Khloe Kardashian's baby story is complex. But it's so important she shared it.

(You probably already know this, but) Khloe Kardashian had a baby.

The 33-year-old reality star — arguably the most relatable of America's first TV family — gave birth to a baby girl on April 12. And, like me, the internet couldn't be any happier.

OK, maybe not everyone.


Kardashian's pregnancy seems to have resonated with so many people because she's been so open about her struggles.

In 2013, she revealed that she'd been trying to get pregnant, but that conception wasn't coming easily due to hormonal imbalances that required a strict regimen of injections.

In 2017, she got really real when she visited a specialist with her sister. Their visit was ostensibly planned so Khloe could talk about being Kim's potential surrogate, but Khloe opened up about the fact that she'd stopped her fertility treatment because she knew that her relationship with Lamar Odom needed a lot of work before they'd be able to raise a child together.

Later in the episode, Kardashian is told that she may not have enough healthy follicles to have a baby.

"Shut the fuck up!" she says in a moment that was too emotional to have been scripted. "This is definitely not at all how I thought this appointment was going to go. What if I can't get pregnant?"

My greatest dream realized! We are having a baby! I had been waiting and wondering but God had a plan all along. He knew what He was doing. I simply had to trust in Him and be patient. I still at times can't believe that our love created life! Tristan, thank you for loving me the way that you do! Thank you for treating me like a Queen! Thank you for making me feel beautiful at all stages! Tristan, most of all, Thank you for making me a MOMMY!!! You have made this experience even more magical than I could have envisioned! I will never forget how wonderful you've been to me during this time! Thank you for making me so happy my love! Thank you to everyone for the love and positive vibes! I know we've been keeping this quiet but we wanted to enjoy this between our family and close friends as long as we could privately. To enjoy our first precious moments just us ❤️ Thank you all for understanding. I am so thankful, excited, nervous, eager, overjoyed and scared all in one! But it's the best bundle of feelings I've ever felt in my life! ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

When she officially announced her pregnancy in December 2017, the news was met with unprecedented fanfare. Sure, she's a Kardashian, but the truth is that her story was more than that: By being open about her journey she inspired hope and helped pave the way for other people to talk about their own fertility problems.

Many stay silent about fertility and reproductive issues because of the stigma that can surround it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 12% of cisgender women in the U.S. will experience trouble conceiving during their lifetime; 6.7% of married cis women will experience infertility; and between the years of 2011 and 2015, more than 7 million sought fertility treatment.

Why aren't more people talking about it?

For many, infertility can feel embarrassing or shameful. Teresa Taylor, the former chief operating officer of Qwest Communications, told CNN in 2015 that her struggles made her feel like she wasn't good enough:

"I felt like I was a failure. I felt like I was alone. I felt like it was just me. It's supposed to be a natural thing that you conceive and give birth as a human being. You see bugs do it and animals do it and birds do it and so you're like, 'Why can't I?'"

Feelings of grief and loss keep many from talking about it and lead them to believe that others won't understand or will ask inappropriate questions.

Taylor said that friends and family, not knowing that she was having fertility problems, would constantly ask her about why she wasn't starting a family. In a society where womanhood and motherhood are so often conflated, not being able to conceive — especially when one is desperate to do so — can feel humiliating.

Bringing these kinds of issues out into the open is good for everyone.

That's why Kardashian's candidness is so important. When celebrities speak out about their difficulties, they encourage others to be more open as well.

"I do think my difficulty getting pregnant has helped a lot of women," Kardashian said in 2013. "Do I wish people would quit asking me about it 24/7? Yes, but I don’t regret it."

If, as critics says, the Kardashians are synonymous with overexposure in our culture, Khloe's forthcomingness about her pregnancy proves there's good in all of it.

This kind of frank discussion is one worth keeping up.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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