When the world isn't being a hat full of jerks, hell bent on destruction, it can actually be a stunningly beautiful, quietly miraculous sort of place. Prepare to have your heart warmed, to possibly shed a small tear of hope, and to generally feel like maybe you should stop complaining and be strong and gracious like this woman. After having a baby in while in the middle of receiving cancer treatment, an unidentified woman is shown breastfeeding after having a mastectomy in these powerful photos posted by Gentle Birth Options to their Facebook. The bravery and love in these images should (hopefully) be more than enough to inspire us to stop hating, stop being petty, and start embracing the little miracles happening all around us, every single day.
Gentle Birth Options, a midwifery practice in Niceville, Florida (even the name is adorable), included the following caption with the powerful images:
"This strong momma planned a peaceful water birth with a midwife in our birth center but early in pregnancy she noticed a suspicious breast lump. After separate evaluations and reports saying it was "probably benign", our Certified Nurse Midwife didn't feel comfortable with the diagnosis of "probably benign" and consulted a breast specialist. The lumps were biopsied and mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer around 20 weeks pregnant. She had a left breast mastectomy a few days later and immediately started chemo while pregnant with her miracle baby. At 36 weeks, she was induced and birthed a perfectly healthy baby BOY. She really wanted to breastfeed after having many of her birth choices and preferences taken from her if only for a short time because cancer treatments resume when she is discharged from the hospital. After he was born he latched to her right breast all on his own and the room was full of emotion. These images show the incredible strength and love through the art of breastfeeding. Please pray for her and her miracle baby. They have a long road ahead. Photo credits to Kate Murray Photography."
The post inspired other mothers battling with cancer to share their incredible stories, so if you weren't moved to tears before, you will be by this outpouring of honesty and support from strong women all over the world. Here are a few of the inspiring photos and stories that were shared in the comment thread [sic]:
1. "From France... I was 3 months pregnant when diagnosed ovarian cancer. I started chemo at 5 months. My baby was born at 39 + 4 weeks. 2.8 kilos and he was just perfect!!! He is 3 months right now and we are both of us in health! I've cried so much...seeing other chemobabys has helped me a lot!! Thank you all strong ladies!!!"
2. "This is me feeding my 5 month old son at my biannual checkup 2 years post double mastectomy. It was so difficult the first few weeks after he was born when I couldn't breastfeed him, especially after exclusively breastfeeding the first two kiddos. I'm just so grateful that I could have another and that we are both happy and healthy. Sending love to my fellow survivors and their miracle babies, I have so much love for you strong strong women."
3. "I was diagnosed stage 4 when my son was 5 months old. He's 4 now and I'm still in treatment but doing relatively well. And crying over all the beautiful, hopeful stories of love on here."
4. "I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkins Lymphoma when I was 13 weeks pregnant and started chemo at 16 weeks pregnant. Due to complications. Isaac was born at 29 weeks and 2 lbs, 7 ounces. But he's now a perfectly healthy almost 3 year old and I am cancer free!"
5. "My heart strings. They are being pulled! This is me and my little man at about 3 months. Blessings to any mama that has to go through cancer. It's not an easy road, and not one I would ever wish upon someone. But these kiddos make us feel like we have something worth fighting for."