StoryCorps / Carla Saunders and Kyle Cook

Carla Saunders and Kyle Cook #

Summer 2010, we had six babies in the nursery who were in withdrawal.

  • nursery (noun. C) - a room in a house where small children sleep andplay
  • withdrawal (noun. U) - process of ceasing to take an addictive drug, often accompanied by unpleasant reactions

It was so hard to watch these babies—they would have tremors; they’re inconsolable.

  • tremor (noun. C) - a slight shaking movement in a person’s body,especially because of nervousness or excitement
  • inconsolable (adj.) - so sad or disappointed that it is impossible for anyone to make you feel better

And little did we know that was the tip of the iceberg.

  • iceberg (noun. C) - a very large mass of ice that floats in the sea

We were bursting at the seams*.*

  • bursting at the seams (informal) - If a place is bursting at the seams, it has a very large number of people or things in it.

And these babies were carrying the flag of the substance abuse problem in the United States.

  • substance abuse (formal) - the use of a drug to get pleasure, or to improve a person’s performance of an activity, or because a person cannot stop using it

When you see a baby, especially one that has been in your care for a long time, that has been off the charts in withdrawal, and you’ve done everything you possibly can and you finally get this baby acting like a normal baby, and then he smiles at you.

  • off the charts (informal) - at a very high level

And to know that you’ve made a difference in a mother’s life—I mean, that will carry you through the darkest times, knowing that, my gosh, we did this.

  • gosh (informal, old-fashioned) - used to express surprise or strength of feeling