The Longest Shortest Time

Series produced by Hillary Frank

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A 3:00 a.m. bedside companion for new parents.

You read all the books, took all the classes. So how come when your baby arrived, you still felt completely lost? This American Life contributor Hillary Frank interviews new moms (and dads) about their struggles and how, in the long run, that early never-ending crisis mode winds up feeling like a blip.


13 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Joanne at 32 weeks, Credit: Jason Reblando
A mom-to-be lays out her fears and expectations of having her first child at the age of 40.

  • Added: Oct 23, 2013
  • Length: 22:54
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A music teacher tries to stop her newborn’s crying with lullabies. Turns out it’s the worst thing she can do.

Bought by The Story, KUOW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 05, 2011
  • Length: 07:45
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: William in the NICU, Credit: Matt Clark
A newborn turns blue, is rushed to the NICU, and his parents deal with going home while the baby remains in the hospital, hooked up to machines.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 25, 2011
  • Length: 10:36
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Liesl preps S for an Oliver + S photo shoot., Credit: Todd Gibson
A woman leaves her dream job to stay home with her baby, and then, out of boredom, starts sewing and unwittingly creates a new full-time job for he...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 02, 2011
  • Length: 14:16
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Owen, the miracle baby, with colic and reflux
After having her first child, a woman experiences heart failure and is told she has less than a 50 percent chance of surviving another pregnancy. T...

Bought by HowSound and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 22, 2011
  • Length: 13:44
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
A mom who finds breastfeeding stressful discovers that a machine helps her feel closer to her son.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 08, 2011
  • Length: 11:53
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: One of the photos my dad snapped with his contraband camera, Credit: Richard Frank
A mother unexpectedly breaks down and apologizes to her 34-year-old daughter for not being able to breastfeed her.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 12, 2011
  • Length: 14:24
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Max, back in his grunting days
A vegetarian of 22 years decides that the way to fix her son’s constant discomfort is to start eating meat.

  • Added: Mar 24, 2011
  • Length: 11:33
Caption: Cherlyn and her mom
A woman becomes a mom at the precise moment that her own mother decides to stop being a mother.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 20, 2011
  • Length: 12:03
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: For many months, this is the only dress Violet would wear. Joyce washed it every night in the sink., Credit: Joyce Slaton
A woman spends a month at home with her naked two-year-old daughter, trying to figure out why she won't wear clothes.

Bought by PRX Remix and KUT


  • Added: May 19, 2011
  • Length: 14:16
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Kate at her "battle station," with Adelle at 4 months, Credit: Kate Bowman-Johnston
An exasperated mom decides that her daughter WILL nap in her crib by the end of the week.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 17, 2011
  • Length: 16:20
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Tom and his daughter, Ellen, in his Navy hat, Credit: Heidi Kecskemethy
A newly married guy finds out his wife is pregnant while he’s at sea and just a few years later, to his surprise, becomes a stay-at-home dad.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 28, 2011
  • Length: 25:01
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Like a lot of kids with Tourette's, Finn also has severe ADHD. The flip side of that, Amanda says, is that his high energy makes him a ton of fun., Credit: Amanda Morgan
A toddler sniffs all of his Christmas presents before opening them and his mom realizes something is really wrong. What Tourette’s, OCD, and ADHD l...

Bought by PRX Remix and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: Feb 13, 2012
  • Length: 14:00
  • Purchases: 2