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.