Moms STORY OVERVIEW FOR MOMS: Moms explores the uncertain territory where motherhood and drug addiction intersect. It opens a window into the lives of pregnant Appalachian women struggling to overcome substance abuse so they can raise healthy babies. Also meet the nurses pouring their hearts into catching those falling through the cracks. CAPTION FOR THIS PHOTO: This is the first child that Lydia Bateman has kept. At 28 years old she has lost custody of three previous babies due to substance abuse, the children adopted out. “I haven’t used since the day they took my daughter away,” says Lydia. Polydactyly is a rare congenital abnormality that causes extra fingers and toes. Usually it’s benign and affects just one side of the body. But baby Ayden Bateman has the even rarer kind that affects both sides and is accompanied by kidney problems. His condition was detected while still in the womb. Part of the nurse’s job has been to reassure his mom Lydia that she didn’t cause her baby’s condition, and to help reduce the stigma of having a child with birth defects, so that mother and child can bond successfully. “One of the great joys in this work is to be able to show clients, both in word and in deed, that their lives matter. Helping them recognize the importance of their own roles as pivotal parts of the family unit is an integral part of what we’re doing.” Growing up in Ethiopia, nurse Stacy Lee remembers witnessing the suffering around her and thinking, “I’m going to change that.” She never imagined she would end up working in Appalachia, helping women to overcome addiction in an effort to have healthy babies. Many women choose to stop breastfeeding soon after birth. Aside from the loss of health benefits for both mother and baby, formula is expensive. Subsidy programs only cover part of the cost, and many low-income families struggle to find the money for supplies in the last week or two of each month. Part of nurse Stacy Lee’s job is to help moms like Lydia Bateman navigate those choices. Becky Kiser never expected to be preparing to have a baby — she had thought she was gay until she got involved with a boy and fell unexpectedly pregnant. The baby’s father is no longer in the picture but Becky’s brother Bobby has been helping out. They’re twins and he says he’s been experiencing sympathetic morning sickness during his sister’s pregnancy. The landscape surrounding Becky Kiser’s trailer is heavily wooded and peaceful. Out her front window, Becky can look across and see her parents’ home where she grew up. At time of this visit, there were several dogs living in the mobile home with Becky, and a calico cat with a litter of 4-week-old kittens. Trailers are notoriously poorly insulated and as winter arrives in the hollow, it will get chilly. Bobby Kiser removes bottle caps from the ceiling of his trailer in Carbondale, Ohio on November 11, 2015. He has moved out so that his twin sister Becky can have a better place than her camper to prepare for the birth of her child. Nurse Stacy Lee discusses housing options with Lexi, mother of Josh and baby Cayden, at the Highlander Motel where the family is staying temporarily on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. The stress shows as great grandmother Joyce Brandeberry cries on the shoulder of nurse Stacy Lee on October 21, 2015. Joyce has been homeless before and is currently living with her granddaughter, her teenage partner and their two sons since it’s easier to find emergency housing for families than singles. Lexi’s new partner and ad hoc dad to her boys, Dustin Hutchinson in the fading moments of daylight on October 22, 2015. The family has managed to find emergency housing but, accustomed to cramming into single hotel rooms, everyone crowds into the one upstairs bedroom. The electricity isn’t yet connected and so it will be a dark night, but at least the space is theirs.