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Jessica Simpson opens up about the transition from 2 kids to 3

"Physically it was the hardest [pregnancy] I had gone through," shares Simpson.

Jessica Simpson Keeber
Jessica Simpson/Keebler

Twelve months ago we at Motherly were talking a lot about Jessica Simpson's third pregnancy and how honest she was with her fans and followers. Being pregnant with her third child, Birdie, was not easy and Jessica did not hide that, keeping her Instagram followers updated on everything from broken toilet seats to swollen feet.

Today Simpson is nearly one year postpartum and still shining a light on the harder parts of motherhood through her new memoir, Open Book, and her long-standing partnership with Make-A-Wish, helping to grant wishes for children battling critical illnesses.

Simpson recently spoke to Motherly about her pregnancies, her power as a mother and how "the change from two children to three is huge."

Simpson's most recent pregnancy was a totally different from her previous two, she tells Motherly. Her oldest child, daughter Maxwell, was born back in 2012 when Simpson was 31. Son Ace came very quickly afterward, taking his mama by surprise.

"When I got pregnant four months later after having my daughter, I was definitely in shock and my hormones never had time to adjust," she tells Motherly.

Ace came into the world in 2013 when his big sister was just 14 months old, and although her pregnancies were practically back-to-back, Simpson had different experiences each time.

"Every pregnancy for me was so different. My first pregnancy I stopped working. It's not that I stopped creating, but I got to really just embrace just being pregnant for the first time and it was truly a beautiful moment," she explains.

During her pregnancy with Ace, Simpson was still dealing with how much her body changed when she'd been expecting Maxwell. She tells Motherly, "I truly thought with Maxwell, even though I gained like 90 pounds or something, that it was just all going to fall off. Obviously, we don't have a 90-pound child, so I don't even know why I thought that. With Ace I made a lot more healthy choices."

As Simpson explains in Open Book, she went through a lot between her first two pregnancies and her third. She'd gotten sober, gone to therapy and grown a lot as a mom, a person and a professional creator.

"And so with Birdie, I mean she was just really the cherry on top. When I found out I was pregnant with her, it was such an overwhelming blessing, unexpected blessing, gift from God. And yes, I was in the middle of writing a book and I was about to actually release an album. And so I had to put everything on hold and take life one moment at a time and it allowed me to slow down and really just understand myself because I went through therapy the whole time I was with Birdie and I was also writing music," she explains.

"And with Birdie, I mean I was older," says Simspon, who was 38 when her youngest daughter arrived. "Through that pregnancy it was amazing because I was writing my book, I was writing music, but physically it was the hardest that I had gone through."

"I had edema, I was swollen, I was breaking toilet seats," she recalls. " And I think the people out there and can relate to me in so many ways because I'm honest. I'm honest about it and you just got to laugh at the end of the day with some of the stuff that you go through. You know you are creating lives, so it is a beautiful, empowering thing."

Simpson also finds empowerment in her work with Make-A-Wish. She's been a partner of the organization for longer than she's been a mom, but becoming a mom made her even more committed to the cause.

"As a mother, I'm so empathetic and I have so much compassion for parents that do have children that are struggling and that are sick. It's heartbreaking, but it's also empowering to be a part of moments like this for the families. If I was going through something like this I would absolutely be wanting to be a part of the Make-A-Wish foundation, because you want to give your child any and everything that they can have in any moment, especially when they don't feel like they can ever have it."

From now until April 30, 2020 mamas can help the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant more wishes for critically-ill children simply by buying specially-marked Keebler cookies. You can also check out Keebler's Instagram page to help raise money. For every comment that tags a friend on the campaign social post and uses the cookie emoji Kebler is donating $1 to Make-A-Wish.

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.

$70

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.

$65

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.

$45

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!

$23

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.

$30

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.

$39

'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."

$35

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.

$24

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.

$22

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!

$25

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.

$32

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.

$105

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.

$17

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.

$68

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

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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