Our Mother's and Their Day: Charlotte's Mom
Our team got together this year and decided to share the stories of our mamas and acknowledge it all. We're big believers that talking about the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright gorgeous parts of our cycles (motherhood very much included) is one of the strongest ways to de-stigmatize and break down shame. It's also the truest expression of gratitude and celebration — embracing and giving thanks for the entire experience and all it brings.
Meet Charlotte; our Director of PR and Affairs and her adorable French, mama, Sylvie.
Name: Sylvie Silverstein
Daughter’s Name: Charlotte Silverstein
What feelings were you surprised to find during your pregnancy with me? Immense joy at the idea of welcoming you paired with very anxious moments at the idea of bearing such a responsibility and facing forever changes in my lifestyle.
Did you have any cravings? Yes, I did have food cravings, mostly cheese, sweets and chocolate.
What do you remember about the day I was born? When the contractions came I felt prepared. I had gone to Lamaze classes, read zillions of books, and knew how to remain calm and when to go to the hospital. However I was surprised when the nurse said that she could see the top of a head full of black hair and that you would be born an hour after I was admitted to the birthing ward. I thought it would take way longer than it did to welcome you. I don’t remember having pains; giving birth felt natural and almost easy. And you came into the world, screaming, and healthy, and this was wonderful.
How did it feel to become a mother? A wow feeling, a mixture of wonder and awe.
What challenges did you find as a new mother and how did you overcome them? Bringing home a new baby is wonderful and scary: so many questions and so many situations that all the readings in the world did not prepare you for. Will I be able to bathe the baby without drowning her? How to rock the baby to sleep when she refuses to sleep? How to deal with the constant feeding and diaper changes? Will I have some time alone to rest? I felt bombarded with so many first moments, all the time, no dull moment, always a new moment. Luckily grandma came and her presence, help, and hands-on knowledge of babies brought reassurance and respite. Plus she loved you instantly and unconditionally, just like me.
What foods and self-care routines brought you comfort? Chocolate had always been my go-to food, and so it remained my go-to food. Walking everyday on the trails behind the house, on the beach, along the bay had always brought me comfort. After your birth, I continued walking, this time with you; it was wonderful to now share my love of nature with you. Even though you were tiny and mostly sleeping against my body, I kept talking to you as we climbed the hills, felt the ocean breeze, breathed the fresh air. I described to you all that kept my senses alert, a bird song, a bobcat scurrying, or a flower in bloom; and pretty soon you looked around with big wide eyes that were taking in the beauty of nature. I had found a way to take care of myself while caring for you.
Why do you believe in cultivating women empowerment and embracing our cycles, bodies, etc? Cycles bring a sense of time and place in the natural world in spite of sometimes bringing fluctuating moods and emotions, cravings and physical pains. All this should be respected, not denigrated. Women have this special symbiotic relationship with humanity in all its forms and meanings. Because of this, cultivating women empowerment can only help make the world a better place.