Supporting the journey of motherhood, in style

Chanelle Xabregas on Secondary Infertility and Styling During Pregnancy

Chanelle Xebregas is the Buying Manager at CAMILLA AND MARC. She and her husband Dave have a daughter, Cece, 4, and, at the time of writing, a baby boy on the way after an 18-month struggle with secondary infertility. Chanelle candidly shares her experience with us.

Chanelle Xabregas has had a successful career in fashion. She studied Media and Communications along with Fashion Design before moving to New York where she worked in wholesale for Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone. 

“I learned so much about the fashion industry and got to travel immensely, which was amazing,” Chanelle tells THE INARRA. “After three years, I moved home and continued working in wholesale and later moved into buying, which I currently do at CAMILLA AND MARC.

For many years, Chanelle’s career was her biggest focus. “I put living overseas as a priority instead of settling down,” she says. “I think deep down I wanted to be a mother, but it wasn’t until I met Dave that it felt right.”

In 2019, Chanelle and Dave welcomed their first daughter Celeste (CeCe). But when trying for their second baby, they hit an unexpected bump in the road.

“We fell very easily the first time, but for some reason, it didn’t quite happen the same the next time,” says Chanelle. “We went through endless months of trying, tried IUI and eventually turned to IVF.”

“Infertility is hard regardless of when it happens, but secondary infertility does make you question what is wrong with me now? How did it happen so quickly the first time and not this time? The endless questions and lack of answers. Sometimes you wish there was something wrong so that there was something you can fix.”

Chanelle expresses how lonely infertility can be. “Every month feels like a rollercoaster of emotions,” she says. “The hope that a new cycle brings and the possibility of falling pregnant and the sadness when you receive a call from the clinic and hear the words that you aren’t pregnant and have to return to work like nothing has happened. You eventually become numb and try not to get your hopes up each month.”

“Fashion isn’t saving lives but I think it can definitely change how women feel about themselves and if that enables them to feel more confident within themselves then I think it’s beautiful.”

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC and Bottega Veneta brogues

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC and Agolde jeans

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC

When things seem bad, Chanelle says that having perspective is important. “My mother worked in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), so would offer the perspective of what others were going through and how important your health and life are,” she says.

Chanelle acknowledges that it can be hard for the friends of someone struggling with infertility to know how to navigate the situation. “For those friends trying to support a friend or loved one going through infertility, know that they will talk to you when they want to share,” she says. “Some days they won’t feel like talking about it at all and others they will want to share it all and that’s totally okay.

“For friends who have fallen pregnant and don’t know how to share their news with a friend who is suffering from infertility, don’t hide it from them for fear of hurting their feelings. Text them. Give them time to process. A phone call or sharing at an event might not be the right time. Know that your friend is happy for your good news but needs time to process.”

After 18 months of inexplicable infertility, Chanelle and Dave got the news they were hoping for – they were pregnant again. “For those still going through infertility, know that you will become a mother one day – it might just be a longer path than expected,” says Chanelle.

Chanelle wears The Row dress, CAMILLA AND MARC jacket and Alaia shoes

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC

Chanelle wears CAMILLA AND MARC

What matters most to Chanelle right now is creating a nurturing environment for her children to “grow into their best future selves,” she says. “I try not to overthink [parenting] too much and just make sure we are having fun and creating beautiful memories together.”

For Chanelle, being present is key to balancing motherhood and work. “If I’m at work I give it 100% and if I’m at home with CeCe I try to be present in that moment,” she says. “Creating a circle of help that you can trust and rely on definitely helps. I know that when I am at work CeCe is in the best hands and I’m so lucky to have this.”

Being pregnant again means Chanelle can experiment with her style. She has always loved tailoring because it “can be minimal and styled in different ways depending on the occasion.” 

During her second pregnancy, she has been loving layering pieces with a trench, oversized blazer or coat. “My trick this pregnancy has been investing in outerwear that looks chic with a great shoe and stretchy clothes underneath,” she says. 

“I’ve tried not to purchase anything this pregnancy that I wouldn’t wear after,” says Chanelle. “I picked denim and outerwear I liked and just went up a size so I still felt like myself. I sized up in my favourite Agolde denim, which I’ve worn to death, and a simple slip dress from The Row has been my go-to!”

When asked who her favourite designer is, Chanelle said, “Phoebe Philo – of course! She has a level of sophistication, minimalism and quirk which I love. I can’t wait to see what she does next!”

If Chanelle could add three things to her shopping cart right now, it would be a pair of Isabel Marant jeans to wear post-baby, crystal mesh ballet flats from Khaite, and a cropped double-breasted jacket from Acne Studios.

“Fashion isn’t saving lives but I think it can definitely change how women feel about themselves and if that enables them to feel more confident within themselves then I think it’s beautiful.”

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Chanelle says she is looking forward to “getting to know life with two children and embracing all the ups and downs that accompany it!”

Since the time of interviewing Chanelle, she has since welcomed her beautiful baby boy, Franco Sebastian.

 

Words by Ellie Wiseman | Photography By Caroline McCredie

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