For as long as I remember, I wanted to have a family. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a broken home – broken in more ways than one.
For me, it was never a question that one day I would become a mom. When I was a little girl, I begged my mom to give me a little sister. Sadly, she responded point-blank that after me, she was “done”.
In the gated community that my family lived in when I was growing up in Southeast Asia, we had a friendly, chatty housewife neighbour who would come over frequently. She would drop by with her four-year-old daughter, Rachel. I remember loving those visits. I was a few years older than Rachel, and my favourite thing to do was play with her, feed her and generally be a nurturing big sister.
My mom was a typical Asian tiger mom who had her nurturing moments, but for the most part she showed her love through food, being hypercritical, comparing me to other kids, and over-worrying.
Despite my tumultuous relationship with my own mother, I still want to be a mom. And not just being a mom – but being an amazing mom. You could say that I’ve spent my entire life preparing for having a family. It’s my deepest desire and most cherished dream – even more important than my highest career aspirations (and I have big dreams in that department too).
I’ve spent two decades doing inner work and attempting to heal from the difficulties and dysfunctions from my family of origin. We all have them, and my family’s “stuff” is not better or worse than another’s – but they were painful and prominent enough that at 15 years old, I made a commitment to make my personal growth, health and healing one of my top priorities in life.
In March 2019, Eric and I spent a weekend in a self-directed couples retreat for the first time planning our future in a focused, intentional way. This was a pivotal point in our relationship, because it represented the beginning of committing to paper our goals and dreams and attaching action steps and setting timelines for them. It felt like the second biggest thing we co-created together since the beginning of 2019, when we spent New Year’s Eve co-creating a joint vision board.
During the future planning retreat, we talked about our timeline for having a family and all the ways we could best plan and prepare for it, including mentally, emotionally, financially and health-fully. I shared with Eric how important it was for me that we do everything consciously and holistically – from conception, to pre-natal, to birth, to post-natal, and the actual life-long journey of parenting itself. I also shared with him stories of women that I personally know who had healthy pregnancies and births, and what I noticed how they did things differently than the average mama.
It was then that we decided that we could do everything we can to create the best and most fertile soil for a healthy and holistic pregnancy and birth, which creates a strong foundation for the rest to come.
We decided to work with my friend Carmen Dunn who is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and specializes in optimal nutrition, energy and vitality for success-driven women. She also works with couples and loves seeing them get healthy together. She’s particularly passionate about conscious conception and helping couples get as healthy as possible in the 6 months to 2 years prior to conceiving. The state of the parents’ health at the time of concept creates the blueprint for the baby’s health and well-being. Apparently, now with nutrigenomics (genetic testing for personalized nutrition), you can even “turn off” certain unfavourable genes (for example, diabetes) simply by changing your nutrition and overall health to reflect the most optimal state of health for the baby to “inherit”.
I’m thrilled to be on this health program with my beloved Eric, as health is the top priority that informs every area of the shared life we are creating together.
In the next post, we will share more about our goals and intentions for the program.