Grace, Gratitude And Gut Instincts: Ayesha’s Fourth Act

Sweet July’s founder is navigating her fourth pregnancy with fresh energy—by calling on her spirituality, leaning on loved ones and, above all, trusting herself. She shares the wave of emotions guiding her journey. 

For so many years, Stephen and I thought we were done. We said, “Three, that’s it, we’re not doing this again.” And then, last year, we looked at each other and agreed we wanted to do this again. For me, the decision came from always finding myself looking around and feeling like somebody was missing. I would load up the car and think, “Oh, I forgot something.” But nobody was forgotten. It started to turn my brain a little bit. Maybe somebody was missing. So we set out on this journey, knowing that this would complete our family.

So much is different this time. For one, I’m tremendously busy in ways I wasn’t before. I now have older children, who have full lives and schedules that we’re balancing on a daily basis on top of work and all the family things. That’s added an interesting layer to this experience. I’m also realizing how quickly time has gone by with our first three children, who are now self-sufficient and don’t need as much from us. Canon came up to me the other day and asked, “Hey, Mommy, how’s your baby? Does your baby have a working brain?” Getting to experience this through his eyes and through Ryan and Riley’s eyes has been so cool. They’re at such different ages and stages in life. Their perspectives are so different and it’s been the most exciting thing.

I’m still taking in all the changes with this fourth pregnancy. I’ve been on a watermelon kick, which is so strange and also unfortunate because they’re not really in season. I’ve been craving these little Japanese peaches. I also had a three-week stint with a very unhealthy sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle. But one of the biggest differences is a new understanding that this really does pass by in the blink of an eye. And in the blink of an eye, it could also all be taken away. That’s encouraged me to slow down and take in every single little thing—especially with it being my last pregnancy.

Suit: Marc Jacobs from Bergdorf Goodman; Shoe: Dries Van Noten from McMullen; Earrings: Sordo from McMullen
Dress: Issey Miyake from Bergdorf Goodman; Shoe: Dries Van Noten from McMullen; Earring and ring: Caroline Zimbalist

What’s been really interesting has been my doctor’s appointments. I’m in my 30s, and so there’s all this paperwork referring to the experience as a “geriatric pregnancy” and all the concerns that come along with that. I think there’s something that needs to be more nuanced when it comes to women, their age, and conversations around having children. Many women in their 30s and 40s are going through this for the first time, and being told you’re “old” feels alarming and wild. I think the narrative needs to be shifted a little bit. 

In all the noise, what I’ve learned about motherhood is that you truly need to trust yourself. You can read a million books and take 1,000 classes, but the most important thing is your maternal instinct. You’re always going to know what’s best for you and your child. And no one’s situation is the same. The same way we’re unique individuals, we have unique parenting styles. I really do think it’s up to parents to determine what is best for their child. 

That’s sometimes hard in a sea of opinions. I think that’s partly why I’ve kept to myself quite a bit this time around. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know myself more. I’m protecting my peace and my energy. This is such a sacred time in life that I know I’m never going to get back so I’m being a little selfish. I’m keeping some things to myself. 

That said, I know I can’t do this alone—it truly takes a village. It takes a solid core group of people around you to get the job done, whether it’s raising a child, building a business or even—especially these days—preparing a meal. I didn’t always want the village. I was really stubborn in my earlier pregnancies. And that hurt me in the end. It made things really hard on me. I had to learn to put my pride aside and realize it was okay to take help, to have people around me help and to not shy away from it. And I’m still trying to figure out what building my village looks like. I feel like it’s never complete, right? There’s always people coming in, people leaving, and people here forever. And that’s okay. Outside of the family village, I think I’m now realizing how important having a girlfriend village is. I don’t necessarily know if I’ve ever been a girl’s girl in that sense, but now as I’m getting older, I’m realizing it’s really nice to have that friend group chat.

Top and skirt: Issey Miyake; Shoe: Dries Van Noten from McMullen; Earrings: SVNR
Dress: Toteme; Shoe: Simkhai from McMullen; Earrings: Sordo from McMullen

Part of my village, in the more abstract sense, is my spirituality; my relationship to God; my relationship with myself. Talking to the baby, whether it’s mentally or verbally has been a big thing for me this time around. I’ve read up a lot on genetics and how the mother carries generational cycles of trauma, memory, and emotions, and that what you think and what you feel and how you speak really impacts the person growing inside of you. I’ve made a conscious effort to be more positive with all of my children. Your kids really are a reflection of you. Nothing brings me greater joy than when mine regurgitate something to me that we’ve taught them over the years. 

I’m also very conscious about how I speak to and view myself. Gratitude has been prime. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to rest. I’m making it a point to sleep unapologetically. I’ve made it a point to not be hard on myself. This time around, I’m giving myself grace.

—Ayesha Curry as told to Brianne Garrett

This interview was conducted in February 2024 and has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Featured image credits: Acne Studios blazer; Dries Van Noten briefs (via McMullen); Dries Van Noten shoes (via McMullen); Ten Thousand Things earrings

Photography by Camila Falquez
Styling by Jaime Kay Waxman
Hair, Mideyah Parker
Makeup, Francelle Daly
Manicure, Gina Edwards
Set Design: Camila Falquez Studio
Tailor, Lindsay Wright

Production: Kindly Productions

This feature is part of The Village Issue. Read more about the gamut of our most cherished relationships here.

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