Tali Magal, Freebird Productions: On What It's Like to Feel the Highest of Highs
Meet Tali Magal — Sakara mama of the gorgeous, twin babes, Gabriella and Amalia aka #GigiAndMali; and though birthing these beauties and raising them in one of most hectic cities in the world, makes her a complete rockstar, we should first take note of her creative fulfillments: owner, founder, and executive producer of Freebird Productions, as well as co-founder and VP of partnerships at ACCOMPANY. Tali's essence is a passionionate, unconditional love through and through — it's no wonder the Universe provided her twins. Plain and simple: this woman births beauty everywhere.
Were you afraid when you found out that you weren't just going to have one baby, but two?
I was so happy to find out that I was pregnant. We had been trying for a while and it was the best news in the world when it finally happened. It wasn't until the third ultrasound that we found out it was twins, and it came as a huge shock. I just did not have any mental image or a picture of what having twins could look like. I pictured a crazy house with kids running around and bottles everywhere and tearing your hair out and diapers, that type of crazy chaos. I didn't know how we were going to do it, and in NY none the less. It kind of put a bit of a weird damper on things for a while. I stopped talking about it, I got hit with a hard bout of morning sickness, obviously from stress.
Then, to be perfectly honest, I feel like they visited me. I had one of those really vivid crazy pregnancy dreams. I met them and hung out with them in my dream. They introduced themselves, and I fell in love. It was potent and powerful and different than any of the other "pregnancy dreams" I'd had before. They spoke with me, and their personalities were so clear and apparent. That was honestly a turning point for me. From that moment on, I somehow saw that it was going to be amazing. I was still scared, still had no template for how to do it, but my whole inner attitude changed and I got excited and hopeful. And from that moment on, we redirected. I started meeting people with twins, started reading about it, took a twins class, and got excited about it in general.
Then one day, just like that, we left for the hospital as a couple, and returned home a few days later as a family of four. It was nuts.
Even up until I went into labor, the idea of twins was totally theoretical. Then nature and biology kicked in. From the very moment I held my two brand new babes for the first time, something wild happened. The only way to describe it is it just felt like all of our cells merged. From that instant onward, having two babes was the most natural and right thing in the Universe. In fact, when they took one of them to the NICU for a few hours, and I was left alone with my other (perfect new born) baby, I had the deepest uneasiness that something was wildly wrong in the world. It wasn't until I had them both back together and resting on me that I could exhale again and feel whole. And that feeling has basically never left since. Maybe not as potent and searing with post birth hormones, but two babes is how it is supposed to be for us.
What is that post-birth high really like?
You are literally in an altered state when you are pregnant. The wildest things happen on an almost daily basis. I really do feel like I met these two while I was pregnant with them. In that vivid dream they told me what they wanted their names to be, I felt their personalities and their spirits so clearly, and it was different than what I felt in utero. In utero, my baby A, Gabriella, was constantly moving, she was 'the more alert and attentive' one and baby B, Amalia, was kind of lackadaisical, and they had to do things to get her to react in my belly which was absolutely different in the dream. In my dream, she was actually sparky, quick and almost spazzy, exactly who she is today. Baby A is actually more like the relaxed, easy-going one, exactly the way she presented herself in the dream.
In terms of body, it's insane, I did not deliver my girls via C-section, which for a twin birth, is pretty rare. It was totally nuts, and painful and long, but I'm proud that I did it. I feel like after enduring something like that, no one can tell me I can't do anything! I gave birth to two babies in one sitting.
I'm really proud of that and I'm proud of this body, and frankly, I'm in awe of what we did. I'm also in awe that a year later, my body has returned to a normal (ish) state.
What would you say your parenting style with them is like?
Its funny because I had such a different idea of the kind of parent I thought I was going to be. I had always imagined that I'd approach it in a bohemian way. I had visions of throwing my baby in a sling and taking them everywhere. All that changed when two babies showed up at the same time. I am still very relaxed with them, but we have fully embraced a schedule and rhythm for the babes. And we have found that they thrive and enjoy having one. Having twins dictates a lot about what you can and can not do at the beginning.
I probably would have co-slept with my baby if it had just been one. I would have loved that, but you just can't do that easily with twins. You need to keep one set of hands free for the other one. Out of pure necessity, we ended up having them sleep in their own cribs from the get-go, so we wouldn't disturb either if one woke up suddenly.
They really took to it, and now they love and cherish their "alone time" in their own cribs. It is essentially the only time they aren't hanging out together!
I have come to find that no matter what books you read on parenting styles, when it comes down to it, your babes teach you what they need. You just have to really pay attention and listen. Having two children at once is an amazing way to see that. They are both the exact same biological age, yet they are developing at different speeds, and have different affinities, abilities and strengths. All of that is apparent so early on. I feel like my job is to not get lost in the theories and dogmas of 'how to raise a child', and instead just make sure I really pay attention to them. My job is to love them, and nurture them, help define and build up their strengths, and to help them become who they want to be in this world — lucky me!
How has motherhood changed you and your relationship with your body?
Without sounding corny, becoming a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. From the moment my girls arrived, it is almost as though a switch was flipped. Your capacity for love and pure sweetness expands and kind of takes over when you become a mother. Being around them and their sheer, pure, joy seems to color everything else I have going on.
I always knew that I wanted to be a mother and have children someday — though I never in a million years imagined that I would have twins. But now that they are here, I feel like it is the most right, natural thing in the world. And I feel as though I am now beginning to live the fullest version of who I am supposed to be in this world. Getting to spend time and just be with these beautiful, precious little souls is pretty incredible.
As for my relationship with my body, funny enough, I was probably more comfortable with my pregnant body than I ever was before. It was such cool thing to experience. And for the first time I had a good reason not only to embrace my belly, but actually celebrate it and show it off a bit. It was quite liberating — at least until my third trimester.
Going through the entire process of pregnancy and all the stages that go along with that, to the awe and immensity — and intensity — of birth, to those first sweet months of cocooning and healing and bonding with your little ones is a transportive time. You are simultaneously "out of body," in a heightened and almost high state, which is crazy because at the same time, it is so physical and primal and so deeply visceral and "in-body". It is a magical moment in life. All pistons are charging, your body is morphing and has just literally reproduced, and to try and describe what that does to you is nearly impossible. But it is incredible, and I now know why people keep having babies. The experience is intoxicating and brings you to the highest of highs — at least that was my experience.
I also found that during those early days of cocooning with the babes, I felt more deeply connected to humanity as a whole. You realize that every person around you is someone’s little baby. That we all are truly born so pure and whole and open. It was a good reminder of how life begins for all of us and how sweet it is.
I sincerely have never been happier in my life. I've also never been more busy or more exhausted, but somehow I'm into it. Coming home to my sweet beauties everyday is fortifying and intoxicating. Even the days when I'm pulling myself out of bed and downing an espresso while making bottles, I open the door and am greeted by these beaming, beautiful, sweet faces rocking out with excitement. There's nothing better. No matter what you have to do, no matter who you have to see, no matter what you have to face, you have true utter joy in your presence everyday. Pure, sweet, raw, beauty and it's amazing. Really, it doesn't compare to anything else.
I was laughing with my husband the other day about the fact that even on days that are long and overwhelming, when I finally put them to bed, exhale, and put my feet up, I still inevitably end up on my phone 15 minutes later scrolling through pictures of them. Its kind of ridiculous. My husband says we are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome — super sympathetic and obsessed with our captors. Its true! But I love being around them and can't want to see what they're going to do next.