(Photo provided to SocaMom.com by Kamila McDonald.)
Kamila McDonald Alcock - personal trainer, entrepreneur, Stanford grad, Miss Jamaica World Beach Beauty 2009 - 3 weeks after baby Kailani Belle was born...
I am surrounded by new moms and moms-to-be these days, and I love it! If you have seen any of my craft posts recently, they all revolve around welcoming babies!
Today, I had the pleasure of chatting with entrepreneur, personal trainer, nutrition advocate, Stanford graduate, Masters degree candidate, newlywed and new mom to a baby girl, Kailani Belle - Kamila McDonald. She is a well known media personality, born and raised in Jamaica. She speaks Spanish, French, Norwegian and Swahili, is Miss Jamaica World Beach Beauty 2009, and is the wife of international reggae recording artist Jah Cure. I was glad that she took time out of her extremely busy schedule to talk with me.
Moms, you know that 45 minutes when you have a newborn may as well be four hours, but the gracious mommy was up bright and early, ready to go. Little miss Kailani, who Jah Cure fully expects to take after the family's musical talent (Kamila's mother, father, and brother are all musicians), even chimed into the conversation a couple of times!
She shares with us a first look into life as a new mom away from home, in school, and still managing her professional life. It was all over the internet that Jah Cure had yet to see his new baby girl, but she shared with me that all is taken care of and Kailani Belle and Jah Cure will get to look into each others eyes for the first time very soon - now that passports are in hand as of this week! She looks forward to returning to her fitness business in Jamaica (which she continued to run while in graduate school here in the US),
She cautions mothers to get help and try not to do it all, even though she is doing some serious multi-tasking between new motherhood, new marriage, upcoming projects, her business in Jamaica, and graduate school in California. She has some more amazing advice to share with new moms and moms-to-be that will be available on her blog as soon as she gets back to blogging regularly. We can look forward to finding out how she got that fabulous body back so soon after having her baby, nutrition and fitness during pregnancy, and more.
Eva: Your new baby girl has a gorgeous name, so what was the thought behind choosing her name?
Kamila: I have a K tradition in my family. She is actually the 15th K, and I'm the 5th. It was my mom's mom that started the tradition so all my cousins, aunts, brothers and sisters, and my mom all have a name starting with K. All of them have a name with a meaning. I searched everywhere and I wanted an Afro-centric name, because all of my siblings have Afro-centric names with a really nice meaning. So after searching [a] really long [time], I think this was the only name her dad and I really loved. His grandmother's name is Isabelle, and they would call her "Belle".
Eva: So what is your school status?
Kamila: I actually graduate in May. Kailani was born right in the middle of the semester - my last semester - so that has definitely been challenging. I started going back two weeks ago - I Skype'd into my first class, and then last week I slowly started transitioning back. One of my professors is very "baby-friendly", so I was actually able to bring her to one of my classes, and then the rest I kind of work it out with family. We go to school together...
Eva: You and your husband started your lives together with a very beautiful, thoughtful, elaborate ceremony - did you bring your little one into the world with the same amount of ceremony? Even if it was a private one, are there any little details that you can share with us?
Kamila: My mom currently resides in Ethiopia, she came up for the birth, and my sister came up from Jamaica. I also had a friend that lives close by in the area. They all snuck past the very tight security and were able to have a very festive mood in the delivery room, which was really nice. I don't think I could have done it without them. I went into labor two hours after my mom got off the plane, and she was the last person to come in. Now that I think about it, now that I have been through it, I wouldn't have been able to have done it without all of them. There was someone on every limb massaging right foot, left foot, back, hands. [laughs] They were all there and I wouldn't have been able to do it without their support.
Eva: Since you were born and raised in Jamaica, are there are some traditions, practices, and even products that you may have felt were necessary that were available since you were having your baby in the US? What did you feel like you absolutely needed to have from back home while you were pregnant and now that you have had the baby?
Kamila: I wouldn't say there were any products, I think that probably in the Caribbean, and I don't know if it is like that now, but definitely when my mom was having babies, the intention is to try and have the baby as natural as possible. And I think here in the US they probably push the help of the epidural a little bit more. I went in with the intention of having her all natural. I couldn't think of anything else that I wanted to bring from home - I think I kind of had everyone there. My brother, who is a musician himself, played music for the entire time. Maybe the music... that took me home.
Throughout her pregnancy, Kamila kept Ina May Gaskin's "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" on her night table. She admits putting more pressure on herself than others - even more than her fans, but she is working on relaxing more and focusing on spending as much time as possible giving love to her new baby girl. She has a wonderful support system, and she recommends that new moms ask for as much help as they can. She hopes to use her own personal experiences to create material for her blog that will be helpful to new moms and moms-to-be very soon.