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Ep 163

Single Mother by choice – a conversation with Dani Morin

Dani: [00:00:00] we just found Deacon, he’s dead. What should we do? And she said, don’t call 9 1 1.

Carling: Welcome to the, I did not Sign Up for this podcast, a weekly show dedicated to highlighting the incredible stories of everyday people. No topic is off limits. Join me as we explore the lives and experiences of guests through thought-provoking, unscripted conversations. I’m your host Carling, a Canadian queer identifying 30 something year old, providing a platform for the stories that need to be heard

hello, Danny.

Dani: Hi. I am so excited to be doing this today.

Carling: Thank you so much. I always laugh because like we just said, I end up chatting before hitting record and then I think oh, I should just come out of the gates recording, but

Dani: Yeah, you should.

Carling: I would love it if you could introduce yourself, tell me a little bit about who you are and where you’re from and what you do, and then we’ll get into your story.

Dani: Okay. So I’m Danny Morin. I live in [00:01:00] Southern California. I am a single mom by choice, which may be how you found me because of the video, the DIY video, where I purposely decided to become a single mom via home insemination. We can get into that cuz. Quite the topic. But that choice was a very easy decision to make as I was already a mother.

I was a single mom by situation with my first son who unfortunately passed away. I’m a grieving mom. That’s definitely part of my story, and I’ve tried to turn my grief into good. I got on TikTok in 2020, which really gave me not only a journal, but a way to advocate for safe and quality and affordable childcare.

Advocate and worn parents against the use of baltic amber teething necklaces and other dangerous baby products, and share my life and give other moms, you know, if you are 30, you’re [00:02:00] 35 and you haven’t found the one, you wanna have a baby, you could do it. I share that aspect.

I love doing my mom hacks and I have a corporate job. I don’t think people know that, but I do have a nine to five job actually, where I work for a large publishing company and I sell. Online textbooks. Okay. So online curriculum textbooks aren’t a thing anymore. We sell online curriculum and tests and everything’s in one place.

And that seems to be where the publishing industry is going in academics. And then I have Zippy Mama, which also came about from TikTok. I started a breastfeeding friendly clothing line, which was just a little bit of a side hustle and it’s growing. And so I’m expanding and scaling the business, which is also a scary thing.

So I, I’m like high anxiety lately cuz I’ve got so much going on. But all good things. I’m so grateful. And I, every year I’m like, what happens next? What happens next? So that’s a little bit about me, which is a [00:03:00] lot. I’m sure we’ll dive into some of those things.

Carling: Yeah, so the first video I found of yours talked about your first son and what happened with him. So I’m really interested if you’re comfortable introducing us to your first son and maybe talking about that, because I know so many parents that have used those amber teething rings or like necklaces and I didn’t even know that they were dangerous.

Dani: I could definitely talk on this. And I love every opportunity to do this, especially podcasts. I think that any reach is more reach, and the thing about the Baltic Amber teething necklaces is parents don’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. And as a mother now, compared to when I was a mother, then I still think I was an amazing mother then.

I just think that I’m more educated now, and it’s, back in 2015 when I first became a mom, I was like pregnant at 25. I think I had a minute at 26. We didn’t have the [00:04:00] TikTok and the Instagram where the pediatricians and the OBGYNs and the aap and we didn’t have all these advocates.

What we had was the mommy blogger culture, and we had the mommy blogger Facebook groups and the Instagrams, and we found the people that we loved and we identified with and we wanted to do what they did. And so if I were to look up, what is natural remedies for teething? I would first probably go to, what is, my the mommy blogger of the year doing, and I would go and, or I could just put it in Google.

And what would come up first is the mommy blogger articles. And they’re, they were not evidence based. They were just, blogs were a big thing back then. So we would read these blogs written by anybody, so anyone could write a blog about anything. If you wanted to justify, doing God knows what during pregnancy, you could justify it.

I’m sure someone has written a blog with their ideas to make that right. And so we did that and [00:05:00] we grasped onto the essential oils. And it was very, it was a time that was very, The all natural. So who could be the most natural? Where’s the stamp of approval? And the sum of the stamps of approval were cloth diapering.

The neutral clothes started becoming a thing and the essential oils and the Baltic amber teething necklace was the stamp of approval. If your baby had on a Baltic amber teething necklace, everybody knew you were a crunchy mom and you had made it in the all natural mommy club. And I had fallen for that so hard.

There was a couple people that I followed in my personal life and on social media that I was like, this is what I’m going to, this is what my life is, and I thought because that would be the best option for my child and the most healthy option and and natural and not wearing diapers and wearing cloth diapers.

And it’s so funny cuz once I put in, a year after he turned a year old, I put him in a regular diaper and I was like, what have I been doing? He didn’t get a diaper rash. He’s fine. I’ve just been washing [00:06:00] diapers for a year. So I I fell into that and I still believe that like with the information that was provided for me and the information that I found that I was making the best decision, I still hold true to that.

That at the time I was making the best decision for my child and wanting to do what was best for him from what was provided to me. And that’s taken a lot of therapy. So just so you know, like I’ve, it’s, there’s guilt there, but I truly believe that at the time, like all of us moms we want what’s best for our kids and for me, like being natural and doing all that was for me.

My mom used to call me an encyclopedia for everything, baby. I have an odd obsession with baby products. I have an odd obsession with going through consumer reports and seeing where they land. So anything like strollers and car seats and those types of things. I knew the ratings by heart and I still do it’s a weird thing for me.

It, the second that I found out that I was pregnant I was actually like close, I think it was in my second [00:07:00] trimester. Like this was not a planned pregnancy. So everyone’s what about deacon’s dad? My son’s name was Deacon. What about Deacon’s Dad? I’m like, Hey, you prob you could probably Google and find out more, but I don’t know him.

It was one of those situations. And so I’m like, I don’t know the guy. I was instantly a single mom by choice at conception, but I found out I was pregnant and something came over me where I was like, I’m meant to be a mom. I instantly felt this intense bond with my child.

Like it, I can’t even describe it because I actually didn’t have it with my second as much, but I had this intense. Bond with this baby where I was like, and I started doing uh, he’s gonna have the best of the best and the natural. And like I was obsessed with nothing can happen to this child, will protect him at all costs.

And I think that’s where like the consumer reports and on that side of things, the strollers and the product side of things. Like I was very big on the safety, and I still am. [00:08:00] And but I did find articles that supported certain things that I also wanted the natural way.

And the teething necklace was one of those. And this kid, my son Deacon was, oh my gosh, so lovable. He was a big teddy. He was like, he was a, like a five year. So he passed away at 18 months and we’ll get into that, but he was like, he looked, he was wearing four T like he was a big kid. Just this big teddy bear and, always eating, loved to run around, kick the soccer ball.

Just the most loving kid. Like when I think about him, I just think of pure love, like a pure bear hug. He was just the sweetest. I remember one time he was sleeping in his toddler bed and I had snoozed on the couch and he like came out and brought his little blanket and put it on me and went back to his room. He wants to be loved. He wants to love that’s just who he was. Like he eluded love and he touched so many people, [00:09:00] even in his like, short time.

That’s how I would describe him. And I know it’s so broad, but it’s just. It’s, that’s who he was. And he had this curly hair he’s half black, half white. So he had this beautiful skin. I found out that his dad’s mom actually is Korean, so my son also had a little like these eyes, like I recently found out about that.

And I’m like, oh, that kind of, it’s cool cuz I could put, when I visualize like his face, I’m like, oh, all of that makes sense. And just a beautiful human being, the most beautiful human being. yeah, so I was a working mom, obviously I was a single mom. I was, I’m still working at the same company I’m at today.

Actually. They were so good through the grief, keeping me around. I was at one of my schools doing my stomping the pavement, selling my textbooks. I always picked them up around five 30 and something in me was like, I had an anxiety that day, like I wanted to go pick him up.

And I remember leaving the school at three, I was in maybe an hour away and I was like [00:10:00] maybe I’ll go finish my computer work at the Starbucks by the daycare, I have to do my end of the day thing. So I went in there and I was still feeling this anxiety and I’m like, I’m just gonna go pick him up.

Mommy intuition, right? And so I went to the daycare and I see all these firetrucks and ambulances and I was like, dude, I already knew I was all, where is he? And the fire chief, and there was actually no police at the time, which is a whole other thing about it. But at the time the fire chief was like, he had a heart issue. And I’m like, he doesn’t have heart issues. Like what? They wouldn’t let me in the house. I’m like looking in the house, there’s a lot of chaos, like a lot of kids. And I’m like, where are all these kids coming from? It was a very weird thing. Like the husband was, looked like, he was like hiding stuff.

They wouldn’t let me in the house. So I finally was like, I gotta get to the hospital. Like, where is he at? No one called me. I was trying to call my mom and someone was like, can someone drive her? There the [00:11:00] cul-de-sac was blocked by all of these firetrucks and stuff, and the daycare owner got in and immediately I knew something was up with the daycare And she was like, I wanna let you know, like you are gonna wanna blame us for this because of the amount of kids and all of this stuff. And I was like, what? And she’s and because we weren’t there. And I’m like, what? And she’s but it was the necklace. And you gotta know, like it was the necklace actually, and blah, blah, blah.

And I was like, oh my God. So I kicked her outta my car and she, she tried to actually come in the hospital and I remember there, I didn’t ev he was like coding. I didn’t know what the codes were, but I, they wouldn’t let me in the room, but I could see it happening. I could see her trying to come through the emergency thing and I just, there was a social worker like, restraining me, like holding me back cuz I was trying to get to my son.

And I’m in the door I’m like in the room. It was crazy. I’m by myself. Like I had my backpack on it was the craziest thing. And this this maybe social worker, maybe it was a nurse. I don’t really know. I have blacked that part out. Your brain does that too. Has you Like black things out.

But the daycare worker. [00:12:00] Was trying to come in and I remember being like, I’ll kill her. Like I remember saying that to the social worker and she was like did she do something? I was like, I don’t know, because at the time I was like, I don’t know, there’s something off, and again mommy intuition, something’s off.

It was crazy cuz the doctor came out and they’re like, he’s stabilized. And to me I was like, awesome, we’re going home tonight. He’s good. That’s, you don’t know. And then they’re like, he has an 8% chance of living. And I’m like, great. Like you, because you don’t know. You don’t.

He looks like he’s sleeping right now, not realizing that they’re like, he’s brain dead. He’s gonna go through a series of tests and because of his. You will, it’s, you can’t just keep him on a thing. If it’s gray in there, if there’s no, there’s not even a gray area. It’s just, I think it’s like white, like whatever it is.

If there’s nothing after these three tests that get performed by doctors out of the state, so like all these different doctors come and perform these tests, they’re gonna call it. And I was like, yeah, I’m not gonna call it like, he has [00:13:00] 8%. God is good, my mom’s really religious and we’re doing all the miracles.

And then it was just finally, I don’t remember, but a doctor came up to me and she’s all, it’s not gonna end well. You need to make a decision because they’re gonna call this tomorrow. And we’re doing a lot of damage on his body every time he codes. And I just outta my mouth. I was like, go save another child if that happens.

Go save another child because I don’t want his heart to be ruined. Now he never ended up coding again in those five days. But he was brain dead, so we donated his organs. That was an easy decision for me because I’m like, who am I to say someone else can’t live?

He saved six other kids, six other kids, and then I left that hospital and it was like nothing would ever be the same after that. It was a mess. I jumped into what the fuck just happened and I need answers.

We knew he had the strangulation mark. Now the police, they wanted to write it off. So the police said, Hey, actually it was sids. I’m all, it [00:14:00] was sudden infant death syndrome. My kid’s wearing a four T. He’s got a full-blown strangulation mark. And the thing about the police and the first responders, it’s a lot easier for them to write SIDS than to do a full investigation and have to deal with the messy work.

Let the parents grieve, call it sids, 18 months old, 4T. I said, you know what, you’re off the case to the detective. , you clearly don’t know what’s going on. And meanwhile, I’ve a reporter. Letty Juarez, I think from a b ABC news, maybe a b ABC LA or whatever. She had contacted me and she’s like, I was looking into your daycare.

They have all these violations of having too many kids. And we were doing some investigating and it looks like there was 20 kids there and there is only supposed to be six. And I was like 20 kids. What do you mean 20 kids? Apparently they had two daycares. One of ’em got shut down, so they were open, rented another house [00:15:00] and were shoveling all these kids back and forth to these daycares.

And on this one day, I don’t know if the owner wanted to get her nails done. I don’t know what happened, but they had 22 kids there on this day for in two adults. Of what we know. so there was negligence there, but for months, for almost 60 days, like we had no answers. And then they found their cell phones and they had texted the owner, we just found Deacon, he’s dead. What should we do? And she said, don’t call 9 1 1

I’ll come over there. In between this 12 minutes of six minutes or what, whatever the time was, of her getting to the house. Another mom who’s a nurse, came to pick up her kid and her kid’s like four or five, and said, deacon’s not breathing in there.

And the mom’s all what? And he’s, yeah, he’s dead inside the daycare. And they had just brought her kid out and was like, have a good one. I’ll see you tomorrow. And she marched in there and she was like, is. Kid in distress, and that nurse, I have [00:16:00] no clue who she is, but she’s the one that performed the CPR on my son so when the first responders got there, they said, had we been here 12 minutes earlier? Because they did end up reviving him, like they did get a pulse. This would’ve been a different situation. And the necklace comes into it because he was strangled by the necklace.

To this day, we don’t know the logistics of it, so we assume it got hung on something. It could have been another child. We don’t know. They say he was napping. The kids there say he was playing. They will take it to their grave. They’ve even said that in court what ha has happened.

So they just rather plea guilty than so they took their felons, they’ve tried to get out of their felons. They are felons now. And they’ve tried to get ’em reduced and stuff like that. They did some jail time and there’s never gonna be enough justice for what happened, right?

So that’s the daycare part. And so the necklace part, it’s like the necklace was supposed to break and the [00:17:00] necklace didn’t, . I wanted this necklace from Etsy. A friend purchased it for me for my baby shower. And so it’s something that I wanted, the lady that bought it for me, I do not blame her at all. I literally said I want this, it’s on my registry. So it was purchased by Etsy and like she actually had the receipt, and the receipt said, Safe for your baby Baltic amber teething necklace for your baby, and it has a picture of a baby on it and safe clasp and that obviously was not safe.

Now they’ve done tons of studies where yeah, actually like they don’t break, they don’t always break. And there’s been a ton of moms who’ve proven that on TikTok and stuff. But at the time, like thousands, you still will see thousands of children wearing these to this day in 2023.

There are still kids wearing ’em to this day. A lot of people will listen to this or watch my TikTok and be like so is it the daycare? Is it the necklace? And it’s two things could be the same at once. Take the negligent daycare out of it, the. Was a strangulation hazard. Take the necklace out of it.[00:18:00]

The daycare was being negligent and something was bound to happen. If it wasn’t to Deacon, it could have been to anybody, and apparently there had been issues because their other daycare had gotten, I mean, it was a whole slew of things. So there was a lot of anger on them, on the Etsy, on myself, because then Texas Children’s Hospital had come out and did a, a study in 2002 years after my son died.

And it said, those necklaces, the whole thing about the teething necklaces, if you don’t know how that works, is the systemic acid in the necklaces is supposed to help with inflammation during teething. And they did a study that showed that cynic acid doesn’t even release unless the skin is 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yeah, so yeah, so they don’t work, right? So there’s no benefit at all that it’s just risk. And then I felt like, oh my God, I can’t believe this. I got, this crunchy mom lifestyle. I put that necklace on my kid and it does nothing. And then I was like, I have to start telling people about what’s going on. And so [00:19:00] that’s when I started advocating and really sharing my story because there’s still thousands of kids wearing these and it needs to stop, and we dealt with the daycare at that point as much as we could. Again, there will never be enough justice in my eyes, but

I was never the same. I did march on Capitol Hill on a few occasions. I spoke to probably about 25 to 30 Congress people about the importance of quality, affordable, and safe. Childcare for all in the us California is the worst state to put your kid in childcare. We have the most money.

We’ve done a lot of work, so it’s getting better, but we have the most money. We don’t know what to do with it. The department, the licensing department is just turnover. And they’re not checking on the daycares and all this stuff. But the thing that I like to tell people is that there are amazing daycares out there.

We have to look at it like planes fly every day, like thousands of planes go in the sky every day. But we hear about the one year that crashes and we’re like, we’re never gonna get on a plane. There are [00:20:00] thousands of daycares in California, but we hear about these bad apples. So my whole thing is I’m pro daycare, I’m pro childcare, pro preschool, pro school.

I’m pro okay. But I just want parents to know you need to do a proper research. And it’s not on Yelp. You need to research the license and look in their past, what kind of complaints have they had? Has there been police reports? Has anything bad happened? You need to look at these things and there and there’s a lot that you could do to ensure that your child is in a good place and mom intuition being one of them, so I talk a lot about that. And then, I jumped on the teething necklace thing and I just, on, on TikTok, it’s crazy cuz I was in some magazines and I was going on the news as much as possible to talk about the teething necklaces. I get on TikTok and in one 30 to one minute tick, 32nd, one minute TikTok, I get more views with all of that other media combined.

And that’s the power. TikTok brands look at it like monetization. I’m like, no, we could really make changes here on TikTok too. Yeah, that’s a little bit about my story with my [00:21:00] son Deacon. And I don’t want people listening to this and being like this is why I’m always gonna be a stay-at-home mom, because that’s not really inclusive.

Like the single moms or the, 60% of families right now, I believe the statistic is 60% of families have to have both parents working to make a living wage. So it’s not really inclusive to, to dog on daycares. I’m sharing my story of something bad that happened to my child, but there’s amazing daycares out there.

And so if you’re listening to this, just do your research and I always leave my dms open to help people with the, I have a lot of resources for people to research their daycare.

I have deacons army.com has, there’s a childcare connection area where you could go and there’s a lot of resources for you to make sure you’re doing the proper. I have a step-by-step of how to research a license. And my dms are always open, and I’ll just reiterate that if someone’s listening that needs that help.

Carling: Even like where I live in Canada, we interviewed a woman whose daughter was at a day home, and she specifically [00:22:00] chose a day home because it was a, a single mom with a kid about her kid’s age, and she had first aid and she was registered and her daughter died because she was shaken, because the mom, didn’t have the access to resources that she needed and was having a really bad day and took on too much.

So she’s now really fighting to regulate the industry of not only daycares but day homes that are maybe more private because yeah, it can, like she did all the right things and all the right research and I’m shocked how not regulated the industry is.

Dani: Yeah. And I feel like, cuz you brought up like the mental health thing of it all where it’s like, because I’ve always wondered, about the daycare girls, 22 kids did something happen? And I don’t really want my mind to go there. I try to keep it at I don’t think that they woke up that day and said we’re gonna hurt this boy.

But it does cross my mind. [00:23:00] And I would assume two people watching 22 kids like, you’re gonna go crazy. And I think that U us moms sometimes go crazy. We’re like, we got the postpartum, we got a lot on our plate, like we would never harm our children.

But there’s moms out there where it’s like a little mental health break. I think with the childcare is, they don’t get paid anything. They usually have second jobs. They go to, they do the daycare and then they’re bartending after. And it’s a, there is a major issue in the industry.

That could be a whole freaking episode on its own, but,

Carling: Like we need to be paying them enough and have enough like proper ratios of child to worker that it is like a safe

Dani: Yeah. We had an opportunity this year to get more funding through I think it was the recession and the recession act. We had an opportunity to get funding to. Help with that. And we didn’t even get a dollar. it is not prioritized in the us It [00:24:00] was, yeah, this administration is not prioritizing it.

Our last one, even though crazy, really cared about childcare. It should just be consistent and it’s not. And all we could do is like parents like me sharing their stories with Congress people and I’ve made a couple talks on how you could do that.

Whether it’s, Hey, I’m a single mom, I wanna work and how do I send my three kids to childcare? That’s thousands of dollars. I’m coming home at zero. And if someone wants to work, like we should be able to help them.

Carling: And so where does your story start to change or where does your story pick up, where you decide to have another kid?

Dani: So the 2016, 2017 was real bad for me. So the second year is the worst because you’re actually in shock and then it’s, Oh, shit. That really happened, and I, was crazy. Like I was drinking a lot. I was dealing with all these outside issues and losing friends left [00:25:00] and right and with death comes typically if you’re married, like the divorce rate is very high with child death.

And I wasn’t married, but I had no problem just like ruining every relationship around me, friendships and that have yet to recover, and finally it was like maybe late October, 2018, so I just hit my son’s two year anniversary and I called my mom and I was like, I think I need to go to rehab.

I’m gonna die. And honestly, I didn’t care if I did. That was the sad part. But I kept waking up every day. And I don’t share this on my TikTok, if you’re listening to this this, you’re not gonna find any information about this on my TikTok, but I just kept waking up and I’m like, if I’m gonna keep waking up because the advocacy, it was like I could only do so much, and I was getting emotional hangovers from it and I just called my mom and she’s like, let’s get you right.

So I went away for a little over 60 days [00:26:00] during the holidays I missed Christmas and Thanksgiving. And it’s so funny now because they take your phone away from you and you have no connection with your outside world. Someone had to call my boss I don’t know who like the F M L A people are, the disability people, and be like, yeah, she’s not coming to.

Because she’s out,

I’m sure my boss at the time could probably put two and two together. And, they gave me this time when I lost my son, and then they gave me this time, and I just, like, when I was able to get ahold of my phone, I could call my boss and I was like, I swear to God, I’m gonna get rep of the air like three years in a row.

Please. And it was like, no, just get better and whatever’s going on, even though I’m sure they could put two and two together yeah. . So I, I’ll have five years sober this year which is crazy. Yeah my mind was just like, Got so clear and I, I was, I became spiritual again.

And in all these things, my mom got, my mind got really clear and I was like going on dates. And I was, learning how to do life without alcohol and without being a mom. And really learning how to [00:27:00] grieve without the help of outside substances. And suddenly, like everything was extremely clear and I knew in my mind my purpose is to be a mom and these guys are not it.

I’m gonna do it on my own. And I remember I was driving with my mom and I was just crying. And I’m like, it’s, I miss Deacon, I miss him to, to my core.

But I was like, I miss the feeling of being a mom. I miss motherhood, I miss pushing a stroller and I miss the parks and the hugs and the cuddles and I was like, I just missed everything about motherhood. Every little thing about motherhood. My mom’s like, I wish there was a way you could just get their sperm and just, just get pregnant.

Like jokingly. She’d said this and I was all, yeah, you know what I don’t see why. Maybe I can’t. So I started looking into ivf Cuz at the time I’m like, 40 grand. Okay, I guess I’ll start saving. And I was doing really good at Job, my job, so I was like, I’ll just get a get, get a big bonus and then I’ll do I V F and I did all my fertility [00:28:00] checkups and I met with the doctor and we got a plan going.

And I was sitting in the waiting room and someone, I was like sharing my story and how I was just had met with the financial person and I was trying to figure out okay, how am I gonna do this? I was like, yeah, I’m a single mom. She’s like, have you tried doing?

Like home insemination? And I’m like, what’s that? She’s like, you could order the sperm like to your house and just do it yourself. And I’m like, now we’re in this Newport Beach. Fertility office, right? These people want your money. So we’re like, hush in it. And she’s oh yeah.

It’ll cost you like $800. And I’m like, what? I went home and like I got I looked up home insemination and then, I ended up getting on lesbian mom Facebook groups, and these lesbians opened their arms to me let’s get it done.

We know the way, let us show you. they had all the info and I was like, I don’t know if I belong in here. I wanna share my story. So I had joined [00:29:00] like maybe five groups, like single mom by choice, home insemination iui what like all these different ones and The lesbians were like, no, we’ve done, we’ve been doing this for years.

This is nothing new. But we will give you the way, the truth and the light. And they did from the supplements to take to the timing to what you need to do during and after and like the best ways to find like donors in the good banks and like all this stuff. It was like, and I sat on a fly on the wall in the beginning, just like researching.

And then I was like, okay, this is my situation and I have questions and I don’t know if if it’s okay if I’m in here or not. And everyone’s so cool about it. So now it was crazy though because when I did my d i y video some people did not like that I talked about how this had happened.

So I went on and I started taking supplements. I started tracking my ovulation and there was like this community of women that were just like helping me like every step of the way.

I had no one else. I didn’t wanna tell anybody that [00:30:00] I was doing this, so I just was like, with the strangers on Facebook, but it obviously worked. So I ordered and it came in this big tank and it was the funniest thing. So I didn’t tell my mom at the time oh, I have a tank at my house, I’m gonna do insemination.

But I remember I had this work trip and I was like, I gotta be home because one of my ovulation comes and I had gotten home like that night, which was Halloween, and my ovulation was like, okay, it’s positive. So I, it’s just like putting up a tampon. It’s just a little syringe. It comes with it and you just inseminate yourself.

And I did it the next morning. So I got ho I got a positive on Halloween, and then I did it 12 hours later, and I, it was my trial run, so I only did one vial, even though it suggested to do two. I did one vial and I got pregnant right away. I found out 10 days later and I was taking tests every day.

I thought I was gonna get a positive, like the day after. It was so stupid. So I told my mom, she was just crying. She was like, you’re crazy, [00:31:00] but she’s, I didn’t know that was really a thing. It was just a joke. But I’m excited, and , she was crying, she was happy and she just, I think everybody, when I opened up about it, like to my friends and family I did a pregnancy announcement and nobody questioned, when I did my pregnancy announcement with my son, deacon, is this a joke?

But when I did this pregnancy announcement, it was. Everybody was so happy for me. Everyone was extremely happy for me. And they just, I think everybody knew she just wants to be a mom. Who cares how and no one knew? Did she get knocked up again? Like, Did she,

like, I don’t think that they knew what I did.

They didn’t care. it was the best hands down the best decision. the decision to get sober was the best decision, but second best decision ever was doing that because he is my, I had Rhett, he is my heart and soul. He’s two and a half going on 60, actually. He’s like an old man.

But he is just my heart and soul. And if you follow me on TikTok he makes some [00:32:00] appearances, once or twice a week and he’s just, he’s my everything, my purpose and I, I’m so proud of myself for taking the leap and doing that and everything else in my life. Once I became a mom again, just skyrocketed.

I got on TikTok when I was pregnant and I had made the d i y video, which got me my first like 20,000 followers. And then I started cooking and this is what I’m doing to prepare for birth, and these are my pregnancy walks and just like this, the dumbest stuff I started filming and all my mom hacks and my favorite baby products.

And I loved it. It’s been such an outlet for me to just share the things that I love, and and share a little bit of Rhett in there. I do a little bit less these days with Rhett. It’s just been such a wonderful journey being his mom. And now I’m at that crossroads again where I’m doing the dating services. I’m doing everything I can to meet somebody and I know I want a baby and I don’t know if I wanna be married, so I’m all, I’m back to square one again,

Carling: Yeah. And do [00:33:00] you talk to Rhett about Deacon?

Dani: all the time. So he knows who Deacon is. We have pictures up, we made a little book for Rhett. It has I had 1300 photos of my son Deacon, and I think 300 videos.

And I know the number because I’ve seen every single one. Sometimes people will be like, oh, I found this photo of Deacon in my phone. And I’m like, do not ever hold onto those photos. You don’t understand. That’s all I have. Please send them to me. So my mom’s made like all these books and my son goes through ’em and he knows who he is.

And he’s known since I almost like they’ve known each other before, which is like a whole other thing. I’ve read this book like Memories of Heaven, where maybe they did. so he talks about ’em a lot and he points out his things or if he’s wearing something of his, I got rid of most of my son’s clothes.

But there’s some things where I’m like, I’m gonna save these jeans. I remember back then I didn’t have a lot of money and I remember spending a lot of money on these jeans and you’re gonna wear ’em. And I’ll be like, oh, these are your brother’s jeans. So he’ll tell people, oh, these are our deacons jeans and my brother’s jeans.

So[00:34:00] he’s really good. Or he’s like, I have my big boy bed. It’s my brother’s bed. so there’s little things like that where I, that he 100% knows him. And I think that it’s important for me to talk about that, sometimes thinking about Deacon makes me happy.

And sometimes it makes me sad and that’s okay too. And you’re gonna have those times too. Or things make you happy and sad and maybe you think about your brother one day and like it makes you sad. And I don’t get into details with, he’s only two and a half, but he’s very smart. You know, I don’t say this is what happened to him, but I’m, he got hurt and So he’ll tell people that too.

My brother got hurt, but, so I don’t know how much he understands. And as he gets older, people are always like what are you gonna tell him about like how he was conceived.

I’m like, what? I’m more, it’s, I’m not anxious about talking to him about that, but what I’m most anxious for is one day having to tell him like, I had to go through this at one point. And it was really tough for me. And you essentially came into my life and Brought back I just remember like everything got, I was still like in a, I was in [00:35:00] this dark cloud for so long, I got sober and I could peek out of the cloud, right?

I was kind of like, oh, this is what the real world looks like. And then I had like my son Rhett and it was like, everything is bright. Like I could find the brightness in everything. Now it, it’s I know it sounds so crazy, but it really was like, that’s what, and, and there’s the religious part of it.

My mom’s very Catholic and what are people gonna say? And which I was like I don’t care. But, religiously was it okay what I did, I was like, it was actually the most natural thing that you could do, and I was like, I did pray to God. I said, God, if you don’t want this to work, don’t let it work.

And he wanted it to work so bad it worked on the first try. Blame God, no, but I think it was like, I think everybody knew what was on my heart, including God, so I think it’s okay. So I don’t struggle with that, but I think a lot of people bring that up too, like it didn’t have to work, but yeah, it’s just been beautiful and my mind’s been clear. I started Zippy Mama which is my breastfeeding friendly clothing line. I’ll give you a discount code actually if you wanna put it in the show notes. [00:36:00] But

Carling: Yeah, for sure. So can you, how did that come out?

Dani: So it was so funny because at the time I was making all these casserole it was covid. So I was making covid casserole and I was like, I went on a live and I was like, I think I’m gonna make like a casserole dish line. Like I said, something stupid like on a live. And someone’s like, you should make something for the moms, like better breastfeeding friendly clothes. And I was all, huh.

So I like went on YouTube and I’m like, how to find a manufacturer. And every night I would, set aside like these three hours when I put the baby to bed, and I would make a list of things that I had to do to start a business. Get an l C, get a trademark, a logo, get a logo, da, find a manufacturer, get samples, test ’em the patent, get, all of these things.

And I just started following all these YouTubes, ? And I would watch YouTube every night for three years. And I went to school to be a business person. And I got kicked out of that college I had to go to. Oh, shocker. I had to go to [00:37:00] radio, tv, film, and video editing because that’s what I was only good at the business school.

He said, look, you’re not gonna make it here but you could get a business degree on YouTube. So there’s that. I found that out. And YouTube taught me everything. People will give away all their secrets on YouTube and I just, I started doing things and I finally found after getting like hundreds of samples, I finally nailed down a manufacturer, and I’ve made mistakes with taxes last year. I didn’t understand how all that worked. This year, I’m prepared. But, I learned a lot on YouTube and I started Zippy Mama, and it’s, breastfeeding friendly clothing.

It has dual zippers on both sides. Now. I have, I started out with just one sweatshirt. Now I have dresses, rompers, like all of these things, and the moms love it. And I, it wouldn’t have been a success had it not been for TikTok. I’ve never paid for an ad. I’m scaling my business, so that’s gonna become a thing here in a couple weeks.

I’m the influencer. I never had to pay for an influencer. I’m the one, and I just started making videos and my sales are directly related to my videos. So if I have a video that has [00:38:00] a hundred thousand views I know I’m getting a hundred to 200 orders. If I only get six, Yeah, if I only get 6,000 views, then maybe I get six to 20.

But still the power of TikTok people have no idea. And I’m sure, do you put your some of this stuff up on TikTok?

Carling: I just started. I am trying to, I’m not good at TikTok, but I’m trying to get more in there.

Dani: I would be happy to help you if you ever have questions or, need to know how things work. But it, there is a power to TikTok, especially in the podcast space. You get a, you put a clip up there that people are like, oh my God, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I have to listen.

And then it just is a snowball effect. And I find a lot of the podcasts that I listen to through TikTok

Carling: wow. Yeah. This is what I’m hoping for.

Dani: Yeah. And you’re great. Like you’re such a good listener. I’m a talker, but, , it is a great place for. Everybody real. It really is.

Carling: Oh, no, thank you. I really do feel like there’s just something for everybody on TikTok, and like you said, [00:39:00] there’s like a dark side to it, but I see so many good and inspirational stories and like people that go through something they think they’re totally alone in it. But actually through the whole universe, there are so many people that share in that experience, and that’s powerful.

Dani: Oh, for sure. It is so crazy, especially with the grief. I always was like, I’m the only mother who’s ever lost a child. Like I’ve always felt that way. I have no one to talk to about this. And then I would make a video like about grief waves, and I’m like, it’s always right before a birthday or right before an anniversary where I just can’t get it together.

And moms are. Oh, that’s a grief wave and this is what’s going on. And I’m, eight years out and I deal with this every year, and this is how it’s gonna get better, and here’s some things that I do. And I’m like, , you can’t pay for that type of therapy. You really can’t, like the support of somebody who’s been through it, and then I was like, I’m gonna share more of my grief journey because maybe I will help someone else. And it really has been beautiful. It really

Carling: love that.[00:40:00] So where can people find more about Zippy Mama? I love this. I have stepkids. I’ve never given birth, but all my friends have breastfed and, this seems

like a really important thing.

Dani: zippy mama.com z i p p y m a M a a and I’ll email you a discount code. so you can go to zippy mama.com. The Zippy Mama on Instagram, I, I don’t do a lot on Instagram. I need to do better, hire somebody. And then TikTok, I post on my regular TikTok page about Zippy Mama.

But there, there’s a whole community. Instagram’s actually really fun. All the moms support each other in. And there is really something for everybody. And the people want me to dip into maternity, so maybe that’s gonna happen down the line, but there’s something for everyone. There’s moms that are like, what I love wearing is like my husband’s t-shirt when I, you know, am nursing.

And I’m like, okay, I’ll come out with an oversized tea for the moms, with the zippers. And I just listen to what people tell me. They [00:41:00] will literally be like, it’d be nice this, and I’m like, sounds like a good idea. That’s how I come out with the new stuff.

But yeah, so you could find me there for Zippy Mama. And then I’m at Danny Morin, 13 on TikTok. I just posted. A couple days ago about my experience with I was experiencing burnout and I didn’t know it.

And I opened up about like, Hey, I’m going through something. And I’ve never talked about like my personal mental health. But again, someone was like, can you go get assessed from a psychiatrist or something? And so yesterday I did and I was like, oh my God. Burnout isn’t something that you just say and burnout, cuz I had the busiest weekend.

It’s an actual thing. And with everything that I’ve mentioned in this podcast, I’m sure you could be like, yeah, it’d be burnout too, right?

So it’s crazy cuz it’s like snowing today. And I’m just like, I’m not leaving, I’m not, I don’t need to do any orders today. I’m just gonna chill.

I have like my sweats on and treat my body good. And I shared that on my TikTok and I had deleted I posted the video and I deleted it [00:42:00] because I was like, oh, I’ve never dipped into mental health, so I don’t wanna do that. And then I’m like, you know what? New Year new me I’m gonna talk about it I wanna get back to where it was like I openly talked about my grief, like I openly talked about the teething necklaces and like all the things that I struggled with, and I would cry on TikTok and be like, this is really hard for me.

And so I put the video back up, I took it off private and I was like, let’s talk about it because I don’t know if I’m the only one. All these moms yesterday were like, I’m going through this too.

I did not know this was the thing. And I was like, this is the TikTok that we love, like mom’s supporting moms, I have not talked about my sobriety journey yet. I’m not there

Carling: Yeah, I think that’s really personal, and when you’re ready, I think you’ll know.

Dani: Yeah, on these podcasts, I think that they’re a little bit more intimate. And I, what I feel like about podcasts is those that are supposed to hear this will hear this. You know what I

Carling: Yeah.

Dani: But yeah, so it’s like, so we’ll see if one day that happens, and I’m sure it was, I’m just personally not there yet. Like it was, I think you open yourself [00:43:00] up for a lot of scrutiny of people that don’t understand, like addiction and alcoholism and stuff.

So I’m like, I don’t know. I’m personally not ready for that, but I think one day like I will be.

Carling: Yeah. Coming from such a tragic story, you’ve really done such an incredible job of turning it into as many positive things as you can.

Dani: I try, I think that’s the goal is I could be sad and that’s okay, and I could be happy and that’s okay. Or I could be both and that’s okay too.

Carling: Yeah.

Wow. I’m so appreciative. I know this is Rhett’s nap time, so I know nap time is precious and I super appreciate you taking time to chat during it.

Dani: Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for having me on and letting me share my story. You have no idea how much like, cuz you know what, you’re gonna have listeners that they’ve never heard of me before and I, so anyone that you know can hear this story and relate to so. I love that. So I am so grateful for you and I’ll [00:44:00] help you let’s be friends, let’s connect.

I’ll email you my phone number and we can text if you need tips on TikTok or whatever. I’d love to help you.

Carling: Oh God, I would love that. My whole vision for this podcast is really just providing a platform for connecting these stories. And, I always think if I’m not laughing, I’m crying.

I’d rather meet interesting people and hear their stories. And it helps me in my own trauma and grief and, I just, yeah. I love it.

Dani: Well, I hope we

could stay


Carling: I would love that.

Dani: Thank you so much.

Carling: thank you so much for joining me on this episode. I hope you found our conversation informative and entertaining. If you enjoyed this episode, please don’t forget to follow me on social media. Share this podcast with your friends and leave a review@ratethispodcast.com slash I did not sign up for this.

Your support means the world to me. If you want more interviews, exclusive content and add free episodes, join the patreon@patreon.com slash I did not sign up.

I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead and we’ll [00:45:00] talk soon.