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You're my child forever, but only my baby for a year

I could probably switch the wash over to the dryer and get those towels that have been sitting in there folded and put away. But as I watched your chest gently rise and fall, I realized something.

You're my child forever, but only my baby for a year

As I peeked over the bed to check to see if you were still sleeping, I realized I could go get the dishwasher unloaded if I hurried. I could probably switch the wash over to the dryer and get those towels that have been sitting in there folded and put away.

But as I watched your chest gently rise and fall, I realized I should just come lay next to you ...

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.



I quietly ran back to the kitchen to grab my coffee that was sitting on the counter and threw it in the microwave. I grabbed a muffin from the pantry and gathered a few of the half drank water bottles your brother and sisters had left strewn about the house. As I quietly ran back to the bedroom to check on you, there you were in the same position.

But as I saw you move and possibly begin to waken, I realized I should just come lay next to you ...

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.

I glanced at my Peloton sitting just an arm's length away from the bed. My shoes were sitting right beside it, ready for me to slide into. I bet I could have got a short ride in and maybe even rinsed off quickly after.

But as I listened to your tiny baby breaths breathe in and out, so unsteady yet perfectly, I realized I should just come lay next to you ...

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.

My phone buzzed again. Another email and three more messages just came through. I bet I could have hammered through 5-10 people that were waiting to hear from me. I need to take care of the bills that are due by the end of next week. I have my organized mess of to do notes sitting on my agenda on top of my desk. I really, truly need to sift through that growing pile.

But as I thought about the list I had proudly created last night of all I was going to accomplish today, I realized I should just come lay next to you ...

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.

I started to anxiously pace back out of the room, internally fighting myself as I wanted to feel accomplished. I wanted to take advantage of this time you were asleep. I needed to "use" this time so I could feel "good" about myself later thinking all I had checked off of my list and got through.

Moments later I found myself back beside the bed staring over you once again. I leaned over to make sure you were still breathing as your perfect body barely moved.

But as I touched your tiny hand and ever so carefully put mine around it, I realized I should just come lay next to you ...

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.

As I reached to lift you after you slowly began to stir, I scooped you up just like I must have done at least five hundred times before and laid you onto my chest.

But I realized I should come lay next to you more often, even as you lay there asleep unknowingly what I have or haven't done because it doesn't matter to you.

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.

I sighed. I melted as you softly yet purposefully tightened your tiny fingers around mine. And as your eyes were still closed, you began to smile ever so slightly as if to think to yourself, There she is. She finally listened to me. She's here. She's next to me. It feels good to just have her near me.

Because you're my child forever, but only my baby for a year.


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In This Article

Ara Katz/Seed

We spoke to Ara Katz, co-founder and co-CEO of Seed, who shared her journey to (and through) motherhood—and gave us the lowdown on how probiotics can benefit mamas and children alike.

Chances are, you're aware that probiotics can help us digest the food we eat, keep inflammation at bay, synthesize essential vitamins and more. But here's the thing: When it comes to probiotics, there's a lot of misinformation… and because of that, it's hard to know what's actually a probiotic and which is the right one for you.

That's why we chatted with Ara Katz, who is a mama to son Pax and the co-founder of Seed, a company disrupting the probiotics industry. The entrepreneur told us about her motherhood journey, what led her to start her company and what she wants other parents to know about probiotics.

Q. What was life like for you before you became a mama?

I was bi-coastal after co-founding a mobile tech company in New York City with a partner in LA. My life was, for as long as I can remember, consumed by creating and work. I was fairly nomadic, loved to travel, spent many hours reading and practicing yoga, being with friends [and] waking up at the crack of dawn. [I] was fairly sure I would never marry or have children. And then something shifted.

Q. What were some pivotal moments that defined your journey to motherhood?

Ha, that makes it sound like motherhood is a destination when at this very moment, more than ever, it evolves daily. I lost my mom when I was 17 and spent most of my life believing I didn't want to be a mother. I had a lot of wiring about its limitations and constraints—I'm sure relics of grief and the fear of loss.

My journey started with a physiological wanting to be pregnant and have a baby. There was a kind of visceral sense that my body wanted to know what that was like and a strange curiosity that, at least for that period of time, usurped my ambivalence about motherhood.

Then I had a miscarriage—a beautiful inflection point in my story. I resigned from my company, chose a coast, committed to be more committed to my (then) boyfriend, now husband, and tried again. I got pregnant shortly after that and found pregnancy to be a profound journey within, a reshaping of my life and the tiniest glimpse of how motherhood would unfold.

In the 55 months since giving birth (and I like to use months because I have learned in the moments that I am most frustrated as a mom that he has only been on this planet for less than 14 fiscal quarters), I have realized and surrendered to a definition of motherhood that is a process. One of cultivating, creating, recreating, shapeshifting, learning, feeling, healing, hurting and experiencing the most potent form of presence I have ever experienced—and an aching, expansive love I didn't know possible—not just for my son, but for all living things.

Q. How did motherhood change your approach to your career?

Becoming a mother is certainly a persistent lens on all of my choices, but it was really my miscarriage that recalibrated my path. My pregnancy rekindled my love of biology and health and led me to my co-founder and the microbiome. My breastfeeding experience incepted our first product focus, and the newfound accountability for a human inspired our brand.

Q. What inspired you to co-found Seed?

I met my co-founder, Raja, during my pregnancy with Pax. [I] was immediately awestruck by his ability to both deeply understand science and to methodically break down a product, dietary question or piece of advice in a way that's educational (you actually learn something about your body), actionable (you understand what to do with the information) and foundational (you can build on that knowledge in the future to continue to make better choices).

As we spent more time, our combined passion for microbes, their potential impact on both human health and the environment, and how to set up a child for a healthy life became increasingly clear. And through birth, seeding (the process by which we get our foundational microbes and the inspiration for the name of our company) Pax and my struggles with breastfeeding, my entrepreneurial spirit was lit to build something with Raja. His deep experience in translating science to product, and mine in consumer, community-building and translating through storytelling, culminated in a shared vision to set a new standard in health through bacteria.

Q. Probiotics have been trending in recent years, but they're nothing new—can you talk a bit about the importance of probiotics?

Interest in gut health and probiotics increases month by month. However, despite the quickly growing number of "probiotic" supplements, foods and beverages out there, there's still a lot of consumer confusion—particularly around what they are, how they work and why we should take them. Probiotics have been studied extensively across various life stages, body sites and for many benefits. Digestion is an obvious and immediate one (and the primary reason most people currently take probiotics). But other strains have also been studied for skin health, heart health and gut health (including gut immune function and gut barrier integrity). But this doesn't mean that any and all probiotics can do these things—this is the importance of 'strain specificity.' In other words, ensuring that the specific strains in your probiotic have been studied for the benefit you desire is critical.

Seed Daily Synbiotic

Seed

Seed's Daily Synbiotic is a 24-strain probiotic + prebiotic formulated for whole-body benefits, including gut, skin and heart health.


Q. How do probiotics play a role in your life?

I mean, I take them, I develop them and I work with some of the leading scientists from around the world advancing the field—so they play a big role. As for my personal health, I take our Daily Synbiotic daily and my son also takes specific strains for gastrointestinal health and gut immune function. Beyond that, it's the re-orientation around my microbiome that guides many of my choices: how important fiber is, specific compounds like polyphenols found in berries, green tea and other foods, avoiding the use of NSAIDS like ibuprofen and antibiotics when not needed, exercise, sleep and time in nature [are] all aspects of our daily life that impact our microbiome and our health.

Q. What are some misconceptions about probiotics that you would like to set straight?

There's one main myth on from which all the other stem: that probiotics aren't considered a serious science. On the contrary, it's a field of inquiry that demands incredible rigor and extensive research. And when anything and everything from chocolate to ice cream to fermented food and kombucha to mattresses can call itself "probiotic" due to underregulation in the category, that grossly undermines the science and their potential.

The term 'probiotic' has a globally-accepted scientific definition that was actually co-authored by our Chief Scientist, Dr. Gregor Reid ,for the United Nations/World Health Organization.

At Seed, we work to reclaim the term for science, through the development of next-generation probiotics that include clinically validated strains and undergo the most rigorous safety, purity and efficacy testing procedures. Because why would you invite billions of unknown microbes into your body without asking "what's in here, is it the correct dosage that was studied, and has that strain in that amount been studied in human clinical trials to do something beneficial for my body"?

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what product you plan to launch next?

We are developing a pipeline of consumer probiotics to target specific ecosystems of the body and life stages, including a synbiotic for children. Our next product will reflect a unique breakthrough in the field of pediatric probiotics, which we are excited to announce soon.

This article was sponsored by Seed. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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