Dear (First-time) Pregnant Lady

Sorry for the stuff you had no idea was coming.

Dear (First-time) Pregnant Lady

The first 18 months of my baby’s life were filled with moments I felt the need to apologize for. Like when I used her naptime to binge watch Game of Thrones instead of reading that Baby Whisperer book. Or when that wine cork popped and woke her up 30 seconds after I left her room. Or using my last two dollars at a garage sale to buy Fifty Shades of Grey instead of the teddy bear she was eyeing.

These than stellar parenting moments are now memorialized in my book: Dear Baby: I’m Sorry…Apologies for Life’s Little Parenting Fails. (Daughter, when you hate me in about twelve-ish years, please refer back to this document). But having recently gone through a second pregnancy, I realized pregnant women (especially first-timers) are also due some apologies. So here goes.

Dear (First-time) Pregnant Lady:

  1. Sorry your boobs feel like punching bags. Blame increased blood flow for making your tatas feel like they’re pulling overtime at Gleason’s Gym. (It may also cause a gorgeous green highway of veins to surface there. Who’s the lucky girl?) Your boobs should not be fondled, grazed or looked at during this time. Even the looks. They hurt. Find bras with no seams, no lace, no wires, no shape. Just buy a formless cotton blob of fabric that will make them look like hell but feel like they just got outta jail. P.S. Sorry but you also need to put stretch mark cream on those melons.

  1. Sorry you pee more than a Great Dane. You are a veritable geyser of urination, running to the toilet more than a senior citizen about to board the Depends train. Not ideal when you have a meeting, or want to see a movie without missing half of it because you have to take yet another leak. Sorry you have to do Kegels and cross your legs if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, because you never know what might fall out.

  1. Sorry even though everyone keeps telling you “sleep now” you can’t. Not only is back-snoozing out due to a slight issue of crushing a vein that delivers blood to your heart, you may also have indigestion, anxiety, a snoring problem and an acrobatic party animal fetus. Sorry you will be rolling side to side so much you wake up with sore hips and your underpants around your knees - without having any fun getting them there.

  1. Sorry you can’t remember jack and keep bumping into walls. Halfway through, you may develop a wicked case of circus klutz disease and “why the hell did I come in this room, again?” syndrome. There are reasons for your bovine movements and momnesia. The front porch you’re hauling around throws off balance. Loose ligaments are turning your body into porridge. Brain activity on the emotional side is way up and the thinking side is flat-lining. Sorry, but it’s best to carry a list of your favorite vocabulary words for reference when you’re trying to form sentences.

  1. Sorry you live in fear of bending at the waist. Maybe not yet. But soon, one of your daily goals will be to NOT DROP ANYTHING. If something slips from your grasp, you will stare, dejected, trying to rationalize leaving it there. And when you can’t, with the grace of a hippopotamus and the speed of an elderly woman at CVS paying in exact change, you will lower yourself, shins first, until one of your kneecaps crashes on the floor, allowing you to gingerly retrieve the fallen object. Sorry, but if you can do this without tipping over and needing someone twice your size to help you up, you’re winning.

  1. Sorry you’re hairier than a chinchilla. I know you can’t SEE under your belly button anymore, but trust me, the hairs down there are at least an inch long. And…is that a moustache on your nipple? Due to sex hormones called androgens, face and body hair is growing fast and out of control, giving you that wolverine chic look. Sorry, but avoid harsh light and allow extra time for emergency chin tweezing sessions.

  1. Sorry everyone feels entitled to make inappropro comments about your body. Oh boy, get ready. Those last few weeks (or months if you’re like me and you make 9+ pounders), while buying milk you may hear, “You look as though that could happen any minute.” And you’ll smile sweetly, wanting to say, “and you look like you’re due for your next electrolysis appointment!” You may also hear, “Have you got any room to breathe?” “Is it twins?” And “I just don’t see how you’ll make it to term!” Aw, you guys, so sweet! Thanks for noticing I’m the size of a log cabin and you can’t fathom how I could get any bigger.

(P.S. if you are in your first trimester, sorry you gag every time you open your refrigerator and feel like you’ve been shot with a horse tranquilizer. Hang in there. Only half a year to go!)

Photography by Red Anchor Photo for Well Rounded NY.

14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


This oil completely changed my skin this summer

And I'm never going back to lotion.

For all the sweating and swimming I do in the summer, it seems illogical for my skin to be as parched as ever. But your mid-thirties (and 2020 in general) don't really seem to follow any rule book, so here we are.

A couple of months ago, I was on the lookout for a moisturizer that would not only keep my legs from looking like an ashy mess, but also truly nourish and benefit my skin. I've developed a deep interest in skin care for my face over the past few years and decided it's high time to extend that degree of consideration to the rest of my body. (After all, there's more of it, right?)

It's not that I'm too concerned with aging, but let's be real. If there's something that can be done to slow the Wrinkle Express, I'm going to give it a go. I also wanted to find something natural that wouldn't turn into a goopy mess the second I started sweating.

Enter: Esker's Firming Body Oil.

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We are one and done—and we planned it that way

I didn't forget to have children. I just had a child. One child.

The other day, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read, "Oops! I forgot to have children!" across the front, and I wanted to run up and give her a hug. Except that would be weird on many levels, so I buried the impulse.

I didn't forget to have children. I just had a child. One child. And lean in closer while I make this confession: My partner and I made that decision on purpose.

It's not really what I'd planned for myself when I was younger and daydreamed about my future family. In fact, I went through a phase in the '80s when I imagined myself with five children who I would name Mandy, Randy, Candy, Sandy and Andy.

I certainly never envisioned myself being any kind of spokesperson for the only-child crowd, but over my last 11 years, the most-asked question I get is whether or not I have regrets that we never gave my daughter a sibling.

That's a hard question because the number of kids you and your partner decide to have is an extremely personal decision—although you wouldn't necessarily know that by all the complete strangers who regularly ask, "So, when are you going to have another one?" or, "Don't you worry about what will happen to her when you die and she's left all alone in the world?" People, even well-intentioned, can be extremely insensitive and feel like they have the right to get in your business even if you just met them on an airplane.

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