I recently met Veronica for a coffee to talk about starting a business and to share tips, tricks, and insights. Veronica is a former consultant who is now launching a line of nursing apparel, and it is so inspiring to hear how she has redirected her energy and her career post-motherhood. I wanted to feature her and her new business on our blog so other mothers could hear how she balances taking care of her little one with getting her new business off the ground!
What’s your getting pregnant story?
We definitely planned to get pregnant. We had been married for a year and a half and we both felt ready. I expected it to take awhile, so I took a three-month leave of absence from work to take a breath of fresh air, travel, and explore other career opportunities. Then I got pregnant the first week of the break, so I spent the whole three months feeling sick! But the second trimester things got much better. However, in the third I was diagnosed with elevated sugar levels, which is really a mild case of gestational diabetes. That really sucked, I couldn’t eat carbs! My husband and I planned our babymoon in France, which was going to be a big eating trip, but I had to be A LOT more careful when I was there. It was really eye opening to gain a better understanding of what people with diabetes go through every day – much more difficult than I ever imagined.
What was your pregnancy style like?
I felt like there were some great pregnancy style options. I loved showing off my bump and I shopped at places like Hatch, Rosie Pope and Nordstrom online. It was after giving birth that I couldn’t find anything to wear. Clothes for breastfeeding were really tough, which is why I founded my business Maia Moda. The company produces stylish tops and dresses for nursing moms – I swear you can’t even tell the clothes are for nursing!
What has it been like to start your business while having a baby? How do you balance taking care of your son with finding the time to get things off the ground?
Its been awesome. My business helps keep me sane and provides an outlet to focus on something challenging. It’s a business that I’m super passionate about. I never expected to be passionate about breastfeeding, but you learn about it as you’re doing it. It’s really not easy, and it’s hard to stick with your goal. Having clothes that help you through this phase of your life is something I feel strongly about.
In terms of my schedule, I don’t work when Henry is awake because it’s too difficult, so I work when he’s napping, or at daycare, or after he goes to bed. It doesn’t feel like work because I love what I’m doing.
Labor & Birth Experience:
I quickly realized that every woman has their own unique experience with labor and birth and it’s anything but predictable! For me, my son Henry came a couple of days early. He was actually born on Halloween. The labor lasted almost 24 hours. I was pushing for over 3 hours; it was hard! The thing that sticks out in my mind about the experience was that I tried not to get an epidural until I really needed it, and then when it was finally time they had an inexperienced fellow do it, and it took her three tries. It was brutal. The scariest part during the whole process was thinking maybe I won’t be able to get an epidural (scary thought)! I don’t regret letting a young doctor get experience, but next time I want a more experienced doctor to do it – I’ve done my share.
What were those first six weeks like?
For me, it was what I expected. I knew it would be exhausting, exciting, and so emotional. We hired a night nurse, which was AMAZING. She came for 12 hours at night and was such a big help. She also doubled as a lactation consultant, which got me through those first few weeks of breastfeeding. It’s so hard for a Mom to do it all by herself. Not having other people around to support you is very difficult. My parents and in-laws would stay for a week at a time and that was really great. I encourage people to take all the help that they can get. I’m all for having the family come down and putting them to work.
What’s the best advice you received?
This is cliché, but you know your baby best. Be confident in that. Every child is so different. It’s great to get advice, read a lot, and absorb as much information as you can, but at the end of the day, you’re with your child the most and you’re going to know what’s right for you and what’s right for them. Feel confident in your choices.
Having a playpen in the kitchen. Sometimes you just have to get stuff done. Henry is 15 months, so I’m not sure how much longer it will last. But for now, I can put him in there with all his toys and I don’t have to worry about him running around and getting into trouble. I also save all my active things to do for when he’s awake, because I can still do the laundry and cook when he’s around. But if I need to be at the computer, I wait until he’s sleeping.
He’s 15 months now, what’s changing for you as a Mom?
When they’re first born, they’re just so all consuming. I would go to sleep, and I would wake up in the middle of the night reaching for him (and sometimes grabbing my husband instead!). Now that he’s a toddler, he’s getting more independent. I’m able to start this business, and also get back to some of my pre-mother hobbies. I’m starting to get some normalcy back, which is nice.
What’s been the best part?
I feel like everything is the best part. For me, because I quit my job after Henry came, I have these two lives: pre-Mom and post-Mom. It’s not the way I thought it would be, but I don’t miss the other parts of my life in the way that I thought I would because I have this amazing little human in my life.