What went viral this week: A mama pumps during a marathon + another gets a second chance

Mothers are amazing. We are strong, we are brave and we are resilient.

Each week at Motherly we round up the stories going viral across the internet to help keep you up to date on what you may have missed in your news feed. But this week feels extra special. This week the internet is celebrating stories of mothers overcoming challenges.

We all face our own challenges every day, and if you need a little inspiration to overcome yours, you may find it in these viral stories that are making us smile:

Mom goes viral after giving birth + getting cancer diagnosis on the same day 

When Brooke Taylor was pregnant she noticed a lump on her breast and told her doctor...but her doctor wan't concerned and told her it was probably just pregnancy related and didn't examine it. When she was 38 weeks pregnant and the lump was still bothering her, Taylor demanded her OB take it seriously and have a look at it, she tells Good Morning America.

"I actually took off my shirt and said, 'I'm not leaving until you feel this,'" Taylor says. "I will never forget the look on her face when she felt the lump. I saw the color drain from her face and she looked at me."

A biopsy was quickly performed and the results were positive for breast cancer. After the doctor called to tell Taylor the results they also told her to get to the hospital—she would need an emergency C-section as soon as possible so that cancer treatments could begin immediately.

"Elsie James Taylor was born at 2:04 p.m. on July 22, roughly six hours after her mom learned she had breast cancer," Good Morning America reports.

Taylor has gone viral thanks to her interview with GMA and her social media presence. On Instagram. Taylor is using her story to encourage other women to demand their doctors check out bumps and lumps, and to share their family histories with their medical providers.

As a new mom who is also a chemotherapy patient, Taylor is tired these days, but she tells GMA she's enjoying life with her daughter and doesn't take it for granted.

"Now that we're in month three, I feel like the shock has finally worn off and I'm able to connect with Elsie on the more maternal level," Taylor said. "I'm better able to balance the cancer treatment with motherhood."

New mom goes viral for pumping while running marathon 

We often say that giving birth is harder on the body as running a marathon, and that mamas are the ultimate endurance athletes but a mama who went viral this week takes it to another level.

Molly Waitz just completed the New York City marathon—and when she crossed that finish line, she had ounces of pumped breast milk on hand. That's right: She actually managed to pump her milk right there on the marathon's course. Yup, we're just as blown away by this as you are.

So how exactly did she manage to pump while running? Well, Waitz used the Willow pump, which is a wearable device that allows women to pump hands-free. The pump is connected to an app that alerts a mama when her milk bags (which sit inside the pump) are full. According to ABC News, Waitz would stop to pop her full bags of milk into the backpack she wore during the race. She'd then replace the bags with new ones and continue.

"I pumped for the first time somewhere between miles three and four and then I did it again right off the Queensboro Bridge, which was mile 16," Waitz tells ABC News. "I slowed down a little bit to do it but I didn't really have to. You could do it blindfolded."

The mama reportedly finished the race in six hours and 46 minutes, and pumped about 20 ounces of milk along the way.

While Waitz is definitely an inspiration to so many mamas out there, she also wants fellow moms to know that her story is just that—her story—and it shouldn't serve as a comparison tool for any other moms out there.

"I wanted to do the marathon and the necessity was figuring out how I was going to do it," the mama tells ABC News. "There's a lot of stigma about how should you feed your child. That's not what I wanted to get across by doing this."

While Waitz's accomplishment is absolutely amazing, it wasn't something she dreamed about—in fact, she never even imagined she'd be able to run a marathon while just eight months postpartum, let alone while working full-time and breastfeeding.

"I never thought I would [run a marathon] and the fact that I was able to do it while working full-time and caring for my child, it was just unbelievable," Waitz tells ABC News.

No mama, you're unbelievable. You made this happen.

Mom whose overdose went viral is now celebrating 3 years of sobriety 👏

Three years ago Erika Hunt went viral after police released a photo of her overdosing on heroin in her car while her 10-month-old son was in the back seat. It was Hunt's rock bottom, and a story the police chose to share widely in the hopes of convincing other opiate addicts to get help before getting to the point of desperation Hunt was clearly in,

Now Hunt has gone viral again for the best reason: She's celebrating three years of sobriety!

"I hope people see how low my bottom was and that they know if their bottom is not that far from mine, that they can come back too, she tells Good Morning America. "I just think it's really cool because I feel even more planted and stable in my recovery [today]."

The first time she went viral, Hunt was humiliated, but now Hunt is proud. She's sober, working full-time and is able to parent her son in a way that became impossible when, after a drug-free pregnancy, she relapsed at two months postpartum. She credits the first responders who administered Narcan to her the day of her overdose with saving her life and giving her back to her son.

"Now we're inseparable pretty much. He's a mama's boy," she explains.

Oh, and Baby Shark finally reached Stephen King and his tweet went viral 

You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard Baby Shark until now, but that's exactly what happened to bestselling novelist Stephen King, who recently tweeted: "I finally heard that Baby Shark song. I may never get it out of my head."

Trust us Stephen, you won't.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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