Sarah - Motherhood Journey
3rd on our Motherhood Journey Q&A series is Sarah Tarca! Sarah is the co-founder of weekly beauty edit, gloss etc. She has 2 beautiful children, Yuki and Miko.
Sarah, Yuki and Miko
How did you find the journey to motherhood with Yuki and Miko?
It’s a rollercoaster, but one I’d happily ride again and again. I started my family “late” by most standards (I was 37 with Yuki and 39 with Miko, both considered ‘geriatric’ pregnancies), but it was the right time for me. I had already reached my longtime career goal of editing a magazine, and then spent the next three years travelling the world with no fixed address. There was no sense of FOMO, no anxiety about returning back to work or needing to continue to climb the ladder. I was able to really lean into motherhood, and enjoy just being a mum for a while.
That said, as I my partner and I have our own business (a digital marketing agency called Page and Scribe) and I freelance, I was back to work with Yuki after only two weeks. This time around I was much more organised and was able to take two months off.
The transition with Miko was a lot harder, as in the first six weeks we were all adjusting, and Yuki was struggling with my divided attention. With the addition of postpartum hormones I felt like my heart was breaking not being able to give him all of me, and simultaneously not being able to give Miko all of me either. Most of my Mum guilt comes from ME! But now, 11 weeks on we are still adjusting but it’s much easier. And seeing how much Yuki loves his brother… it’s just the most amazing, indescribable joy. You hear stories about it, but until you’re in it you don’t know.
What did you find the most difficult to adapt to?
The lack of spontaneity left in my life! We had to plan so much more. It takes me so long to get out of the house now and I’m perpetually late. I hate that… but it’s a work in progress.
What was your first reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
With Yuki it was shock… we weren’t trying in earnest and expected it to take a year or more so we couldn’t quite believe it. In fact, I did four pregnancy tests just to be sure! We found out the day we left for Brazil for Carnivale and I spent the 24 hour journey in a pinch-me state of (excited) disbelief. It felt like an amazing, dream. And I can quite confidently say I was the only sober person to ever attend Carnivale.
With Miko, it was just elation. I couldn’t wait to have another baby and was so excited to bring him into the world and give Yuki a sibling. I remember getting the pregnancy test back and literally feeling giddy.
Most exciting or memorable moment in your births?
I’m incredibly lucky to have had two amazing births.
With Yuki, my waters broke at a wedding between the ceremony and reception. For some reason I was really relaxed and very focused on eating, so I insisted we go to the reception to eat. We stayed for an hour (and many spring rolls) before my partner convinced me to leave. We had a magical water birth that was very peaceful and beautiful and I literally couldn’t wait to do it again. It gave me incredible amounts of respect for women and our bodies having experienced that. I feel so lucky that I was able to do it – twice!
I was pregnant with Miko in the height of Covid. I was in the public hospital system as I was with Yuki but because of Covid there were so many rules and restrictions which changed the whole experience. My partner wasn’t even allowed to come into the scans with me! So at seven months we made the decision to home birth.
What did you pack in your hospital bag? And how does preparing for birth change after you’ve done it the first time?
I packed a lot of self-care stuff to be honest. I knew I was going to feel pretty wretched physically and I wanted things that would give me comfort and make me feel like ‘me’ after such a life-altering day. That meant: nice new PJs that were comfy but would make me feel good in photos, my essential skincare items and bodycare products, so that I could feel a tiny bit pampered, my polaroid camera (it’s a universal fact that everyone looks good in polaroid), an essential oil that reminded me of my stepdad who has passed, plus all the non-sexy essentials like maternity pads, nipple cream, breast pads, and the world’s most giant undies. I also packed one special “going home from the hospital” outfit for Yuki that I have kept as a memento. I was only in hospital for 24 hours but it was all worth it.
As I had a homebirth with Miko I didn’t have to pack a thing. It was such a luxury to be able to shower in my own shower and crawl into my own bed afterwards.
What were your must-haves?
Nipple cream for the first few days of breastfeeding. A stretch mark oil because it became a ritual to rub it on my belly every day, and was nice to continue this care in the weeks after birth. Stretch marks are mostly about genetics, but this helped keep the skin supple and I think it was more about the ritual.
You are a beauty editor who's written for many publications, what do you think are postpartum friendly essential ingredients to look out for when investing in skincare?
Postpartum is all about comfort, support and self-care. So the essentials are anything that makes you feel great, grounded, and a little bit like you. Those first few weeks are a hormonal, sleepless vortex where brushing your hair feels like a luxury. So for me, it was gentle ingredients, and nourishing products: face oils, body oils, sleep masks and bath soaks.
What do you think about Noonie's Cleanse and Soothe spray?
I liked it! Easy to use, soothing, and perfect for postpartum. Ticks my “comfort” and “nourishing” boxes.
We talk a lot about our pillars of recovery (rest, nourish, move, breathe, bond) - was there a particular area in your recovery after birth that you think made the biggest positive impact?
Daily meditation and gentle yoga are essential for me. Mothers give everything to their babes: their bodies, their nutrients, their emotions. It’s far too easy to burn out, and leave your own cup empty. This is something I had to work on, and a realisation I only came to late into Yuki’s first year. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself. In fact it’s the greatest gift you can give your family, because it recharges your soul, fills your cup and helps you be the best version of yourself. Yoga and meditation does this for me, but everyone will have their own “thing” that does this for them.
What are you MOST excited for in 2021?
All the growth! Watching Miko grow and experiencing this life through his eyes; watching the bond between him and Yuki blossom, and watching my beauty platform, gloss etc expand as the community grows. It’s an exciting time!