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James Van Der Beek shares powerful message about miscarriages

He's a father of five young children, but he's also a dad who has suffered the pain of pregnancy loss, and now, James Van Der Beek is asking the world to rethink the word "miscarriage."

"'Mis-carriage,' in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother - as if she dropped something, or failed to 'carry,'" he wrote on Instagram. "From what I've learned, in all but the most obvious, extreme cases, it has nothing to do with anything the mother did or didn't do."

James and his wife, Kimberly, have supported each other through three painful losses and five births and postpartum periods in the last few years.

I've had almost eight and a half years of pregnancy," Kimberly wrote on Instagram.

"I've had five babies and three miscarriages in that time. I've nursed each child for over a year. Sometimes it's exhausting. Sometimes it's heaven."

Equal turns of exhaustion and heaven does seem to us the perfect way to describe those early years of motherhood, but the Van Der Beeks have started a conversation that could lead to another description mothers need: A new way to describe a pain which so often isn't described at all.

Language and loss 

The loss of pregnancy is a pain that often defies language, but one James, as a father and husband, tried his best to put into words for other parents who are suffering what he and Kimberly did.

"It will tear you open like nothing else," he wrote. "It's painful and it's heartbreaking on levels deeper than you may have ever experienced. So don't judge your grief, or try to rationalize your way around it. Let it flow in the waves in which it comes, and allow it its rightful space. And then... once you're able... try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before."

He's right about the pain, and he may also be right about the word "miscarriage."

A new word 

Dictionaries offers several definitions of the word. The first is, of course, "the expulsion of a fetus before it is viable." Others include "failure to attain the just, right, or desired result" or "an unsuccessful outcome of something planned."

The word "failure" should not be associated with pregnancy loss because it is not a failure, not at all. Pregnancy loss is so common, it happens in up to 25% of pregnancies and it is no one's fault.

So the Van Der Beeks are right, we do need a new name for pregnancy loss. We need a word that doesn't imply blame or failure, one that isn't infused with unnecessary shame or guilt. We need a word that makes it clear that this hurts.

Right now, the best word we have is "loss," and if you're feeling that right now, don't be afraid to name the feeling.

Grief, hurt, sadness, and pain (and hope) are all words that we can associate with pregnancy loss instead of the dictionary synonyms like failure. When a pregnancy ends, it's not an "an unsuccessful outcome of something planned" or, as Google's definition suggests, a "foundering, ruin, ruination, collapse, breakdown, [or] thwarting".

It's a common personal tragedy that no one should be afraid to put into words.

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Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.


This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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