Lia-Belle King on Her Journey to Motherhood

Lia-Belle King on Her Journey to Motherhood

By Yahna Fookes   |  

Medical advice led this couple on the fast-track to parenthood, navigating sperm donation, home insemination and matrescence.

“Everybody's experience of conception, labour, birth, postpartum and parenting is different. And it’s supposed to be,” shared Lia-Belle King, co-founder of Worn Store, an ethical and sustainable furniture and clothing brand. Lia-Belle is also mother to five-year-old daughter Ophelia and lives in the Northern Rivers with her wife, business partner and Vedic Meditation teacher Lotte James Barnes-King.

At the beginning of their relationship, Lia-Belle, who suffered from endometriosis, was advised by her healthcare provider to fall pregnant within the year, if she wanted to have the best chance of becoming a mother. The couple quickly embarked on the process of conceiving with a sperm donor, a friend based in Bali. After three cycles of home insemination, Lia-Belle was pregnant.

This year the couple toast their six-year wedding anniversary, and now, as borders have reopened, plan to expand their family with the same sperm donor, but this time, with Lotte carrying their child. Here, Lia-Belle talks about their family dynamic, parenting style, matresence and the special connection all three have with Ophelia’s dad.

What was your journey to being mothers like?

“Prior to starting our family, we anticipated a difficult journey as I have endometriosis. In 2015 I had a laparoscopy and the doctors gave me twelve months to fall pregnant, telling me that if I didn’t, my chances of conceiving would drop to about 1%. At the time, Lotte and I had only been together for six months so parenthood wasn’t on our radar, but we did both know we wanted to start a family in the future. We prepared my body and mind thoroughly with Chinese herbs, acupuncture, dietary change and yoga as well as a lot of healing and self-work in the months leading up to conception. The universe was extremely kind to us and after a series of crazy cosmic events, less than a year later (and three cycles of trying) I was pregnant with Ophelia. Conception was a calm, casual affair taking place in Bali, where we lived at the time. Ophelia’s father is a friend and the two of them have a loving, established relationship.”

Did you and Lotte always envision yourself as mothers?

“Lotte always knew she wanted to be a mother. That maternal role comes so naturally to her playful and caring personality. I knew intuitively that I would be a mother one day however, there was a long time throughout my twenties when I felt that I didn’t need to have children to complete my life. Meeting Lotte completely changed my connection to motherhood. Creating a family with her was, and is, my ultimate life achievement.”

What was your relationship with breastfeeding?

"Our breastfeeding journey was a long one, 2-years 8-months, and she would have gone even longer had I let her."

You’re preparing to expand your family. Can you tell us how that process will look and how you will prepare Ophelia for the big shift in your family circle?

“Opheila’s donor, our friend, recently came from Bali to visit us as we are trying for a second baby and this time Lotte will carry. This process has been two years in the making due to covid travel restrictions, as soon as Australia's borders opened he was on a flight! It’s incredible for us both to be able to experience pregnancy and I am really looking forward to being able to support Lotte. She was and is such a pillar of strength, support and love to me, especially throughout pregnancy and the first few months postpartum. For Ophelia’s conception we used a home insemination method and will do this again. If you’re trying to fall pregnant and in a hetero or same-sex relationship google the term ‘soft cups’.

We have always spoken about having another baby in the family one day and that Lotte would be having the baby, so Ophelia has always known this was going to happen, it was just a question of when. By the time this baby is born, Ophelia will be starting school, so it’s nice timing as we will be able to have quieter days at home, even though we will miss our girl so much.

My daughter is me. Fiery (she’s an Aries), and equal parts shy and outgoing. A big thinker, she tends to internalise her thoughts and gets very emotional as she processes and works through her experiences. We have the same light energy, and I believe that she has a very thin veil like me. Being so similar, we also have big personality clashes and it can be triggering (a mirror). Lotte has to step in and diffuse the energy, particularly as she gets older. This is always a queue to check in with myself and to soften to her that extra bit more. We’re incredibly connected which I am eternally grateful for and I often wonder if it’s because she breastfed for so long. Lately, she’s become more observant too, like yesterday I was on a frustrating phone call to Telstra and she came over to me and cuddled me and asked if I was alright and told me that she loved me. I just melted, it’s such a huge love between us. ”

You nurture and support Opi every day. Who, or what supports you as mums?

“Community. Organic food. Superfeast adaptogenic mushrooms. Acupuncture, naturopathy and craniosacral therapy. Meditation. Making space for each other to have time alone. Our robotic and occasionally getting cleaners (lol).”

Can you share a piece of wisdom for those about to embark on matrescence?

“Everybody's experience of conception, labour, birth, postpartum and parenting is different. And it’s supposed to be. Don’t compare yourself to another mother, don’t compare your child to another child. Don’t walk into this with any expectations. Prepare yourself for open acceptance of everything that is about to unfold. You will feel guilty about not being perfect. You will break even just a tiny bit. And that’s okay, and it’s normal and you’re loved and you’re doing your best so be easy on yourself.“

What would be your ultimate mother’s day gift?

"Breakfast in bed, In Bed Linen Robe in Kohl, Intimates by Juem a two-hour massage and some cranio. A night at a hotel with a big bath, a huge bag of magnesium salts and excellent room service. That would be the ultimate day!"

Photographer credit: Jess Ruby James

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