LAURA VIDREQUIN, MOTHER OF ALBERT, 2 MONTHS, BUYER AT NET A PORTER, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Laura is a Paris born, London-based shoe buyer for Net-a-porter. Having worked in fashion all her life, she has moved from Paris to NYC to London for her career. She and her partner, Harold, welcomed their first baby, Albert, this winter.

ON PREGNANCY

What has been the best part of your pregnancy?

After discovering I was pregnant, which was one of the happiest yet weirdest days of my life, I would say the best part was the unknown. Everyday, I woke up with a different feeling, something that had changed in my body and in my mind. I loved every single step of the way: from the scan, to the yoga classes, to the cravings, to the movement I felt in my belly. I have been flirting with fear and joy since day 1 [of this pregnancy] and this is something I have not felt since I stopped having to read out loud in front of the class in school [laughs].
The second best part was seeing Harold preparing himself for fatherhood. He was attentive and listened to every single one of my concerns.

What has been the most difficult?

Waiting…
Which now, I look back on and miss already. Waiting for my first scan, my first Doctor’s appointment, the hospital visits, the birth, looking forward to this and that. I feel like a lot of the pregnancy was about the next meeting or the next thing. Now, I can say with no hesitation to anyone who is starting their pregnancy to enjoy every single step and to [stay in the moment].

You work for a large corporation and have to travel a lot for work. How did you balanced it all during your pregnancy?

I tried to do it as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes it is about not thinking too much, not being in your head too much – just going for it. I tried to respect a consistent diet. I would always prepare (in my head) what I would be eating (in planes, in hotels, in meetings). I tried to stay in-tune with my needs without being overly indulgent with them.
At the end of the day, pregnancy is not a sickness nor a disease. When I was feeling tired I had a snack and rested. That’s it. Although it became more of a challenge at the end. I was still moving and working probably a lot more than I should have.

ON BEAUTY

What were your favorite things to pamper yourself with in your downtime? Any favorite beauty or spa treatment (name and address would be great)

I did take care of myself a lot during this time, and everyone should do the same!
I loved going to acupuncture with Dr Han in Kensal Rise, on Chamberlane Road.
I had sports/draining massages as much as I could at a spot called Ten Spa in Notting Hill.
I did a LOT of pregnancy yoga, up to 3 times a week for some weeks!
And most importantly, I followed the gentle birth method from Gowri that I would recommend to anyone who is going through this life change. She helped me in so many ways!

What has been your beauty routine? Were you “conscious” about what products you used etc?

I stopped using certain products because I could feel my skin was more sensitive and reactive than when I was not expecting. Besides the TON of baby oil, Mustela oil, and coconut oil that I was massaging my body with everyday, I didn’t add anything new. I still used Avene to wash my face, and Avene lait on a cotton pad to finish cleaning. I used a lot of Etat Pur products, serums and creams, which I have loved for a while.
I had to stop perfume though, as the smell would make me so sick!

ON STYLE

What has been the evolution of your pregnancy style? What has been your “pregnancy uniform” and favorite pieces to wear?

I was showing a tiny bump over the summer which made my life so easy, as I could wear my favorite flower dresses from Vicente Ganesha, and Petit Bateau when I was off work!
I bought 5 jeans (white cropped, black skinny, flair, and 2 denim skinny) from Topshop and H&M that I wore my entire pregnancy. They were really comfy and allowed me to change looks. I wore them with big shirts and paired them with jewelry from Gag&Lou that I could stack (bracelets, earrings and necklaces).
Eventually, the only thing that was making me feel put together was these accessories.
Going into my last trimester, I was wearing leggings and big sweaters. Lucky for me winter had started to kick in in London and I was fine bundling up: Outdoors Voices and Blanqi were my every day partners, paired with cowboy boots and big sweaters!

I know that you started baby shopping early! Especially mini sneakers. What else did you buy? What has been your favorite baby clothing destinations?

I bought a lot of sneakers for him at the beginning, true! Me being a shoe buyer will definitely have an impact on him!
We also bought a lot of warm clothes as we knew he would be a winter baby. Although I did something silly and bought size “3 months” instead of “newborn.” When he decided to show up, daddy had to go buy the tiniest size and we didn’t have enough newborn outfits. So if I can say one thing, buy also birth sized outfits and not just the bigger ones!
My favorite spots are Smallable and Bonpoint!

Where did you get your inspiration from for your nursery? Where did you shop?

Harold and I did everything together. We picked from many different shops. Nothing is from the same place (keeps things interesting!)
We got a bed from Oeuf, a changing table from Mamas and Papas, the Moses basket from my baby shower. The room decorations were either from Etsy or found shopping abroad while on our baby moon!

ON MOTHERHOOD

Born in Paris, you've lived in NY and now are giving birth in London. Can you tell the difference in the approach to maternity and motherhood among those cities?

I had such an interesting journey in regards to this matter, thanks to some bump friends I made along the way. Being born and “exposed” to a hyper medicalized environment in Paris and in NY, I was all about the epidural, and a medicalized birth when I first discovered I was pregnant. Slowly, I was introduced to some really good books thanks to mamas to be I met or mamas who shared their experiences with me.
I then was brought to a yoga and self visualization class held by Gowri Motha, and this is when my personal journey started. I discovered our bodies are naturally made for this and decided slowly but surely to change my approach and try the whole natural method. It was an amazing experience for my partner as well, as were able to bond more closely during the entire pregnancy.
In regards to education and even pregnancy follow up care, Paris and London are so different. From the due dates they gave me (which are 2 weeks apart) to the midwife led care we received in the UK, to the post natal follow up we are now exposed to. I stayed only one day at the hospital post birth, which is very different than what is normal in Paris. Also, here in London, they seem less relaxed with hearing the baby cry and seeing the baby feed than they are in Paris.
I guess I realized French mums are all about their freedom and comfort while keeping bebe happy, while in the UK bebe is king… as in the US.

What do you look forward to the most in motherhood?

As we speak, I am already 15 days in, and every minute there is so much I am looking forward to. His smell when he wakes up, the moments we spend together while feeding, his first bath (which he loved), seeing his dad taking care of him, the moments he sleeps and I have some time for me (!)…
He changes everyday. So while I am looking forward to every single moment with him, I am trying not to hurry for what is next. He is growing way too fast already.
One thing I didn’t expect, is how uncontrollable the whole thing is. Learning to let go is a challenge I am undertaking every single day.

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