Name: Rebecca Smith
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Occupation: Founder & CEO of ReclinerBaby’s Sex: BoyHow would you describe your pregnant style?
I’ve tried to keep it as close to my regular style as possible to keep feeling like ‘me’!
I’d define my style as 70% relaxed with an element of smart. I typically have a jacket or little heelon to dress up a relaxed look. I also love soft shirting, which is where the original Point Collar Shirt from the RECLINER sleepwear range came from. Garments that are super relaxed while having an element of ‘smart’ tailoring are a dream for me and have worked well in pregnancy too. Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during this pregnancy?
Oh yes. Summer has been tough, and maternity options are limited. It’s been trial and error. Buying up a size or two in dresses has worked, but only when fabrics are soft and silky - this way they still hang well around your body rather than looking boxy. Fitted jersey dresseshave worked better later in pregnancy. It has been a work in progress throughout because the body changes every 2 weeks or so. That’s the hardest part! I’m a throw-it-on-and-out-the-door kinda gal, so all the trying-on has been tough for me!So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?
Hands down, the second trimester. My energy was electric. I felt clear-headed, focused and quite empowered. I think that science has done a disservice to women in not helping us better understand the incredible neurological happenings in our brains as they develop in the maternal sense. There is too much negative chatter around the concept of the ‘baby-brain,’ weight gain and other physical aspects of pregnancy typically associated with weakness. As a society, we need to focus more on how pregnancy (and motherhood!) is making us or has the capacity to make us stronger, wiser, more intelligent individuals. What are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?
Seeing through the fresh eyes of a child. Rediscovering the world. Appreciating the small things. Being a kid again! Also, cuddles.What’s your top 5 registry essentials?
I actually don’t have one. I’m British so we get awkward about these things. However, here are some of the things I am picking up for myself and my babe:
RECLINER Night-Tee Sleep Dress. More time spent at home will make this an essential. It feels amazing against the skin.
DANIELLE M. WILSON is the Event Director for Well Rounded, former Elementary teacher & all around Mama Hustler who's all about the details! You can find her obsessing over bold street art & anything adorned in sequins, while living in the moment and persevering with Crohns disease. Cheeseball smiling alongside her hubby Mike & two
As a mid-Spring holiday, we never knew exactly what to expect from the weather on Easter when I was growing up in Michigan: Would we get to wear our new Sunday dresses without coats? Or would we be hunting for eggs while wearing snowsuits?
Although what the temperature had in store was really anyone's guess, there were a few special traditions my sister and I could always depend on—and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite memories revolved around food. After all, experts say memories are strongest when they tie senses together, which certainly seems to be true when it comes to holiday meals that involve the sounds of laughter and the taste of amazing food.
Now that I'm a parent, I'm experiencing Easter anew as my children discover the small delights of chocolate, pre-church brunch and a multi-generational dinner. While I still look forward to the treats and feasting, I'm realizing now that the sweetest thing of all is how these traditions bring our family together around one table.
For us, the build-up to Easter eats is an extended event. Last year's prep work began weeks in advance when my 3-year-old and I sat down to plan the brunch menu, which involved the interesting suggestion of "green eggs and ham." When the big morning rolled around, his eyes grew to the size of Easter eggs out of pure joy when the dish was placed on the table.
This year, rather than letting the day come and go in a flash, we are creating traditions that span weeks and allow even the littlest members of the family to feel involved.
Still, as much as I love enlisting my children's help, I also relish the opportunity to create some magic of my own with their Easter baskets—even if the Easter Bunny gets the credit. This year, I'm excited to really personalize the baskets by getting an "adoptable" plush unicorn for my daughter and the Kinder Chocolate Mini Eggs that my son hasn't stopped talking about since seeing at the store. (You can bet this mama is stocking up on some for herself, too.)
At the same time, Easter as a parent has opened my eyes to how much effort can be required...
There is the selection of the right Easter outfits for picture-perfect moments.
There is the styling of custom Easter baskets.
There is the filling of plastic eggs and strategic placement of them throughout the yard.
But when the cameras are put away and we all join together around the table for the family dinner at the end of the day, I can finally take a deep breath and really enjoy—especially with the knowledge that doing the dishes is my husband's job.
This article was sponsored by Kinder. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
ER nurse Devon Oechsleon and her firefighter/medic husband had to make an impossible decision this week about their 3.5-year-old daughter—to let her live (for now) with a good friend of theirs while they do their part in combating the coronavirus at work. They, along with thousands of other concerned parents who work in healthcare, are scared they could infect their child(ren)—so they are moving out or relocating their family in order to keep them safe.
They're doing the impossible. And it's heartbreaking.
They're taking their oaths to heart and are bravely going into work to protect our communities—including their children.
Nicole wrote, in a post accompanied by a tearful photo, how she doesn't feel as though she deserves any special accolades for the work she is currently doing: "My job as an ER nurse is just that, my job." But even if she doesn't think she deserves it—she's getting it (deservedly so).
Her Facebook post has received thousands of messages of support and gratitude including one Facebook user who wrote, "You're protecting your child. No comment necessary. Thank you for doing what you do and hope you and your husband stay safe. You've done the right thing."
"This is my current situation.
"Jason and I just had to have a very hard conversation to send Ellie away tonight for maybe a month... to stay with my amazing friend Anita, who did not even hesitate to keep her for us. And Ellie loves 'Miss Nita.'
"This is the face of someone who feels punished for trying to be the 'good guy.' My job as an ER nurse is just that, my job, I don't ever feel like it's anything crazy or special or deserving of accolades. Jason feels the same way as a ff/medic.
"But, our jobs are important right now and unlike many, we are still required to work. And that work carries a high risk of being infected, or spreading this damn virus. I have already been in contact with +covid patients, and the last thing we want to do is have Ellie surrounded by the potential virus we could carry home.
"So, I feel punished for having to be the 'good guy.' I have to send my 3.5yo child away. I won't get to visit her. I won't get to hug her. I won't get to tuck her in at night. We have FaceTime, and that's it. For up to a month, or who knows how long...and many of my coworkers have had to do the same.
"So, if you've read this far and you are having to stay home with your kids all day, consider it a blessing and absolutely NOTHING less.
"And for heaven's sake, everyone, STAY.AT.HOME. The sooner this crap is over the quicker my kid can come home
"Edit: since this has gone viral somehow, let me just set one thing straight. Don't you DARE come at me for "getting rid of my child" and saying "you made a choice, there were other options" and "no job is worth sending my kid to a stranger to raise."
"1. Sure would be a crappy day for you if all the staff in your ER weren't there because they all quit their jobs to stay at home with their kids
"2. Tell me what other options I had since you are so in my shoes?
"3. She is 15min down the road, staying with someone she loves and who loves her. We didn't just wake up and decide to leave her with a stranger.
"All the keyboard warriors can just sit down ."
But not all comments have been those of praise and understanding—despite the intense and difficult circumstances. Nicole added another post this afternoon to make sure her message was clear after getting some negative feedback from her now-viral original post.
"Making a public post to make something clear.
"Having to split up our household and send Ellie away wasn't just something WE decided had to happen. THOUSANDS of healthcare families have been split up for fear of protecting family members from what we may bring home.
"So, while we have have been overwhelmed with support and kind words, just know that it is not just us. People in your own town at your own hospital are likely isolating themselves from family, or having to send their kids away.
"So, when you go gallivanting around town because you think this will never effect you and you're invincible...know the longer you don't stay at home, the greater the risk of this virus to keep spreading, and the longer families are split up.
STAY. AT. HOME."
Her message, and tears, hit the mark. We all have to do our part to fight COVID-19, and for a lot of us, that simply means staying home. I know it's not easy, not being able to leave the house with antsy kids who want to be out and about—but right now it's necessary.
This is how we rise up—together. And rise up, we will.
My kids miss their grandparents on a regular basis. They're obsessed with them in this completely beautiful, loving way. One set lives four hours south of us and the other set lives about three hours north. We all frequently talk about how we wished we lived closer so we could see each other more regularly because even though they're not super far (thank goodness), it still feels far enough.
Far enough to require planning visits in advance, packing our bags for those visits and sleeping over instead of opportunities for weekly family dinners or sneaking out for a midweek date night, free grandparent-babysitting included.
But even though we don't see each other daily, or weekly even, we all make significant efforts to visit consistently. We always have plans together on the horizon. Birthdays are celebrated in-person, plays or recitals attended and often when our kindergartener has time off from school, we pack up and either go to New York or Vermont to spend our free time with them.
Except right now. Right now—even though our kiddos are not going to school—we can't just pack up and head north or south. Which has been confusing, and understandably emotional, for the kids.
Basically a lot of our conversations lately have gone something like this:
Child: "Can we go to Grandma and Grandpa's house, pleeeeeeease?"
Me: "I'm sorry, honey, we can't right now. Remember how we talked about the germs going around? We have to stay home to keep safe."
Child: "Well, when are the germs gonna be goneeeeeee?"
Me: "We aren't sure. We just have to try to be patient."
Child: "Why can't we just go to Nana and Poppas nowwww?"
And after I side-step the whining, I want to burst into tears. Because I don't know. I don't know what to tell them exactly. I don't know when we'll see their grandparents again.
I simply don't know when this will be over.
And while the kids are used to frequent FaceTimes with Nana and Poppa to stay in touch and they know they have to go through stretches of time without visits from Grandma and Grandpa, they're not used to stretches this long or only having FaceTime as an option for connection.
Even though this is our new (and temporary) normal, it doesn't feel normal. The uncertainty isn't normal. Long periods of isolation isn't normal. Only being around each other—and no one else—isn't normal.
Celebrations that were planned and family visits that had been marked down in our calendars have been canceled and crossed out. Baptisms, birthday parties, Easter gatherings—all gone.
This Easter, a time when we usually gather with at least one set of grandparents, will be celebrated by the five of us, in our home without any extended family members. We'll still hunt for eggs and eat too much Easter candy, of course—but there will be a piece of our puzzle missing in the shape of a chocolate bunny from Poppa and a ricotta pie from Grandma.
We don't know when we'll be together in person again and it's breaking our hearts.
Because they miss Grandma rubbing their back and earlobes (this is a true request) while she tells them bedtime stories.
They miss going on adventures to the farm with Grandpa.
They miss cuddling up with Nana on the couch for movie time.
They miss going on walks with Poppa to visit the ducks.
They miss smelling Grandma's meatballs and sauce cooking in the kitchen.
They miss building blocks with Grandpa in the living room.
They miss painting rocks with Nana at the kitchen table.
They miss Poppa sneaking them M&M's.
I can't help but pause and think to myself how lucky they are they get to miss these people—as strange as that sounds. I'm so proud of the relationship they have with their grandparents, how close they all are, and I know this strange period of time could never take that away from them.
The other day, my father-in-law read about five books to my 2-year-old after she grabbed my phone and demanded, "Gandma, Gandpa! Read book!" to me while dragging me over to her little fox chair in the corner. She plopped herself down—snacks included—and I adjusted the phone so she could see her Grandpa's face as he started reading. She was proud as a pickle. Happy as a clam.
She knew this was an option, because last week Grandma did it, and the kids loved it.
So for now, we'll have virtual storytime instead of in-person bedtime stories.
We'll have videos of Nana and Poppa reading and checking in with the kids instead of catching up under a cozy blanket on the couch.
We'll talk on FaceTime over dinner at two different tables, chatting about our day instead of sharing a meal together at one.
We'll have a Zoom Easter party virtually connecting under different roofs, instead of celebrating under the same one.
We'll send colorful pictures or handwritten notes in the mail instead of delivering them with our own two hands.
We'll figure it out. This is hard. But we can do hard things.
We can still laugh.
We can still see each other's faces, hear each other's voices.
And we can still stay in touch.
The connection may be virtual right now, but it's not virtually impossible. Thank you, grandparents, for still supporting our families—even from a distance.
Pregnancy brings so many questions, but giving birth during a pandemic can be plain overwhelming. It likely seems as if your questions are never-ending, and the more answers you get, the more questions come up.
It's so much to think about, and it can feel scary.
As you think about your birth, one of your biggest fears is likely a sense of having a lack of control throughout this process. Mama, you are not alone. Thousands of couples are in the same boat, and I want to share some ways to cope with this shift.
Ultimately, I want you to know that it is still possible to have a good birth, even if it is different than what you had originally hoped for.
As a doula, here are tips for giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Grieve for the experience you didn't get.
Hold space for yourself. Hold space for the expectations that you had for yourself and your birth experience. It's okay to be sad, or mad, or scared, or even a little resentful that this pandemic has disrupted your perfectly planned birth goals. One of the best things to remind yourself is that while you can't control what happens, you can control how you react to them.
If your difficult feelings are impacting you significantly, don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health therapist for help via virtual services.
2. Prepare for a new kind of birth.
More important than grieving the birth you won't have is finding the energy to adapt. Now more than ever is the time to get creative with how you will adjust your expectations to help you have a controlled birth experience despite the current outbreak.
The Birth Lounge Membership for expecting parents is another great service to check out. Surrounding yourself with positive, evidence-based information will help you feel more confident during this uncertain time.
Look for resources that comfort and inform you.
3. Advocate for yourself.
You may find that your appointments with your doctor or midwife are canceled or rescheduled. This doesn't mean you no longer have access to your medical provider—it just means they don't think the prenatal appointment was worth the risk of exposure for you.
However, you can request that a nurse, midwife or obstetrician give you a call to answer the questions you were planning to discuss at your appointment. You aren't alone, and help is still available to you.
4. Brace for the aesthetics.
When you arrive at the hospital to have your baby, you may see a different set-up than you are used to. There may be tents set up outside, security guards and nurses at the doors checking everyone's temperature, and medical staff in what appears to be hazmat gear! What a shock this will be. So spend some time coming to terms with it, and remind yourself that even though it looks scary, its intention is to keep everyone safe.
Say to yourself, "I am safe. My baby is safe."
5. Labor at home as long as possible (with your provider's approval).
This pandemic is changing the way that people birth in so many ways. We've already seen nationwide restrictions to hospital policies, as well as restrictions around the number of support people allowed at the birth. Providers are asking patients to call before coming to the hospital and are providing screenings to all partners to assess for coronavirus infection.
If you are low-risk, your provider may encourage you to labor at home for a while.
Laboring at home can help to reduce your risk of exposure and it will also allow you to labor in your own space with your own rules and with your own people without the energetic weight of COVID-19 hanging over your head. Many providers are recommending such already.
Remember, you need to check in with your provider when labor starts. There are some essential questions they need to ask to make sure it is safe for you to labor at home.
Something else to think about is pain medication. For example, some hospitals have suspended the use of nitrous oxide as it is an aerosol comfort measure, and there is a concern about the transmission of coronavirus.
7. Find the control.
When you notice yourself feeling anxious or worried about your birth, try finding the control in the situation.
Does your control lie in laboring at home for as long as possible?
Is your control in the fact that you've prepared for months for this moment?
Maybe you've realized that not that much will actually change for your birth plans, and that's what makes you feel in control.
Remember that you still get to have a say in the care you receive. You get to decide where you birth, and you get to decide what happens to your body during this time.
There is power in numbers. There are so many parents who are on this journey of entering parenthood during a pandemic. While this is a difficult time, it's comforting to know that you're not the only one feeling this way.
Social distancing doesn't have to mean isolation. Take advantage of the technological advances we have in 2020 to harness the power of human connection. Your online village awaits you!
This is a scary time to be pregnant, but you are strong. You are not alone.
Thousands of parents across the country are navigating this story alongside you. While this is very different from anything you could have imagined, it doesn't have to be a bad experience. You still have so much control. The choice is yours. Take the time this quarantine has presented you with and use it to prepare for this new birth experience. You can do this.
"I've been doing laundry and cooking," Kardashian West explained, which suggests that her household staff is not working during the family's self-isolation.
"Today was the first day that I actually brushed my hair and put on some makeup," she explained, adding that her sister Kylie Jenner came over to do her makeup for the TV appearance, and aside from their mom Kris Jenner coming over for a 6-foot-apart chat, that's the only extended family company she's had in a while.
Her kids, 6-year-old North, 4-year-old Saint, 2-year-old Chicago and baby Psalm have not been able to see their cousins, which is hard because they're all so close. Kardashian West told The View's co-hosts that while she actually enjoys the break from her family's usually jam-packed travel schedule, she's running out of activities around the house, and that her family has watched "every single movie that you can imagine" already.