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I would describe myself as a 'cup is half full, happy in the morning before coffee' kind of gal. But after a second-trimester miscarriage, I was anything but those things. After losing my son, my world-view and disposition changed for a while. And when I became pregnant after my loss, with my rainbow baby, I had a mix of emotions.

Pregnancy after a miscarriage, infant loss or a stillborn baby is anything but easy. Many people have a perception that becoming pregnant (again) will make the pain of the loss lessen or go away. For me and mamas I counsel as a clinical psychologist, rarely, if ever have I seen this happen.

As a clinical psychologist who supports women after pregnancy loss, stillborn and infant loss, I can share this observation: Being pregnant after a loss is genuinely heroic. Nothing will rock a mama to the core more than losing a child, working through the grief and becoming pregnant again.

From my heart, here's my perspective on what you need to know about being pregnant after a loss:

1. Create space for grief

The process of grief is often a journey, it isn't something to work through methodically in a timely, structured way. Grief is messy, unpredictable, raw and uniquely expressed. I frame grief as a process with varying moments of intensity popping up in unexpected ways.

Grief can show up in surprising ways when a woman becomes pregnant after a loss—crying in the market walking by a baby, trying to hide physical changes of showing so you can keep the secret of being pregnant just a little longer, preoccupied with thoughts of something going wrong with this pregnancy.

If you experience grief that catches you off guard when you're pregnant, this is entirely normal. Be gentle with yourself and let go of any judgment. Grieving the baby you lost and feeling excited about the new pregnancy is understandable.

Allow yourself to experience the rollercoaster of emotions you may have without judging yourself or thinking it should be a certain way. Instead, accept what you are feeling and move through the grief as it happens.

2. Expect worry.

For mamas who've had a loss, anxiety can be off the charts intense, overshadowing joy. If you're experiencing significant worry during your pregnancy, please share how you are feeling with your medical provider.

When worry gets in the way of everyday activities or prevents you from sleeping, eating, or taking care of your family or functioning at work, it is time to get support. Reach out to your OB/GYN, midwife or therapist and discuss how you are feeling and how worry is impacting you, and your pregnancy. There is help, talk about it. (These powerful viral photos are changing the conversation about pregnancy and infant loss)

Over the years supporting mamas, I have found when women share with medical professionals their concerns and fears, the response is incredibly supportive, thoughtful and accommodations are made to help mamas work through grief during pregnancy. For some that may mean more frequent monitoring or appointments.

3. Know you might feel relief passing milestones.

A trend I've observed in myself and others is feeling a sense of relief when the current pregnancy moves past the gestational week of the pregnancy loss, such as seeing the heartbeat, heading into the second trimester, feeling the baby move and making it to the minimal week of viability for a baby. It is not uncommon to feel more worried, tense or be reluctant to connect to the pregnancy until passing the gestational week of the lost pregnancy.

4. Or be cautiously connected to the pregnancy.

Many women I've worked with after loss feel cautiously connected to another pregnancy. This experience is understandable. Being tentatively connected has a lot to do with protecting the current pregnancy.

Be kind to yourself if you notice feelings of disconnection, protection and fear. If any of these feelings persist or become disruptive to your everyday functioning, please reach out and talk to your medical provider.

5. Having guilt in unexpected ways.

Many women feel in some way responsible for the loss, but remember pregnancy loss happens for many reasons and is rarely, if ever, your fault.

Feelings of guilt during pregnancy after a loss can catch some women off guard. You may notice feeling guilty at times for being happy, excited or connected to the new pregnancy. Positive feelings during pregnancy can be stressful because there may be simultaneous fears of being disloyal or forgetting the baby you lost because you feel happy.

Here's what I want you to know: You can feel happy for the new baby and sad for the baby you lost at the same time; you can feel both emotions.

Just observe them and understand that a mother's heart is vast enough to feel a complex range of emotions from guilt to joy and everything in between.

6. Feeling like innocence is shattered.

Many pregnant women never worry about all the things that could go wrong in pregnancy. I bless them. I'm in awe of them. Maybe at times slightly jealous, wishing I could be like them.

I was never worry-free, blissfully excited and unaware of all of the things that can go wrong in pregnancy and delivery. After pregnancy loss, naïveté is shattered; you can never go into the next nine months casually.

Women who announce their pregnancy before the first trimester, have gender reveal parties or share on social media every sonogram can make your heart sink and your stomach drop. You think to yourself, "I don't know how they do that, I sure hope everything goes okay," as what-if scenarios' race through your mind. Know you're not unhappy for them, you have intense feelings of protection, a reminder of the reality you've experienced loss.

7. Prepare for insensitive comments.

Well-intentioned, yet often upsetting and hurtful comments from family, friends and strangers can hurt. We live in a culture and society uncomfortable with death.

We applaud those who've experienced loss for being strong, stoic and holding composure. Death makes people uncomfortable, and nothing makes a conversation more awkward than when talking about miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss.

What often happens is a change of subject or a platitude or phrase falling way short of being supportive, instead, inciting anger in a pregnant mama. Comments like, "Oh congrats on being pregnant again, now you can move on," or, "I know you feel sad, but the baby was never born and never could have survived, so it wasn't really something to connect to."

When someone says something thoughtless, remember, while it's directed at you, it has nothing to do with you. And, they just gave you a lens into their world of thoughts, beliefs and discomfort with pregnancy loss. Perhaps you could forward them what not to say to someone experiencing pregnancy loss.

8. Continued grief is normal.

Any woman who has experienced loss knows in her heart no other pregnancy or child can replace the one she lost. So there is a bittersweetness to pregnancy after a loss: Gratitude, excitement, anticipation, sadness and anger.

As you move through your pregnancy and welcome a new baby, there is a strange feeling of thinking or wondering: Would this new baby even be here if I hadn't had lost my other baby? What I have found helpful is to find a way to honor and remember the baby that was lost, a concrete gesture of keeping the lost baby part of the family. I wrote about our family tradition honoring my son here.

9. Embrace the new moments and challenges.

Children are a great distraction from grief. The blessing of being a mother when you have a pregnancy loss and become pregnant again is that you have to keep moving forward taking care of your family.

When I had a miscarriage, my twin girls were 2 years old. There was no time to slow down or take time to grieve. When I felt the tears or anger come on, I had to push through it and focus on the girls.

My daughters kept me so busy that some days all I could do was make it to their nap time. Other days, I dreaded nap time because I had to face those intense feelings in the silence. Somedays I would spend the entire hour and a half crying or agitated cleaning the house or napping myself because I felt so sad.

Another challenge of having children and going through loss and pregnancy is sharing the news with them. Depending on your child's age and if you've shared what's happened, be prepared for questions, lots of them.

Your child's questions may catch you off guard. Rest assured, this is entirely normal; your child is processing the loss and pregnancy in their own way. Don't be surprised to receive some variations of the following questions: Why did the baby die? Will this baby die too? How come the baby couldn't get better by going to the doctor? Where do babies go when they die?

My advice: Follow your child's lead, answer questions lovingly, knowing their curiosity isn't meant to upset you. They're trying to process in concrete ways the loss and pregnancy. And if you don't know the answer, it's okay to say so. When I am at a loss for how to respond, I ask my children, "What do you think?"

Whew, it's a lot to consider, isn't it? You are not alone in what you are going through and you will get through this. Reach out to supportive friends, family and medical professionals, talk about your feelings and move through the grief, worries, and embrace the joy and excitement. What I can share is this: rainbow babies are unique and teach us lessons we never knew we needed to learn.

My third daughter is my rainbow baby, and she is indeed the most loving child I have known. She has the biggest heart and has incredible love for everyone, especially animals. Perhaps she's like this because of birth order, genetics or parenting, but I've always wondered if it's because she's a rainbow baby. She brings hope and is a reminder that after incredible storms, rainbows do appear, permitting us to open our hearts to heal and grow in love.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

SHOP

Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

SHOP

Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
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.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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Life

There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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