As the purveyors of all things pregnancy (obvi), you can imagine the thrill when one of our very own is expecting, and even more so when it’s two!
Nikki Millman, our VP of Community + Events, is expecting her first, and Lindsay Bressler, our COO, her second. These two powerhouses (literally, we couldn’t do it without them) sound off about all things baby-making before going on maternity leave (gulp, we’ll miss them).
Here, they talk all the things: Pregnancy sex (yay or nay?), leaning into the HATCH community, feeling supported, planning not planning, managing anxiety, “lightning crotch” (yup, that’s a thing), and of course, what they’re wearing daily.
Current state of mind?
Nikki: I love being pregnant outside of the nausea and my HUGE boobs! It’s really made me appreciate my body in a way that I didn’t before. I’ve had various body issues throughout my life, but with pregnancy, a lot of that fell to the wayside. It’s allowed me to let go and accept my body for how amazing it truly is…I mean, we can grow humans, after all!
Lindsay: From the start, this has been the opposite experience than with my daughter, Taylor, wherein I barely felt pregnant and was doing Forward Space dance classes until the very end! This time, I’ve had severe nausea, pelvic pain, gestational diabetes, and insomnia! I don’t know if it’s because I’m older or there’s a global pandemic, but it’s been entirely different either way.
Nikki: At the time, the process felt long, but my husband, Evan, continually reminds me that we only focused on trying for 4 to 5 months. Therefore, I have to be realistic when I tell my story, knowing that in the grand scheme of things, that’s not long at all; looking back, we were very fortunate.
Evan had been diagnosed with a varicocele (read his full story here) in his 20s. Therefore, when we didn’t get pregnant in the first few months of trying, rather than wait, we sought help quickly and decided to remedy the issue with a relatively easy surgery months before the pandemic. I truly believe the universe was looking after us, and time was on our side; if we had held off having the surgery or even getting a doctor’s opinion, we probably wouldn’t be pregnant now. Unfortunately, I know so many people who had to pause their fertility treatments due to Covid-19. Our timing was pristine; Evan had the surgery in December, I ovulated on the 12th of March, we got pregnant, and the next day, the world went into lockdown.
Thankfully, being part of a community of amazing pregnant women and experts that cultivate openness made talking about fertility the norm and easier to navigate. Likewise, it was also challenging and all-consuming to have my work life revolve around pregnancy when we were trying. At times it was hard not to feel like I was waiting for the water to boil, but I believe, in the end, all the challenges and hardships have only served to prepare me for the next big thing.
Lindsay: With my first, while my husband wasn’t fully on-board with having a baby, I convinced him that I’d casually go off the pill and if we weren’t pregnant in three months, I would read an article and be more proactive. However, 30 days later, I called him at his office to let him know we were pregnant! His response was one of disbelief, “Congratulations?” Confused, I said, “Congrats to you too?” It was this hilarious and awkward moment between us wherein neither of us knew how to react as the whole thing took us by surprise.
When I started working at HATCH four years ago, Taylor was six months old. Since then, the business has been growing so much, we purposely held off having a second as I wanted the limited time I had at home with Taylor to be focused on her. However, just as she turned 3.5 years old, we decided to have a second. Then, Covid hit, and the world spun out of control, so we naturally put “trying” on the back-burner.
Of course, Nikki and I had joked for years that we’d get pregnant at the same time with no expectation that it would EVER happen. But, as fate would have it, a few weeks into lockdown, Nikki called to share that she was expecting, and three days after, I got a push notification from the FLOW app saying I was nine days late! Heads down in the business and trying to organize moving our family to my mom’s, the last thing I was thinking about was getting pregnant. Nevertheless, I took a test and found out I was, in fact, expecting!
Working at HATCH and feeling supported?
Nikki: Having been at HATCH since day one (literally), my job, in so many ways, has made me feel ready to be a mom for over 10 years. While a little daunting at first to have access to so much information, it’s been a gift. Ultimately, this is what we’re all about here at HATCH; helping women navigate this confusing, crazy, and often lonely time while making sure they have access to resources, friends, experts, and the community at large so they don’t have to feel they are going at it solo or uninformed.
Overall I keep coming back to how lucky I am to have the best doctors, a roof over my head, food on the table, and a supportive team. With so many women giving birth worldwide in less than ideal circumstances, I’m beyond fortunate to have everything I need.
Lindsay: We are like a family in so many ways. There’s so much understanding in every way, from doctor’s appointments to funny little moments like being on Zoom and declaring I have to stand up to “stretch my pelvis,” and no one flinches. There’s a real sense of comradery in that nothing feels super weird, and it’s entirely normal to talk about pregnancy all day.
Wearing and wellness?
Plus, I’ve never wanted to moisturize more than I do now. I’m obsessed with our Belly Oil, (Seriously, no plug), it makes a world of difference, and I use it all over my body. I also love to dry brush 4 to 5 times a week before I get in the shower to improve circulation. Lastly, I bought one of those massive 80 oz water bottles from Amazon and drink water all day long which helps with charley horses.
Lindsay: I think it’s safe to say that the pandemic trend is basically the best thing to happen to pregnant women, ever, seeing as you can wear casual, cozy stuff all day long. I live for our Cozy Waffle Dresses, our Bras and Undies, and Cotton Pajamas. Plus, I try to have a ton of fun with shoes, like Doc Martens with dresses. Also, I love our Belly Oil and put it all over my body and even in my bath water, which I never did before.
Nikki: I’m super conscious about everything that goes into or near my body from food to Advil and even our cleaning supplies, but I’m pretty sure I want an epidural. I don’t want to be in labor for 36 hours, dehydrated, and in pain, so if the epidural can help ease delivery, I’m down.
Also, with gestational diabetes, there’s a chance they will have to induce me because I can’t go past my due date. While I don’t love this idea, I’m game for anything so long as it keeps the baby healthy.
Lindsay: Not a massive plan outside of having my doula there and getting to the hospital on time. Nikki and I are using the same doula, Sam Huggins, from Carriage House, and she’s incredibly supportive! I’ve been working with her on strengthening my pelvic floor leading up to my due date. Plus, I have been seeing a chiropractor every other week and working out regularly.
Diagnosed with gestational diabetes?
Nikki: They have no idea where it comes from as there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. Obviously, people with pre-existing conditions are more prone to get it, whereas the other percentage is unknown. From what I understand, it’s basically how your placenta reacts to sugar with a baby inside of you. Apparently, I’m on the cusp of having it, but they often over-diagnose to be cautious.
Nikki: In my non-pregnant life, I eat super clean food, and I’m mainly pescatarian. But now, I can’t even look at a piece of fish and only want chicken, meat, cheese, and coffee…things I haven’t had in years! It’s so weird, but you have to go with what you’re craving. With gestational diabetes, I have to eat a balanced mix of carbs, proteins, and vegetables altogether. After each meal, I have to prick my finger to check my blood sugar levels, and when I eat chicken, my levels are low, which is great, so I’m going with it.
To sex or not to sex?
Nikki: Yup, no sex. None. We tried, but sadly, I have no interest, and I’m really nauseous. Evan jokes that he hasn’t gone this long without sex since he was single! It’s ironic because leading up to getting pregnant, it’s all about sex, then it completely flips and sex is replaced with a giant pillow in bed.
Lindsay: I mean, barely. This pregnancy, in particular, has been so physically draining, and I’m nauseous all day. Plus, I have been having lightning crotch, which feels exactly like it sounds. The last thing I want to do is go home and have sex with my husband after having lightning crotch all day! You get it.
Nikki: I hope we can come together. Building our HATCH community has been so rewarding and given me such powerful insight; I’m aware of what it means to come together, be unified, and support one another. The world needs the same message and this is my hope.
Lindsay: On the eve of our election, it’s hard to put one hope into words. Mainly, I think this generation will be so resilient. Being uprooted during the pandemic and asked to wear a mask out of nowhere, I’m amazed at how well our children are coping. But I also think they’re getting such a balanced view on what’s truly important and I hope they take these learnings with them in life.
Nikki: Two things, there’s a happy medium between knowing too much, and feeling prepared. My doula and a long-time HATCH partner, Sam Huggins of Carriage House, gave me such great advice early on. She said, “Feel it, think it, and then put in on the shelf.” I found myself worrying about worrying, and then if something actually went wrong, I would worry again. All in, it was a lot of worrying, and the truth is it doesn’t get you anywhere. So, give yourself permission to be anxious or nervous for a bit, but at some point, put it aside.
Also, do something that makes you happy every day. Even if that just means dancing in your living room for two minutes. Endorphins make everything better.