Pregnancy is a subject that is important to my heart, but beyond the magic of this moment, I see it as a much more important thing. Don’t you think that our children will be the adults of tomorrow and that it is up to them to change the world? I think we need to give them all the keys to build their self-confidence and well-being.
And for me the transmission begins with pregnancy.
I put a lot of emphasis on my pregnancies because they were periods of extraordinary fulfillment in my life. Talking about pregnancy is also talking about different topics such as well-being, food, sports, and yoga practice. I want to tell you about my experience from a creative aspect (I hope), not too down to earth, and in where each of you can pick what you want. What I deeply wish by telling you my story, is that these few words will give you tracks to let go and enjoy your pregnancy as serenely as I enjoyed mine.
I am aware that I had two exceptional and easy pregnancies and that we are not all in the same boat. But I would really like, even those who are having a hard time, to read those few lines as a a narrative story and not at all as a life lesson. I have the feeling that women are more often heard complaining about their pregnancy, than the other way around. That's why I want to tell my story. I loved being pregnant, and I do not want to be the only one!
I said in A word from the designer that creativity was, in my opinion, an essential tool in life, when it comes to letting go of oneself and learning to trust yourself. For me, pregnancy is exactly that : trying to forget all the little physical discomforts and put your body in full service of your baby, and from this perspective, everything becomes possible (almost!).We should celebrate, thank our body much more often, and not take it for granted. We have to learn how to take care of it and also how to listen to it.
That's why I want to start this text by suggesting to listen to yourself before anything else, before the doctors, and especially before all the nonsense that can be read on Google. I'm not saying that you have to go against a medical opinion, don’t get me wrong, but I think our instinct and our body know better than anyone else.
There is a double challenge in pregnancy : a physical challenge and a psychological challenge. For me, the osmosis results in finding the right balance between those two forces. What I find magical is that one leads to the other. Here's how.
Discover the interview that we did in may 2014 with my twin on Romy and the Bunnies.
For my first pregnancy, I was living in New York (2014). I continued to work out a lot, running, boxing, biking, as if I was not even pregnant. I grew up in a very sporty family, were sports is part of your daily routine.
I did a lot of sport when I was younger, I played tennis for a very long time, and I have to say that I like the notion of effort that is associated to sports. Pushing my limits helps me to keep my head on my shoulders when I have a fairly steady pace of work and a lot of traveling abroad.
(Of course, it also helps me stay in shape, because I like to eat, and food is an essential part of my life!)
Discover my favourite breakfast when I was pregnant by clicking here.
I worked out everyday until I was 6 months pregnant : I ran, I did boxing, then I had to stop, let's admit that they are not really adapted sports when you have a big belly... So I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy without doing any sports besides crusing in the (big) streets of NYC on my bike and I was walking a lot, so it did not bother me more than that.
Regarding my medical follow-up, I was doing it France, as I was coming back to Paris every 2 months for Heimstone, it was very easy for me to do all my check ups here.
It was funny because I really felt that in France, pregnancy was very down to earth and medicalized, there was no room for wander or for hazard, things had to be done this way and that way.
I had the feeling that in Paris, we almost perceive pregnancy as an illness (do not fly, avoid taking the car too much, when you return to NYC be careful with the food, it is not healthy there (what?), and so many other clichés).
When I was back in NYC and I lived my pregnancy totally differently.
In New York, pregnant women are HOT! They are so much more liberated, sexy, they live in their work out tights and leather jackets, walking around the city with a coffee in their hands, they are so stylished, dressed up in clothes that show their shapes, they are proud of their bodies.This is an appoach that I found much sexier and "empowering" and it really inspired me. My first pregnancy in New York is the best memories I have, especially since my twin sister, Caroline @threesevenparis was pregnant too (only 6 weeks older than me), we, of course, lived next to each other.
My first daughter Ellis was born in August 2014, after a very easy pregnancy and birth (we will talk about it in a future article).
Pregnancy and yoga
I started to listen to my body after 6 months of pregnancy. I was taking care of it the whole time of course, but after entering the 3rd trimester, my body needed something else.
I started to have pain in my lower back and pins and needles in my legs, when I got home at night, I felt the need to stretch, and then I realized how much of a disaster my body was.
My body was incredibly stiff, my mind wanted my body to stretch, but my body was not able to do it! I needed to find a solution, but I thought I was already too far pregnant to start yoga, there was too much work to be done. So it was only 3 months after giving birth to Ellis that I decided to start.
I gave birth in France, and we came back to NYC with Ellis when she was 2 weeks old, I went back to sport just 5 weeks after she was born (in the US, they don’t really do any pelvic floor reeducation, I know, it’s crazy!)
I was alternating between boxing (for the strenght) and yoga (for the stretch).
Don’t think that I started doing yoga every day overnight, far from it!
It took me over a year to really get starting. Yoga is however a widespread practice in New York, but it's once I moved back to Paris (July 2016) that I started for good. I had only one goal, to be able to put my hands on the floor!
Yoga is a pretext. I think it is above all a very personal experience and challenge, it teaches us how to listen to ourselves, it is a request from our body that has always been there and finally gets heard. At that time, I understood that yoga would become a real vector of well-being in my life.
I went through a very difficult start. My body was so stiff that every posture was throwing me electric shocks in my entire body. I hated it, my head hated it, every second was a struggle.
But I kept doing it, for months, hating it, and suddenly, something changed.
I experimented, I explored ... and my body thanked me. After trying several different types of yoga (including Vinyasa as I imagine a lot of beginners, who fantasize on Instagram accounts), I found the one that suited me the best : the Ashtanga.
Why Ashtanga? Because I like the rigor of it, the quasi-military side of this practice, but also its ultra physical appearance (because yes, we must not forget that we are also there to sculpt our body and lose some calories!), and later, I discovered the spiritual side.
I think there is a yoga for everyone.
Yoga gradually brought me infinite well-being. My classes usually occurs at lunch time and split my day in half. After 1.30 hours of Ashtanga practice, I go back to the Heimstone studio completely transformed, nothing is a problem anymore and everything becomes a playground.
I leave my mind wander, strive not to hold it back, and suddenly a multitude of new doors open to me (at least that's how I feel!)
The breathing that is related to this practice, gives me like small oxygen valves. Physiologically and symbolically, they allow me to see things differently with more lightness and simplicity.
This is where creativity stands, the one I mentioned in A word from the designer. Creativity is not necessarily about your aptitude to dance or sing, it's about using all the resources around you to find energy and to move forward, to let yourself be carried away. This creativity is everywhere, and available to all of us, you can find it everyday, in sport, in the food you choose to eat, in the challenges we face, and it makes us stronger women.
And yoga opened those doors to me.
In April 2017, when I was pregnant for the second time, I was practicing yoga daily for a little more than a year. I had to stop during the first trimester for my baby to hold on tight, then I started again. Almost every day until the end, I practiced.
I am fortunate to have a very good Ashtanga teacher, Cyril Lagel, who supported me and helped me to progress in my practice throughout my pregnancy.
As I said above, yoga challenges both the mind and the body, and my yoga practice clearly helped me to help coexist these two forces.
I started yoga by being in a dynamic of performance and little by little, also thanks to the pregnancy, I totally let go of myself in a physical practice of course, but also spiritual.
Cyril helped me a lot to learn to let go of myself, but above all he made me do two exceptional things: he asked me to write down how I was feeling throughout my pregnancy, month after month, day after day. I therefore attach this long story for those interested!
I was able to explore extraordinary sensations during pregnancy, and experience incredible moments of sharing with my baby. If you read the full story, you will also see that following this rigor has not been easy every day...
The second thing is that Cyril is above all a photographer, so he shot me throughout my pregnancy, here are few of my favourite ones.
I'm wearing the Moodkit pregnancy one-piece.
As I was saying, Cyril is a great photographer and also a diver, few years ago he did an amazing serie of pictures underwater, I used some of his photos to create a print for our second capsule collection (that will be released in few weeks), the print is called Underwater.
Let's go back to yoga and pregnancy... I never practiced yoga to prove myself anything. I think that having a physical activity throughout your pregnancy, whatever it is, rebalances the different energy of your body and provides a real well-being.
I also kept my practice on going throughout the entire pregnancy because I knew I wanted to have a natural birth (without epidural), and yoga was my preparation to it.
(We will talk about natural birth in our next article).
Of course, there are days where you do not want to go, but trust me, just go because you know how good you'll feel after.
We must desacralize what we see on Instagram... Yes, we go to yoga every day, but we do what we can. What matters is to do it. Yes, the postures on the head are the most impressive, but postures on the head can also reverse the weight of the baby, and it's magic as a sensation! Everything is a matter of perspective…
And if I can give you one tip, just one : give yourself your rhythm. It's about your body and your moment. It only lasts 9 months. Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman's life. Feel beautiful, wear clothes that you sublimate, walk, play sports... Enjoy this exceptional moment to do you good, and do good for your baby, this is up to you!
I'm wearing the Moodkit pregnancy one-piece.
I was 7 months pregnant on those pictures.
This is a picture of my last yoga practice, 4 days before giving birth.