Monica with husband and baby in the hospital

1 of 9
Oprah has always said that mothers have the most difficult job on earth, and actress Jenny McCarthy is one mom who has never backed down from a challenge. Jenny has been an outspoken advocate for parents of children with autism since her son was diagnosed with the disease two and a half years ago. In her new book, Mother Warriors, Jenny tells the story of other moms fighting for their special-needs kids. So when Oprah heard about Monica, another mom fighting for her children, she thought Jenny would be just the person to get this mother warrior's story.

After going through a painful divorce, Monica met Tony when she least expected it. Monica already had a 9-year-old daughter, but soon after she and Tony got engaged, they were thrilled to be expecting another bundle of joy. In August 2007, she had a C-section, and though she worried about complications, Monica delivered a healthy baby girl. But hours after Sofia was born, Monica began running a fever. No one was concerned at first—Monica figured it was just hormones—but three days later the fever hadn't broken, and Monica's abdomen was swollen and painful.