We are so happy and lucky to have you as part of our community of Brand Ambassadors. Welcome to the Bravado family! Can you share a little bit about yourself with our community?
Hi everyone! My name is Chloe Wilde, and I am thrilled to join the Bravado family. You can find me on your television weeknights on Canada's #1 entertainment show, Etalk, celebrating health and wellness on my platform, Healthy Is Hot. On weekends, my partner, Ben Johnston, and I love walking around Toronto, hitting different coffee shops and cycling along the waterfront. We recently moved into our forever home and can't wait to welcome our first little one in early October.
First and foremost, congratulations on your pregnancy. We understand that it was not an easy road getting to this stage. Can you share a bit about your fertility journey?
As we approach our due date, it's such an interesting and emotional journey to sit back and reflect on everything my partner and I have been through to get here. For the better part of 4 years, we have been steadfast in our goal of growing our family of two into a trio, and we are almost at the WILD finish line. When we decided to give baby-making the old college try, we were naive in thinking it would be an easy breezy process - after all, we were both active, healthy individuals in our early 30s - what could go wrong? If only we knew... after a few months of trying, we opened up our lives to a naturopath specializing in fertility to adopt lifestyle changes that would increase our chances of conceiving. We spent a small fortune on ovulation sticks and became obsessed with tracking everything and anything in a multitude of apps. When the 12th month of trying snuck up on us, we realized it was time to call in reinforcements and dive head-first into the world of fertility testing, injections, and ultimately living a double life. That was the beginning of one of the most challenging chapters of my life. That was also the beginning of one of the most beautiful chapters of my life.
What surprised you the most about your fertility struggles?
When you know in your heart that you want to become a parent, there's nothing more cruel than monthly reminders that your goal did not happen once again. When you walk out into the world, you are constantly reminded of what you want but yet, for some reason, do not have; whether it's your neighbour taking their cute-as-a-button little babe out for a stroller walk, your beautiful and glowing pregnant colleague, your friends & family asking you how the baby-making is going or walking into your fertility clinic and being bombarded with posters and pamphlets about unexplained fertility. The isolation is deafening. The hurt you feel is overwhelming. The shared pain with your partner is almost too much. But what surprised us the most is that while we felt isolated in our experience, we were far from the only ones. 1 in 6 couples in Canada will struggle with fertility. When my mental health would dip,
I would remind myself that we are NOT alone in our pain, that there WERE happy endings and that we just had to keep showing up every single day as a team.
The IVF process is a multi-step process filled with uncertainty, excitement, medication and appointments - can you walk us through your successful implantation?
By the time we reached the implantation portion of our IVF adventure, we were oozing excitement; we had been through 3 rounds of IUI unsuccessfully but an excellent egg retrieval procedure that resulted in a whopping seven embryos. The time had finally come to put one of these cuties directly inside my cervix, hoping it made a home in my endometrial lining. The first one stuck, but sadly, we miscarried at eight weeks. The second embryo didn't implant, but our third implantation turned out to be our miracle baby, and we are sitting healthy at 32 weeks at the time of writing this! I'll never forget the day we implanted our little guy. It was January 25, 2023, and we were two weeks from a month-long trip to South Africa. My partner Ben came with me for the procedure, and we held hands and let the hopeful energy move between us as they showed us the teeny tiny embryo and where it was placed in my uterine wall. Two weeks later, we got the good news.
Please walk us through some of the emotions you felt when you found out you were pregnant. Were you hesitant to share the news after all you had been through?
We suffered a miscarriage with our second IVF transfer, which rocked our world in a way I had never experienced before. While I thought I had processed the emotions after taking a leave from work and seeking professional help to get me back on my feet again, I was triggered by the trauma of the miscarriage all over again when we found out we were pregnant. While I was overjoyed at the positive test, I was extremely terrified and anxious to lose another baby. We got through it by taking it one day at a time, one appointment at a time and having an open door of communication when my mental health started to get shaky. By the time we got to 16 weeks, a cute little bump was beginning to show, and by 20 weeks, we had an A+ anatomy scan that began to shift the scales and excitement started to overpower the anxiety. That's when the entire experience shifted into a joyous one, and we couldn't wait to share the news with our friends and family!
How did your fertility journey impact your relationship?
The gratitude I feel for Ben's support throughout this experience is something I feel in every cell in my body. There were times when I wasn't the best partner because I had nothing to give, and he would show up with an endless supply of support, compassion, kindness and humour. There were times when I was so overwhelmed with my own frustrations, I forgot he was also going through his own fertility pain. Our relationship was strained due to our fertility journey, but I am immensely proud of how our love persisted through the hard times. While it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, this process has brought us closer as partners and best friends and will serve us beautifully as we enter this new chapter as parents. Ben Johnston, if you are reading this - I love you.
How has your pregnancy been?
Other than some horrendous morning sickness, I feel like I hit the karma lottery. Maybe all our years of struggle built up good pregnancy karma? Although there are some silly and odd pregnancy symptoms like a wild heightened sense of smell,
an unignorable need to nap at random times, super embarrassing farting episodes and a newfound love for ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies.
Describe your go-to outfit currently as a pregnant mama!
If it isn't stretchy, it isn't on my body. It's as simple as that. Although I am very happy the fashion industry has graduated from only providing pregnant mamas oversized bag dresses! Currently, my favourite outfit is a pair of black-high-waisted flared stretchy pants with just a hint of sheen and a black and white striped cropped tank top with an oversized jean jacket and classic Vans to finish off the look. I love to wear crop tops and show off my pregnant belly. Thank you, Rihanna, for normalizing pregnant bellies being out and proud in the world!
What is your current favourite Bravado Designs bra style you've been wearing?
Hands down, the RESTORE bra is my current favourite! The material feels incredible against my skin, the stretch is perfect for my ever-growing chest, and I feel supported without feeling squished. The RESTORE bra will be in rotation for many years to come.
How has pregnancy changed your daily routine as a career woman?
Thankfully, I have loads of energy from 6 am to 4 pm and am able to show up as a TV host as the best version of myself! My workload outside of my full-time career in Canadian television has had to be scaled back in a big way, which was initially a very challenging identity shift. Still, thankfully, I have been able to work through that and welcome a new mindset that while I am scaling back on certain elements of my career, I am simultaneously creating space for a new identity that will fulfill me in a way I can't even process yet. I will always be a proud career woman, but I'm looking forward to being a boss babe in both my career and as a mom. Bring it on.
What is one thing you didn't expect that came with pregnancy?
The fact that my belly button is disappearing. It is the trippiest physical change, and I am not okay.
Have your thoughts/actions/routines on wellness changed since becoming pregnant? If so, how?
In such a big way! Before this pregnancy, I loved living life a million miles a minute, packing my schedule with work, wellness activities and social engagements. Now, there is a massive focus on restful activities, mindfulness throughout the day, savouring the slow moments and ensuring I move intentionally and in a way that serves my growing body and little baby.