Danila Davidson on Her Love for Being Pregnant
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a NYC mom to three littles. Originally from Europe, I relocated to NYC from sunny Australia a little over five years ago, while pregnant with my first baby girl. I love NYC, its energy and people, and I'm currently trying to "live my best life" while raising young children in the most beautiful city in the world, together with my husband, Ron.
You can follow me on Instagram @daniladavidson.
What brought you to where you are now? Bring us along from the beginning.
I was born and raised in Southern Italy, near Positano / the Amalfi Coast. I had a wonderful, simple childhood, filled with never-ending summers and days spent at the beach with family and friends, which I'm truly grateful for, as those are memories I'll cherish forever. Shortly after graduating with a master's degree in International Relations, I left my hometown to continue my studies in Rome. By the end of my MBA, I was confident about pursuing a career at an international level, even though I wasn't sure exactly in which field yet. Fast forward 10+ years, a brief chapter in the energy field, a couple of tech jobs, and two startups later, I currently find joy in taking care of my three children, even though I did work full time throughout my first two pregnancies, and up until my first was almost three years old, and my middle child was about seven months. I can definitely speak to the working mother life balance thing, the maternity leave (or lack of thereof), my breast "pumping" journey, and so on.
Tell us about your partner. What made you want to start or grow a family together?
Funnily enough, I have been very career driven for most of my life. My mom was a stay at home mom, and I grew up feeling like I should accomplish a professional career not only for myself (I LOVED studying and learning new languages!), but also for my mom who selflessly dedicated her life to me and my brother, if that makes sense. My husband and I met in Milan; we were both there for work. Given our professional commitments, we were in a long distance relationship for a few years before settling down together and getting engaged. Those were amazing years, we lived between Spain, Israel, the States, and Australia, and it was all about us and living our lives to the fullest while exploring the world together. We got married in July 2012, and by the summer of 2013, we felt "ready" to start a family.
What was your journey to parenthood been like?
Even though I was diagnosed with PCOS in my teenage years, I was lucky enough to have a relatively "normal" TTC journey, and even more importantly, I was able to enjoy easy / full term pregnancies with all of my three children.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start your family?
We were living in Sydney, Australia and had been married for almost a year. We were both working full time jobs and traveling extensively for leisure and business. At some point, it was just clear to us we were ready to start a family, and we "knew" we would easily adapt our lifestyle and make space for the baby practically and emotionally.
How did you care for yourself while trying to conceive?
I took some prenatals and supplements, ate healthily, especially foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, salmon, and eggs. I kept exercising and having an active lifestyle as per usual.
How did you care for your body while pregnant?
I got a few prenatal massages—especially during my first pregnancy—which always felt like a tremendous treat, and I kept myself on my vitamin regime. I did drink a cup of (decaf) coffee a day throughout my pregnancies.
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What experiences shaped your understanding of conception and pregnancy?
Honestly, I didn't know much about conception and pregnancy up until the moment I decided to go for it. Having said that, I did read a few books, and did plenty of online search (any Google addicts out here?) while trying to conceive and during my first pregnancy. With my following pregnancies, I was too busy with work and life with child(ren) from previous pregnancies to really dig deep into any books. :)
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant. We'd love details!
It was a sunny day in beautiful Sydney. I had already tested positive on one of those home pregnancy tests, but I had gone for a blood draw as well to make sure my levels were good / high enough. And then we got the call, which confirmed we were off to a healthy start! We were understandably over the moon and so incredibly excited about the big news. We didn't even think for a nano second that anything could go wrong (we were only five or six weeks along), and we were lucky enough to have an uneventful pregnancy and be blessed with the arrival of our first daughter, Ariel Sydney, in July 2014!
What have you learned as a result of trying to get pregnant and/or being pregnant?
I must preface, that I LOVE being pregnant, hence I find it difficult to find the "cons" of being preggo or even remember the "less cool" moments which definitely happened over the course of three pregnancies. I have the utmost respect for my body which allowed me to eventually get pregnant, to grow, and nurture three human beings. For this, and for having been able to experience pregnancy with so much joy, I'll always be incredibly grateful. Birthing a child truly is the biggest of miracles, but the "becoming a mom" part can happen in so many different ways nowadays. Hence, we should alway keep our heads up and stay hopeful that things WILL happen, maybe not in the way we expected to, but WILL happen.
What's your wish for women who are trying to conceive?
The road to motherhood is an incredible journey, but can also be a long and lonely road to some. Given what I've seen over the last few years, the best advice I feel confident giving is: take charge of your own fertility. If you have a roadmap, and you plan to get pregnant later on, get tested, and get needed exams done so you can confidently and in a stress free way live your life and be prepared for when you are ready. If you are already actively trying, and nothing is happening, don't wait, make sure your hormones levels are in check, get on the right supplements, and ask your significant other to act as a true partner on this—after all, the journey to parenthood involves both of you!
Anything else you'd like to share about your journey to parenthood?
There is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to parenting. As parents, we all make mistakes and eventually learn from them, and this is fine. The transition to motherhood can be tough enough, we should not feel pressured by what others think and ONLY do what we feel comfortable with. Postpartum is such a magical, yet delicate, stage; we should surround ourselves with people who know how to "be there" for us, without judging or providing unsolicited advice.