Our Pregnancy Story

My mom recently told me a story about myself that I think is really telling.

From birth, my parents were determined to keep my upbringing very gender-neutral. They didn’t know I was a girl until I was delivered (I could have been Alexander), my room was cream and yellow and toys were mostly blocks or cartoon-like creatures. One day, I was playing in my mom’s closet and I came across the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen, a brown-hair, blue-eyed Cabbage Patch kid doll, named Dolly. It had been purchased by a friend of my mom’s and she had kept it hidden because she truly believed that gender-neutral was best. But, for Dolly and I, it was love at first sight. I let out a blood-curdling scream “DOLLLLYYYYYY” and my mom promptly burst into tears. How could she have kept me from my one true happiness?!

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Baby Jen at 10 months – always on her cell phone LOL

It was clear from an early age that my maternal instincts were highly-developed. There was never a question in my mind of whether or not to have kids – it was only when will it happen?

After Pat and I got married in 2013, I was keen to start a family ASAP. Even though my husband wanted children, he wasn’t ready. He had just started his career as an electrician and work wasn’t steady. I was working hard at my own career and moving quickly ahead but hours were long. In our first year of marriage, Pat’s father was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer and he left us after a brave year long battle. It was devastating! For Pat and I, too much uncertainty and such sadness meant putting kids on hold.

In retrospect, I’m so glad we did. It allowed both of us to grow up and grow together. Going through such a profound loss bonded us closer than ever and our relationship flourished. Yes, there were some really shitty times that were extremely difficult, but those moments were always learning experiences that taught us how to communicate and how to appreciate each other’s flaws.

Then, one day, in January 2016, as we were driving home from our yearly Florida vacation, Pat turned to me and said “I have a vision for us. By  next year, we will have a baby.” I was shocked and elated. We quickly made plans to start trying after our 3 year wedding anniversary – May 18, 2016.

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Somewhere on I-95 – driving home from Florida

I was nervous though. I was overweight and had been on birth control for 11 years. Could I even get pregnant? I’d heard so many stories from so many women about how difficult it was to get pregnant (and stay pregnant). My heart went out to them…when you want something so bad, don’t you sometimes feel like you’ll never get it? I was almost afraid to say that I wanted kids outloud because I felt like the universe would curse me for being vocal.

Then, one day, about 3 months after stopping the pill and trying to get pregnant, I felt off. It felt like I was about to get my period (cramps, exhaustion, tender breasts) but it was nowhere in sight. I wrote it off to stress and being busy traveling (I was just coming back from my second New York Fashion Week, followed by a business trip to Chicago). On a whim, I bought a 2-pack of pregnancy-tests and while Pat and I awaited the results, we held our breaths…low and behold, it was positive. Pat ran over to the test first and I’ll never forget the look in his eyes when he turned to me to tell me it was positive – he looked so proud and happy. I was pregnant!

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At New York Fashion Week 2016. I was 3 weeks pregnant and didn’t know it!

Our pregnancy story is a relatively simple one. I have no words of wisdom for women that are struggling with infertility, except that my heart is with you and I’m rooting for you. I am always here to talk to if you ever need a listening ear. There’s not one thing I did that improved my chances over anyone else’s. Call it fate, say it’s the universe, or that the timing was right…whatever it was, things worked out for us. I feel very lucky and a little guilty.

Thoughts? Comments? Want to swap stories? Send me a note below!

XXX

Jen

The Story of Jen

Wow, so I’ve finally done it! After years of saying “when I have my own blog…” I’ve pulled the trigger and committed to capturing my life via WordPress. Why was it so difficult to do? After all, I create content for a living and basically live my life online, but there’s something intimate in writing from an “I” perspective, instead of the neutral, corporate tone I’ve come to adopt. This blog is a place where you can get to know me, the real me, and that’s a little scary (but also exciting!)

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Hey guys, here I am!

Let’s back it up and allow myself to introduce…myself. LOL

I’m Jen, 32 years young, living in the suburbs of Montreal, Canada, with my amazing husband and our two cats, Titi and Oscar. I’m currently pregnant, and expecting a baby girl any day now (due date is May 30th).

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Pat and I announcing our pregnancy right before Christmas

I work for a fashion company, as their Digital Content and Communications Manager. So yes, my job can be glamorous; I’ve produced two New York Fashion Week runway shows, traveled extensively, rubbed shoulders with celebs and enjoyed free swag. But, it’s also down-to-earth; I get to connect to the clients and talk about their needs and wants, their likes and dislikes and have no problem schlepping 5 garment bags through the city while wearing heels. I sincerely love my job, but after working there for 6 years and being married for 4…I was ready for the next step.

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Interviewing Ashley Graham at a NYFW Runway Show in 2016 (little did I know I was about 4 weeks pregnant…) You can see the full clip here

So, Pat and I decided to have a baby (I will dedicate a post to our pregnancy story soon, I promise!) And it got me thinking…I’ve been so focused on myself, my career, my marriage, my wants…could I remain true to myself while having a baby? Can I still be ME and a mom? What parts of me will change? What parts will stay the same? I hope to explore all of this as I blog and would love to have you along for the ride!

I want my blog to be like your most trusted girlfriend – the one that gives you the real deal. Yes, I want to inspire but I also need the real talk because life ain’t always roses and sunshine, right? I want my blog to be honest, down-to-earth and reflect the realities of juggling all the parts of myself – like being a new mom, an intelligent woman, loving wife and full-time fashonista. I want to combine all the things I love into happy place.

Welcome aboard, new and old friends – so glad you came by and can’t wait for us to get to know eachother better. I’d LOVE your feedback, so feel free to share your comments! And of course, you can always find me on Insta @justjenp.

XXX

Jen