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[Trigger warning: This essay describes one woman's emotional journey with miscarriage.]

My OB-GYN's waiting room (which was once a space where I happily awaited hearing my baby's heartbeat), now became a ticking time bomb to my doctor telling me what I already knew in my heart: I had lost my baby.

There are a myriad of things that are horrific about miscarriage. It is physically horrible, emotionally draining, mentally unbearable, and turns your world upside down. But other mamas in my life (including my own mother) who opened up to me and told me about their experiences demonstrated a breathtaking sense of bravery and resilience.

It wasn't until after I lost my baby at 10 weeks and confided in my friends and loved ones about my experience, did I realize that nearly everyone I talked to knew someone who went through this heartbreaking ordeal. But by far the most beautiful result of these discussions was the conversations I had with other women who went through this themselves: the women who hugged me, cried with me and supported me.

When so many women suffer from this loss, why is it that so many of us feel so incredibly alone when it happens?

When there is pain and heartache involved, it can be hard to open up about your personal experience—but the most difficult conversations are often the most important to have. The more we open up about our heartbreaks, the more we can support other mothers who may be suffering in silence.

After a certain period of time during your first trimester, your growing child becomes a reality and it starts to feel safe to peruse Pinterest and start daydreaming of nursery designs. You may have even gone shopping already, strolling the aisles and buying a few things, tucking them away in a closet or drawer.

When I lost my child at 10 weeks I had already figured out what my announcement would look like as I imagined revealing our little presence to the rest of the world. But then, suddenly, the rug was ripped from beneath my feet. A future I had begun to visualize was erased before I could even wrap my head around what was happening. My family of five vision had slipped through my fingers.

The social media algorithms became absolute torture. Only a few weeks prior I was clicking through a zillion baby ads and pregnancy articles daydreaming about my tiny person growing inside me—now they have been nothing but a constant and incredibly painful reminder of what could have been.

The little face at the ultrasound I saw only once has now has transformed into a tiny silhouette I can only imagine in my mind, chasing after my other children in the yard, never having the chance to leave footprints behind.

After ending up in the hospital from a miscarriage gone completely awry, what was once a very personal and heartbreaking experience had become public. Having to explain my presence at the ER to complete strangers was difficult each time I had to page for help.

But it did force me to address one of the most painful moments in my life by opening up to those who were concerned for my health and well-being. It helped me begin the conversation I needed to in order to start walking the path of healing my heart.

Your body heals slowly, your mind even slower, and your heart may never heal completely. But for any mama reading this who has had a miscarriage please remember: you are not alone.

I feel your pain as you may occasionally bring yourself to touch the few new baby items you bought—bittersweet gifts that may bring you to tears.

I cheer you on as you sincerely congratulate the other women around you who are pregnant or are just beginning their motherhood journey, no matter how much it stings inside.

I congratulate your strength as you wake up each day and continue to heal.

You are not alone, and many, many other women around you can relate to you, support you and feel your pain as you look down at your overwhelmingly empty lap.

I'm so grateful for my village during this time. The village that is motherhood is one of the most beautiful things about being a mother and I never want to forget just how much I needed them right now or just how strongly they came through for me. Because when they need me, I'll be there in a heartbeat.

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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