If you’re a person with a uterus who wants to have children, do you ever think about what labor is like? Terror might come to mind. Maybe puddles of sweat. For Nell Diamond (founder of Hill House Home and experienced ITG employee), two razor-sharp cat eyes could be seen on her birthday, which did not move from start to finish. After sharing a photo from the hospital on Instagram, ITG needed the bullet on their liner. We let Nell guide us through the matter:
“My twin babies were born on October 17th, 2020. And in the weeks leading up to the birth, with all my preparations, I felt like I was going into battle.
I’ve prepared a note full of cheesy inspirational quotes on my iPhone. I created a playlist called “TWINS, BABY” on Spotify and filled it with Cardi B, Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé. (I may have been listening to the live album Homecoming for a full day, about 20 hours in a row.) I packed my hospital bag weeks in advance. Clothing and makeup were both such powerful means of expression, and in this particular case my plan was strategic: I had to inflate myself for delivery.
The night before my introduction, I took out my favorite nap dress with blue and white watercolor flowers and laid out my makeup like surgical tools. The next morning I carefully performed my usual rituals. I brushed my hair and made two long braids. I applied Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and a shimmery Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow. I added Saie mascara. I drew my lips with a YSL pen and added Kosa’s lipstick in Rosewater. But most of all, I applied eyeliner – my signature. I used a black Givenchy Kohl Pencil to mark the beginnings of a cat’s eye, then carefully drew a longer line with Stila’s Stay-All-Day Liquid Liner. I sprayed Urban Decay mist all over my face to set it.
On the way to the hospital, I started thinking about practicality, wondering if my makeup would be all over my face in a couple of hours. I wondered if people would roll their eyes when they saw me arrive, so big I could barely walk, with a face full of makeup. But I’ve made fun of the way I dress a million times in my life. In 6th grade, my PE teacher gave a speech in front of our entire class about how “Feminists don’t wear glitter,” and when she forced me to wash off my shimmering shadow, I knew I was going to say “no” to that particular version of feminism . I knew I wanted to feel my best the day I was born. It was also important to feel like me. For nine months I had waited with my whole being for this day, knowing that so much of it would be completely out of my control. I wanted to start the day on my own terms. I switched off these thoughts.
After that I didn’t think about my make-up for a second. When I got to the hospital, I was totally in the zone – the only thing that mattered was getting my babies out safely. The whole medical team was just amazing and I felt so supported and safe the whole time. In a room with about 20 doctors and nurses, Willow was first born at 2:55 p.m. Five minutes later, I pushed Sebastian feet first and up.
After my babies both arrived, I was catatonic with relief. I did it! Nothing in the world could bother me! It was then that I realized how much I had held inside myself for nine months – not just the weight of two babies (20 fingers, 20 toes, two brains, two hearts), but the weight of worry. Muscling a high-risk pregnancy in a global pandemic was like holding your breath, and there have been so many moments when I thought we wouldn’t make it. I felt so happy, so grateful, so relieved.
By the way: my eyeliner didn’t move an inch. “
– as ITG said
Photo via Nell Diamond