Welcome to our new series: Ask Sophie. Once in a while, Sophie opens Q&As on The Place's Instagram account. For this first edition, she answered questions from members of the Community about motherhood.
I am scared to be too old to have kids, when did you know you were ready?
You're never fully ready and I think that the key to a lot of beautiful journeys in life (motherhood, business hood, whatever hood...) is that you're never fully ready until you're in it. I think we should stop trying to be over-prepared for life and allow ourselves to be flexible no matter what happens.
That was for me the secret recipe for a delightful pregnancy and birth (but that's me).
Did you always know you wanted to be a mother?
Not at all I actually did not want to be a mother for a very long time. I started to tip-toe into this new desire about two years ago. I never wanted to have kids for shallow reasons and things I thought I was believing in such as "I'm too independent. I love my freedom too much. I'm not ready and I'll never be. I like my life as it is now..." After much psychological investigation, I realized I was scared. Scared because the only stories I knew about motherhood were terrifying but mostly scared of birth. The physical act of it scared me. I grew up hearing painful and dramatic stories about it. Plus, I did not know a single mother who was inspiring. In my eyes, all I could see was: bye-bye freedom, hello martyrdom.
Then at a dinner event, I had this conversation with an old groovy lady (who I think was an angel actually), after my whole speech, she looked me in the eyes and said "what you're doing daily with your job is such a game-changer in this world, and you want to change the world but... if people like you don't have kids then... who is going to raise the next generation of light workers?"
It hit me hard. Really hard. At that time, I started to feel our spirit baby during my meditations and I started to question what was a mother to me. Luckily at that time, I had women in my life whom I admired and looked up to. Women expanders who happen to also be mothers. They were everything at the same time. Embodying the multidimensional light that a woman is. I think of Veva @veva_clouds, Oceane @labelchic_brussels, and Jules @golden_nature who are to me a daily inspiration of what it means to be a woman, a mother, a business owner, a lover, a friend, and a change-maker. They openly talked about the fun, the joy, and the hard times of being a mother while sipping cocktails with me (in real life or digitally). I had to redefine motherhood before becoming pregnant. I'm grateful for these women who helped me heal this wound I had for a long time.
Sensitive question but I was wondering how was your journey to get pregnant. I'm having a hard time being patient with that.
These questions shouldn't be hard to ask.
It was both easy and difficult at the same time. It took us a year to conceive - which isn't a long time actually until it is the only desire you have, one year seems like an eternity. I have a deep love for women who go through longer waiting stages. When you get your periods each month and your only desire is to welcome your baby, it's hard. Very hard on the heart.
It's a weird place to be, in this want-to-be-pregnant hallway. My partner and I said to each other "let's try and see" without any time pressure. But the moment you give your mind a green light, you expect your body to be the vessel of a new life quite soon. In reality, it doesn't always happen like that. We always think we are invincible. That you'll get pregnant when you decide to, but nature and life have bigger plans. Such as preparing your soul for the shift. Before getting pregnant I had to go through so much deep understanding of who I was and where I came from. I had to heal some very deep wounds of my childhood and reframe what being a mother meant to me. It was honestly, a sort of deep spiritual search for myself.
The moment we realized that we really wanted our spirit baby to embody on this plane as an Earth angel was when I had a miscarriage. It was a very early miscarriage. There were no big sadness or tears instead, this moment was the marking point in our journey where we realized: a-ha we really want a child. Because for a brief instant the excitement of the possibility of having a child, we realized, YES, we want that, we are ready for you, and we already love you, spirit baby.
I think it's important we talk about miscarriages. The hard ones, the illuminating ones, all of them. It's important because so many women go through it alone without finding the words. It's important to talk about these different paths of conceiving so women can release the pressure to be overly efficient - even in conceiving!
I have so much more to add such as soul contracts, karmic vows, and all of that but... that would take forever.
How did you prepare yourself for pregnancy? (supplements, food...)
Because I was on the pill since I was 18, I felt the need to nourish my body deeply. I took zinc supplements and made nettle infusions to support my system in eliminating all the toxins of the pill. Other than that, nothing much but I'm sure there is so much more that I could have done, I'm just a bit lazy when it comes to food.
How did you prepare for birth? Physically and mentally.
My mindset was the key to a smooth birth. I was prepared with breathing techniques and all of that but mostly, I was not holding expectations on how it was supposed to go. I had a birth plan of course but when I arrived at the maternity ward, I told the midwives that these were my wishes, but for me, the most important was clear and strong communication then the rest can change. I was flexible!
I read a few game-changing books about pregnancy but mostly I had two doulas who accompanied me during pregnancy. My partner and I did a hypnobirthing course with our doula which - honestly - was mind-blowing and a game-changer in giving birth:
1 - Because you learn everything about your body, your anatomy, your hormones, and how marvelous the body/mind are
2 - Because your partner discovers that he can be an active participant in your birth and not just a passive witness
3 - When you know how strong and powerful your body is and how it knows how to do the job, you release the fear and dwell in trust
Above all, I always kept a positive mindset mostly because I was beyond excited to meet this little soul that both of us knew from past lives. Of course, you're scared. But you're scared with excitement. You're scared because you have never experienced these feelings and pain before. You're scared and excited the same way you're about to start something new. Some fears are beautiful. Some fears bring so much joy. Some fears are the fuel to life.
Oh and physically? I did not do a single thing. I already hated working out before being pregnant and I wasn't going to love it then. I took a lot of naps (a lot of them, I miss them!), walked with my dog and that's it. My workout? Smiling a lot.
Any inspiring books about pregnancy and maternity?
Start with Ina May Gaskin's books, which are the best of the best. It's a total reeducation. Changed my life. Then Hypnobirthing by Maria Mongan. Then Reclaimig Childbirth as a rite of passage by Rachel Reed.
How did the birth go? I only hear terrible stories about it.
Super fast! I gave birth in 2.5 hours naturally in the maternity ward with very few people like I asked and in the best environment possible. I started labour in the water until I felt the strong need to move around the room to help me release the back pressure and in ten minutes, our baby was born! I have a joyful memory of giving birth. Each step made me realize how much of a force of nature I was. I felt unstoppable, strong (and it's weird but) gorgeous!
My partner played an important role during birth as he was actively working with me by being a huge emotional support. I couldn't have done it without his love. Birth is truly teamwork. Between you, your baby, and your partner. I connected multiple times during birth to our baby and before giving birth I remember I went into my wong mentally, hugged the baby, and told him "we are going to meet each other so soon, I can't wait to love you even more" - and then he came.
I imagine that your beauty routine and clothes have changed during pregnancy. Which brands do you suggest? What are your must haves?
I was already using mostly only clean products but even in the clean brands, there are some natural products you can't use while pregnant such as essential oils and some other oils used in hair products or skin care. I loved using Odacite for my face. For my body, I only used So Kind. I adore their creams to prevent stretch marks. And Ilia Beauty make-up. I kept my skin to the bare minimum during pregnancy mostly because you don't need any extra va va voom, you got the pregglow!
Honestly, forget about pregnancy clothes. They are the worst. I bought one preggo-trouser and never used it. Shapes and forms are so old school. No, thanks! What I did was buy just a few items one size above mine and clothes I knew I could reuse after birth. If you know a good pregnancy brand that doesn't cost a bomb, let me know! I'll share it here.
What are your must-haves for a mother? For you but also your baby?
For the baby:
Honestly, your baby doesn't need much but you. Your arms, your love, your attention. That's all.
So Kind baby products are the best.
Thank you for sharing your questions!