As a city parent, it’s not unusal for a little self-doubt to creep in when half of your mommy group starts fleeing to the ‘burbs. “Will my child be well-adjusted if we stay in this glorious but mad city?” “Will he or she reach her full potential?” The answer: absolutely. Which is reassured every time you meet that native New Yorker that’s totally well-adjusted and has reached her full potential...and more. Especially when she’s geeked out about raising her own babies here. We recently spent some time with not just one but two native New Yorkers, who are now expecting their own native New Yorker: husband and wife power couple Deirdre Maloney, co-founder of international tradeshow Capsule Show and top PR firm BPMW Agency, and Noah Callahan-Bever, chief content officer for Complex Media. After bumping into each other at various work and friend functions for almost a decade without much more than a nod, they finally connected over a friend’s Christmas dinner in December 2013. Their first little girl is due this spring. We dropped by their gorgeous Chelsea apartment to chat with Deirdre about her career, pregnancy and raising her babe in the city. Check out her top 5 registry picks, and once you’re done reading, hop on over to Instagram where Deirdre’s taken over our feed! In what part of NYC did you guys grow up? I was born in Chelsea but grew up mostly in Brooklyn Heights. Noah was born in The Netherlands, but moved to NYC at age 5 and grew up in the Wall Street area. We went to rival high schools in Brooklyn. How did you tell your husband that you were pregnant? I just blurted it out! We had just decided that month to throw caution to the wind and not use birth control, so when my period was a day late (which is not uncommon for me), I picked up 10 pregnancy tests on my way home, figuring every month I would think I was pregnant (and likely not be). When the double blue line appeared, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. Noah came home shortly thereafter, and in my complete state of disbelief, it did register with me that I hadn’t considered how I would tell him. So, nothing cute--an hour into recapping our day, I finally just said, “I took a pregnancy test and it says I’m pregnant, and I think we should take more because maybe it’s wrong, but I wanted to wait for you," or something crazy like that. Since you both grew up here, how does that make you feel about raising a child here? We are really pro raising kids in NYC. The city is such a mecca of art, culture, entertainment, history, landmarks, sports, etc. Kids in the city receive a cultural education every time they walk out the door. Whether we want our kids to learn French, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic, it’s all easily accessible here. If our kid is studying ancient Egypt in grade school, some NYC museum will have an Egypt exhibit. There is no limit to the availability of various extracurricular activities (for kids or adults!). You can’t put a price on being exposed to the diversity that New York City offers, from birth. So much narrow-mindedness and hatred in the world stems from the unknown. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I don’t know what I wanted to be when I was a little kid, but by high school I was convinced I would be the first woman President of the Unites States. Clearly, my parents instilled a lot of confidence in me. I graduated from Georgetown with a BA in Political Science, and also interned for my Congressman for two summers, but I was quickly disenchanted by, well, the “the politics” of government, so intern is as far as I got. How did you end being the co-founder of Capsule and BPMW? The summer before my senior year in college I interned at Bloomingdale’s in their buying office, and I really liked it. Having tried multiple internships besides the Congressman’s office (a law firm, a Top 5 financial institution, etc.), this was the first job that I actually looked forward to. I realized for the first time how important it was for me to have a blend of business/numbers and creativity in whatever I was going to do. Bloomingdale’s was great in that it got me into the business of fashion, put me in a position where I got a really good overview of the market, made really good contacts, and learned the basics of running a business. However I quickly learned that working for someone else was not really for me, and started plotting my foray into entrepreneurship. I came up with a bunch of bad ideas…but ultimately, along with my two business partners, came up with BPMW, and haven’t looked back since! Who are some of your biggest influences in your career? First and foremost, hands down, my dad. He has an amazing business mind and has been a great sounding board throughout my career despite having very little connection to the fashion world. He always seems to know the right answer, and if he doesn’t know, he knows someone who does, and can get them on the phone very quickly. My sister and I both call him for work-related advice all the time, and so do some of our friends. Also, being the men’s buyer for emerging designers at Bloomingdale’s was really pivotal for me because I was surrounded by entrepreneurs--the designers who were selling me their clothes. I was very inspired by their courage to believe in themselves and just go for it. How does NYC influence your work/life flow? NYC is extremely fast-paced. Since I grew up here, that seems really normal to me, and I thrive in high-paced, high-pressure environments. It’s important that my apartment serve as a haven where I can rest and recharge but…I can’t sit still for too long; NYC offers a million reasons not to and I appreciate that immensely. What helps you decompress after a long day? A good intense workout or the exact opposite; a glass or three of wine (pre-pregnancy, obviously) and a delicious meal. What life lessons as a woman have you learned that you hope to pass on to your daughter? There are so many, but one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (for obvious reasons) is to try to fully experience life before parenthood so that you feel ready to be more selfless. Travel the world, try new things, fail at some, succeed at others, change and evolve, take up new hobbies, really know yourself and be selfish for long enough so that after a while, being selfish gets kind of boring. What has surprised you about your pregnancy? It really is such a rollercoaster. And such different rollercoaster for everyone who goes through it! I think I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy compared to some of my friends, and for that I’m grateful. But still, the first 15 weeks or so I was pretty miserable; nauseous, exhausted, worried about the baby's health and about balancing work and family, feeling super emotional and needy (both somewhat foreign feelings to me) and feeling kind of isolated because we weren’t telling many people yet. Little by little, I started to feel better, and by around week 21 had relaxed into and embraced it wholeheartedly. The process is just so damn amazing; feeling her kick and watching my belly grow as Noah and I plan for our very different joint future is awesome. I feel so fortunate that it came relatively easily, and so lucky to be on the brink of being a mother. At around the 5-month point, I stopped obsessing about pregnancy and started obsessing about childbirth, which is scary and exciting. The thought of delivering this rapidly growing person makes a part of me want to stay pregnant forever, but now it’s getting tougher to sleep, and I can see that as I get closer to my due date, I’ll probably be less comfortable and ready to get the show on the road. How has your style changed since becoming pregnant? Not too much. Just longer shirts to cover the stretch panels in my maternity jeans, which I might just wear forever. Stretchy waistbands = never having to unbutton your pants after a delicious dinner. I still dress up a lot, and dress down depending on my mood. Leggings, turtleneck and Timberlands one day, dress and heels the next. Any brands maternity or non that you feel are working for you? I bought a bunch of Splendid long sleeve extra long t-shirts early on and wear those all the time under sweaters, blazers or just solo. For maternity jeans, I’ve really liked Paige and J Brand. But pretty much anything stretchy and cotton is my friend. What are you most nervous about? It changes all the time, but beyond the normal fear of anything health-related, I want to make sure we don’t raise a little jerk. The instinct is to give your kid everything you can because you love them so much. But you don’t want to end up raising spoiled brats with no ambition or sense of value. Finding the middle ground that I think Noah and my parents did, where you shower your kid with love but also teach them that they have to work for things, and appreciate things, and value things, is really important to me. Photography by Jonica Moore Studio
With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)
1. A brilliant double stroller
You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.
2. A light car seat
Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.
3. A super safe car seat base
The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.
4. A diaper bag you want to carry
It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.
5. A crib that travels
Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.
With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?
This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.
This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.
It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.
It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.
The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.
Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."
The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).
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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.
Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).
About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).
The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.
Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).
So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.
Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!
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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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.
And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.
“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.
Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.
This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.
She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.
Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.
As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."
Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.
Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.
We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.
Get well soon, Amy!
[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]
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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.
Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.
Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.
"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.
The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.
Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.
"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."
Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.
"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."
When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."
It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.