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“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel truly lucky that surrogacy was an option for us, and that we live in a place in the world that allows it. (Compensated surrogacy is completely prohibited in four U.S. states—including New York and Washington—and poses substantial legal hurdles in many others.) But, I’ve also had a difficult time navigating the many unexpected feelings that come with it. With all the feelings of gratitude, love, and hope, came envy, isolation, and grief. I wished it could have been me who felt those fluttering kicks in the stomach. I wished I could have bared the brunt of pregnancy. I wished nurses and doctors wouldn’t have stopped and asked me who I was when I followed Stephanie into the examination room. But more than anything, I wished I could have figured out how to talk to people about what I was going through. When I told people we were expecting, they would often look incredulously at my flat belly and I would have to stumble through the explanation. People would often follow up with comments about how lucky I was to avoid the pain of giving birth. Here’s a hint—the last thing someone wants to hear who suffers the loss of a child and her ability to give birth is how lucky she is not to have to experience firsthand the miracle of child birth. As a result, in a time where I should have been shouting my excitement from the rooftops, I often kept the news to myself. I was going to be a mom, but I didn’t look like an expecting mother to anyone. Perhaps this is why surrogacy is barely talked about and therefore carries a stigma of being an easy choice for people who can’t be bothered to carry their own child—those of us who go through it lack examples of how to discuss it openly and honestly. But I am trying, and no matter how painful or awkward, I’m starting to open up.” -Jennifer Talesfore on her path to motherhood through surrogacy, today on #mothermag 📷: @jennwren @jennystrangegoods

Mom Talk: My Journey To (And Through) Surrogacy, today on #mothermag #momtalk 📷: @jennwren @jennystrangegoods

10 Tips For Raising Book Lovers & Active Readers 📚, today on #mothermag 📷: @gg_georgie_greville by @nickisebastian

Mother Essentials: Morgan Walker Of @makedo.us, today on #mothermag #motheressentials @morganh.w 📷: @aoctaviusw

"I think my mother wanted to be a great mum, I think she tried a lot but at times she put a lot of focus on how things looked rather than how things actually were. I lost my mother when I was eighteen, so I never had the chance to really delve into the ins and outs of motherhood with her, and so I have navigated mothering on my own. It’s been wonderful and wild and humbling being a mother. I don’t worry about appearances, I have a lot of fun with the kids and really get silly with them, which is something I remember well about my mum, she was silly and spontaneous, something that has happily seeped into my mothering." -Chloe Brookman of @olliella on #mothermag 💛 📷: @bridgetwoodphotography

"Fun, playful, clueless." -Chloe Brookman on her parenting style, today on #mothermag @70shousereno @olliella 📷: @bridgetwoodphotography

"I don’t know if I am the anomaly here, but I found going from one to two really easy! I wasn’t as worried about getting things right the second time around, felt more relaxed and really enjoyed the whole experience. My advice from one to two: make sure you have one-on-one time with your eldest each day, even if it’s 15-20 minutes of undivided attention. Going from two to three I found much more of a challenge, it might have been the age difference of four years, where I basically forgot everything! The house is crazy nowadays, with kids running around everywhere, but it is so fun and full and I wouldn’t change a thing!"-Chloe Brookman, mother of three (Tennyson, 9, Arlo, 6, Nell, 2) and co-founder of Olli Ella, today on #mothermag @70shousereno @olliella 📷: @bridgetwoodphotography

Aussie Mama Of 3 Chloe Brookman Of Olli Ella, today on #mothermag @olliella @70shousereno 📷: @bridgetwoodphotography

Your Horoscope For The Week Of September 17-23 is Live! Today on #mothermag 📷: @blackandthemoon

45 (!) Fall Jumpsuits We Love 💜, today on #mothermag 📷: @madewell

Our Motherlode Roundup Is Live, Including TIME’s Important Cover Story on America’s Teachers (Swipe 👉), today on #mothermag #motherlode

“So, why have any more? Any women who has done IVF will tell you the embryos that are left behind in storage haunt you. For the first time I had four frozen embryos. As I looked at Tor I knew he was 9 years younger than his brothers and I knew he would fight boredom of being the only child at home. So, to have another seemed doable. I already had 5 kids, was 6 really different? I went through every last embryo and lost three girls back to back. I cried hard and kept moving forward. My last embryo was a boy and it took! For the next 36 weeks I fought the fear of him coming too early or pushing my uterus too far. I had so much to lose. Then his 6 pound, pink, chubby body was placed in my arms full term and never went into the NICU. As we left the hospital I experienced something I never had before. Freedom, of being a mother without cords and tubes and nurses that replace you as you leave your baby in their care in the NICU. Every roll on his body I made and was somehow life affirming and gratifying as a woman. When I got him home, it felt like the invisible mom guilt had lifted. I had given everything I had to get all six boys here. I had willingly sacrificed my career and endless opportunities to bring them all here. I had never desired a large family and was honestly aware that having six kids was for women who were ‘good’ at being a mom. I don’t really think you’re allowed in the club until your kids turn 40. However, I aspire to be ‘good.’” -An excerpt from Autumn Kimball’s must-read essay on raising 6 boys, today on #mothermag 📷: @kimballcreative

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