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Abby Frame is standing in her kitchen, her countertops lined with yellow-lidded glass milk bottles and small rectangular plastic bags. A spiral bound notebook on the counter is filled with notes and measurements, every ounce of precious breastmilk accounted for.


As Frame pours milk from bottles to bags, her husband, Chris, stands over by the stove, packing the smaller plastic bags into larger ones. This careful storing of Frame’s breast milk isn’t for the benefit of their own children, 2-year-old Deacon and 5-month old Lydia, but for other babies, some they know and many more they will never meet.

“I truly feel that everyone has a way to make a difference in this world. And I think this is my thing,” Frame tells Motherly.

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Our glimpse into her kitchen and her life came days after Frame, a photographer by trade, posted a self-portrait that quickly spread through Facebook breastfeeding groups.

In the photo, Frame sits on the floor breastfeeding Lydia, surrounded by an impressive circle of frozen, packaged breastmilk. When she uploaded the image she captioned it with a letter to the babies who will benefit from the milk she donates to Tiny Treasures Milk Bank.

There the milk is used by a company called Prolacta Bioscience to make standardized donor milk and human milk nutritional products for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The American Academy of Pediatrics supports using human milk from donors for preterm babies only when it is screened, pasteurized and distributed through established donor milk banks like Tiny Treasures.

“Dear NICU babe,

I don't know your story. I don't know who you are. And perhaps I never will. But maybe, just maybe, you'll do great things in your life. All you need is a fighting chance, right? So you fight little one. You give it all you've got. Whatever you're going through, fight.

And to your Mama, lord. I can't imagine what she's going through either. But her baby is having a hard time and y'all both need a little help. And if my milk can help in any way then it is my greatest pleasure. The 700 hours I have spent pumping and cleaning and packaging this up for you is all worth it.

So take it. Fight. And grow up to be amazing! I believe in you.

Love,

Donor Number: 0000060340

So grateful that God has called me to do this. I am so so blessed. We’re going on 8,000 ounces to be donated! I’m so proud of each ounce. It is SO much work. All of it is worth it.”

Frame tells Motherly the application process to become a donor was very vigorous and even felt tedious at times. “You have to get your doctor’s clearance and your pediatrician’s clearance. You have to send them your DNA and you have to have blood work done. Since it’s going to such delicate babies there are strict requirements and restrictions on what you can eat and drink and what medications you can take,” she says.

The company pays to ship coolers full of Frame’s breastmilk to the milk bank, and she receives one dollar per ounce for her “pump, pump parts, bags, milk and time.”

Flipping through her spiral notebook, Frame shows Motherly how she differentiates between the milk she pumps for the bank and the milk she gives straight to three other families in nearby Milledgeville, Georgia.

“So the gallons that I have written down, that I’ve donated, those are just what I’ve donated to families,” she says as she flips a page and runs her finger over line after line of dates and measurements. “The ounces, that’s what I’ve given to Tiny Treasures.”

Frame doesn’t accept compensation for the gallons of breast milk she’s given directly to other families, but says the grateful parents often offer to replace her Lansinoh bags and have also given her a priceless gift. “I have formed quite a relationship with them, too,” she says. “I love watching their babies grow and flourish.”

Since her self-portrait has spread through social media, Frame has heard from many more families who are looking for donor milk. While she regrets that she won’t be able to help them all, she hopes her post might encourage other breastfeeding moms to donate their extra supply to babies in need.

Standing in her kitchen labeling Lansinoh bags, Frame tells Motherly she distinctly remembers the day she decided to donate her milk. “I had so much milk and I didn’t know what to do with it,” she recalls, explaining how she went to bed that night and had a nightmare in which Lydia was “born really sick” and Frame wasn’t able to produce milk for her.

“And [in the dream] I was searching for milk for her to survive. I couldn’t find anyone willing to donate. When I woke up I realized that that nightmare was some people’s reality. And if I could give them that milk, it could give them a little bit of relief. It could be one less thing for them to worry about.”

When we think of NICU heroes, the mind conjures images of medical professionals in lab coats and scrubs but Frame’s story paints a different picture: A t-shirt clad mom standing in her kitchen, looking at her own babies and hoping the milk she’s painstakingly preparing helps other babies get home, too.

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Last year, Bode and Morgan Miller welcomed identical twin boys into the world, and now the couple is giving us a glimpse into how things went down on that fateful day by showing the story of their twin home birth.

"Presenting…Birth Story with Bode," Morgan wrote in an Instagram Story (it's in her highlights). "I'm sharing because...our bodies are beautiful. It's a scary emotional ride but d*mn, we are capable of so much more than we even know."

bode morgan miller twins home birth

But in order to really tell their birth story, the couple had to go back to nearly a month before their babies came into the world. Bode predicted the babies would be born on his birthday, October 12, but the day came and went with no signs of labor. Instead, Morgan carried the babies until November 8. They chose to induce on that day and they were prepared to proceed with a home birth as planned.

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However, Morgan had a sudden change of heart. "You said, 'I don't want to do this today. I'm going to the hospital. I want to get an epidural,'" Bode recalled. "I said, 'Well that's not going to happen. That window has passed.'"

And so a home birth it was! Right before the midwives arrived at the Miller family's home, it became pretty clear that the babies were ready to make their big debut. "You went over to the other side of the bed and said come push my hips… and within like three contractions I could really feel them going apart when I was pushing them together, which means that baby's head is really getting low down in there and pushing apart your pelvis," Bode said, adding that he felt the baby's head emerging.

Both boys were born quickly, before the family's medical team could arrive.

"They were like, 'Oh my god...what are you doing?" Bode recounted. "I was like, I guess having babies? I don't know."

Bode and Morgan named their twin boys Asher and Askel. They join big brothers Easton, 13 months, and Edward, 4, and Bode's children, Samuel, 6, and daughter Neesyn, 11. They also have a sister in heaven—as you may recall, Bode and Morgan tragically lost their daughter, Emeline, to a drowning accident at just 19 months.

While the twin birth was certainly dramatic, the couple couldn't be happier with how it all unfolded. "It was literally ideal," Bode said. "[It was] a lot for everybody to experience, you couldn't have had it be cooler for everybody involved."

News

Milestone moments aren't just for parents of babies. Designer Joanna Gaines shared the details of a momentous occasion on Instagram this week: her oldest son getting his driver's permit.

That might be a shock to you to those of you who have watched the Gaines' family grow up on HGTV, but Drake is 15 years old now. 😲

As any parent knows, the years just fly by when you're raising kids. Understandably, the fact that her firstborn is now old enough to get behind the wheel of a car had Gaines feeling more than a little emotional.

"Drake waited in line for an hour and finally got called up to get his drivers permit and then my 15 year old little boy drove home with Chip and all of a sudden he is all grown up," she wrote. Watching Drake check off that particular milestone was especially head-spinning for the mom since she's got a toddler at home, too.

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"It's crazy because this morning I spent most of my time teaching Crew how to go up and down the stairs because he is still so wobbly (his weight is not distributed evenly quite yet). He used to reach for my hand when climbing the stairs so I could help him and now he insists on doing it himself, " she continued. "The gap between these two circumstances with my boys is wide but the feeling on both is somehow the same."

Fair warning, the ending of Gaines' post is going to have you wiping tears from your eyes. "So many hard and beautiful moments of beginnings and ends," she wrote. "Parenthood is all about training these babies up to eventually let them go. May we savor all the big and quiet moments along the way."

Not wanting to miss any of those moments was a big part of the reason Gaines and her husband Chip decided to end their hit show Fixer Upper in 2018. With a family of fast-growing kids (the couple are also parents to kids Duke, Ella Rose, and Ella Kay), Gaines posted on her blog at the time that she and her husband wanted to step away from the show to give "lots of love and attention to both our family and our other businesses." That's left time to savor all those special events in their children's lives—whether it's a step toward adulthood or simply a step up the staircase. But fans shouldn't worry: the couple is still making time for work, too. Their own network is set to launch this summer.

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It has been watched nearly 3 million times, and although this video from Hallmark was originally posted last May it is going viral again because for us moms, every day is Mother's Day.

The video is a commercial for Hallmark, but it is also so much more than that. It's a look into what motherhood is really like, the crying, the multitasking, the mess...and the bittersweet pain of watching them grow up.

The commercial follows a mom as her kids grow from toddlers eating off the floor to tweens who need privacy to teenagers who need to borrow the car...and finally, into parents themselves.

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Warning, watch this one with a tissue in hand:

"There will be a day when you hold them on your hip for the very last time..." a narrator tells us.

"There will be a day when you've made your final bubble beard...a day when you will no longer be greeted like a hero..or get the privilege of carrying them up to bed in your arms. Nothing can prepare you for these days."

And as we see the mom's daughter become a mom, the narrator says, "just as nothing can prepare you for the day when they finally understand how much you love them."

Are you crying yet, mama?

Thank you Hallmark, for showing the world that motherhood is so complex.

News

It's finally 2020. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few days into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

Laura Prepon is a mama x 2! 

Actors Laura Prepon and Ben Foster share 2-year-old daughter Ella and now share another "bundle of love".

Prepon announced her pregnancy back in October on Instagram:. "We are so excited to announce that our family is growing. Life is beautiful!" and has now announced her birth as well.

"Overwhelmed with gratitude." she captioned an Instagram photo of her baby.

Ashley Graham is a mama! 🎉

A new chapter is unfolding for model and podcaster Ashley Graham, who just announced she and her husband Justin Ervin have met their baby.

The baby arrived Saturday, according to a post made on Graham's Instagram Stories.

"At 6:00pm on Saturday our lives changed for the better," reads the Story. "Thank you for all your love and support during this incredible time."

Graham previously announced that she and Ervin were expecting a son. They initially announced the pregnancy on their ninth wedding anniversary.

Congratulations to Ashley and Justin!

Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden just welcomed a baby girl! 🎉

Surprise! Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden are ringing in the New Year as first-time parents!

"Happy New Year from the Maddens!" reads a birth announcement posted to both Diaz and Madden's Instagram accounts. "We are so happy, blessed and grateful to begin this new decade by announcing the birth of our daughter, Raddix Madden. She has instantly captured our hearts and completed our family."

Raddix Madden is the first child for Diaz, 47, and Madden, 40.

The couple say they won't be posting any pictures of their daughter on social media as they "feel a strong instinct to protect our little one's privacy."

Congratulations to the Maddens! 🎉

Dylan Dreyer of 'Today' is a mom of 2! 

Today meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and her husband Brian Fichera, welcomed their second child, Oliver George Fichera, the first week of January 2020. Oliver joins his big brother Calvin to make the family a foursome.

Dreyer is still recovering from birth but her voice was on TV this week when she called into her show with an update on her new family. "I feel good," Dylan told her colleagues. "I just feel so happy and so blessed."

Caterina Scorsone of 'Grey's Anatomy' now has 3 girls!

Caterina Scorsone of Grey's Anatomy has so much to be thankful for in 2020: She's now a mom of three! The actress announced the birth of her daughter via Instagram, noting that her baby's name is Arwen.

Arwen joins big sisters Eliza, 7, and 3-year-old Paloma, who has Down syndrome. Speaking on The Motherly Podcast last year, Scorsone explained how Paloma's diagnosis made her "whole concept of what motherhood was had to shift."

It is likely shifting again, as any mama who has gone from two kids to three knows.

News
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