and treat women who have contracted the virus and who are also with child? Dr. Christine Curry of Miami, Florida, shared how doctors navigate this sensitive topic in her XO Jane piece, “I’m an OB-GYN Treating Women With Zika, And This Is What It’s Like.”
“When I talk to patients these days, I ask them where they or family members have traveled recently. These are questions OB-GYNs across the country may ask pregnant patients. And since I practice in Miami, I might also ask patients if they have been in Wynwood, the neighborhood where local mosquito transmission has occurred. Since Zika is primarily spread by mosquitoes, I also talk with patients about avoiding mosquito bites and using bug repellent. Sexual transmission is also possible, and we talk about that, too,” she writes.
Dr. Curry continued by noting that she worries about her patients who’ve traveled to the Miami neighborhood Wynwood or abroad where the virus is prevalent. She also went on to share that if a woman is pregnant, the state of Florida will be offering free Zika testing for all women in the state through the Department of Health.
Although we know the Zika virus causes deformities in babies, Dr. Curry confirmed that there are still many unknowns about how the virus affects infants. “How does the virus get into the fetus? Researchers are still figuring that out. In which trimester does infection pose the highest risk? And do complications for the fetus vary by time of infection? It is going to take time to understand all of [these] risks.”
As of July 28, the CDC reported that there were 15 babies born with birth defects from the virus and six pregnancy losses in the United States, Dr. Curry shared.
Being a part of this experience has allowed Dr. Curry to gain another level of humility; she claims that even though she’s the doctor, both she and her patients are learning about the virus together, and sometimes it’s her patients teaching her about the virus through the changes occurring in their body —especially if they’re with child. For example, she vulnerably revealed that an infant can look normal in an ultrasound during the earlier trimesters but then physical effects of the virus can be seen in an ultrasound in the last trimester and even with that an ultrasound cannot pick up on every birth defect.
“Even with planning, there are still many questions we can’t answer for our patients. For instance, if a baby is born with microcephaly, we don’t know the exact issues that the baby might have. This means the mother won’t know right away if her child will lead a normal life or will always need medical care,” Dr. Curry disclosed.
To read Dr. Curry’s entire piece, click here.