‘I’M SO IN LOVE’

WHO - - Content - By Aili Na­has

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

“Wil­liam is such a good per­son,” says Con­rad of her hus­band. “I just knew he would be a good dad. He’s so sweet with him.” Re­gard­ing their ap­proach to par­ent­ing, “a united front is so im­por­tant,” she says. “We’re mak­ing de­ci­sions for our kid every day.”

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