How did you feel when you first found out you were pregnant?
It was unplanned and came a little earlier than expected, but when I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited. I had been eating super clean for the two months before because I was coming back from working on my cookbook, which is filled with decadent dishes. For a month or two, I decided to eat all organic, local, fresh produce. I cut alcohol and other things that people usually cut when they’re trying to have a baby. Plus, my partner was doing it at the same time, to support me. So it was kind of ironic that it happened! Once I started researching pregnancy, I saw that 25 is an optimal age for women to have a baby. A lot of people said I’d have an easier pregnancy and easier labor, so I was like, “I might as well do it” [laughs].
So, you were considering not having it? Why’s that?
I’ve been modeling for 10 years; [my career] seems like it’s come very sudden to a lot of people, but it hasn’t. I have been working and traveling like crazy for years. That gets exhausting! I wanted to slow down the modeling, and up the designing and the cooking and other things that interest me. I love modeling, but I was already on my way to cutting back on that work to focus on quality over quantity. I was keeping exclusive clients like Chantelle, Ralph Lauren, and Pantene while trying to cut out some catalogue. Still, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I had to take all options into account, because with a baby, I’ll have to majorly slow down — and I’m very career driven. That scared me.
What factors helped make your decision?
I talked to so many women for advice. I spoke to a lot of career women that I respect who chose their careers over babies and had abortions. Even my mom had an abortion in her early 20s that I didn’t [previously] know about. Women have always been expected to raise the child, but now it’s great because dads are more involved. I know my partner’s going to be a great dad, so that takes some of the pressure off. Another reason I kept the baby was because I was worried about possible fertility problems down the road. What if I aborted the baby now and in five years time, I wouldn’t be able to have one? That was my biggest fear.
How has your body changed since you’ve been pregnant? What’s been surprising about it?
My body has actually changed more than I thought. Obviously, the first to change was my stomach. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now, so it’s time to get big [laughs]! I don’t think my boobs will ever be the same, they’ve changed a lot. At first it was actually quite painful. Everything’s just … tight.
What else do you worry about?
The one thing I’m quite worried about is stretch marks. I don’t have any yet — knock on wood — but if they do happen, I’ll just have to live with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m covered in stretch marks already, but they’re white now because they happened when I grew as a teenager. Post-baby, I want to be able to get back to work pretty quickly, and my worry is that if I do get them, they’ll take time to fade to white from red. As a lingerie model, that’s not ideal. I don’t think women should feel bad at all about having stretch marks. I want women to know that it’s a normal thing that happens, and the only worry I have about them is that it might keep me from some work.
There are lots of models who have babies and return to work. Take some Victoria’s Secret angels, for example. Doutzen Kroes, Lily Aldridge, Miranda Kerr, Heidi Klum…
I was actually looking at images from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this morning on Instagram, and I was thinking two things. One is positive: It gives me confidence and inspiration that I can get my body back. Look at Doutzen, she has a six-pack! Had I not seen those models bounce back and return to work so quickly after having babies, I would have been more scared. There’s another side of me that’s like, “Oh god, there’s so much pressure.” I just don’t know if my body’s going to bounce back. All those models had really great core strength before they got pregnant, and I didn’t. I don’t know if my body will return like theirs did.