We've had a crush on Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor since we first saw her flash across our Instagram feed. But after one of our favorite online style experts admitted so bravely--in front of hundreds and thousands of online fans on her YouTube channel--that she'd had a miscarriage, she totally had our hearts. Honest and heartfelt, it was a beautiful reminder of the realities of baby-making, and one that not enough of us talk about openly. We're beyond excited that Chriselle is pregnant once again (it's a girl!), and have been following her growing--and oh-so-fashionable!--bump ever since the announcement. And as she's perfected her pregnancy style (ok, it pretty much started perfect and has only gotten better), she's also been perfecting her ability to let go of control and embrace the unexpected. Below, this gorgeous mama-to-be gives WRNY the scoop on her wild ride, and offers 5 tips to help the rest of us learn to let go during pregnancy and beyond. What was it like learning you were pregnant this time around, especially after experiencing a miscarriage? I was actually surprised that I got pregnant again so fast after my miscarriage. Although I felt a lot more ready this time around, I couldn't help but be paranoid about possibly having another miscarriage…so I took extra good care of my mind and body. After the first 3-4 months, I felt so relieved and thankful that the baby was healthy and well. How have you felt during the process? My immediate emotions were thankful that I got a second chance on bringing life into this world. I was excited, but extremely nervous at the same time. I was so paranoid about having another miscarriage, that I really didn't start to “let go" and enjoy my pregnancy until my 4-5th month! When my doctor told me that the baby looked extremely healthy, and I had nothing to worry about, that's when I realized that it's ok to relax and enjoy the rest of the ride! How has talking about your pregnancy helped you emotionally? Talking about my pregnancy not only to my immediate friends and family, but also to my online family/followers has been extremely helpful… they were the support I needed all along. All of a sudden once I announced that I was pregnant, a lot of my followers that were moms or were expecting started to share so much of their own valuable tips and insight. I was so emotionally moved by the amount of help and support that my followers wanted to give me…it gave me strength, hope and encouragement. How have you felt physically during the pregnancy? I've been very lucky with my pregnancy thus far as it has been quite a breeze for me. Thankfully I never had morning sickness or nausea, but I've been getting a lot more tired easily. I've always been a workaholic who barely got any sleep before, so being “tired" has been a blessing in disguise as I've been FINALLY getting the sleep and rest that I should've been getting before. My husband actually loves the fact that I sleep before 10pm now! I've gained about 25 lbs. so far, but most of the weight has been distributed all in my belly and hips! What changes have you had to make since becoming pregnant? Pregnancy has brought a lot of positive changes into my life. I've been able to put things into perspective and determine what is a priority and what is not. Before my pregnancy, my business consumed my entire life (luckily, I married a very patient and understanding man), but as of lately, I found myself prioritizing my relationship and quality time with my family a lot more. Yes, it comes with a bit of sacrifice, but i've come to a conclusion that you CAN have it all...but not all at once! There is a season for sowing and there is a season for reaping. I still work every day, and am just as equally obsessed with what I do, but I've really learned to “shut off" when the time is right. I feel like I got more organized and more diligent with my work during my pregnancy. Pre-planning is key, and I'm so thankful I have an amazing team that helps me do that. What's been your favorite stage of dressing the bump so far during the pregnancy? My favorite stage of dressing the bump so far has been NOW! I'm currently 26 weeks and I'm no longer able to hide the bump anymore, so instead I just emphasize it by wearing tighter tops and one pieces. I love being able to show off my bump, as I think it's the best accessory that any woman can really have! What was the most challenging? I think the most challenging was when I was 4 months into my pregnancy. I was at that awkward phase where I could still fit into my own clothes (without being able to zip or button them up), nor was I ready for maternity wear either. Most people couldn't tell I was pregnant until last month, so they just thought that I gained a few extra pounds! What's been your go-to fashion piece or brand during pregnancy? I absolutely am obsessed with HATCH Collection for cute one-pieces, coats and blouses. I also love the maternity jeans from A Pea in the Pod, and the BellaBands from Ingrid & Isabel! Is there pressure, as a style expert, to always be impeccably dressed during pregnancy? I wouldn't call it pressure, but I feel like I have a responsibility to always look chic (especially during this time of my life), so I can inspire other women that are going through what I'm going through. Dressing the bump can be quite challenging, and it's easy to not feel motivated to get dressed up, so I hope that my outfits inspire other women out there to feel beautiful and great about themselves no matter what size they are. What are you most nervous for or when baby arrives? I'm most nervous about breastfeeding! I've heard so many challenging stories from other women about it. What are you most excited for? I'm most excited about EVERYTHING! Just being able to watch our baby grow and develop as she gets older, and of course--I'm not going to lie--dressing her up! What are your best tips for learning to let go during pregnancy?
- If you ever have a miscarriage, know that it's not your fault. For the longest time I felt as if I had to hold myself responsible for my miscarriage, when in fact it can be caused by a number of things out of your own control.
- Although I appreciate all the tips and advice everyone was giving me, it's also healthy to limit yourself from listening to EVERYTHING that you hear. Everyone has different experiences and journeys, and no one way is the right way. Limit the amount of opinions you let in on how you should live your life during your pregnancy and once you have the baby.
- Your life doesn't stop. It's only the beginning! As a single working girl, I always thought that my life would stop the day I got pregnant but truth be told, it hasn't! It actually only got better. I still continue to work everyday, and do everything that I usually do, but with more caution now.
- Continue to exercise. Although I don't do my crazy morning fitness routines anymore, I still take the time to exercise everyday! It's something I've always enjoyed doing, so I continue to do so by going jogging, walking the dogs, swimming, and yoga.
- Gaining Weight is healthy and a beautiful thing! I was always so paranoid about gaining extra weight pre-pregnancy, but i'm now 25 lbs. heavier and I've never felt so beautiful! I've always said that the woman's best accessory is her confidence, but I might have to change that saying now to: “The woman's best accessory is her bump!"