‘I’M SO IN LOVE’
Designer Lauren Conrad is adoring her life as a parent.
The designer says she didn’t always know if she’d become a mum. But now little Liam is here, she can’t imagine life any other way
Given how much she loves to entertain, Lauren Conrad wasn’t going to let anything stop her from hosting her annual Fourth of July bash—not even the fact that she was more than 40 weeks pregnant, two days past her due date. “No-one believed that I was going to do it,” Conrad, 31, says with a laugh. “But it’s my favourite day of the year!” Luckily, her baby proved to be a perfect party crasher: “My waters broke 15 minutes after the last guest left.” Now the designer, author and lifestyle expert is savouring every moment as a first-time mum to 1-monthold son Liam with her husband of three years, lawyer William Tell, 37. “I keep staring at him,” says Conrad. “His little face is so cute. I keep telling him, ‘No-one will ever love you like I do!’ ” You went into labour the night of your annual Fourth of July party. Tell us how that happened. I was feeling great, and I didn’t think the baby was going to come, so I decided to go ahead with the party. But we did it a little more low-maintenance than we usually do; we hung tassels on all the railings and stuck some flags around. And we did Mexican corn and hot dogs. Easy. We went down to the beach and watched fireworks. People were starting to leave, and I went to bed. Then William came in an hour later, and as soon as his head hit the pillow, my water broke. I just gasped! Were you nervous about the delivery process? My approach to everything was “ignorance is bliss.” I wasn’t scared of the idea of pain. I knew it wasn’t going to be enjoyable, but it was temporary. I pushed for two hours. But afterward the pain was all gone; I’ve already started blocking it out. What was your reaction when you first saw Liam?
“I’m really happy. It’s so nice to have a family”
Before the delivery, I felt like I was getting ready for a blind date. We considered doing the 4D ultrasound but then decided to wait. I just remember thinking he was so cute. And I was surprised by how tiny he was. I was convinced I was having a giant baby, to the point where I didn’t even buy newborn clothes. In my head he was 9 lbs [4kg], and I thought that’s why delivery hurt so much! I think I was still kind of crying from the pain, but I was really happy.
Now that he’s been home for a month, how are you settling into being a mum?
I had no baby experience. I had never held a newborn, and I just changed my first diaper the other day! But I figured it out quickly. The idea of it is so much scarier than the reality. And I feel so spoiled. Liam is such a good baby. I’m sleeping three to four hours at a time. This morning I was up at 4 AM and I wasn’t even tired, so I cleaned the kitchen and did some cooking. William was like, “You’re crazy!”
You found out the sex of the baby before he was born. Did you ever consider keeping it as a surprise?
I don’t really love surprises. I like to have all the information. And I was sharing my body with someone—so I wanted to know as much as possible about him. But I always hoped I would have a boy. I was a tomboy, and I always play best with boys. When we found out, I was so excited.
What was your pregnancy like? Did you enjoy it, or was it hard?
I didn’t love being pregnant. I had terrible heartburn. Every day, no matter what I ate. It was very uncomfortable. And the last few months were pretty rough. I was so sore and so uncomfortable that I just didn’t sleep at all. I had my Fitbit on so I could see how much I was sleeping, and I was up like every 30 minutes.
What was your pregnancy diet? Did you have any specific cravings?
I just wanted simple foods, like carbs and cheese. I ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on sourdough and a lot of macaroni and cheese. I wanted kid food. William said I ate like I lived at a rollerskating rink. Also, I hadn’t eaten red meat since I was 16, and for some reason that changed. I had a hamburger for breakfast the other day!
How did you react to your body changing?
I was fine with my body changing. I gained about 35lb [15kg]. That’s what it’s supposed to do. I just made a person! I thought it was going to be a little difficult for me, especially afterward, but I’m fine with it. I worked out until about seven months, and then we just did a lot of walking— about 2 1/ miles [4km] every night. 2
How about now? Do you feel any pressure to lose the baby weight?
I don’t feel any pressure. I’m going to wait a few weeks, obviously, but I’m excited to get back into working out. I like having a goal, so it will be nice. I like doing classes—i love Orangetheory. For now I’m trying to focus on the things that are positive. I’ve never really had boobs before, so I’m going to try these out for a little bit! I’m trying out a new shape. And there are always things you can do to make yourself feel better. Spanx exist for a reason!
What is your favourite time of day to be with Liam?
His last night time feeding is right around when the sun comes up, so I sit and feed him
“I’m already stressing because I want him to stay this tiny!”
and watch the sun rise. He’s funny to watch—he makes really funny little expressions. I’m already stressing out because I want him to stay this tiny and I know he won’t. So I’m just trying to enjoy how itty-bitty he is. I was looking at him the other day, and I was like, I understand now why people keep having babies! We’ll probably have two. I think it’s best not to be outnumbered.
Did you always want to be a mum?
In my early 20s I was open to having them or not having them. But after meeting William, I changed my mind. I knew I wanted to have a family with him. But I didn’t want to do it right away. I’m crazy about Liam, but I never really got baby fever. We wanted to enjoy being married and to really be in the right space. We took our time, so it was something to look forward to.
What kind of mum do you want to be?
I want to be strong and teach him to respect women. The mother-son relationship is so important. And I’m just excited to play again! I can’t wait to break out the finger paints. And I’m such a Disney nerd, so I get to watch those movies with someone who is seeing them for the first time.
Your old Hills friends Audrina, Kristin and Whitney are also mums, and Heidi is pregnant.
I know! It’s funny. Everyone is just at that time in their lives. There’s something in the water.
You’ve had your share of ups and downs—how do you feel about where you are now?
Everything happened at the right time. Sometimes you have to go through things that aren’t so pleasant, and it makes you appreciate when things are. This was always something I was working towards. I’m so lucky.
A BEAUTIFUL BOND “I grew up on the sand, so I’m excited to take him to the beach,” says Conrad (at home with Liam in Laguna Beach, California, on July 12). “I think William and I will each teach him different things. And we get to do all the fun kid things again! It’s so nice. There is so much to look forward to.”
WORKING MAMA “Lauren has so much energy,” says Tell. “It’s amazing.” The new mum is easing back into work on her LC Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl’s and her clothing line Paper Crown. (She’s also co-founder of not-for-profit the Little Market.) “I like to be busy,” she says. “I think it’s good to have balance.”
“I worked hard to get here,” says Conrad. “It took a lot. And it makes me appreciate my life now and value the peacefulness. I’m really lucky. And I know that.”
Conrad handstitched the birth announcement that she posted on her website, laurenconrad.com. “I got really into knitting while I was pregnant,” says Conrad. Conrad wove this personalised wall hanging on a loom for her son’s “neutral and calm” nursery. “We’ll pick a theme for the room once we know what he likes,” she says