After believing she couldn’t have children, Hope O Baker found herself unexpectedly pregnant when she was still a college student and just 21 years old. With no clear idea of what to do, Hope ultimately opted to continue her pregnancy and place her son in an open adoption. In her new book, Finding Hope: A Birth Mother’s Journey into the Light, Hope shares her story. She discusses not only her pregnancy and decision to put her son up for adoption but also the darkness and heartache that followed in the wake of his birth, as well as the light that emerged over time. Hope also talks about her relationship with her son and her son’s adoptive mother and paints a beautiful picture of what adoption can be.

Nikki Van Noy: So, Hope, we are having this discussion on your son’s birthday, which is very fitting, and I will let you explain to the listeners why this is an appropriate day to be having this particular discussion.

Hope O Baker: Yeah, thank you, Nikki, I’m really excited to chat with you today. This is a pretty significant day and when this got setup, I was just a little taken back. I think when you read the book, you’ll see that there were so many things that happened that were too perfect to make sense. It was like the universe telling me, this is where you need to be.

I placed my son for adoption when I was 21, so today is his sixth birthday and the whole book is about my journey of being a birth mother and placing my son, and really everything that followed, everything, the good and the bad and in between.

Nikki Van Noy: Amazing. So, let’s back up to when you were 21. Take me to the moment when you realized that you were pregnant. What was that like? What was going through your mind?

Unexpected News

Hope O Baker: Yes, that’s an intense one. What was going through my mind? There were so many different emotions I was feeling. I actually got really sick. So, I was in college, it was finals time and I got very ill, to the point where I was throwing up, I couldn’t eat anything, I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. It was just this really weird feeling. I came back home–I drove the two hours to my mom’s house in Alexandria, Minnesota.

I walked in, my mom was like, “You’re gray, you need to go to the doctor right now.”

So, I go to the doctor and all the questions–there’s a lot of details in there. But jumping to the point, I got an x-ray because they thought I possibly had a bladder infection or a kidney infection and as the x-ray technician was leaving, he noticed a skeleton on the x-ray. I found out I was pregnant when I was over 20 weeks pregnant by a technician just happening to glance at the x-ray as he walked out of the building.

So, that’s intense.

Nikki Van Noy: Yeah. Seriously, you had no idea. I didn’t enter your mind that that’s what could be going on, it was a total shock?

Hope O Baker: Interesting enough. My mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I found out the day after I got pregnant. Of course, I didn’t know I got pregnant at the time. I had issues with my–with reproducing, the doctors thought I would have issues and when I was in college, there were all these tests run and everything.

I just didn’t think it was possible. I went home, found out my mom was diagnosed, and then after that, basically I was like a nun. I stopped partying, I didn’t have boyfriends, I didn’t go on dates, I just went into caretaker mode. So, I was driving back and forth to take care of my mom. I mean, she had 12 or 13 surgeries there.

So, I had no idea. I went to the doctor twice during that time period and I said, “Something is wrong with me. A woman knows her body. Something is wrong with me.” They diagnosed it as like phantom pain–paranoia. They sent me to a psychologist because they thought that I was having feelings because my mother was diagnosed. I have breast cancer on both sides of my family and there’s genetics there in play.

They thought I was paranoid. They sent me to a psychologist rather than running a pregnancy test.

Nikki Van Noy: That’s so interesting because speaking as a woman, doctors are so quick to run a pregnancy test for anything that is totally unrelated to pregnancy. That’s one of the first questions that there is. It seems to me like an anomaly that this situation could even happen in this day and age.

Hope O Baker: Totally. You know the most interesting part about that is when I got the x-ray, I was in their care. I had already given them my urine when I got there. They never tested it for pregnancy until they saw the skeleton on the x-ray. They knew that it was most likely a kidney infection, but they didn’t test my urine.

And you know what? I think about this all the time that I should have been a bigger advocate for myself or just taken a pregnancy test. But I just didn’t think I was ever going to be able to get pregnant. So, I was left with that thought, during my freshman year at college. I’m not going to be able to get pregnant and then all that compacted, and here we are though, I have a six-year-old.

Nikki Van Noy: Wow, well who knows. When you’re 21, that is not a lesson you’ve learned, to advocate yourself, not to mention the fact that you were distracted by advocating for your mother as an incredibly young adult. So, that’s a lot happening.

Hope O Baker: Yes, it was. But you know, my mom and I, my whole family have talked. It was a blessing in disguise. Had my mom not been diagnosed, had I not been told, maybe I still wouldn’t have known, but I would have still been making college person decisions. So, I think it brought us to today and there’s nothing I can do now, but just reflect and move forward with positivity and gratitude, that my son is here.


Nikki Van Noy: Absolutely. Now, talk to me about how you came to the decision to have the baby and put him up for adoption?

Hope O Baker: Yes. So, there was so much back and forth between me, my mom, my doctors–I remember asking so many times, “What are my options?” I knew I was far along. I was in shock. I didn’t think kids were in the cards for me. It was hard and I had a support system that said they would support me no matter what.

We looked into abortion. I actually went to an abortion clinic and I was right on the cusp of it being possible to be done and decided that I wasn’t going to do it. And even after I left that abortion clinic, it was still presented, “You could go to New Mexico, we could do this.” Eventually, I just decided, I don’t know if I’m ready to be a mom, but I feel like there’s something in me that’s telling me that he needs to be brought into this world and I don’t regret that decision at all.

I don’t know which way would have been easier, but at the end of the day, as I said, my son is here and that’s really all that matters.


Nikki Van Noy: Can you explain to the listeners who may not know what the difference between what an open and closed adoption is?

Hope O Baker: Yes. So, there are actually different layers of openness. So, there’s a woman who I have recently connected with who is a birth mother who, she can go visit whenever she wants. She has all this access, she can go over for dinner, whatever. Then there’s open where you have a set number of visits, pictures, and conversations.

Then closed is there’s no contact. In some cases, now closed can be where the child can know their birth family but closed is scary to me. I understand why women do closed adoptions or why an adoptive family would want that. I don’t agree with it. But I understand because being able to see your son or see your daughter and not being able to actually see them would be difficult. You have these two visits a year that you can do, you can see pictures of them, but like you can’t touch them, you can’t just call them on the phone.

It’s the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. This morning, I sent my son a video, a happy birthday video and I send him presents. I broke down. It’s just heartbreaking to know that he exists in this world, but I have no control over when I see him, when I touch him, when I smell him, when I hug him.

Nikki Van Noy: Let me ask you one more technical question with that, in terms of the various levels of open and closed. As the birth mother, do you dictate what all of your preferences are or is that something that’s decided based on state laws–like how exactly were the parameters of your situation established?

Hope O Baker: Yes. It really is ultimately up to the birth mother and I think birth father too if they want to be involved. You get to choose a family you want. Luckily, we’re not in the old days where women’s families just sent their daughters who were pregnant to places. They didn’t have any choice.

I had a choice as a birth mother. When I made that decision, I remember the exact moment it happened, and where I was. Earlier that day, I was planning on keeping him and by 1:00 that day, I decided on adoption. When you look for families and you go through an agency, you decide, “Do I want an open adoption, or do I want closed adoption?” With that, you are going to be matched with families or you’re only going to look for families that want an open adoption or want closed adoption.

It’s really up to the birth mother who she chooses to raise the child and how involved she wants to be.


Nikki Van Noy: How did that search go, what was it like for you?

Hope O Baker: Yes, sorry, I just got a little silent because it’s an emotional day, it’s an emotional thing. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Even like it was this morning. I went to Target and I got a baby blanket for my son and I made that decision that morning when I woke up,  “I’m keeping him, I can do this, I’m capable, I’m a strong woman, I can make this work, I have $5 in my bank account but I’ll figure it out.”

By the time I came home, there was a disagreement between myself and my mom. My mother is an amazing woman, she was looking out for me, but I left that conversation thinking, “I can’t do this, you’re right, let’s go with adoption.” Truly, after that moment, I never looked back, I never changed my mind, I never wavered, that was it.

When I made that decision, I started just looking for families on Google. You get on Google and you search when you don’t know anything about something or you’re looking for something.

I reached out to agencies I found on the side of Google, just like an ad. When I see somebody on Instagram who is looking for a child to adopt, I always send them messages about this because my son’s adoptive mother used Google Ad Words and SEO search on her adoption book.

Adoption books are books that families put together that basically tell you who they are or what type of parent they’re going to be. Why they want to be a parent. She had hers online, which most do, and it showed up as an ad.

Nikki Van Noy: Savvy, that’s amazing.

Hope O Baker: Yeah, I mean, it’s incredible. The funny part was, my mom had actually already seen it and right when I told her about it, she said, “Hope, I think that’s fake. It’s an ad. It can’t be real.” Then one of those things again, the universe working, and I said, “Okay, I’m going to send her lawyer an email, I’m going to send her an email.”

I sent them both emails and my son was kicking my stomach like crazy. I just remember like it was yesterday, I was sitting on the stairs, sending this message, and he’s kicking my stomach.

Nikki Van Noy: I just got the chills hearing that. That is so beautiful. I love that.

Hope O Baker: Yeah, it was a great moment.

Nikki Van Noy: Okay. First of all, you’ve already smashed some of my preconceptions, which is I always thought there were agencies involved. I didn’t know that you could find adoptive parents by Google–is there anything Google can’t do these days? That’s incredible.

Hope O Baker: I don’t think so. Interestingly enough, I work now for a company where one of our co-founders built a lot of the search capabilities at Google. So, I should really send him a thank you for this.

Nikki Van Noy: Seriously. All full circle.

Hope O Baker: It’s full circle. I never even thought about that, but you’re right. This shit is full circle, it’s language. I never thought about it like that, wow.

Nikki Van Noy: Yeah, I love it. So, tell me what meeting that family was like and also, were they the only family that you ended up meeting or did you book a few appointments?

Hope O Baker: Actually, my son’s family–she is a single mother by choice, his mother. I did talk to other families. My sister sent me a family who I chatted with, but it just never clicked. I talked to a couple of couples on the East Coast. When I was searching, I decided I wanted families that were far away.

I wanted East Coast or West Coast, there was no in-between. Because in my thought process, I was thinking, “I can’t be too close, it’s going to be too hard,” which ended up proving to be so true, which is a whole other part of the book.

She is a single mother by choice, and she was the only one I met in person. When I met her, she looks exactly like the person who I thought I would want to be when I grew up. I mean, it drew me to her. A couple of weeks after we met for the first time, we Skyped and then I flew out to meet her in Los Angeles. I spent the weekend with her, and I decided that weekend that she was the one, I wanted to do this with her. She was meant to be his mother. And I truly never wavered on that since.

Nikki Van Noy: What happened from that point forward, after you guys agreed that you were going to be in this together? Was she totally okay with an open adoption or was that something that she had to be convinced of?

Hope O Baker: No, she wanted an open adoption. She was very clear from the beginning that she wanted an open adoption, she wanted her son to know his family, where he comes from. And actually, it was interesting because, during the process, I was the one who said, “I don’t know how much I want. I don’t know how much I can handle.” There have been times when she wasn’t ready for as much contact and the same with me.

It’s interesting–we’ve gone back and forth with what we’re comfortable with in the adoption. Which is normal.

Nikki Van Noy: I mean, from that, I’m implying that you two were able to have conversations and negotiate and be respectful of what the other needs, is that accurate?

Open Adoption

Hope O Baker: Yeah. We have a contract in place and that’s just to safeguard both of us. It says how many visits we’re allowed to have, how many pictures. I see my son two to three times a year, one year I saw him four times in one year. She sends me picture books. She takes these pictures and whenever the file fills up, I get a book. I’ve got a shelf on my bookshelf full of them and she has them sent to my mom and my grandma.

She really does try to make sure that I know my son and that my family knows him and that he has access to me too. If he wants to have a conversation, he has access to me. Honestly, I look at her as a friend. When something exciting happens to me, I want to call her and tell her. Now, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t had our ups and downs, because we have.

I think a lot of it has been maybe she was feeling something and didn’t share it, or I was feeling something and didn’t share it, but we’ve definitely had those feelings too. I consider her a part of my village for sure.

Nikki Van Noy: Wow, I’m blown away by this story. There are so many things to respect and admire here. Take me back to the pregnancy. After you chose her, what happened from that point forward?

Hope O Baker: First off, I kept this pregnancy a secret. My very close friends knew, a couple of them, and my very close family. So, uncles and aunts didn’t know, cousins didn’t know, grandparents didn’t know. I kept it very close to home.

I was bartending at this deck bar because I had to make money. Just because I was pregnant, didn’t mean that I didn’t have college to pay for and all these things to pay for. I was bartending and it got to a point where I said, “I can’t do this anymore.” I was hiding my pregnancy, so I was wearing an oversized shirt, I was tying my apron up higher, I was wearing a zip-up sweatshirt. And this is in the summer in Minnesota.

It was unbearable. There was a shift I did at that deck bar, almost a 14 hour 4th of July shift and I never went back after that. I said, “I can’t physically do this.” At one point, we were like, “Where do I go?” I didn’t want people to know, so I ended up actually going to live with her.

It just seemed so natural when the idea got brought up. I, for the life of me, I have tried to remember, but I don’t remember who brought this up. Who suggested I go live with her?  I have no idea. But it got brought up by her or me, or somebody and we did it.

I think it was so natural. I moved to Los Angeles, and I spent the last two months of my pregnancy with her. We did prenatal yoga–we went on walks. And she became a mother figure to me, and you know I think by the time my son was born, I wanted him to know her voice. I wanted him to be able to feel like he knew her. She didn’t get to be pregnant. So, it was like she got to live through me a little bit, which was beautiful.

Nikki Van Noy: So, talk to me about the experience of actually giving birth knowing that at the end of that birth, you’re going to hand your son over to a different mother?

Hope O Baker: Yeah. That is a tough one, especially today. Just this morning I had, not a panic attack, but a partial breakdown. I couldn’t control my crying–I was having all of these feelings because it was and always will be the most beautiful day of my life. But also, the hardest most tragic day that I think anybody will ever have to experience. I mean I just get emotional thinking about it. I made the decision and I never wavered, but when he was born, here was a whole other piece of me that I didn’t know was there.

I remember right when he came out, he went right to her chest, which we had planned. I just remember having to hold my head to look away. I wanted to look so bad, but I also didn’t want to look at him and feel like I needed him. I didn’t think I was in the right space to be able to say, “Hold on, I want to hold him.” You know I didn’t want anybody in that room to think, “Oh my gosh, she is changing her mind.” Or that something bad was going to happen.

I really just let everybody else take over and I didn’t actually hold my son until the next day, which is something that haunts me. That whole night, I never held him. I was never alone with him. I think that little moment, and in the book, you’ll read about my struggles with depression and addiction, and that moment of knowing that I didn’t speak up and I didn’t ask for the moment I needed is a moment I have thought about almost every single day since he was born. How did he feel coming out of me, I was the only thing he knew, and then I was just gone?

It is something that haunts me and haunts my dreams. Obviously, he was a baby–he doesn’t remember, but I hope that he wasn’t scared. It is just a feeling of guilt I have that just lingers over me that I am trying to fight. I am trying to combat, trying to grow from it, but it is tough.

Nikki Van Noy: This is not a therapy session–this is a podcast obviously. But I will say, it is interesting to me what we do with our own stories because I am actually tearing up over here. I don’t think I have ever done a podcast interview tearing up before, but what I interpret is an act of such incredible love and such strong love to be able to do that. And I also love that you spent those couple of months with her.

So, this was a voice that the baby was familiar with and in some ways, probably did feel like home too. I think that is beautiful.

Hope O Baker: Looking back, there is no other way I would do it. Even the dog barking while he was sleeping, it didn’t faze him, and I think that’s probably because he heard it while I was pregnant. It’s all of these natural sounds for him.

Loss of Control

Nikki Van Noy: Yeah, absolutely. Did you have any seconds of wanting to change your mind?

Hope O Baker: So, one of the challenges with adoption is that if I am feeling a certain way or if I need something or have a strong need or want, I don’t have a choice.

There have been times when I have needed my son. I needed to see him, and I don’t have that luxury of just opening a door and seeing him. I have no control. Everything is up to somebody else.

I’ve recently discovered all these birth mother books and any book you read they all talk about that. It is a loss of control. It is a loss of the ability to make these decisions.

I specifically remember a day probably a month after he was born and I needed him like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t get up off the floor. I needed him. I needed to see him, I needed to smell him, and I asked, and the access wasn’t granted.

I had to live in that feeling of numbness for the next, I don’t know how long it was, six months until I got to see him. Sometimes in between the visits, that’s how it is, and now it is a lot better, but that first couple of years, it was like I was waiting so I can see him to feel unnumbed.

Nikki Van Noy: So, what do you do during that period? Do you just go back to life and try and resume as it was, pick up where you left off?

Hope O Baker: I think in the first couple of years, which is a big topic in my book and a big part of my journey and becoming to the person I am today, I used drugs and alcohol. I used men, many different things to cope with those feelings. I did become depressed. I think a lot of depressed people will agree with this is that I am a happy-go-lucky person. On the outside that never waivers. I am a nice smiley person.

I could be going to this deep place and thinking such dark thoughts and needing to get high to feel okay and on the outside, everybody thinks I am just Hope. It was hard because I was in this dark place. Nobody knows. I didn’t want to let anybody in because at the end of the day, this is a thought I have, I made this choice. I put myself in this situation. So, what right do I have to cry and complain to people, when I am the one who made the choice to place my son?

That’s the thought process I had and still do sometimes–I don’t have the right to be angry, upset, or sad. I think that’s isolating. I spent a lot of time going through my feelings by myself or I would get drunk and talk to random people about my son. Or go on a Tinder date and tell them everything about my son and my life and never speak to them again. That is how I felt for a long time. I am doing a lot better now.

But there are months of my life I feel like I don’t remember. They are just gone in my head. Imagine your child is out existing without you and you don’t know anything. I know that he is healthy. I know he is safe, but when he was learning to talk, I have no idea what words he was learning. If he is sick, I can’t go comfort him or cuddle him to bed. Those are things that I can’t do because of the choice I made.

I think that the hardest thing to remember is it’s okay to feel those things. I did make this choice, but that doesn’t make me bad or unworthy, which is just a struggle I go through every day. I had to re-teach myself positive affirmations, that the dark side of my brain is not the truth. The light side is the truth.

Nikki Van Noy: How did you make your way back to this light side of your brain? Were there any pivotal moments in there where you started to turn a corner or is it more just a matter of time passing and adjusting to this reality?

Hope O Baker: There were definitely pivotal moments. You know there was a time where I had partied too much. I was in a bad place and had a really scary moment by myself at the end of the night into the morning and I think that was the start of it. I was going to die if I kept doing this to myself and on the outside, people keep telling me, “Wow, you are so good at your job, you’re this, you’re that,” and I am convulsing on the floor on a Saturday morning.

There were a couple of big pivotal moments, and I think that one was just coming to that realization that I am not okay. You are not okay and that is okay to not be okay.

There was a Reese Witherspoon speech and it was for Woman of the year for Glamour Magazine and she’s talking about women empowerment. It just spoke to me. I watched it probably 50 times on repeat and in that same breath of a month, I attended events where there were women who were speaking on these panels about sales and leadership. One week it was one woman, the next week it was another woman. I mean they inspired me.

I kept thinking, “These are the woman I need to be. These are the woman I want to be. These are the people I need to surround myself with.” I started a new job and it happened that both of those women worked for the same company. I sent them balloons and said, “Can we get coffee? I am inspired by you. I want to learn from you. I would love to get to know you more.” And the response was, “Come work for us rather than getting coffee.”

I think having these women come into my life at a time that they did was all serendipity. The Reese Witherspoon speech happened probably two days after the Saturday morning incident on the floor, and then the next couple of weeks I see this woman speak. And then they offered me a new position and it was really a pivotal month.

Truly I’ve got the best friends in the world who were there to help me and my family. But those three women just came in when I needed them the most. They had no idea I needed them, and they don’t even know the impact they had on me, but it’s definitely altered the course of my life, for the good.

The Present

Nikki Van Noy: And tell me a little bit about your relationship with your son today?

Hope O Baker: I get to see my son. So, as I mentioned earlier, the contract says two to three times a year. So typically, I see him around his birthday and around my birthday and then one visit in between.

Most of this darkness that I talk about in my book happened after I moved to California. I had an opportunity with my company to move from the East Coast to California and I did it because I wanted to be closer to my son.

That is when I spiraled out of control, absolutely out of control. I lost 80 pounds because I was doing drugs and it wasn’t a good thing.

I actually ended up moving across the world to London. I don’t even know how to explain it, but for some reason being far away has helped our relationship. So, when I am there with him, I am able to fully be there with him. I am not living in darkness. I am living in the light.

I still feel those emotions with him deeper. So, I see him a couple of times a year, and I started this thing where I am traveling a lot for work and my personal life. I started sending him postcards from everywhere I go.

Every place I go, every country or new city, I send him a postcard and those are things that I wouldn’t have done, I don’t think when I was in that dark place. I just wasn’t capable of it. So, it’s good. It is a lot better now.

Nikki Van Noy: Yeah. So, let’s say there is someone out there listening to this podcast who is in a similar situation, they just found out they’re pregnant, they don’t know what they’re going to do, or they are considering adoption, what would you say to them?

Hope O Baker: My biggest piece of advice would be to listen to what your heart is telling you to do. I think that everybody is going to have input and a lot of times we are going to listen to other people. I think there’s no wrong choice. Whether it is abortion, whether its adoption, whether it’s keeping your child, there is absolutely no wrong choice here. I think a woman is entitled to those choices and I think we need to feel empowered to make those choices.

So, if you are listening and you are pregnant, you have every right to feel empowered to make the choice that you think is going to be best for you and your child. At the end of the day, that is what matters. One thing I always say is if love was enough, my son would be with me.

And you know what? Love is enough. I think if you are in a struggling situation maybe love is enough, at the end of the day. That’s my biggest piece of advice. Empower yourself to make the choice and know that love is always enough.

Nikki Van Noy: And finally Hope, the one thing that stood out to me was you’re talking about during your pregnancy, how no one really knew, just a couple of close friends. Now here you are publishing a book about your experience. So, how did you get from there to where you are today?

Hope O Baker: That is a great question. It is a question where sometimes I have to pinch myself to answer. So, you know I think it’s always been a thought of mine that this deserves to be known. I think from the very beginning, my son’s mom and I even talked about writing a book together at some point and maybe we will later on down the road.

From the very beginning of the story, from finding out I was pregnant, to living with her, to really showing that open adoption can be done in different ways. I am very, extremely close to my son’s mother and I think that story needs to be told.

Writing this book, what I realized is that all of those years I’ve spent not talking about it, or I used to write an anonymous blog, and thank God, I remember the day I became non-anonymous, I had messages and calls. I had people angry at me. I had people screaming at me. I had people telling me I was a bad person. I was this, I was that. I had family angry.

Every story deserves to be told. I think I wanted to be able to tell my story in a way that felt authentic and real. I mean this book, I had to send a synopsis to my company because I wanted them to be aware of, “Hey, just so you know, I am talking about drug addiction and depression, drinking and all of these different things in a book.”

At the end of the day, they fully supported it and are happy for me. We all have something that we have gone through. I am sure you do too, Nikki. I know you do–you’ve gone through something and there is somebody else out there who is going through that same thing, who is sitting in a dark room feeling alone, or making bad choices because they don’t think that there is anybody out there who is feeling the same thing as them.

I think when you read the book, you will see it is not just about being a birth mother, it is not just about adoption. It is about a woman going through an experience that broke her. I mean truly broke me. And how I was able to build myself back up. How I was able to find a way to see light, to see that I am beautiful. I am worthy, I am kind, I am intelligent, I am successful. How I was able to switch my mindset. I think we all go through that.

There is not one person in this world who can say they haven’t gone through a struggle and triumph and trials and tribulations. We all do. I met who is now my fiancé, Boujemaa, and I think he was a push. I was talking about my story, telling him I thought about writing a book, and he said, “Just do it. What’s holding you back? Just do it.”

I think at the end of the day, I have a success story. It was up and down–it was dark, but now I am a successful businesswoman, I have started a lifestyle brand, I have a great career, a great partner and stepchildren who I love. I have come out on the other side and it was fucking messy, excuse my language, but it was. And I don’t want to ever hide that. This is not all rainbows and sunshine over here and even still, it is hard, it is life, and everybody is going through a different type of struggle.

Everybody is struggling with something in their life. So, somebody’s got to come out and tell their story. So that we all don’t feel so alone, because I wish I would have read my book or something like this or let something like this in my life five years ago. I would have saved myself a lot of heartache and a lot of struggle.

But I can’t go back. All I can do is move forward, move forward in light, and try to help another woman or man, anybody, get through their struggle a little easier, knowing that they’re not alone.

Nikki Van Noy: I couldn’t agree with you more Hope. I firmly believe that the things that feel like the skeletons in our closet are the ones that we actually need to broadcast the loudest and the most broadly because they are the things that can really be of service. And you’re exactly right. Allow other people to not feel so alone as they are going through it.

Hope O Baker: Absolutely. I am with you, Nikki.

Nikki Van Noy: Well, thank you so much for writing this book. Thank you for talking to us so frankly and it just feels so perfect that this podcast happens to land on your son’s birthday.

Hope O Baker: It couldn’t have been a better day.