Top model and co-founder of Mama Talks, Mari Agory is pregnant with her second and lives in a secret garden—literally! Herein she shares about her new platform for moms, prepping for baby number two, plus country-life in the city. @mari_agory
On the eve of this interview, after we chatted for hours, Mari went into labor with her baby. What a beautiful sign-off and powerful beginning to her next chapter.
State of Mind?
Overall I’m feeling great. However, I’m a little flustered and all over the place at the moment as my due date is tomorrow! I’m in a state of limbo as I’m simultaneously anxious to meet my baby, but I’m also not looking forward to the lack of sleep that’s to come.
What’s surprised you about this pregnancy?
How fast it went! I’ve had so many other things grabbing my attention, between starting a new business and running after a toddler that I haven’t even had a moment to notice the pregnancy and do the things that you typically do with your first pregnancy like look at Baby Center, etc. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, as I love being pregnant, and I want to enjoy the process of it; however, life has not allowed for as much of that this time around.
Learned from the first to the second?
After Luke was born the lack of sleep was very difficult for me, so this time, we’ve hired a night nurse to help. With Luke, I refused any help as I didn’t want to feel like a “failed mom,” and I felt as if I had something to prove to myself and everyone that I could do it all on my own! Through that experience, I learned that as women, it’s ok to ask for help; therefore this time around I am planning on asking!
Do you consider self-care important?
Absolutely! It’s vital that women take time for themselves, especially moms, a concept that I struggled with when I first became a mom. When I had my son, I went through an identity crisis, that made me realize that I need to take of myself to be able to take care of my baby. I got caught up in my role as a mom and taking care of my baby and forgot about myself — both emotionally and physically. Now, I prioritize small things, like taking a walk by myself, a bath, or journaling. Plus, I listen to enlightening Podcast like UPLIFTING.
Pushing myself to the limit has been the theme of this pregnancy. I discovered this incredible strength that I have through my last pregnancy, and therefore with this one, I decided that I’m not going to baby myself and have stayed physically active. These days pregnant women are regarded as fragile, almost like patients! However, it’s quite the opposite–I’m growing a human, not sick! In fact, I’m the healthiest person. For the most part, I’ve stayed extremely physically active and I walk everywhere. My gym is the city, which is how I’ve stayed fit. I’ve only gained 20 pounds this time whereas last time I gained double!
A good example of this sentiment is at 7.5 months pregnant, I took a few visiting family members to the Empire State Building. We took the elevator to the 80th floor, where you have to switch to the second elevator to go to the top. The line for the second elevator was meant to take 30 minutes and rather than stand on line we decided to take the stairs to the 92nd floor! So, I folded up the stroller, grabbed my son and we jetted up 12 flights to the top! Everyone was looking at me with awe and when I got to the top I felt like Super Woman!
Healthy. We mainly cook at home and eat a ton of veggies from our garden, as it’s such a rare thing to have a full vegetable garden in NYC. Plus, my partner is a spear fisherman, so we eat an unbelievable amount of fish.
This pregnancy compared to the last, hasn’t offered any weird cravings. With my first, all I wanted to eat was rice and ice cream, together, plus pizza!
Whereas with this pregnancy I’ve been a little more cautious because I gained 45 pounds with the first! I tried not to give in to all my cravings, plus I have been so busy that I’m not paying attention to my cravings as much. I still get the ice cream and rice one now and then, but that’s about it.
First thing to eat after baby?
Sushi and a big glass of the finest wine I can find out of Sicily—I would say an entire bottle but don’t want to sound like an alcoholic!
Sex while pregnant?
Not much of a difference in the first half of the pregnancy as I was still small but once I hit the third trimester, it’s been a bit more tricky, with my inability to move as freely with this big belly and my low libido, it’s the last thing on my mind. I find it funny that they encourage you to have sex at the end of pregnancy to encourage the baby–while that’s how the baby got here, that’s not how the baby’s coming out!
Body and boobs?
I love both! I had no boobs and was super skinny prior to becoming a mom as I used to work out a lot plus, I was a model; therefore I love my pregnant body with boobs and a belly! The transformation physically and emotionally is incredible. It’s amazing what my body can do and its a good reminder of what we’re capable of as women.
Go-to pregnancy style?
Maxi dresses! They’re easy to throw on, plus they’re comfortable and have grown with me.
What is Mama Talks?
I didn’t have family or support around when I first became a mom which was challenging to me. Therefore with Mama Talks, my partner and I wanted to implement all of the things that we personally struggled with, which a lot of other moms struggled with too. As a result, we recently launched our platform for women to come together and feel intellectually plus emotionally stimulated and uplifted. We’re challenging the traditional narrative of motherhood with a fierce openness to lean into taboo subjects.
What does maternity leave look like for you?
We talked about this at our launch event. Motherhood + ambition, and learning to prioritize and juggle all the demands in our lives. It’s tricky to take maternity leave when you have a toddler and your own business. Especially as we’re in the midst of planning our first official event for the end of the month. Therefore while I’ll technically be taking time off, I’ll still be involved in a low-lift way.
Constantly be learning, as it’s all part of the process. Motherhood is humbling. Be open to learning new things, embrace the process, and surrender—this is when you grow and learn as a person.