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Name: Elizabeth Sullivan

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

Occupation: Wellness Coach for dancers

Baby’s Sex: Female

How would you describe your pregnant style?

I haven't strayed far from my usual look which is... stylishly casual? I've been more conscious of looking pulled together and even trying out some things I might not have normally tried. I guess with so much change, it's been easier to take some fashion risks. I have been trying to do more with layers, scarves and jewelry, since I didn't buy a ton of maternity clothes.

Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during this pregnancy?

The summer time was definitely easier than the fall and winter; I just wore my usual summer dresses and flowy tops. Once the cooler weather came, it got harder because I had to move into maternity pants right away. I usually wear form-fitting clothes, and with my expanding belly, skinny jeans looked more flattering, so that was a change I made right away. Despite my zip code, I didn't own many skinny jeans before getting pregnant.

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So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?

I've been surprised by how great I feel, how much fun it is to be pregnant, and what it feels like to have the baby move inside of me. Also, at this stage in life, I thought I had experienced most of what my body had to offer, but I've been pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong: pregnancy offers so many new experiences and challenges -- it's amazing.

What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump?

I've probably gotten the most mileage out of my striped tops -- I love my expanding belly and love having it shown prominently -- nothing like stripes to accentuate the size and shape! I get most of my clothes second hand in Williamsburg and none of my striped tops have been maternity, just long and slightly oversized. I also have a winter coat I bought from another Williamsburg mama -- it's a Momo Maternity down coat -- which I have loved during the cold weather; it's very warm, stylish, and still makes it obvious that I'm pregnant so I get seats on the subway, etc.

What NYC experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?

Probably the long walks through neighborhoods and parks that my husband and I take on Saturdays, and the art museums and performing arts scene, which we take part in -- NYC is such a rich and vibrant place to experience life -- I'm really looking forward to sharing it all with her.

Elizabeth is wearing:

Denim: Old Navy maternity skinny jeans

Shoes: Clark's (similar style)

Top: Brandy Melville (similar style)

Cardigan: Second-hand buy (similar style)

Photography by Desiree Walters Photography.

Shot on location at the Arlington Club.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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