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8 moms who conceived during Hurricane Matthew pose for photos 8 months pregnant

Eight expectant mothers in Bluffton, South Carolina, are all eight months pregnant and it may be due in part to Hurricane Matthew, which hit the state in October 2016. 

People reported that for some of the mothers, the timing just happened to line up with the storm.

“I feel babies always come at a time when they are most needed. When he is born, I feel he will fill a hole in our lives we didn’t even know was missing. I’m so eager and excited to meet him,” one mother said.

>> Read more trending news

“After trying for a year and a half, it was our first month on fertility medication, and it worked,” another mother said.

Another expectant mother told People that she and her partner “decided to leave it in God’s hands if it was the right time for us or not (to get pregnant) and I guess he thought it was.”

For photographer Cassie Clayshulte, a surge of expectant mothers and newborns was no surprise.

“Nine months after a holiday, blackout or storm is always a very, very busy time for me,” she told “Today”.

Clayshulte used that knowledge to being a Facebook search for “hurricane mamas.” According to “Today,” Clayshulte put out a call on her business’ Facebook page March 6 for a photo shoot that shows “beautiful things always come from not so beautiful things!”

Mothers Danielle Lewis, Lindsey Binkley, Taylor Pait, Lindsey Gullett, Brittany Day, Kayla Sumler, Savanna Dorsey and Molly Spears all posed with their bumps in two photo shoots -- one at a nature preserve in town and another on a beach at Hilton Head Island.

“If it weren’t for Matthew, these eight couples wouldn’t be expecting these little miracles,”  Clayshulte told ABC News. “Some of these couples had trouble conceiving, experienced difficult previous pregnancies, and even had to undergo several rounds of fertility treatments to become pregnant. This storm destroyed trees and property and our area’s tourism industry took a big hit, but the storm helped these couples create something even more beautiful and these stunning mommies-to-be are living proof.”

A follow-up newborn shoot is planned for the babies -- seven girls and one boy -- who are due in June.

“I want to go back to the same beach and do the same setup, but with the moms holding their swaddled newborns,” Clayshulte said.

Too many Americans aren’t using vacation time; when they do, they still work

Summer vacation season is approaching, which means it’s time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But, according to a new study, not only do too many Americans skip vacations, they tend to work during time off, too.

>> Read more trending news

Glassdoor surveyed more than 2,200 people on how they spend their time off. The online job and recruiting site found that two out of three Americans work while on vacation. Researchers also discovered that the average employee only takes about half of their eligible time off

About 14 percent of respondents admitted that a family member complained when they were caught working on their laptop. However, employees aren’t always to blame. About 29 percent revealed that they were contacted by a boss and co-worker while on vacation

“We are seeing a push and pull situation when it comes to employees taking vacation and paid time off, in which people attempt to step away from the office for a break from work, but technology is keeping them connected with the swipe of a finger,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer. 

>> Related: Atlanta named one of the best summer vacation spots for 2017

Glassdoor offered some advice to help professionals completely unplug while away.

Employees should submit their PTO as soon as possible, and create a back-up plan with a manager to delegate responsibilities. The website also recommended workers set up an “out of office” email reply, and "ensure your back-up person is primed for success.”

Learn more about the research here.

Taking Uber or Lyft? Read these 7 safety tips before getting in the car

City dwellers, students, travelers and citizens without vehicles of their own often rely on ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft to get from one place to the next.

>> Read more trending news 

But with all the news stories involving imposter drivers, driver-involved assaults and violent altercations, passengers should take some precautions before getting into the vehicle.

» Related: Is Uber safe? People questioning after reports of recent assaults 

Here are some safety tips for passengers when using a rideshare service:

Confirm the name of the driver and make of the vehicle.

There have been several cases of people posing as drivers, but both Uber and Lyft offer passengers details such as the driver’s name, their photo and car type.

According to Campbell Matthews, a Lyft representative, the company also offers an “amplified” way to identify your driver.

Lyft drivers have a bright, color-changing pill-shaped device (called the Amp) made of multiple LED lights on their dashboards.

The color in your Lyft app will match the color of the Amp in your driver’s car. 

Before getting in the car, make sure you’re getting in the right one.

» Related: Uber driver charged with assault on pregnant passenger 

Check the driver’s rating.

Just like you’re less likely to sign a lease on an apartment known for its low management or maintenance ratings and reviews, rideshare ratings can be used to determine the quality and safety of your ride.

Rideshare apps give passengers their potential driver’s ratings ahead of the car’s arrival, so if you’re uncomfortable with the rating, cancel your ride and call another.

Share your trip details with friends or family.

According to Uber, you’re able to tap “Share status” in the mobile app and share your driver’s name, photo, license plate and location with a friend or family member.

They can then track your trip without downloading the Uber app.

» Related: Uber plans to take ride-sharing off the ground 

Lyft users can tap the “Send ETA” icon on the bottom bar, which will send a text message to family or friends with a link to your current route and location.

If your ride-hailing service doesn’t offer a quick status or ETA share, snap a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and send the photo (and any additional details) to a family member or friend.

Avoid riding in the front seat.

Passengers (especially women) who ride up front have been on the receiving end of assaults, groping and other aggressive, unwanted behavior, according to Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association spokesman Dave Sutton.

» Cops: Fake Uber driver sexually assaulted woman leaving Buckhead bar 

Follow along in your own maps app.

Open up your own maps tool, enter your destination and follow along, noting any odd route shifts.

Travel in groups when possible.

There’s often safety in numbers. Try riding with a friend or two or consider using the carpool option some ride-hailing services offer (Uber Pool, Lyft Line).

Trust your gut.

If you have an inkling of discomfort or sense something fishy, don’t get in the car. If you’re already on the road and are in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.

Mother asks Facebook community to help punish her daughter

An Arizona woman turned to Facebook to help teach her daughter a lesson after the 10-year-old was accused of vandalizing a school bathroom. 

Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School sent photographic evidence: wads of toilet paper stuck to the bathroom ceiling.  

"Even though it's minor, it's significant to me," Jeanene Lacasse, the girl’s mother, said. "We don't run that type of ship."  

Lacasse went to her community's Facebook page and volunteered her 10-year-old for work.

The post reads: "My sweet daughter decided to participate in vandalism on the last day of school... If anyone owns a business and needs/wants a 10 year old volunteer please let me know."

>> Read more trending news

People responded immediately.  

Lacasse’s daughter, Anni, now has days of cleaning up other messes ahead of her. Anni says her mother's mode of discipline might be unconventional, but not unexpected. 

"She's kind of, like, different sometimes," Anni said.  

Anni denied taking part in the vandalism, but said she was there when it happened. Her mother said there is still some guilt by association.

5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Muslims around the globe are gearing up for the holy month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend.

Throughout the holiday, observers fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly feasts.

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers 

Here are five things to know about Islam’s sacred month:

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims.

It is believed to be the month in which the Prophet Muhammad revealed the holy book — Quran — to Muslims.

The word “Ramadan” itself is taken from the Arabic word, “ramad,” an adjective describing something scorchingly dry or intensely heated by the sun.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award 

When is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycle and not the sun’s (what the Western world uses), so the dates vary year to year.

By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan is 10 to 12 days earlier every year.

In 2017, Ramadan is expected to start on May 27 and last through June 24.

Last year, the first day of Ramadan was June 6, 2016.

>> Read more trending news 

To determine when exactly the holy month will begin, Muslim-majority countries look to local moon sighters, according to Al Jazeera.

The lunar months last between 29 and 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon on the 29th night of each month. If the moon is not visible, the month will last 30 days.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay 

What do Muslims do during Ramadan and why?

Ramadan is known as the holy month of fasting, with Muslims abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting during the holiday is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Last year, according to Al Jazeera, fasting hours around the globe ranged between 11 and 22 hours and in the US, 16 to 18 hours.

The fast is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to God (Allah, in Arabic). 

During the month, Muslims also abstain from habits such as smoking, caffeine, sex, and gossip; this is seen as a way to both physically and spiritually purify oneself while practicing self-restraint.

Here’s what a day of fasting during Ramadan is like:

  • Muslims have a predawn meal called the “suhoor.”
  • Then, they fast all day until sunset.
  • At sunset, Muslims break their fast with a sip of water and some dates, the way they believe the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast more than a thousand years ago.
  • After sunset prayers, they gather at event halls, mosques or at home with family and friends in a large feast called “iftar."
How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

Toward the end of the month, Muslims celebrate Laylat al-Qadr or “the Night of Power/Destiny” — a day observers believe Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad to reveal the Quran’s first verses.

On this night, which falls on one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, Muslims practice intense worship as they pray for answers and seek forgiveness for any sins.

To mark the end of Ramadan, determined by the sighting of the moon on the 29th, a 3-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr brings families and friends together in early morning prayers followed by picnics, feasts and fun.

Does every Muslim fast during Ramadan?

According to most interpreters of the Quran, children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, women who are nursing or menstruating, and travelers are exempt from fasting.

Some interpreters also consider intense hunger and thirst as well as compulsion (someone threatening another to do something) exceptions.

But as an entirety, whether Muslims fast or not often depends on their ethnicity and country.

Many Muslims in Muslim-majority countries, for example, observe the monthlong fast during Ramadan, according to 2012 data from the Pew Research Center.

In fact, in Saudi Arabia, Muslims and non-Muslims can be fined or jailed for eating in public during the day, according to the Associated Press.

But in the United States and in Europe, many Muslims are accepting of non-observers.

Photos: Queen Elizabeth visits Manchester attack victims at children's hospital

Queen Elizabeth II visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she spoke to victims of the Manchester terrorist attack, as well as the doctors and nurses treating them.

Hardworking 11-year-old surprised with lawn mower, equipment to start his own business

An 11-year-old is thanking a local business for surprising him with a gift that will help him with his own business this summer.

Q’yaron Godson of Fayetteville, North Carolina, has been hunting for a summer job.

>> Watch the news report here

“I’m getting older, so I have to find something to do,” Q’yaron told WTVD. “I can’t just sit in the house and play all my life. I have to get outside and do something at least.”

He asked a local lawn care business if he could join their team but was turned down. But he refused to give up.

“If I can’t find a job, I’m going to make a job,” said Q’yaron.

He asked the business if they could help him find a used lawn mower, so he could mow lawns over the summer.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

A local repairman learned about Q’yaron and was inspired to help.

“I just admired him for trying,” said William Moss, owner of Moss Small Engine Repair. “Most kids nowadays don’t want to do things like that.”

Moss and his wife bought Q’yaron a brand new lawn mower, weed whacker and gas cans to help him launch his small business.

Q’yaron was shocked and grateful for the surprise.

“I just want them to know that I’m very thankful to have everything I have now, and God bless them all,” said Q’yaron.

Neighbors help 5-year-old with rare disease celebrate Halloween in May

Family and friends are helping a sick boy celebrate a special Halloween-themed birthday in May.

>> Watch the news report here

Carter Sarkar of Castaic, California, outside Los Angeles, has Sanfilippo syndrome, a disorder that prevents the body from properly processing sugar. The disease will slowly cause Carter to lose his motor skills and brain function until his body eventually shuts down, likely during his teenage years, KTLA reports.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

On Sunday, Carter’s neighbors helped him celebrate his 5th birthday by allowing him to go door-to-door and trick-or-treat with his friends.

>> Read more trending news

“That’s why we go all-out for everything we do because you don’t know if he’s going to be here next year or if he’s going to be able to say ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ next year or his sisters, so you just have to live for today and hope for tomorrow with him,” said mom Jennifer Sarkar.

The family started a crowdfunding account to raise money in hopes of finding a cure for Sanfilippo syndrome. If you would like to donate, click here.

Doctor: Popular charcoal masks could cause permanent skin damage

A popular “do-it-yourself” charcoal mask that has been trending all over the internet could cause serious damage to your skin, according to a dermatologist.

"It might be dangerous if you like all three layers of your skin," Dr. Seth Forman, a dermatologist in Tampa, Florida, said in an interview with WFTS

Many people have taken to YouTube to show users the painful process of peeling off the charcoal mask. Many of these products are sold from “unregulated vendors,” WFTS reports. Forman said that some of these products are mixed with a foreign charcoal powder and super glue, and will “most likely” be illegal soon. 

If certain layers of skin are peeled off, it can lead to scarring and infection “especially when you get down to the second layer (of skin),” according to WFTS

The good news is that there is a large variety of FDA approved facial masks that are safe, Forman said.

Bride wears gown in stunning underwater photo shoot

A newlywed in the nation's capital really made a splash with a photo shoot to mark her special day.

Nicole Hardesty, 30, told WUSA that she is a competitive swimmer, so it felt natural for her to pose underwater while wearing a wedding dress.

>> Read more trending stories

Her grandmother, who spent four weeks making her blue wedding dress, did not approve of Hardesty taking her creation underwater, WUSA reported, so Hardesty wore her reception gown instead for the photo shoot.

Hardesty told WUSA that she wanted to "look like a mermaid."

The dress used in the photo shoot will not hang in a closet. Hardesty told WUSA that the dress will be professionally cleaned and donated to Forever Angels of Virginia, a charity that makes gowns for infants who die due to miscarriage, stillbirth or other causes.

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