How are you feeling?
I am doing well, thank you! I am tired but nearing the end of my pregnancy, and that makes me excited and a bit terrified—just because It will be strange to become a parent of two after having just one for four years. And I feel huge! Haha.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have a small business called Gather. It started as an online shop two years ago, and I recently made the jump to a brick-and-mortar shop a few months ago. It has been really nice to actually go to work and separate my job from my home life. I have poured a lot of energy into it the last year; setting up the shop and designing all the details has been really fun. I love interior design and fashion, and my shop is a mixture of clothing and curated home goods. When I’m not working on that, I’m with my soon-to-be four-year-old son. I am constantly finding new ways to juggle my life with my son and work. I am currently working on being more present in general.
What inspired your passion for vintage?
I have always loved vintage clothing and home stuff since I was young. Whenever I visit a new city or town, the first things I look for are vintage shops. I didn’t get into the thrifting side of things until my thirties and after I had my son. I bought almost all of his stuff second-hand. I really enjoy hunting for things now; it is a borderline obsession to get to the thrift shops. I was a pretty bad fast fashion offender in my younger years. I guess I didn’t realize the damage it was doing to people and the planet, and I really had to reevaluate my values when it came to consumption. I love minimalistic vintage pieces, particularly of the 90’s era. As I get older, I have come to value things that are well made and that I will wear over and over. I typically look for pieces made from quality materials like linen, cotton, wool, and silk.
How was your birthing experience the first time?
I went almost two weeks after the due date, and I was getting pretty restless. After an induction method didn’t work, I chose to have an elective C-section. I am proud now for speaking up for myself in the situation. I felt like it was the best thing for the baby and me at that point. I did have a few people in the hospital tell me to hold off, and I just knew that wasn’t best. I felt extremely vulnerable, though, and, at that point, it was hard to ask for what I actually wanted.
Why do you feel women still need to justify having a C-section?
I told someone the other day that I was having a C-section for this birth, and they responded, “well, I guess that is easier, hey?” Given that they had never had kids, I didn’t really feel the need to justify or defend it, but it’s definitely not an easy way out, especially given the recovery. I think many people view a natural birth as superior, but I don’t think the way you give birth has anything to do with the type of mother you will be. Giving birth any way is a heroic act that deserves a celebration.
What advice would you give to women that are pregnant or that might be suffering from postpartum depression?
I knew a bit about it the first time around; my doctor talked to me about it, but the warning signs are not always clear. I was very emotional during the pregnancy and after. I was suffering from prenatal depression, but I didn’t know it at the time. There was a sort of dark cloud over me for months, but it came and went. After I had my son, I had a lot of highs and lows. I always thought postpartum depression meant you wanted to cause some sort of harm to your baby, and that was not my experience at all.
How was your breastfeeding journey?
I had almost no milk in the beginning, and the baby wasn’t latching right. I became very stressed about it, and that only made things worse. After consultation with many lactation specialists and medication for milk production, I eventually started to feed formula, and things for us really improved. We could all, sort of, move on from the experience. I felt much happier when I stopped trying to breastfeed and eventually stopped beating myself up about it. I still felt ashamed sometimes in public feeding the baby formula because I was afraid of society thinking I was a bad mother. I feel strongly now, looking back on how emotional it was, that fed is best, and you need to have a happy mother to have a happy child.
Keeping that in mind, how do Bravado Design maternity/nursing bras make you feel?
I feel like a lot of nursing bras are sort of old-fashioned, but these are very modern and designed well.
How would you describe the bras; are they easy to navigate, comfortable, feminine?
They look very easy to navigate for nursing, and they are designed with comfort in mind. Even if you’re wearing them just like a regular bra, they look very nice and feminine. I really like the ivory colour.
How has your mindset this second pregnancy differed from the first time? Do you feel more empowered?
I am much more relaxed this time around. I trust my intuition, and I’m not googling everything like I did last time. I know that I will still feel vulnerable after the baby is born, and I’m aware of how all the hormones can affect things too, but I’m going to be less hard on myself and go with the flow this time. It’s definitely an empowered feeling.
How would you describe motherhood?
It’s the most beautiful human experience you can have but the hardest as well. It will shake you to your core. It’s all the things you thought it would be and yet nothing like you thought at the same time (if that makes sense). For me, it has put into perspective what is really important in life, and it’s almost hard to imagine life before.
Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?
I have a lot of great mothers in my life that I look up to for different reasons. At the moment, I would say that anyone who has given birth in 2020 or this year is my Mother Muse. Mothers have been more isolated than ever, and motherhood can already be so isolating. They can’t just go to a fitness class or a baby circle time, and those activities really helped me when I had a new baby.