A few months ago, a beautiful woman sat down in my hair chair for the first time. She was getting her hair done for the first time since enduring a hellacious twin pregnancy and birthing two perfect babies, a boy and a girl.
I mentioned towards the end of our time together that I am working on building my photography portfolio, and she excitedly said she had been looking to find someone to take candid shots of her and her babies.
2 weeks later, we embarked on a photo shoot which involved her and I, her incredible newborns, a team of women on hand to distract, hold, prop up, feed, and swaddle the babes as needed, several important family heirlooms for props, and torrential rainfall.
Her photos turned out gorgeous, and really conveyed her dark, beautiful powerful sorceress-ness contrasted by the sweet innocence of her babies. After we shot, I asked her if she would let me ask her some questions for an HTHG interview, and she obliged.
Friends, I give you Charla Pereira…..Mother, Badass, Boss lady, Doing it Her Way.
Charla…Where did you come from, where did your parents come from, and how did you end up here.
I am quite a few things – Portuguese, Anglo-Indian, Romanian gypsy, Ukrainian, German – the babies now also have Croatian and Scottish to add to the mix – my dad was born in India / Calcutta / my mum in Canada / she is first generation Canadian. I was born and raised in Canada as well. My grandfather always said that my widows peak made me a seer. The gypsy in me goes where I want, do what I want and create my world how I want it.
You are a designer at Microsoft? Tell me a bit about how you landed there and what you like about designing.
I am a Senior Design Manager at Microsoft Studios Canada, I eat the world with my eyes, I want everything in the world to be easier, prettier, and more fun. I have painted the world around me since I can remember and before that. Microsoft has allowed me to work on projects that excite me and make me feel like I am able to bring the future to life.
What is your superpower, as a woman/mother?
HMMMMM – I don’t know. I think all woman are in general super heroes in so much – If I were to say what everyone says to me about how I am it is that I know my babies instinctively – again I believe all women of course do – I think it goes back to my deep watching of the world around me – in a sense it is photographic to everything around me – but its deeper, its emotional not just physical.
Knowing peoples emotions before they know them and having the same reaction to my children that way – I love being able to know them better than anything in the world. It’s something everyone always notices about me – how my empathy mixed with my seeing abilities creates this ability to see into peoples energies, needs, and how I can help them.
You decided to have babies without a partner. Tell me a little bit about that choice, and why you are glad you made it.
I’m more than glad I made it!! I have been married, been in love, plan to be again but wanted to be put my energy, love and effort into having children rather than a relationship at this time. These babies are perfect. I knew that the universe wanted me to have children – I knew in my heart and soul.
I don’t believe you need a partner to have the things you want and thank goodness for technology you don’t need one to have a baby either. I also think it comes to seeing others so unhappy in their relationships, what happens to those relationships when you have children etc. I didn’t want to chance that – I wanted babies and I wanted them to be all mine. Mostly having a partner is not a priority for me. Before kids the priority was me, my work, my art and then it just morphed into wanting children to share it.
I was struck by the support you have in your team of women who have help you with your babies. SO cool. Describe a typical day/night with you and the babies and your crew of ladies?
I had the worst pregnancy ever. Hospital and almost losing them, bedrest for 6 months, nerve damage, diabetes and a list of other crap – my mother, the most amazing woman is to be praised for keeping us alive.
I am so grateful for these amazing ladies, friends, and mothers coming to my aid and giving me and the babies love and compassion.
I was so lucky to have the doula that I have, Angie Dobbins-Frisbee. She has been available day and night, supported me with breast feeding the twins, making enough milk, sleeping a little.
She introduced me to a team of doulas that helped me around the clock to make sure the little babies were able to thrive and I didn’t die in the process.
I don’t think that there is anything better than the energy of woman, young old and in-between, around babies.
The nurturing, support, understanding and love that just comes out – watching this for me has been so amazing – you can feel this strong woman energy all around. It’s really beautiful.
A typical day for us is nothing typical, everything changes! I observe how they are that day and how I can make that day the best day ever for them – and not die of sleep deprivation in the process!
Obviously you have NO TIME to spend right now on your hair, but I’m curious…..What is your general hair MO? Ponytail everyday, no wash?
My hair is long, up and away from being pulled lol – but always a part of me to express my creative side…….when I have the time.
Charla, we salute you! Thank you for sharing your story with us and empowering us with your experience. I look forward to shooting more photos of you and those sweet babies some day.