Birth & Adoption Stories

November 6, 2013

Gabrielle Blair

By Gabrielle. Image of me by Tracey Clark.

Did you know it was baby central over here at Design Mom? In the summer, our lovely Raleigh-Elizabeth became a mom when Hunter arrived, our wonderful Amy Hackworth is also expecting an addition to her family, and just recently, our delightful Koseli Cummings gave birth to her second child. His name is Sondre Christian and he is a joy to behold. Congratulations to the Cummings Family!

And it’s not just Design Mom contributors. My sis-in-law, Liz of Say Yes to Hoboken, is due this weekend — but the baby could arrive any day now!

All this wonderful baby news has me wondering if it’s time to bring back our Growing a Family Series. Do you remember it? All through my pregnancy with Flora June, and for a couple of years after she was born, we would regularly share birth stories, IVF stories, pregnancy stories and adoption stories sent in from readers. There are over 120 posts in the series! You can find them all here.

I’d love your thoughts. Would you like to see the series return? Any suggestions? How about frequency? Once per week, or maybe twice per month? And I’m wondering if it would be fun to change up the format a bit and make it more of an interview — like the Living With Kids home tours. I’d really appreciate any feedback!

P.S. — You can read my story of June’s birth here.

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Birth & Adoption Stories
November 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm
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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather November 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Yes, please! This is my all-time favorite Design Mom series. It made me cry, laugh, cringe, cheer, and opened my eyes to all of the ways in which we become families. Go for it!

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2 Krista November 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

That’s how I found Design Mom – I loved them!!! Great idea.

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3 rachael November 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I say YES!!!!

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4 beingwendings November 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Love, love, loved the series! It was very heart-warming to hear all the different perspectives on how families grow. An interview format would be really neat!

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5 Connie November 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

A resounding yes…I loved hearing the stories from all those different voices.

Perhaps you could include more stories of adopted “births”? I always found those stories to be particularly amazing.

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6 natalie November 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

can’t pass up a good adoption story! and I love the idea of interviews.

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7 Aya November 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Please bring them back!!! That series was so unique, inspirational, and moving- and a wonderful platform for your readers to take part in the Design Mom community!

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8 Janet November 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Loved that series too! You probably already know that November is National Adoption Month.

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9 Sara November 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

YES! And yes to interviews – such a fun twist!

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10 Rebecca November 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Yes! I loved those. I like the “Living with Kids” series even more, but the birth stories were great.

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11 Molly November 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I started subscribing to Design Mom because I loved the birth stories! Love them!

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12 rachelle November 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

First of all, that is a stunning photo of you preggers! and yes I’d love to hear more about the different family birth stories! i just fell down the rabbit hole of your site clicking through to links to your daughter’s birth story and other links related to families- and it was so enjoyable. As a parent and a woman, I find all those tidbits of information so life-affirming and uplifting. And usually tear-inducing, which is kind of nice in its own way, too. I feel like these stories really connect us to others and remind us all of our shared humanity, no matter what form our family story takes. Thanks as always for sharing your life with us!

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13 hyz November 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Yes! I loved that series, and I think either the narratives or interviews (or a mix of both, certainly) would be great to reintroduce. I also had to comment to say I absolutely love that picture of you above! It is a very tasteful, graceful, flattering, and natural looking photo. I am just starting my 3rd trimester, and have taken relatively few pregnancy pictures so far for this third baby–your picture inspires me to try to set up a similar shot at home. Thanks!

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14 Natalie S. November 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I adore these birth stories. I started reading your website about a year ago but once I read one of the birth stories, I read the entire archive of them all at once! I think they are so powerful in the mother’s voice. Because these stories are narratives and tied to a specific event, I think they’d be better without the question and answer format. But truthfully, I would read them any way they were posted here. Please please please do!

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15 miryam November 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

yes please (as long as the living with kids series continues)! all these stories are inspiring and make me appreciate the gifts that are my kids and my pregnancies and deliveries even more. thank you for the daily inspiration to be a better mom.

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16 Margaret Petry November 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I loved the birth stories series! I hope you decide to continue it. Maybe 2x a month?

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17 em November 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

YES!!!

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18 Willa November 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Just to offer an outlier opinion: The birth/adoption stories are obviously special, meaningful and well-produced, but as someone not looking to have kids anytime soon, those type of posts hold the least interest for me. I’m more interested in the homemaking/travel/styling/decorating/crafting aspects of your motherhood “coverage,” but obviously motherhood also involves childbirth so I don’t expect it to be absent completely. More than once a month would be too often for me.

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19 Theresa November 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I’m with Willa. Occasionally is fine, but I’m here for the design-ey stuff.

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20 Emily Marie November 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Yes yes!! Please bring them back, the more often, the better! I love the narratives and think the interview format would distract from the story, but maybe it wouldn’t? Either way, I’d love to see them back here!

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21 Sara November 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Bring it back please! I don’t care how or how often but I love it!

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22 Molly November 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I love them, too! I read them all the time while I was pregnant and now that I have a little one, they make me cry! (In a good way…)

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23 Eliza November 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Yes please :) I read them all back to back as I was hyping myself to get pregnant with my son, through my pregnancy and as I was preparing to give birth – they really helped make me feel like “If they can do that, I can do this!” Now I’m getting “hyped” for number two and last night was wishing there were more on your blog! You have certainly been reading my mind lately.

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24 Cami Larson November 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

At least once a week! I’m looking forward to starting a family soon, and I love hearing all the stories I can! :)

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25 Jocelyn November 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Oh, I have missed those so much! Please, please bring them back! And it would be fun to see them as an interview.

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26 Aleisha November 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I’ve always enjoyed reading them & would love to hear more of adoption since I’ve adopted 2 of my own. It’s fascinating to learn how families come to be!

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27 Elise November 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Absolutely! I adore reading birth stories, something that really connects us all and inspires us to accept all moments of parenthood with the bigger picture in mind.

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28 Micci November 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I love reading other peoples’ stories- because they are all so different, not one is the same. I’ve had two really different births and prepping for another one in the spring, I like to hear other perspectives. Especially about births that don’t go as planned or aren’t as “easy” as we think they are going to be.

I’d say twice a month would be glorious!

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29 Elizabeth N. November 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I think it would be a lovely series and twice a month would be perfect.

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30 Amy November 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Yes! I can’t ever get enough birth stories.

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31 Christine November 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

As someone who is also currently pregnant, I want them back!

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32 Laura November 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I enjoyed that series! I love the idea of an interview format, and I think once or twice a month is plenty.

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33 erin November 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yes, please!

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34 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay November 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Yes please!
I would especially love to hear adoption stories since that is how I became a Parent to my two kiddos. Joy!
I became a Mother when our son Alexander was born and died. I have really appreciated it every time someone shares their story of parenthood and loss.
I appreciate the birth stories with happy endings too!
An interview style would be fun. I think it depends on how the people featured best can share their journey!
Thanks.

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35 Christy November 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I think once a month at least would be great. I was pregnant with my first the same time you were pregnant with June. I was miserably sick, and very depressed (I didn’t really recognize the severity at the time). You featured a story of another mother who was also very depressed while pregnant, she shared how she felt a close connection with that babe because they had gone through that experienced together. I wept reading it and helped me feel understood and alone. In a way that womans experience saved me.

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36 Emily November 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Anything similar to the Living With Kids series would be amaaaaazing! I’d love to see this come back!

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37 Lucia November 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Yes please!!! I LOVED the stories while pregnant and now little guy is a walking, talking toddler. So yes, teeny baby stories are great!

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38 Raleigh-Elizabeth November 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I was gripped with fear before going into labor with Hunter. I was so afraid it would hurt. I was so afraid I didn’t have what it took (not for motherhood, but for actual labor). I was just so SCARED. I read every single one of the stories in this series – a few several times over – and honestly, I felt like a whole hospital full of women were right there cheering me on when the time came thanks to every one. EVERY woman said something that stuck with me. Bring back the series! It gave me the courage I needed – and, in the end, it really was pretty doable : )

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39 Corinne November 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I miss them. I think it’s how I found you too, so many years ago now. I think once a month is good, or every two weeks or so.

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40 Betsy November 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

My husband and I are struggling with infertility so I’d love to hear hopeful stories of pregnancy and adoption.

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41 Tracy K November 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Let me add my voice to the chorus: yes, please! Twice monthly sounds perfect. Maybe a mix of narrative format and Q&A (whatever the mother is comfortable with?). I love a well-written narrative, but also find it interesting to read how people answer the same questions differently.

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42 Tracy K November 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Also, I must chime in and second (third? fourth?) that this photo of you is stunning. :)

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43 mandi@herbanhomestead November 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I loved this series and would be so delighted to see it make a come back! And I think the interview format would be such a nice addition.

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44 Saskia November 7, 2013 at 3:36 am

i’m a long time reader from germany and i really loved the storiea about pregnancy, adoption and birth – just as i love the living-with-kids-posts; so inspiring!!!
now that i’m pregnant with our fourth child – expecting him or her to come within the next few days – i reread all the stories and i would love to read more, more, more …

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45 Bryony November 7, 2013 at 5:11 am

That would be a lot of fun! I’d love to see it done in a similar format to the Living With Kids Series, as well. Those always make for fun reading.

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46 Julia @ Calm Cradle Photo & Design November 7, 2013 at 6:36 am

Yes, please! This series is one of my favorite aspects of your blog!

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47 Rachel November 7, 2013 at 7:17 am

Yes, please bring back the series. I’ve read through them in your archives and love them.

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48 Emily November 7, 2013 at 7:35 am

yes, please! that was my favorite series that you’ve done on your blog :)

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49 Lauren November 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

Yes! I find these stories fascinating!

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50 Aliesha November 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

YES! The birth story/adoption/IVF stories were my most looked forward to posts every week. I actually liked them just as they were – stories of how children came to be part of their family told by their mother (or whoever had written the story). I don’t think I’d enjoy interview style quite as much, but of course would still read!

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51 Jo November 7, 2013 at 8:34 am

I have mixed feelings. I really love the series but as someone struggling with infertility, it can also be a bit overwhelming to constantly hear of others success. Is there a way to balance this series a bit perhaps with those of us who are unable to have children? Perhaps featuring a mother who does not have children (if that makes any sense)…

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52 Sara November 7, 2013 at 9:03 am

YES! That is how I first found you … during the adoption process for my first children. I love hearing the stories and would love sharing my OWN story too.

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53 Micah November 7, 2013 at 9:03 am

As someone who had 3 difficult childbirths with complications in each one, I would say yes, and the more variety in the stories, the better. We’re all different; all of our stories are different. And it’s so good to be reminded that motherhood is a very different journey for each one of us.

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54 Jen November 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

Yes, bring them back. I will gladly share one, two or all three of my stories.

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55 Jenna November 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

YES!!!! I loved this series so much and it’s been such a source of inspiration for me as I approach my second birth (I’m hoping for a VBAC and have devoured all of the VBAC birth stories in the series). Also, after the disappointing C-section I had with my first son, reading lots of birth stories has helped me to see the beauty in every birth, even ones that don’t go as planned. I’d love to see the series return. Thank you!!

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56 L November 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

I really enjoyed the series, and would love to see it return!

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57 Betsy C. November 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I would love the birth/adoption stories as I always enjoy those from anyone. But also how about adding launching the kids out into the world? Sending them off to college, on trips without you, etc. This is something that isn’t discussed much, but really has had such an impact on me as a mother. How do other people handle it? Do they take up knitting (I did), do they travel (we have a bit), and how do they change their home around to accommodate the occasional visits from the kids for the holidays, etc. Someone asked my husband what we were doing once our girls were both at college and he answered “Finally clean the house we haven’t for 20 years.” I thought that was so right on. Thank you, I love DesignMom.

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58 Tracy K November 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm

@Betsy, I was in that same boat. I feel for you, oh how I feel for you. Infertility is a rough road. I’m currently pregnant with my second and it was no picnic getting here (with either of my pregnancies). You’ll get there. You’ll find your path to become a mom. Lots of hugs, sister.

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59 Tracy K November 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

And ditto to Jo! I didn’t see your comment until now.

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60 Sarah November 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Loved this series and love this photo of you!

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61 Christina November 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Yes, please! I loved this series…it’s actually how I first found your blog. :)

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62 Anna November 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Yes! I always love birth stories and adoption stories and I devoured them when I was pregnant. I have a good one for you too – I gave birth to my second son in May in the car!

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63 Cheryl November 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

I absolutely loved the series, and I’m incredibly happy to hear that you’re even considering bringing it back… I can’t imagine how excited I’d be to actually have those stories contributing to the awesomeness that is Design Mom.

I think the stories are incredibly powerful told in the voice of the person who experienced it. I’m afraid that an interview format could possibly stifle the amazingly personal and intimate portrait that these women share. Each birth is such a different experience that I wonder if a question and answer type of interaction might constrain the retelling and possibly miss a rich opportunity for the mother to make connections she may otherwise have missed, both in her experience and in her relating to us, the audience.

However, there are many incredible birth stories that we may not have the opportunity to hear because some mothers are too intimidated by writing to take on the task without the additional structure that an interview might provide. I would love the opportunity to hear from a wider variety of moms, not just the eloquent, well-written, bloggy moms. It’s one of the reasons I love the Living with Kids series so much; it’s not just fancy houses that we see on other sites and in magazines, it’s about giving a platform to all different kinds of families, real live mess-in-the-sink type of families.

So I guess I would say, have both. Create a framework for moms who have a story to tell but are unsure of their voice, but allow those with the comfort and ability to tell their own story in their own way. And please, pretty PRETTY please, bring it back!!

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64 Jaimee Preston November 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

I’d love to see the birth/adoption series revisited! In less than 3 weeks I will be giving birth to my own baby girl, Arianna Blue. I would LOVE to share my birth story with your readers! Sending LOVE! – Jaimee

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65 Jen Bruton November 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

I would love that! I read so many before giving birth to my little boy in February–it helped me feel more prepared, actually. :)

And I think interview style would be really interesting

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66 Abby K November 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

YEAH! I would love to see this series again. It’s what first brought me to your site and got me hooked as a reader. Some of those stories have helped me not to be afraid to adopt!

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67 Mills November 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Yes,yes, a thousand times yes! It was one of my favorite series that you did. You always find great series to do but the growing a family posts are some of my favorites. I would love it if you would bring it back. And p.s. I really enjoy the living with kids series, too.

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68 Christina November 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Yes! Yes! I loved reading these stories while I was pregnant with my first. I love knowing there is a HUGE range of healthy ways to give birth.

And the crazier stories helped me feel calm during my own crazy birth (baby born in the hospital lobby, delivered by dad!) just weeks ago.

So Yes!

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69 Kara November 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Yes, as someone who thought she would be a mom by now and am so far from that I loved reading all the stories.

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70 Lisa November 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I LOVED the series. I’d love to see it come back.

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71 giselle November 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

I loved that series!!! You should have it again and I’d love to partake having given birth six weeks ago 12 years after having my first.

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72 Alie November 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Please do! We had a newborn baby that died last year, but it was a pregnancy and birth all the same, and she is still our daughter. I’d love more recognition for happy endings AND sad ones.

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73 RR November 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I would love to read this series, especially if they are like Living with Kids…we are trying to have a baby and we are struggling…it’d be also nice to hear that others are going through the same as well as to read some happy stories. I am interested to learn more about adoption too – since I think it’s a brave and amazing choice

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