Meet Courteney Bechtel
Courteney has a degree in Apparel Merchandising & Product Development and is currently the Director of Product Management at Natalist. Previously, Courteney spent over a decade working in the apparel and interior design Industry in Columbus, Ohio, New York City, and locally in Charleston, South Carolina.
Courteney is a proud wife and mother of two. She currently serves on the board of Breaking Bread, a grass roots organization for social engagement with a focus on intentional conversations, authentic listening, and dialogue seeking and understanding where everyone’s voice is heard and respected.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a mom of two, wife, fitness fanatic, activist, and product development specialist. I love what I do at Natalist because I get to combine my passion for motherhood with my professional background developing products.
What brought you to where you are now? Bring us along from the beginning.
Hy husband, Aaron, and I met one another in our late 20s a few weeks before I was relocating to New York City for work. We've been together since that happy hour, via long distance dating for a year, living apart in New York City, and then moving in together in Brooklyn. I think our plan was to eventually get married and have children in our mid to late 30s, but it's also true that "the plan is to have no plan," and we've allowed things to fall into place. We were ready to leave the city and slow down from our demanding careers and work travel, and without much thought, we left Brooklyn and headed south to Charleston, SC.
Tell us about your partner. What made you want to start or grow a family together?
When Aaron and I were dating and living together, we were unexpectedly needed in Maryland to care for my niece and nephew for about a week. We went through a life changing event, and we were thrown into parenting all at once. A few weeks later, Aaron and I took a vacation, and I remember looking at him and thinking "he will be an incredible husband and father someday."
What was your journey to parenthood like?
A happy surprise for our daughter, Ruby, and a specific plan for our son, Ellis. Like so many women, I have irregular menstrual cycles and tracking my ovulation has been difficult.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start your family?
Aaron and I were very busy with our careers, had just decided to move to Charleston, SC, and recently purchased our first home. At our closing appointment, our realtor teased us about having a baby soon, and we laugh about that now. Little did anyone know (myself included), that I was already pregnant.
How did you care for yourself while trying to conceive?
When trying to conceive for my second, it was more planned than with my first. I had already had a pregnancy, so I was very focused on what to eat, taking my prenatal vitamins consistently, and I did prenatal acupuncture and tracked my ovulation cycles monthly.
How did you care for your body while pregnant?
I continued prenatal acupuncture through my entire pregnancy with Ellis, and because I had an almost three year old at the time, I joyfully took naps with her on the weekends.
What experiences shaped your understanding of conception and pregnancy?
In a 2019 study, over 14 percent of 4,709 adult women ages 19 to 54 reported having irregular menstruation. I share in this, and having one child by surprise and then trying to pin point when we could have the next was very confusing and often overwhelming.
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant. We'd love details!
True story—I was on a ski trip and had been skiing for a few days successfully; however, on the third day, I couldn't get it together. I was clumsy and crashing and decided to get off of the mountain early. We flew home the next morning, and on the plane, I looked at my husband and said, "I'm pregnant!" It dawned on me mid flight that I had this exact clumsy, brain-fog experience in my previous pregnancy. I came home, took a pregnancy test, and found a positive result instantly.
What have you learned as a result of trying to get pregnant and/or being pregnant?
I learned that I was carrying a lot of stress for having a second baby. Managing a work life balance, the timing and spacing between siblings, and the childcare expenses and schedules were overwhelming and stressful for me. I finally decided to let go of the stress (as much as I could) and focus on the possibility that if we had a second child, it would all fall into place as it should.
What's your wish for women who are trying to conceive?
Make time for yourself. I like to tease my husband that "momma is the ship, and this ship can't sink" and for me, I have to build time into my schedule for self care or a moment alone. During alone time, I've researched what prenatal vitamins and supplements to take, tools to use when trying to conceive, organized and ordered things for the kids, my husband, the household, and myself. Self care and alone time are an "if you don't use it, you loose it" reality in motherhood. What are your favorite Natalist products? I take our CoQ10 and MTHF Folate supplements daily and love our Belly Oil for a total body moisturizer!