Fashion designer Charlotte Ronson is pregnant with her second child with singer/songwriter Nate Ruess. This stylish LA mama (by way of NYC and London) talks pregnancy with a two-year-old, her anti-birth-plan plan and the blessing of “C-section amnesia,” plus baby aspirin FTW!
How are you feeling?
Big and tired.
Boy or Girl?
This is your second pregnancy! Have they been similar or different?
Both times I’ve been fortunate enough not to have nausea. PIus, with the second one I haven’t had the time nor the luxury to focus on every step of the pregnancy or “taking it all in” as I’ve been busy running after Levon and he often made me forget that I’m pregnant! Also, we kept the pregnancy a secret for the first four months until we passed all of the tests, which meant there was a period we avoided socializing because it was too exhausting to constantly be lying about why I’m not drinking. Once we got out of the “hiding it” phase, the rest flew by!
More specifically, what was your first pregnancy like?
With Levon, in my third trimester, I was diagnosed with a condition called Intrauterine Growth Restriction, which meant that Levon measured very small. This condition happens when the baby can’t get all of the nutrients he or she needs from the placenta. At one point his tummy was measuring in the zero percentile (which was very scary), but so long as the head measures OK, they assume the body will catch up, and some babies grow better on the outside — which he did! I was not put on bed rest, but I wasn’t allowed to do much of anything either, including work out from October to the end of January. Every week for the last trimester we would see a high-risk specialist, plus my regular doctor to monitor his progress. There was a comfort to going to the doctor this frequently. Since we passed all the genetic testing, I felt confident that it wasn’t something more significant to worry about and he was merely a small baby. Nonetheless, it was highly stressful.
Wow, I can only imagine. And, with this pregnancy?
Our little girl also measured small, but we expected it this time. Having gone through it before I was armed with information and experience, which made the whole process feel different. That said, on our most recent check-up, she measured bigger, so they removed her from the Intrauterine Growth Restriction classification. They don’t know what’s different this time or why she is growing better, except they had me take baby aspirin throughout my pregnancy! It’s something they’ve started recommending to pregnant women, as it helps with the flow of blood to the placenta.
Did you have to be on a special diet as a result of the Intrauterine Growth Restriction?
I was not put on a special diet, although for the most part I try to be healthy and get a nutritious start to every day. I make a ton of smoothies packed with greens and vegan protein plus almond milk, Greek yogurt, blueberries, and bananas.
Any unusual cravings?
Nothing crazy, although I have a massive sweet tooth, but that’s not to be blamed on the baby! Sugar is my lifestyle 🙂 Although, while pregnant I have zero restraint! Probably the most random thing I’ve indulged in is the street nuts in NYC. In my “non-pregnant life” I would never allow myself to eat these, but anything goes right now!
Do you have a birth plan?
Omg no. The whole notion of a birth plan is ridiculous. With Levon, I had an unplanned C-section; therefore we’ve planned to have a C-section with this one too. I’m not sure how my recovery will go, and honestly, I forget what it was like with the first, but it all feels awful and scary. For the most part it’s all a blur and needs to be otherwise women would never do it again! I’ve never even had a cavity, so getting sliced open is brutal, but as long as I get to bring home the baby, it cancels the rest out in the best possible way. The hardest part is knowing that I’m not going to be able to pick up Levon and do all the things that I usually do with him. I‘m going to have to figure that part out as I don’t want him to feel left out or resentful of his sister.
What are your plans for after the baby comes?
The plan right now is to hibernate for at least a month in Montecito where we have space and our friends & family can come to visit throughout the month. As far as food and taking care of myself are concerned, I found that I naturally take care of myself for the baby’s sake. For example, just after I had Levon, my dad came to visit and brought all of my favorite chocolate treats from London. As much as I LOVE chocolate, it upset Levon’s tummy, and therefore I couldn’t eat it because I was breastfeeding. Once I became a mom, my baby’s needs came first, which ultimately forced me to take care of myself too! Even though that little voice inside of me was like, “Haven’t I given up enough!?” First alcohol and sushi, and now chocolate too! What’s next?”
Did you breastfeed with Levon and are you planning to again?
I breastfed and we supplemented with formula because Levon was so little. With our new one, I have no plan but will do whatever’s best for her as that’s my approach to mothering in general.
How did you meet your husband and do you prioritize time alone together?
We met through my sister Samantha and love ensued! We’re so lucky that we have so much fun with Levon together and love doing early family dinners or weekends in Montecito together. Plus, we try to plan dinners out once or twice a week, alone or with friends. Which is less fun for me right now as I can’t drink, but it’s important to consider there are two people in this relationship and so I make an effort — even though really is all about me and what I’m sacrificing, haha!
What’s in the works?
I’m working on a few different collaborations, including a collection of the perfect layering pieces plus a children’s project. Stay tuned!
Enjoy the process as much as you can as it’s such a beautiful, magical journey. As much as we complain about gaining weight and feeling gross, it’s incredible what our bodies are capable of and that everything happens like clockwork. Plus, let go and be grateful, because so many people are struggling to have this gift. Lastly, celebrate the time you have with your partner before the baby comes because all the sudden that gets pushed to the side once the baby arrives!