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Woman makes custom-stuffed teddy bears for grieving mothers

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A Virginia woman is helping other mothers grieve in the wake of their losses of young loved ones. 

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Bridgette Crews, 39, was 34 weeks pregnant in 2010 when her unborn daughter, Molly, died. 

She knew something was wrong when her daughter hadn't kicked in her stomach in a few hours. 

"I pushed on my belly and felt absolutely nothing and started to cry," Crews told People.  

When Crews and her husband, Chris, went to the hospital, they received bad news.

"The doctor came in and said 'There's no heartbeat,'" Crews said. "My husband screamed and cried and he never cries. It was horrendous."

The couple's daughter had died after a knot formed in the umbilical cord and also wrapped around her neck. Crews was induced and delivered her dead child that night. Molly weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces. 

Soon after, a devastated Bridgette went to a local Build-A-Bear Workshop, where she bought a bear that she later stuffed with rice she bought at a grocery store. She stuffed the bear until it weighed exactly 4 pounds, 9 ounces. 

"Having her on my chest was the first time I could sleep through the night in weeks" she said. "Her weight did it. I slept with her and slept with her." 

Crews told her support group about her creation and offered to make similar bears for the other grieving mothers. Lots of women were interested, so Crews decided to start Molly Bears, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating personalized teddy bears for families who have lost a baby or child in pregnancy or infancy. Each bear weighs what the child did.

Now, about 20 volunteer bear makers live across the U.S. Most of them are women who have had a child die prematurely.

To date, the team has made more than 10,000 bears, which have been shipped to families internationally. 

"I know we are giving them a real tangible way to show the world their baby," Crews told People. "It's a Band-Aid on our hearts." 

People can sign up for a bear, each of which can come with personalized details, on the last day of each month. 

Stacey Skrysak, lost two of her three premature triplets. 

"They are giving us something tangible to hold onto, which is a godsend when us angel parents are having those difficult moments," she says. "These volunteers are heroes to all of us who have lost a child." 

"It's nice to be able to give people that peace and comfort, to reassure people that their babies matter no matter what anybody tells you," said volunteer bear maker Sabrina Kleymann, who's made at least 500 bears over the last four years. "For me, getting the bear was recognition I was allowed to love (my deceased children). It was something for me to hold and remind me it's okay to love them and miss them."

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<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Anastasia Bear2lbs 10ozPosted by Molly Bears on Sunday, February 7, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>McKenna Violet Bear 15ozCaden Markham Bear 16.6ozPosted by Molly Bears on Friday, February 5, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Peyton Nicole Bear2lbs 12.5ozPosted by Molly Bears on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Woman uses breast milk to create jewelry, keepsakes for mothers

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A Texas mother is helping other mothers commemorate their motherhood by creating jewelry made out of their breast milk.

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Bridgette Boudreaux wanted to cherish the bond she had with her children.

“It’s so beautiful," Boudreaux told KTRK. "You know, such a peaceful time with just you and your baby."

She said when other mothers found out she could create keepsakes from the breast milk, the orders started coming in.

“I debuted it in a small Facebook group that I was in for mothers, and they responded very well, and the orders just started pouring in,” said Boudreaux. "I have milk from Indonesia, Canada, Britain, France, all over the world. I receive milk every day."

She makes the jewelry at her home by adding preservatives to the milk and storing it in a refrigerator. Within a week, the milk becomes solid, and Boudreaux molds it into various shapes. She also adds color and adds a top coat resin to harden and protect the milk.

Boudreaux said she has sold hundreds of the necklaces, which range from $50-$100.

This lovely customized ring is heading home to a very lucky mommy this weekThis solid sterling silver two hearts ring...Posted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

One of the many orders going home this weekSterling silver Breastmilk ringPosted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

*** Vintage Breastmilk Rose***Super sale$50 off until Friday!!Originally $150 currently on sale for $100 No coupon...Posted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This beautiful setting is made by a UK based artisan. And holds your preciously preserved Breastmilk This fairytale...Posted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Your preciously preserved breastmilk is cradled in the solid sterling silver cala  lily pendant Only 5 cala lily...Posted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Research settles debate: Will cuddling your crying baby spoil them?

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Cuddling a baby means a higher likelihood of the child becoming a healthier, happier adult, new research has found.

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A Norte Dame psychologist found that snuggly childhood experiences can help children grow into successful and well-adjusted adults, WSBT reported.

Darcia Narvaez, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, and her colleagues surveyed more than 600 adults. They found that adults who said they received cuddles, snuggles and lots of free play time as children evolved into adults with less anxiety and better mental health.

"These things independently, but also added up together, predicted the adults' mental health, so they were less depressed, less anxious, and (in regard to) their social capacities, they were more able to take other people’s perspective. They were better at getting along with others and being open-hearted," Narvaez said.

Narvaez said parents should hold, touch and rock their babies as much as possible.

"What parents do in those early months and years are really affecting the way the brain is going to grow the rest of their lives, so lots of holding, touching and rocking -- that is what babies expect. They grow better that way. And keep them calm, because all sorts of systems are establishing the way they are going to work," she said.

In fact, Narvaez said, cuddling is so important that ignoring babies when they cry could affect them negatively.

"If you let them cry a lot, those systems are going to be easily triggered into stress. We can see that in adulthood, that people that are not cared for well tend to be more stress-reactive and they have a hard time self-calming," she said.

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One year after losing conjoined twins, parents welcome new baby

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Thirteen months ago, Robin Hamby gave birth to conjoined twin boys who survived for only one day. But Hamby and her husband, Michael, relied on their faith, praying for another chance to give their toddler daughter a sibling.

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On Monday, the couple welcomed a baby boy, whom they named Seth Michael Hamby.

“I’m ecstatic,” Michael Hamby said in a Facebook video posted late Monday.

At 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19.5 inches long, Seth is healthy and was resting in his mother’s arms Monday in her hospital room.

“He has eaten and pooped and all the things you want babies to do,” Robin Hamby said.

In December 2014, Robin delivered Asa and Eli, twins who shared a torso, arms and legs, following a rare pregnancy the couple chronicled on Facebook. The couple knew the risks of carrying twins joined at their sides, a condition known as dicephalic parapagus, but believed the boys could beat the odds.

Tears and cries from the babies were a positive sign the morning the brothers were born. The Hamby twins made national headlines within hours of the delivery.

But the afternoon after their births, the twins’ health deteriorated. One heart was not strong enough for both Asa and Eli, and the boys died after being removed from ventilators. Within months, Robin Hamby was pregnant again, and the couple again posted online updates to thousands of followers.

“The Lord blessed us with Asa and Eli last year, and we miss them dearly,” Hamby said Monday. “God is good and he decided to bless us again with Seth.”

The Hambys daughter also have a daughter, Selah, who turns 3 on Jan. 28.

Man names daughter after soccer team, wife finds out two years later

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Many crazed sports fans express their loyalty for teams in interesting ways. 

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But one Australian man named his daughter after his favorite soccer team – and he didn't tell his wife until the child was two years old.

Clare Smith wrote in to a magazine saying, "We chose our daughter's name, Lanesra, because it was unique and romantic. It wasn't (until) she was two that my husband told me it was actually his favorite soccer team, Arsenal, spelled backwards."

Social media users responded to the father's creative name online. 

It's unclear if there will be an uptick of soccer-related names in the coming year.

Grandmother with dementia receives baby doll, reaction is heartwarming

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When it came time to choose gifts  for her family members, Maxine Daniel of Durham, England knew exactly what to get for her Nana Lilly: a Baby Annabelle doll.

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"My Christmas gift to my lovely Nana Lilly (who sadly has dementia) was a Baby Annabelle doll," Daniel wrote on Facebook. "Her reaction is a joy to see and melts my heart."

Lilly, who suffers from dementia, was overwhelmed with happiness when she was given the doll.

"Her dementia was progressively getting worse to the point that she had forgotten most family members, and her mannerisms became more childlike," Daniel told the Daily Mail. "So I thought maybe a doll would help to keep her mind occupied. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome."

In a video Daniel that posted on Facebook, Nana Lilly can be seen caring for the doll and treating it like a human baby. She cradles, sings to, kisses and hugs the doll with tenderness. When it makes gurgling noises, a smiling Lilly rocks and burps the doll. She even keeps it wrapped tightly in a crocheted blanket.

"I did originally tell her it was a doll, but it made no difference," Daniel said. "She saw a baby."

Daniel told the Daily Mail that before dementia, her grandmother was "the most caring and loving person." She said her grandmother loved children.

"She now has a sense of purpose and sits singing, kissing and talking to 'the baby,'" Danial said. "We can interact with her better, and her mood is transformed."

According to the Daily Mail, Daniel has been contacted by multiple universities that want to use the video to demonstrate doll therapy to nursing students.

The video has been viewed millions of times and liked more than 86,000 times. 

Watch the video below.

My Christmas gift to my lovely Nana Lilly (who sadly has dementia) was a Baby Annabelle doll. Her reaction is a joy to see and melts my heart ❤❤❤❤❤ with CoriePosted by Maxine Daniel on Sunday, December 27, 2015

Adorable photo: Christmas babies tucked in stockings

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Some women giving birth during the holiday season are in for a very special gift.

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For those giving birth at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, the hospital is celebrating the babies by tucking them into festive stockings and topping their tiny heads with hand-knitted green and red caps.

>> Photos: Adorable little 'stocking stuffers'

The caps are made by the Magee Volunteer Knitters, a group of women who gather each month in the hospital's lobby to knit, socialize and give back to the community.

Conjoined Georgia twins born with same heart, liver die

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A pair of conjoined twins receiving treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of Georgia died Wednesday night due to multiple complex medical complications.

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In a statement distributed by Georgia Regents University, the boys born to Brittany Crafton shared a heart and liver. They were delivered by C-section on Monday at the Georgia Regents Medical Center and remained in critical condition in the NICU for two days.

Doctors had voiced cautious optimism about the twins’s chances at survival. They had survival mostly depended on their heart, which they said had been functioning normally after delivery.

Dr. Paul Browne, section chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Georgia Regents, said previously that after deliver the twins’ heart had been functioning normally.

26-year-old Crafton set up a Gofundme, which had raised $5,490 as of this report.

“RIP sweet babies,” Della Fogg said with her donation shortly after the hospital’s announcement. “May God be with the family during this time! Prayers are being sent your way.”

Crafton’s were the first conjoined twins to be delivered at the Augusta medical center, according to the release.

911 dispatcher meets baby she helped deliver over the phone

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When Liz Nagoda went into labor at her Pennsylvania home, her husband, Joe, called 911 because there was no time for an ambulance.

Rachel Kuras Nolf was on the other end of the line.

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"He put the phone on speaker and sat it down next to us," Liz told TribLIVE. 

"I was panicking because I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to do anything wrong, but there was no stopping her," Joe Nagoda told TribLIVE.

Kuras Nolf gave the couple instructions on how to deliver the baby on their bedroom floor, and 12 minutes later their third child, Lainey, was born.

"That's what I was waiting for, to hear the crying," Nolf told TribLIVE.

The family came face-to-face with Kuras Nolf for the first time this week and thanked her as she held Lainey for the first time.

Kuras Nolf was honored last week by department officials.

Man captures photo of newborn with 92-year-old great-grandmother

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Millie Martin, 92, just met her 2-day-old great-granddaughter, and the special moment was caught on camera. 

Penelope Rose Martin, nicknamed Pip, was born on Friday to Jennifer and Scott Martin. The couple had spent years trying to conceive and was particularly excited about the birth of their first child.

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What was extra special for Scott was the introduction of his daughter to his grandmother, a woman he told ABC News was, “the first love of my life.”

When the couple brought Penelope home to their Washington residence, Millie met her sixth great-granddaughter for the first time. 

“They just sat and looked at each other for a few minutes,” said Jennifer. “It was a really special moment. [Millie] kept [Penelope] in her lap for close to an hour.”

Scott says Millie, who is bedridden with congestive heart failure, cared for him during the first year of his life after he was born with health complications. 

“We’ve gotten even a lot closer in the last decade,” said Scott.

What’s potentially even more touching was what Millie said after the introduction.

“She’s very Christian and talks about praying for the family and holding on for the baby and she kind of looked at us and said that she’s happy now,” Jennifer said. “As soon as she saw Pip she said, ‘You can start praying for the rest of the family now.’”

Penelope first made the news when she appeared to be clapping during an ultrasound test while Jennifer was pregnant.

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