This past November, having just wrapped a film in NY I found myself sitting wide-eyed staring back and forth between my grinning husband Nando and three positive pregnancy tests. I was in shock and flooded with emotion. What about my career? What about our business? What about jet-setting and our lifestyle? What about the fact that my stepdaughter just had a baby and I’m called “Grandma?” How are we going to make this work? What about the beer I drank yesterday during the wrap party!? OMG! I ate sushi too.
Spring has sprung and so has my belly. This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed, looked in the mirror and literally said, “Holy Cow. I’m really pregnant.”
This whole pregnancy has been an amazement to me. For starters, it wasn’t specifically planned. Second, I never thought I would be a mom. Stepmom yes, but I never envisioned myself physically having my own child other than the birth of a new business or the baby calf that I raised and bottle-fed a couple of years ago. I’ve never really considered myself a “mom” type and if I was… I would want to be more of a “Stifler’s Mom.” Heck, I even refused to wear “Mom Jeans” when they were in style.
Speaking of style, my career which I love, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to having a baby. It was hard enough feeding that calf three times a day! When I’m not in Polk County running our apparel company and designing t-shirts for LEGOLAND, I am working on films or photoshoots dressing actors, sets and models. We work 16-hour days. There isn’t much of a window to, stop and breastfeed in-between “takes” or bring a child to live with us and fellow crew members on location. I never dreamt that the “Winter Haven Onesie” I designed would grace a little model/consumer made of my own DNA. I also never thought I would have to think twice before saying, “Sure, I have no obligations, I can start pre-production tomorrow.” Or that I would wake up in the morning and google mini cribs and safe swaddle methods instead of immediately checking my email and Insta!
I was afraid I wouldn’t get hired to do some styling jobs if they knew I was pregnant. The industry has certain guidelines like you need to be able to carry at least 50 pounds, can’t randomly take a 3-hour nap in the middle of the workday and you have to actually wear clothes to work, none of which were fitting anymore. I booked some jobs, wore lots of layers and didn’t tell clients that I had a bun in the oven. Nando assisted me by doing the heavy lifting, being in my ear when I needed him and lending me his clothes. A common conversation between us goes like this:
Nando: “Is that my T-shirt?”
Me: “Not anymore” lol
One client actually whispered to Nando, “Is Sally pregnant?” Getting no response and only a grin from Nando he said, “She’s got that ‘glow’ if you know what I mean.”
When I went to my initial OBGYN appointment the doctor said, “Upon reviewing your chart, the first thing is congratulations, you are indeed pregnant.” Four positive tests now, I thought. “And also, you fall into our “High-Risk Senior Pregnancy Bracket.” My jaw dropped, not only because I was definitely pregnant, but a senior? How did they know I was 35 and since when is that senior? The doc continued, “Sally you need to be very cautious running around on those film sets and farms.” Gosh, it’s enough of an event being in your mid 30’s, being pregnant and now they were calling me a senior? That phrase really impacted me more negative than positive.
Until it didn’t…
Nando and I tragically lost our best friend, Sebastien, during my 2nd trimester. Through all the hurt and tragedy of his departure, I found some clarity and strength. I clung to a conversation that Sebastien had with me right before he died. He said “it’s just 9 months.” I told him it was easy for him to say, he wasn’t pregnant. He told me that I was clearly meant to be a mom and that “everything will fall into place and go back to normal.” I told him that everything is already growing all over the place and it will never be normal again! Sebastien told me to make sure I walk every day, take care of myself and keep up on the t-shirt business. No Prob. I love baggy t-shirts more than ever right now. He told me, “Sally, you have a great reputation in the film world, just because you’re a mom, people won’t stop working with you. You’re only 29, you’ve got your career ahead of you.” (I forgot I’d lied to him about my age) Frenchie continued, “Enjoy this time, before you know it, we’ll be drinking Champagne in the gardens of Versailles, baby on hip and life will be fuller. I’m going to be the best Godfather to Le Petit!”
Between a death and a birth, life is precious. I decided to stop worrying & embrace exactly where I am, even though it’s currently in quarantine on the Farm on Eagle Lake. I am taking time to focus on my small business, the small life growing inside of me and the other small stuff… I don’t sweat it. I found a new doctor that embraced my real age and healthy pregnancy. I’ve been reflecting on the advice and strength of Nando, my loved ones and other pregnant women. Nando always says “women have been having babies since the beginning of time. There is nothing more normal and natural than that!” My days have been spent barefoot in maternity leggings, designing new onesies and plotting how my little baby will someday become my styling assistant just like his dad.
So, that’s my 3rd-trimester “Senior Pregnancy” Update.
xo Sally DC
P.S. Up next, exploring the newest trend of VIRTUAL BABY SHOWERS!
Favorite Maternity Leggings: Target’s Ingrid & Isabel
Cravings: Mangos, Dill Pickles, Donuts from: Baking Donuts Plus & Donut Man, Andy’s Igloo Salad with their house Ranch Dressing & Haribo Gummy Bears
Lotion: L’occitane Pure Shea Butter & Palmers Tummy Butter
At-Home Workout: YouTube: Tone It Up Bump n’ Body Prenatal Workout
Outfit: “Bump Suit”- One Piece Jumpsuit 95%Cotton
from American Apparel
Current Book: On Becoming Baby Wise