Being Mama: Taylor Tomasi Hill
The street style stalwart with the most stunning red hair outside of a Disney film, Taylor Tomasi Hill is a veteran fashion editor and mama to Wells, who is about to turn one. The VP and fashion director of Forty Five Ten talks to The Tot about her fears that she’d never have children, how motherhood has changed her and the book that always makes her tear up.
“There was a time I thought I would never have children. My husband and I were told that we were unable to have children naturally and that we should consider other methods as quickly as possible. It was hard to hear. Personally, I was not comfortable with the idea of ‘other methods’ – I thought if we were supposed to be blessed with a child, it would come naturally. So after a short discussion about adoption, we put those ‘other methods’ aside and I got busy launching my floral business. Several months later, I was cast in an ad for Schumacher. The day before the shoot I went through my wardrobe to select some clothes take with me. I went to try on the first piece, my go-to black dress, and there it was: a bump. I ran out to the drugstore. Two minutes later, I was holding a positive pregnancy test. I called my best friend and asked her if it could be wrong. By the time we hung up, she was in her car on her way to my apartment! My husband was in a meeting so I texted him saying I thought I could be pregnant. He wrote back, ‘That’s not possible!’ But I took two more tests – both positive – and it was true: I was pregnant! In fact, I was two months pregnant. I’d assumed the cravings for two lunches and chocolate were due to lack of sleep from taking on so many floral projects!”
“In hindsight, I’m so glad I didn’t know I was pregnant for the first two months – it seemed that as soon as I knew I was pregnant, things got so much harder. I was nauseous 24 hours a day. I never got sick, but I always had to have something in my mouth to curb the nausea – to the point that I got sick of eating. This just put me in a foul mood so I tried to stay as busy as possible with work. And I did work through my pregnancy. My work requires a lot of standing so I treated myself to frequent pregnancy massages. I gained more than 45 pounds, so my back and feet needed some extra love. By the end I was overdue so I was getting acupuncture treatments daily as I really wanted my little guy to come naturally rather than having to be induced.”
“When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately began reading anything and everything I could about pregnancy and childbirth. I definitely had a birth plan… but I knew, from all my friends who already had children, that it would be completely out of my control and more than likely would not go my way. And what do you know? They were right. I am so happy my friends drilled this into my head – it meant that every time something didn’t go ‘my way’ I was prepared with questions, and made sure I was comfortable moving to an alternate plan.”
“I was in labor for 36 hours – a little on the longer side (although a woman in my birthing classes took 50+ hours with her first born!). I wanted to try and have a natural birth without an epidural. After 15 hours of contractions, I was not dilating at all and my cervix was completely closed. There was a point when the doctors thought the baby could have the cord around his neck or something was blocking him from dropping, which was scary. But because his heart rate remained normal, my midwife decided to let him take his time and move down when he was ready. But this also meant that I’d be in labor a lot longer than anticipated – basically it would be like starting at the first hour, all over again! I couldn’t see myself being able to hold out in that much pain for another 15 or so hours so I happily caved – I took the epidural and passed out for a few hours to rest. When I woke up, I was finally dilated! Another 15 hours passed until I was ready to push, but it turned out Wells was still not ready to come out. His heart rate was randomly dropping so my midwife told me they were bringing in the hospital’s head of labor and delivery. If I could prove to her that I could push with all my might, I could proceed with a vaginal delivery. I was determined as ever at this point and I did what I had to do to make sure she saw that I had the energy and the willpower to keep going. Two hours later, I gave birth to my son naturally. I couldn’t see him from one side of my face as I’d burst a blood vessel in my eye, but it didn’t matter – I had a healthy baby boy with 10 fingers and 10 toes, and I was okay. You seem to get over things like this when there is a precious human being staring up at you.”
“This last year has certainly had its ups and downs. Growing, birthing and raising a child is the best gift I have ever received and I feel blessed and content. But it is an emotional rollercoaster – while it’s extremely rewarding it was also extraordinarily difficult at times. I think this is to be expected as every pregnancy and every child is different, but I didn’t often read about all the hardships you face as a parent.”
“I had only started my business, @TTHBlooms, a short time before giving birth, so I was eager to get back to work. I was at the flower market with Wells seven days after giving birth. I quickly realized it was too soon for my body. After overdoing it I learned my lesson and sent my assistant to the market for the first month.”
“Juggling your career and parenting is tough. During the first three months, things were actually easier as Wells would take long naps, so I had time in between feeding and naps. But after the third month it became difficult to run my business out of my home, take care of an infant and juggle everything that comes along with this. I made the decision to transition my business into events-only, so I could focus on two to three events per month. It’s all about managing what is right for you – I have transitioned back into the fashion industry as fashion director for the luxury retailer, Forty Five Ten, which is better for me than running a business out of my home.”
“My husband and I are pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting. We do keep Wells on a strict schedule in terms of meals and naps, but everything else is relatively spontaneous. My friends told me that, with kids, you can try to plan everything but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. It was good advice!”
“Wells is just about to turn one. We hang out in Chelsea, mainly, where a typical Saturday afternoon for us includes visiting art galleries, a run to the grocery store and then an early dinner at our favorite taco shop, Tacombi El Presidente. It’s very kid friendly, super fast, and has the best homemade hot sauce in town. At home, we love listening to music with Wells, and we read to him every night. On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman, is a book that always makes me emotional. One of my closest friends gave it to him and she warned me that it was the best and the worst book because it is so sweet and would make me cry every time I read it to him – she wasn’t kidding. And we read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt every night. It has lots of sound effects so Wells often has a funny, questionable gaze while we sound out each page!”
“Motherhood has definitely changed me. I’ve become much more efficient, for one! I used to think I got a lot done in a day, but now I juggle more and am learning how to manage my time and schedule more effectively. My relationship with my husband has changed too. Certainly nothing gets easier in a relationship when you bring a child into the mix – but it definitely gets more fun! Finding the time to put your relationship first is hard – yet necessary. Scheduling date nights or just setting aside time to sit and talk about grown-up priorities and plans is key. This is something we are learning and managing as we go.”
Taylor’s maternity style
“I was mostly at home through my pregnancy, so I was very casual with my style. I shopped at Zara and J. Crew quite often, mostly when my waist size changed. I turned to Reformation to make me feel the slightest bit attractive and Thom Browne knits and button downs. Hatch has the best cashmere pants – it was my go-to brand for special investment pieces that I knew would be staples in my pregnancy wardrobe. Hatch’s hospital kit was a saving grace for me, particularly the full coverage underwear. When it came to special occasions I usually found myself sausaged into something I owned pre-pregnancy. In retrospect, these may not have been my most winning fashion moments.”
Taylor’s top pregnancy must-haves
- Palmers Cocoa Butter: it’s for stretch marks and it’s paraben and phthalate free. I don’t know if it works but I didn’t get stretch marks, so I believe!
- 7 For All Mankind pregnancy jeans: I found these to be the best as they didn’t stretch as much as other brands, and I tried them all!
- The Gentle Birth Method, by Dr. Gowri Motha: Nasiba Adilova, co-founder of The Tot introduced me to this book and it educated me and helped me make the right decisions for my pregnancy.
- Wellness Essentials packets by Metagenics: my prenatal vitamins of choice
- Medela Medical Grade Breast Pump: I made the mistake of starting with an insurance grade pump which lead to many problems down the line, if I can give any advice it would be to start with a medical grade pump.
- CLEAN www.cleanprogram.com: a cleanse that a friend introduced me to after having my baby. It helped me to get back to a better frame of mind as well as a smaller pant size.
Taylor’s must-have products for new moms
- Bugaboo buffalo stroller: the big wheels are a plus for navigating cobblestones, snowbanks and puddles.
- iBaby monitor M6 HD Wi-Fi Wireless Digital Baby monitor: ideal for travelling parents who want to check in on their little one while anywhere in the world. I can be across the country and still watch Wells in real-time, day or night.
- Pandora: for music needs from rock ballads to sleepy-time tunes.
- Serena & Lily Sleep Sack: we received our first one as a gift and it is by far the best we have tried. This is now our go-to gift for all of our friends having babies. (We used the Miracle Blanket Swaddle until he was about 5 months old and then switched over to the Sleep Sack. The Miracle Blanket looks intimidating but it’s not once you get the hang of it and it’s so much better than all the swaddles with velcro and zippers.)