'There’s no 'right' time to get pregnant. I always wanted to be a young mom, but whenever I started thinking about it, it always felt off—like I could talk myself out of it. But the more you think about it, the less it’s going to feel like the right moment. I met Duncan, my boyfriend, last summer and we really connected and talked about having a baby maybe in a year or two. But then it just happened! And we were both really happy. It seems like such a blessing.
The whole thing has been surprisingly easy. I was nervous because my mom had really difficult pregnancies, but I haven’t struggled at all. No morning sickness, a bunch of my clothes still fit and I'm due in two weeks. But I’ve been ready for months. I’m a Virgo and a little OCD about things, so my hospital bag has been packed since month seven. The nurses told me to bring an old button-down to wear, but I want to feel awesome. So I got this Kiki De Montparnasse silk robe. It’s super pretty and feels wonderful on your skin.
When I got pregnant I thought 'Oh my God, I’m the only one!' But since then, at least five or six of my friends have gotten pregnant, too. Now we all share books and text about it all the time. The books by Ina May Gaskin are the best. I actually just lent her Guide To Childbirth to someone to read. Then there’s the Birth Goddess—she’s a midwife and everyone loves her because she started her own farm in Tennessee. I’ve been reading all her books.
The first three months were wild. I’m pretty much a vegetarian but all of a sudden, my body was craving meat like crazy. I’ve been living in New York eight years and never ordered a burger until now! But then after 13 weeks, that phase passed and I went back to my normal diet. Now that I’m towards the end of my pregnancy, I get hungry a lot, but get full fast because there’s no room in me for food! I’ll eat a small meal every two hours or so.
At this point, I can’t run anymore, but I do prenatal yoga almost every day. I go to classes in a studio across the street so it’s super convenient. I’ve been doing Pilates, as well. My trainer does this postnatal program that sounds great—she’ll come to your house or she’ll do classes where you can bring the baby. You don’t need to wait to get back in shape. It’s really awesome.
MASSAGE & ACCUPUNCTURE
Prenatal massages are super helpful. You can’t really lay on your back or your stomach, so they prop you up with pillows and keep the pressure really soft so they don’t induce labor. I’ve been doing acupuncture for the past five years and have kept it up throughout the pregnancy. My boyfriend’s mother is actually an acupuncturist so I’ve been seeing her.
My products have gone all natural, and I want my baby’s to be, too. But parts of my routine are definitely the same—I still do my at-home facials once a week. I have this tea that is meant for steam baths and it smells really nice. So first, I wash my face. Then I bring a pot of water to boil and sprinkle in a handful of the loose leaf tea. Then I take the water off the heat, drape a towel over my head, and stick my face over the steam for about five minutes. It makes your pores feel open and detoxed. Afterwards, I’ll rinse my face, do a Kora Organics mask, and moisturize.
You produce more blood when you’re pregnant so my hair, my skin, everything has gotten better. And because the baby's a boy, I'm producing more testosterone, which has really balanced out my hormones in a good way. I’ve just been using oils on everything, especially my hair before I shower. I don’t even blow dry anymore to give myself a break. There’s a Natura Bisse cream called Dermarepair which is great for stretch marks and stuff like that. Everyone tells me I look the best I’ve ever looked so maybe I’ll just stay pregnant forever.”
—as told to ITG
Sheila Marquez photographed by Tom Newton.