Carly Cushnie, the founder of fashion brand CUSHNIE, could best be described as lovely, smart, serene, and stunning. A total unicorn, and one of those people that you want to be around. Full stop. We caught up with this beauty during the homestretch of her pregnancy. Here, she shares on the transition from pregnancy to new motherhood while learning to juggle her team and the needs of her daughter. Plus, taking three months of maternity as a business owner and her post-pregnancy recovery. @carlycushnie
How is new motherhood?
Crazy. I have no idea what I thought it would be, but it’s definitely crazy. It’s beautiful chaos.
How old is she now and are you sleeping?
She’s a month old! I actually got a little bit of sleep last night so I feel good today. The other nights have not been so good.
What is your birth story?
She came a week early, which was very unexpected as I had it set in my mind that she was either going to come late or on time as typically first babies come late. I started having contractions on Saturday night and we went to the hospital on Sunday. I was really concerned about going to the hospital too early as I had several friends that got sent home for going to the hospital too early. I was really conscious of this. We live in Brooklyn, and NYU is in the city, so I tried to stay at home for as long as possible. By the time we finally got to the hospital, I was 4.5cm dilated. They gave me an epidural and I pushed for less than 30 min! She was born 6lbs and 1oz. It was an amazing experience and I loved my doctor plus NYU Hospital.
Prior to delivery, my husband and I had discussed that he would be by my shoulder the whole time as he didn’t want to see anything, or cut the umbilical cord. Which was fine with me, so long as he was in the room supporting me. I had this nurse with me for most of the time while I was waiting to deliver, however, by the time I got to the hospital and it was time to push they were having a shift change, therefore, it was only my nurse and doctor in the room. So, they told my husband to grab a leg! He was like, “WAIT, WHAT, that’s not in the plan!” But, he grabbed a leg! The doctor kept telling him to look when the head was coming out. He refused although he was in plain view of everything. 🙂
Coming home with her and life with a new born?
The whole thing is surreal. For the first few days after birth, there’s all of these nurses and doctors checking in on you constantly. Then when you’re sent home, it’s almost as if you’re released into the wild to fend for yourself. My mom came two days after she was born to help out which has been wonderful. At first, it all felt like a whirlwind from pediatrician appointments to the lactation consultant. Now that we’re settling into a rhythm, it’s amazing having this little human to take care.
How are you managing running a business and having new baby?
My team is incredible and I have every confidence in them. They either come over to review things with me or they send packages via messenger and we FaceTime. I have my resort collection coming out and we have been FaceTimeing for the fittings so I can see the styles on the model as its such an important part of the creative process. Plus, I try to be available as much as possible to answer questions. It’s been great having my parents here so that they can hold her while I get a bit of work done. Plus, my husband has been fantastic support too! It’s been a lot to juggle, but we’re making it work.
What’s your support system?
Starting next week, for the next two months of maternity leave I’m going to go into the office for one or two days a week and, I’ll bring her with me. Next week my parents are switching off with my mother in law and she’ll come to the office with me. Oscar and I don’t have any family here in NYC so it’s been such a blessing that our parents have been able to come and help. The plan is to hire a nanny when I go back to work full time and our parents have left. I thought about getting a night nurse but decided against it as I wanted to make the most of these precious first few months with her. Now, don’t get me wrong, there definitely times that I’m up at night and really wishing that I had a nurse! All jokes aside, I think it was the right decision especially because my parents and my mother-in-law were able to come out. It’s truly been a family affair!
And how are you caring for yourself?
I probably don’t do enough. Somehow I feel that I get to the end of the day and have no idea where it went. Although I made it to acupuncture the other day and I have a great guy that comes over for massages with a table that with removable sections for the boobs (so you don’t have to lie on them when they are sore!) and sections for your belly when you’re pregnant. That has been really great for me. Plus, I’ll do the odd sheet mask while she’s breastfeeding and I’ve been trying to get out of the house for walks and fresh air (but even that has proven to be difficult).
What have you been eating post-birth?
Overall I’ve been trying to eat well which includes a lot of oatmeal with oat milk as apparently, it’s good for milk production. I’ve also been making a green smoothy every day. Plus I have a lot of fish, vegetables, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. Plus, Danielle and Whitney from Sakara Life are sending me some Sakara next week.
And what about while you were pregnant?
To be honest my diet could probably have been better when I was pregnant. I would have greens here and there, but truthfully I only wanted carbs. I tried to eat the best I could within what I was craving but if I didn’t have without carbs I felt ravenous and would be climbing the walls.
Also, did you work out while pregnant?
I thought I was going to be one of those women that worked out all through my pregnancy as I love working out in my everyday life. However, every time I worked out I literally couldn’t move the next day. It did not make me feel good, so I honored my body and refrained from working out. When everyone says you have to listen to your body, you really do as it’s telling you all kinds of things that you’ve never heard before and it’s giving you all types of issues that you’ve never had before. The reality is, it’s only ten months and then you can get back to business as usual.
And what about now?
I haven’t been given my six weeks “all clear” yet, so while I feel ok to workout now, I don’t want to push it. I’ll wait until I’m given the go-ahead as I may feel fine on the outside but who knows what is still healing on the inside. With that said, I am really looking forward to working out and get my adrenaline pumping!
Since becoming a mom, I’ve become a lot more efficient with my time and I’m also learning to be easy on myself. A big win for me was setting a plan with my team before I went on maternity leave, and realizing where I can step back with the team and where I need to lean. I can’t say it enough to pregnant ladies that are also working, plan as much as you can before you leave for maternity leave so that you can focus and enjoy the time with your new baby.