She is ready, she is inspiring, she is fearless. Meet Floriana, soon-t0-be mom of a baby boy, who shares with us her path from becoming an influencer on all things health, fitness and spirituality, to deciding to become a mother, above all else. Living on one of the most beautiful canals of Amsterdam with Dutch husband Edwin, the two make a great team and are enjoying their lives to the fullest. From honeymoons in Tanzania and Zanzibar, to romantic getaways in Cabo San Lucas and birthdays in New York. It may seem all fun and games, but there’s so much more to her lifestyle and customs, that she’s become an inspiration to so many women out there. There is work, deadlines, seriousity, positivity put into everything she does, a lot of planning and a down-to-earth attitude.
She plays the piano, she meditates every morning, has her own coaching company set up in Amsterdam and loves to help people around her and put a smile on their faces whenever possible.
And since she’s also gonna be a mommy in about…two weeks, we thought we’d better sit down and have a chat with her whilst we still have her “free” and “independent”. You’ll see what we mean by that, Floriana! So keep reading and see what this gorgeous mommy-to-be has to tell us about her exciting life.
ABOUT BECOMING A MOM….
How do you feel about having a boy?
When we found out we are expecting a baby, both my husband and I didn’t really have a preference. At a very early stage, around 9 weeks, though, one of our mid-wives told us that we are expecting a boy. It was extremely early and I really didn’t believe it was true, I couldn’t see it on the screen, so I doubted it, and she even said herself she could be wrong. For Edwin, however, it was very clear J. We had to wait one more month to get the confirmation, but he knew it.
What do I feel about having a boy?
I think I will be the most loved and adored mother in the world! And I have always been curious about having a mini-Edje. It would be love at first sight for the second time J.
What are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to seeing his eyes, his smile, feeling his energy and skin, and seeing the blend of facial features he may inherit. I am sooooo curious to see how our looks and physical features are now combined into one little human being; what strong traits will be passed on..
What are you most scared or insecure of about becoming a mom?
Ever since I’d started to become conscious about my decisions and behaviour and to look at my life’s experiences as lessons to learn from and grow, I have not been scared or insecure. There is an inner knowing always telling me that things are exactly as they should be for the people involved, regardless if they concern me, my family, or this planet. If we don’t like something or we suffer, we must change. Solutions are always available, we must tap into our creativity to find them.
So, nope, nothing to fear about becoming a mum, this little guy picked us as his parents, so I am sure we will always find a solution together. To me this is just another role I must play here and I will do everything to give the best performance J.
How and when did you make this decision? How did it happen, what did you feel before taking this decision?
Even though Edwin told me that I am the mother of his kids after two weeks of dating each other, and it was a mutual feeling, I’ve been thinking about having a baby 1-2 years before I’d got pregnant. Not planning, but contemplating this idea. I am a very responsible person especially when it comes to another human being who would be completely reliant on me, on us.
I’ve coached myself to understand what this experience really means, what changes it brings with my body, my life, my family, etc.
Neither my husband nor I wanted to have a baby just to tick a box in the familial or social system. I have not become pregnant for the sake of giving birth and calling myself a mum, nor to feel fulfilled as a woman or to fill in a void, but to share our joy, our life and our knowledge and passion with these new souls. To help raise better, kinder and more loving citizens of this world.
However, being a mother always brought me to the idea of a mature, grown-up person. So, there was this fear I had to get rid of, of being responsible for another person for the rest of my life, and moving clearly into a new phase of my life, from a young girl to a real woman; call it parenthood if you want.
How have you been experiencing your pregnancy so far?
Let’s say… I am one of the lucky ones. Although, I truly believe we have quite some power over this thing called “luck”. Until the beginning of the 8th month I had a very positive and pleasant experience. No sickness, no mood swings, no big weight gain, and so on, you name it. Perfect harmony. I like to say that my baby has been very kind to me and I am so grateful. I’ve had a few morning/evening sickness moments, but my positive mindset and the calm approach, with breathing exercises, taking rest, some ginger crackers at hand, have helped me quickly move over them. No drama, no arguments, no hysterical scenes, no stress J.
I went on with my gym routine two-three times a week, alongside with stretching, walking, biking almost every day. My personal trainer helped me every week to strengthen my back, arms, legs and balance. I was very happy to observe how my body reacts to the pregnancy.
However, during week 32 we found out the high levels of hormone has affected my bile acids which became high and put the baby at risk. So, we are now monitoring the pregnancy very closely, we go to the hospital three times a week and I am very alert to feel the baby active and moving. We will almost certainly be induced around week 37 in order to minimise the risk of still birth, following the latest research and best practices of the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam.
My new approach is to take each day as it comes, to be mindful and at peace, and above everything to learn to stay opened to any scenario and accept that we cannot have full control over what could happen. I can only make it my intention to stay positive, focused on the present moment, and find the best solution for each new scenario. I believe each body is unique, and it will react in a unique way. I trust my body to support me and looking at the experience I’ve had during the past 8 months, I am very confident and positive that everything will go as it should.
A friend of mine, a surgeon, has once told me that the pregnancy is a lot in our minds, and the way we approach it makes a great difference. To me this is common sense, it’s normal if you have negative thoughts, your experience will be more negative and dramatic, compared to accepting what comes and dealing with it in a constructive, calm and positive approach.
How is the pregnancy medical system in the Netherlands?
Today was actually the first time I have talked to a gynecologist throughout my whole pregnancy, due to the bile acids complication. Generally, the main difference with the Romanian system is that in the Netherlands there is a specialised mid-wife service, basically maternity nurses who have been educated for four years in the “art of giving birth”. We picked a very nice clinic established by 5 mid-wives here in Amsterdam, called FEMME. They have checked and treated me from the beginning, giving us continuous support, attention, care and advice. They make the ultrasounds, the blood tests, all the necessary checks, they have advised me about the acupuncture practice for pregnancy, about good massage salons etc. They organise delivery courses, breastfeeding courses, and if there is no medical problem with the pregnancy, they will be the ones to help me give birth. The gynecologist wouldn’t even be present.
However, in our current situation, we will deliver in the hospital under the close surveillance of a gynecologist.
How do you think becoming a mom will change your pre-baby life?
First, I’ll have to get used to being called “mom”, without instantly looking around me and spot my own mom somewhere J.
Then, obviously, I’m gonna get less sleep, less time for myself, less time for clubbing and partying, and so on, I’d have to adopt a different day to day schedule, and be more concerned with the well-being and the mental and emotional health of the little one, as well as to be conscious about the time Edwin and I need for our own relationship.
But it will also make me fall in love again, and experience a type of love I have never felt before. So, I am focused on this experience, the rest will follow.
ABOUT YOUR VEGAN DIET….
Tell us about your diet, when it started, how you handle it, what you eat, what you cook?
Well, I wouldn’t call it a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle, which has evolved in the past 15 years in a very natural, predictable way. I have never been a big fan of eating meat and naturally picked vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, light soups and stews, fish or seafood.
The vegan style began 1.5 years ago, the most conscious-eating years so far! I had to educate myself and understand how to combine different ingredients and ensure I get the necessary daily intake of iron, protein, vitamins, minerals, omegas, essential oils, and so on. I did have a sweet tooth, and, thanks to my routine and discipline I have also reduced the quantity of sweets and sugar!
I am cooking at home more than ever, I am happy to try new ingredients, to be creative with food, to play with the spices, and just continuously learn new recipes.
How has it improved your health, well-being and looks?
I feel light, my digestion system has improved a lot, even the well-known pregnancy bloating is affecting me very little, thanks to a digestion process that doesn’t need a lot of energy and a correct combination of the different foods. My skin, hair and energy level have also improved a lot, I have fewer afternoon energy slumps and I am much more conscious and focused on a holistic lifestyle, which includes mind, body and soul.
What was the hardest part (if any) and the most surprising part? (especially living in Amsterdam where finding good, quality food is super easy)
The hardest part was to create a good list of nutritional facts so I could have a good reference when preparing my meals. I first needed to understand what my body needs daily, so I had to really educate myself. It was hard mostly because of the amount of time that this process takes, to measure, to read and check online, and learn about the different combinations, etc. It was also difficult to make a good stack of everything I needed to have in the kitchen (e.g. a lot seeds and plant powders – chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sesame, maca powder, baobab, acai berry, goji etc.) that I wasn’t very used to include in my diet.
Living in Amsterdam though made it easier. I find lots of these ingredients in the organic supermarket.
The most surprising part was that all my breakfast ideas were quickly adopted by my husband too just because they taste and look so good.
During your pregnancy, how have you handled your diet, did you have to make any changes? Did you have any “non-vegan” cravings?
I haven’t made any changes so far, although I was and still am very open to it if needed. I have made all the necessary tests and everything looks good; my iron, protein, and calcium intake are perfectly fine, the baby has perfect sizes too, he’s been growing following all the measurement and medical standards.
As for the cravings, I had none. Really, I don’t know if this is true or not, but I do not believe in waking up at 3.00 AM cause the baby is making me crave for ice-cream with strawberry syrup on top or donuts or whatever McDonalds stuff. I do believe in our heightened smell sense, which has made me crave for a butter croissant when passing by a very good bakery. I stopped, went inside, bought one and enjoyed it. But that was it.
I think this ‘no craving’ easiness comes also from the fact that I said I would eat anything my body is asking or craving for at any moment in time. Allowing myself to take a bite or sip if I really feel like. Funnily enough, this almost never happens.
What would you advise women who want to adopt this… lifestyle? Because it’s not only about what you eat, right?
First, I would say do not stop your diet at once and switch to vegan. Do it gradually, I was vegetarian for years before going vegan.. So to me it felt very natural.
Then, do not become vegan because it is trendy or fashionable. It won’t last, trust me. Do it because you truly believe it fits your body and your metabolism.
Also, I would say that each of us has the duty towards self and family to continuously educate herself about what we eat, how we eat, and improve it. So, stay smart, ladies! Read and learn and then adopt whatever diet fits your needs best.
And yes, it is not about eating only.. you are right! As I said earlier, it’s about adopting a holistic life style. I believe we must “feed” our bodies, minds and souls with the right food that makes us more balanced, loving, and in harmony with ourselves. We need to become more conscious and aware of who we truly are and how we can change this world starting with ourselves.
Peaceful people lead to a peaceful world! And, looking at the latest political and economic events, we so need this peace.
ABOUT YOUR MINDFUL WAY OF LIVING…
You live a “mindful” life, practicing it every day. Tell us more about your routine.
It is a daily routine based on meditation, physical exercise, good food, massage, acupuncture, floating, and self-coaching. I am not a master in any of these and I have a long way to go until I become one, but I am using my common sense and intuition to understand my beliefs, my unconstructive patterns, my negative behaviors, or what makes me and others around me suffer. And then, find ways to change this.
Meditation, for instance, has given me a strong sense of peace as well as strength to challenge myself and change my negative belief systems.
What inspired you to start and how has it changed you?
Ever since I was a little girl I loved being alone, on my own. I had many hours alone in the house since I was 2. It helped me a lot and brought great consciousness and introspection. I have been playing with meditation, prayer, and positive mindset for as much as I can remember. At 21 I had a health issue which made me become even more aware of the importance of healthy eating, immunity system, and empowerment of self.
All the big changes in my life and big decisions have been driven by the belief that I have the power to change my life if I don’t like it. I am the only one in charge with my happiness and I can’t make anyone else responsible for this, because this would be simply selfish. So, if I want to have something, go and get it, girl! Don’t expect others to give it to you. This mindset has brought tremendous joy and confidence in my life.
Almost three years ago, when I began my coaching study with a Canadian school of coaching – CLI , I also started a real daily routine. I’ve been learning a lot and challenged myself and others around me a lot. Hopefully, I have been inspiring many too.
How do you think your daily routine will be affected by the new baby in the house?
My baby is meditating with me every morning J. He moves a bit at the beginning, then completely still, and then active again. One can say it’s only in my mind, but every action or real fact was first imagined… So I do believe he feels the energy, love and positive feelings I am sending him.
I hope I will be able to go on with my routine, however I am aware that I should be flexible, and find ways to keep it going. But, I will let you know where I stand after the first six months with the baby J.
How will you pass it over to your child, do you think you can raise him to adopt your habits?
I won’t be the one who decides what he’s going to eat, except for the early years, he will make his own decisions and choices, I can only guide him. My husband and I are already looking for good daycares that provide kids with healthy, organic food, yoga classes, and a mindful way of teaching.
And, of course, I hope I can inspire him by offering a balanced, loving environment, where he can feel free to be creative, happy and healthy in his own way.
What does yoga mean for you?
Yoga means union, and to me it reasons with union with self and my creative power and abilities, with my body and my mind. It gives me flexibility both for my body and muscles, as well as for my mind and soul. Learning to breathe, to listen to your body, to be aware of your blockages and so on. It all sounds so serious, but it actually is so relieving once you start doing it. I love bikram yoga in the hot rooms for instance, it really pushes me to overpass stiffness and body limitations, but after one session boy, I’m so happy and relaxed.
I also love Raja Yoga a type of meditation I’ve been studying for one year or so. For the interested ones, you can look it up here: http://www.brahmakumaris.org/meditation/raja-yoga-meditation
What does coaching mean for you, and what are your plans for the close future?
I’ve been studying the science of coaching for almost three years, and it has opened a whole new world for me. The one in which I understand how to change my own negative beliefs systems, negative in the sense of not serving me, not bringing me happiness or joy, or growth, or evolution. Those beliefs that keep us in our comfort zone, in a victim mode, in a demanding, complaining state, taking things for granted, and not having a vision for our lives.
If you think that almost 95% of our behavior is driven by these “unknown” patterns and beliefs, you then realize how far we are in the human evolution. And it’s up to us to tap into our subconscious mind to retrain our brain and educate our mind to get clarity and to empower ourselves to live the life we really want.
Coaching people on different areas of life, from relationships, family to leadership and creativity, teaches me every day about the importance of this continuous introspection and education for our minds and bodies. Stay open and keep on learning, folks! That’s key to personal and professional success.
ABOUT LIFE AFTER-BABY…
Will you have any help in the first weeks/months?
Yes. The Netherlands has implemented a very sustainable and caring policy supporting women who just gave birth, called kraamzorg. Basically, it is a maternity service included in the standard health insurance packages, which provides me with a nurse for 8-10 days who will come over our home and help me with my postnatal recovery and with instructions and care for our newborn baby.
I am so grateful to know that once I come home with our baby we will receive hands-on advice from an experienced nurse, about everything that is related to the well-being of the baby, washing, breastfeeding, sleeping, measuring, keeping a journal with important information regarding my baby etc.
After the nurse leaves, my mum will join us for a couple of weeks.
And last but not least, I am grateful to know my husband freed his agenda for at least two months to stay with us and be fully involved in this beautiful, new experience. This is true team spirit and I love him for his effort to make this possible!
Is your house ready to host baby stuff everywhere? What about the nursery room?
We still have some painting left to do in the room, the furniture has already been delivered, and we have received the beautiful baby crib Snoo J. I’m sure you heard about it, and I’m so excited to start using it. The playground next door is ready too J. We pray and keep our hopes high that our boy will be healthy and strong. We can’t wait to hold him in our arms, close to us.
Will you opt for a nanny/ daycare?
I will for sure, probably we’ll use both. In the Netherlands, babies go to the daycare starting four months old. I believe it is too early and I am grateful to have a very flexible schedule so I intend to stay with the baby for at least 7-8 months, helped by a nanny probably – to make sure my husband and I still get our time and space for each other J. I believe it is extremely important to make time for each other and truly enjoy the relationship and connection that brought us here in the first place.
What kind of mom do you imagine you will become? Have you given it a thought yet or are you waiting to see what the baby himself brings you?
I will go with the flow for sure. I’ll use all my knowledge, passion and coaching practices to help our baby become a loving person, fully self-reliant, tolerant, and creative.
What do you want most to pass on to your son?
The huge drive and desire to contribute to the joy and growth of this world, as I like to say “to be the joy in someone else’s eyes”.
Do you already have some established ground rules you think you will use with the baby?
No. I have no ground rule. As Wayne Dyer said, I believe parents are not for leaning upon but rather to make leaning unnecessary. I think our kids are very intelligent and when guided properly and treated as adults from the first moment, they will be able to make their choices. So, I will do my best to be a wise, loving guide to my child.
CONTINUE THE SENTENCE….
My #1 vacation getaway… outside in nature, don’t have a favorite place, from the beautiful natural parks of the Netherlands, the Carpathians, to an island surrounded by ocean. As long as it is in outdoor, it fills me up with energy and rest.
I feel sexiest when… I feel my husbands’ fingers gently caressing my neck.
I feel proudest when… I see the positive results of my work in the growth of other people.
I feel the happiest when…I can bring joy in someone else’s eyes.
One thing I couldn’t live without… is my life purpose.
My guilty pleasure… the organic black chocolate truffle from Booja Booja
My model mom… my own self. I know for sure I will do my best to educate myself, learn and raise self-reliant, creative, and balanced human beings.
Motto I live by… Never stop learning!
Love is… the fundamental driver of any human behavior.
My secret ambition… to raise the consciousness of this world, starting with my own.
My ultimate Valentine’s date night… sleeping under a clear starry sky, bright moon, ocean breeze.
Best present I ever received… yet to be born, will arrive in a few weeks.
Best advice I ever got… Change your thoughts, change your life – by my beloved Wayne Dyer.
Photographer – Silvia Falcomer