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When I was 13 weeks pregnant back in early March, my morning sickness suddenly stole away like a restless lover and, in effect, I became an animate human woman again. I started doing things I’d done before the nausea, like exercising and smiling.

I stopped taking the half dose of anti-nausea medication every night that kept me from dehydrating but left me groggy, dry-mouthed, and, abysmally, still puking. Like childbirth or planning a toddler’s birthday party, as soon as the nausea nightmare ended, I blocked out every hideous detail.



But I’ve been thinking back on that time and realizing how vital that experience could be to other women in the midst of it now. There was absolutely nothing I did with more fervor while sick than scrape the depths of Google for solace and answers and camaraderie. In fact, the following phrases ranked among my most searched:

“morning sickness over at 8 weeks?”

“morning sickness over at 9 weeks?”

“morning sickness over at 10 weeks?”

“morning sickness forever?”

“morning sickness [insert name of any actress with children]”

If that sounds depressing to you, you’re right. It was. But if it sounds familiar, well, HI, HELLO, NICE TO MEET YOU! WE ARE SIMPATICO FOREVER BECAUSE OF THIS.

All I wanted during those hazy two months was to read stories of women – preferably real ones and not message board myths (i.e. “I felt like my old self at seven weeks….” Yeah right, you lying bot) – who had gone through what I was going through and lived to tell the tale.

What’s strange and perhaps embarrassing about this is that I’d been through it all before. I threw up every morning when I was pregnant with my first child, and sometimes again before bed.

I remember one afternoon vividly. My husband had been out of town for a week. It was July, and I was both hungry and revolted by the idea of eating. I’d wandered out of my apartment into an unexpected street fair and bumbled past the fried dough, bobble-headed and zombie-eyed, on a quest for tacos, which I ate and was hardly able to keep down.

But, as sick second mothers like me now know, that was nothing. That was a cold, not the flu. For I was younger then, unencumbered by a kid who wakes up at least once in the night to pee (and wakes me up, too). Also, like any reasonable moron of a parent, I’D BLOCKED IT ALL OUT in order to forge ahead with the whole having-multiple-kids thing.

So, dear reader, I offer you, these short yet desperate notes taken in the midst of my most nauseous times. May my discontent ease your own. And may you be as lucky as I have been to trade the nausea from trimester one for some good old heartburn in trimester two….

Every time I eat or drink something that makes me feel good, I am exultant, quietly exultant. I have won. I have beaten this monstrousness.

Then I wake up sick, first when my son gets up to pee at 3:30 a.m., then again at 6:30 when he’s up for the day, then again at 8, after I’ve slept off the day’s first vomiting.

I stumble toward the kitchen, my face wan, like an ill robot. I locate the yogurt and the Cheerios and make myself a bowl. I eat it slowly, staring straight ahead of me as though focus can beat this. I drink water or lemonade. I sniff some of the peppermint oil my mother-in-law gave me, and for three seconds, the nausea passes.

I put a Sour Patch Kid in my mouth because my sister swears by them, and even though I don’t like Sour Patch Kids, it isn’t that bad, and maybe it will fix everything.

I am nauseous 20 minutes later.

I spray myself with the magnesium spray my mother sent me that will supposedly make me feel better. I take a bath filled with eucalyptus scented Epsom salts, which also have magnesium. I feel relaxed and hot and irritated all at once.

I try carrots; I try broth, chicken; spoonfuls of nut butters; toast; potatoes; beets. It doesn’t matter.

Every morning, I dry heave or throw up. There is only one cure: the end of this trimester.

I’ll do a drug-free 24-hour labor again if it means I can Twilight myself through the next six weeks. Is Twilight legal for use during the first trimester?

Have I ever been fun?

Was I ever able to walk around like a normal person and laugh at things and breathe deep breaths?

Why did I want to have another child?

I’m about five months along now, and I laugh at things! I take deep breaths! I am fun (particularly between the hours of 8 and 11 a.m. and after a real good nap…because, of course, I’m taking those all the time). Meanwhile, pregnant friends of mine are soldiering through hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes, bed rest.

However rough or easy your pregnancy, you are not alone in it. We are with you. I am with you. Various famous pregnant or once-pregnant actresses are with you, even if their impossibly expensive maternity jumpsuits suggest otherwise.

Soldier on! And if you can take nap, what are you reading this for? Go lie the hell down!


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When you become a parent for the first time, there is an undeniably steep learning curve. Add to that the struggle of sorting through fact and fiction when it comes to advice and—whew—it's enough to make you more tired than you already are with that newborn in the house.

Just like those childhood games of telephone when one statement would get twisted by the time it was told a dozen times, there are many parenting misconceptions that still tend to get traction. This is especially true with myths about bottle-feeding—something that the majority of parents will do during their baby's infancy, either exclusively or occasionally.

Here's what you really need to know about bottle-feeding facts versus fiction.

1. Myth: Babies are fine taking any bottle

Not all bottles are created equally. Many parents experience anxiety when it seems their infant rejects all bottles, which is especially nerve wracking if a breastfeeding mom is preparing to return to work. However, it's often a matter of giving the baby some time to warm up to the new feeding method, says Katie Ferraro, a registered dietician, infant feeding specialist and associate professor of nutrition at the University of California San Francisco graduate School of Nursing.

"For mothers returning to work, if you're breastfeeding but trying to transition to bottle[s], try to give yourself a two- to four-week trial window to experiment with bottle feeding," says Ferraro.

2. Myth: You either use breast milk or formula

So often, the question of whether a parent is using formula or breastfeeding is presented exclusively as one or the other. In reality, many babies are combo-fed—meaning they have formula sometimes, breast milk other times.

The advantage with mixed feeding is the babies still get the benefits of breast milk while parents can ensure the overall nutritional and caloric needs are met through formula, says Ferraro.

3. Myth: Cleaning bottles is a lot of work

For parents looking for simplification in their lives (meaning, all of us), cleaning bottles day after day can sound daunting. But, really, it doesn't require much more effort than you are already used to doing with the dishes each night: With bottles that are safe for the top rack of the dishwasher, cleaning them is as easy as letting the machine work for you.

For added confidence in the sanitization, Dr. Brown's offers an incredibly helpful microwavable steam sterilizer that effectively kills all household bacteria on up to four bottles at a time. (Not to mention it can also be used on pacifiers, sippy cups and more.)

4. Myth: Bottle-feeding causes colic

One of the leading theories on what causes colic is indigestion, which can be caused by baby getting air bubbles while bottle feeding. However, Dr. Brown's bottles are the only bottles in the market that are actually clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to an ingenious internal vent system that eliminates negative pressure and air bubbles.

5. Myth: Bottles are all you can use for the first year

By the time your baby is six months old (way to go!), they may be ready to begin using a sippy cup. Explains Ferraro, "Even though they don't need water or additional liquids at this point, it is a feeding milestone that helps promote independent eating and even speech development."

With a complete line of products to see you from newborn feeding to solo sippy cups, Dr. Brown's does its part to make these new transitions less daunting. And, for new parents, that truly is priceless.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

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Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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