I met her through my fiance Jason who is really good friends with her brother Kwame Nyong’o and their family for a few years now. She had her beautiful daughter Juno Grey Madison when I was in my third trimester. I think I can speak for most pregnant mothers that when you start this journey and meet other pregnant women or mothers, there is an unspoken bond that we share as we are part of the “Mothers Club”. Most people know Isis as a technology leader who has graced the lists of the”Africa’s Top 20 Youngest Power Women” by Forbes, Africa’s Top 10 Women in ICT and Africa’s most powerful women in Tech 2013. She is definitely an inspiration to many young women just like her cousin Award Winning, Lupita Nyong’o. So in honor of being a new mother as well as the fact that yesterday was her birthday, here is her interview.
I was so happy to ask Isis a few questions about her pregnancy and her experience being a new mother. Happy Birthday Isis!!!!!!! 😉
CM: So tell me what your first reaction was when finding out about your pregnancy?
IN: Absolute elation! It was rather surreal and scary.
CM: What was your most common food craving and most unusual craving?
IN: I had more food aversions than cravings although I did eat a lot more carbs than usual so maybe that was technically a craving. One of the more interesting aversions was popcorn (which I normally love!) to the point where I banned it from being made at home much to my poor husband’s chagrin.
CM: Yes, I definitely understand that. I had some food aversions too, I couldn’t stand the smell of coconut oil which Jason loves to cook with, I also couldn’t stand the taste of chewing gum and I stopped eating chicken dishes which I always loved.
CM: Share with me what the hardest part about being pregnant? Did you have a good pregnancy? What advice would you give other women about pregnancy?
IN: I found pregnancy to be an incredibly wonderful and empowering experience. Parts of the transformation can be challenging but the ‘hardest’ part was maybe the fear that something may go wrong. I think there’s a lot of negative messages in the public domain that make women fear instead of embrace pregnancy – there’s more of a public focus on what’s ‘hard’ or ‘difficult’ rather than a deeper appreciation of the wonder that is pregnancy. I mean we create other people inside us!! How amazing is that?! I’ll never forget a few women telling me that they were envious, missed being pregnant. That’s not a message we get very often that women remember pregnancy with fondness. The most valuable piece of advice I received (special thanks to my yoga instructor Esther Waters-Crane for this) that I’d like to pass on to other women is to research as much as possible as knowledge is power. This will both empower you generally and enable you to make informed, active decisions for yourself and your baby. I’m still astonished at how little I knew at the outset about virtually everything related to pregnancy. But with Esther’s nudge and sharing of many books, a whole world began to unfold and I was fascinated to learn that I could shape what kind of birth experience I’d have, for example.
CM: I share your sentiments on the fact that we need to share more positive stories about preganancy. I learnt alot from Jason and my midwife Anne Lefebvre Olale, she came into my life pretty late in my pregnancy but I am so glad that she was there when I most needed her which was weeks before I had Beck. I definitely went into the labor room more confident and empowered than I expected.
CM: What were your first thoughts when you saw Juno?
IN: Absolute awe and love. It’s impossible for me to articulate those emotions but I will feel them forever.
CM: Was Chris a help or hindrance during the first few weeks after giving birth?
IN: He was a huge help throughout the entire process. He was there every step of the way and I can’t imagine having gotten through it without him.
CM: Which music or movies were a hit when you were pregnant?
IN: Funny enough, I was watching ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ when I went into labor. Another major movies was ’12 Years a Slave’ and Pharell’s ‘Happy’ was a great song to be a big hit when you’re pregnant.
CM: Which celebrity was the most talked about during your pregnancy?
CM: Do you think a married family with children is any better than an unmarried relationship with kids, if so why?
CM: What is something you miss about the life before Juno?