Rita Lamah Hankach embarking on motherhood
March 29, 2010
After having worked with Zuhair Murad as marketing and communications manager for several years and traveling to Paris, Switzerland and Spain for fashion shows, as well as being a TV presenter for four years on Future TV and LBCI, Rita, second runner-up in the 2003 Miss Lebanon contest, got married and lived for two years in Japan and Egypt with her husband, Elie. In Egypt, she and her friend established SHINE Communications, a company that helps young and inspiring fashion designers get a foot in the industry. Today, this face of Lebanon is embarking on a human adventure, a challenge that has inspired and re-defined women around the world: Motherhood.
Today’s Outlook caught up with Rita, who is back in Beirut waiting for the arrival of Julia, her first baby girl, to share her thoughts on the first few miles of her motherhood journey.
After traveling the world and working abroad, do you plan on continuing work after the arrival of your baby?
Of course I do. The idea of resuming work is definitely there, but I have no definite plan. After living in Japan and Egypt, I moved back to Lebanon and when I got pregnant I stopped working. So, when I start working again really depends on the baby and how well I manage because motherhood is a whole new experience for me; it’s a new world for me.
How easy, or difficult, has your pregnancy been so far?
It’s been wonderful. I’ve had the bad with the good. Yet, despite the morning sickness and all the other downs that come with pregnancy, it has truly been a beautiful experience. In some unexplainable way, experiencing the trials of pregnancy makes the joys all the more joyful. From the sixth month on, things did get a lot smoother; I started to look pregnant and I started to feel her inside me. The most remarkable thing about pregnancy is the reality of falling in love with someone you haven’t even met yet!
What is your greatest fear concerning motherhood?
I have no fear, especially with the support of my husband. However, I am weary of the fact that I will be accountable for raising a child in such a way that they become a valuable element to their society – just as Gibran Khalil Gibran portrayed motherhood as a main contributor in building a healthy nation!
You’re in your 8th month and you look great! How have you managed your weight gain throughout the pregnancy?
Well, of course I’ve put on weight, but I’ve managed to keep it to a minimum. I’m lucky in that I haven’t really had any food cravings. Although I love ice-cream and chocolate, I just haven’t craved them. There are a lot of foods that I used to love before I got pregnant, but now I just haven’t been able to eat them. Kibbe is one of my favorite dishes and now I can’t even look at it, even herbal tea, which I used to drink every day, all day, is impossible for me to swallow. So I have turned off many foods without craving others.
Have you been following any specific diet during your pregnancy?
No, not at all; on the contrary. I always tend to eat healthy and follow the notion that ‘moderation is key’.
What are your plans for getting back in shape after the baby is born?
I plan to go back to the gym. I miss the gym. I haven’t been working out while I am pregnant, so I am very eager to get back into my routine. I used to work out every day; it’s something that I love doing. I wouldn’t have minded doing pregnancy yoga or Pilates but I couldn’t find such classes anywhere in Lebanon and I didn’t want to take the risk of exercising alone at home.
How have you been preparing for the arrival of your new daughter?
Of course there is preparing her bedroom. I wasn’t sure if I should go with pink or a more neutral color as the primary color for her bedroom. I love pink, but I was concerned that a pink bedroom might be ‘too much’ so I chose a light green for the walls. I’ve also used a lot of wallpaper and lots of stickers. I insisted on a big closet in her room, because if she is anything like me, she is going to need all the space she can get! I’ve also been taking lamaze classes to prepare for the birth. I am a curious person who likes to ask a lot in order to learn a lot. So I ask my doctor an endless number of questions, which has made me very comfortable with this pregnancy. I like to be well-informed.
How about psychological preparations? How ready are you for this milestone?
Pregnancy is such a miracle of life. When I feel her kick inside me, it is the best feeling ever! It is incredible and I think that I may just miss this feeling. I think the biggest anticipation is the wonder of what she is going to look like. I have a feeling she is going to look like her dad! In terms of preparations, I’ve been reading a lot of baby books such as The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies and Toddlers by Gina Ford, and of course, What To Expect When You’re Expecting and others.
Do you plan on having more children?
Yes. My husband and I would love to have a big family.
Are you planning on staying in Lebanon?
Yes. This is my base now. My husband and I intend on raising Julia in Lebanon. My family is here and I feel that family is really important, especially when you are starting your own. I have visited and lived in many beautiful places, but Lebanon is my home; my roots are here and this is where we want to raise our family.
Quick insight: Rita Lamah’s favorite list
Movie: I am a Movie addict. The movies that come to my mind right now are “My Blueberry Nights” and “In The Mood For Love”
TV Series: Friends. I have watched all the series over and over again. I can watch any episode of Friends any time
Time of day: The end of the day when my husband gets home
Country/City: Austria and New York
Designer: Zuhair Murad
Book: Eat, Pray, Love
Time of year: Spring; everything is fresh and blooming
Passions in life: Fashion and cooking
Jewelry: Joanna Laura Constantine New York
Hair: Joseph Saad
Makeup: Eva Atallah