How DARITY started - through the hardest year of my life

How DARITY started - through the hardest year of my life

Hi everyone!

I thought it was maybe time to share a bit more about me – to answer those big questions you may be asking.

Who am I, and really – what right to I have to launch an apparel brand? 

My name is Selah, and I’m a mid 30’s elder millennial mother to a 2.5 year old toddler.

I’m a second generation Korean-American meaning my parents were the first in their generation to move to the US (from Korea). I’m in the crew that grew up in a post-9/11 world, entered the job market during a global recession, and now parenting during a pandemic.

Becoming a mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – and I’ve done many hard things. I’ve worked long, overtime hours for my jobs. I’ve juggled multiple clients with a constant level of stress coursing through my veins. I’ve doubled a master’s degree program on top of my career. I’ve launched a start-up with dependent employees from nothing. And now, any endeavor in my life will be in addition to being a mother.

(Please note - this message isn’t meant to negate any of those achievements or women that choose not to have kids – but I wanted to put into perspective that my personal experience was a stark milestone in my life and that I’ve been on both sides of the fence)

 *Trigger warning* My recounting of my postpartum experience may cause you to remember unpleasant memories of those early months.

Why was it so hard?

I’ll state upfront that I gave birth to a healthy child with no official complications – which makes me pray every day for NICU parent warriors.

I labored for 72 hours.

Pushed for 4 hours.

My milk supply didn’t come in for 5 days – I just pumped for hours with nothing.

As soon as my milk came in, I got mastitis and incidentally – bronchitis for 3 weeks.

I had low milk supply, plugged ducts, excess lipase milk (realized after dozens of bags of frozen milk), acne, thinning hair.

My baby was losing weight at each check-in, spiraling me into the feeding, supplementing, pumping chaos.

I was getting very little sleep between feedings, pumping, wash bottles, and my baby was not sleeping for more than 30 minutes at a time.

My baby wouldn’t take a bottle, baby wrap, pacifier, or suck her thumb for comfort (ever).

When my husband went back to work after a couple weeks, I felt so alone and anxious of being the sole caregiver

I broke down many, many times – at the pediatrician’s office, at the OB/GYN. Every time they gave me the Sharpie to fill out my postpartum survey – I wanted to throw it at them. How could a mother with no sleep, sickness, and low milk supply not be (very) sad and show signs of postpartum depression?

So truly yes, we have a lot going on as newborn moms. During these bleary-eyed months. I found myself frustrated at so much, including my clothes. On top of washing them every day due to spit up and blow-outs, I couldn’t understand:

  • Why are these straps on the bras so wide with so much cup padding? Why is the alternative a sheer bra with no support where my leaking milk would immediately seep into my top?
  • Why is there a separate bra for nursing and pumping?
  • Do I need the corset band on top of everything else?
  • Why do my maternity clothes not support my postpartum body, but my pre-baby clothes aren’t even close to fitting?
  • How do I maximize time at work to pump with my outfits?

I wasn’t prepared for this – I had researched every baby registry item on the market – but no one had really shown me how to adapt my wardrobe aside from the perspectives of “wear your husband’s clothes” or “try a wrap dress”. What about the 99% percent of the time when I need to run an errand, chase my toddler at the park, take a work Zoom call, etc.?

Coming from the consulting business, my process engineering mindset came into play during naptimes and middle of the night feeds. I dreamed of making this scenario better for moms.

I’ll share more about how I got from that starting point A to where we are now!

But suffice it to say – my experience becoming a mother taught me a lot about how maternity and postpartum clothes could be drastically innovated. I worked with professionals to make that happen (by the way, my clothes were designed by creative designers from swimwear, active wear, and intimates - moms who understood the design flaws and opportunities to improve what’s on the market).

Thanks for reading this post about me. I hope it conveys empathy and solidarity into your own motherhood experience.

I’ve been there, I’m still there, and I’m glad we’re here together.

 

Here with you,

Selah 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published