Elysa Rapoport

Elysa Rapoport

Elysa runs her own business consulting company in Tel Aviv where she has lived since 2009. In 2016, Elysa sadly gave birth to a stillborn daughter, but now has two healthy little girls who delight her daily! She is one of the founders of Candles of Hope- a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive support services to families before, during and after pregnancy and infant loss.


What have your paths to pregnancy been like?

I have been pregnant three times. My first pregnancy ended in a late term termination at 31 weeks and giving birth to a stillborn baby girl. Despite the many tests we conducted following the first pregnancy loss, we were not able to find any genetic reason and had to just hope for the best, which in itself was quite terrifying. Suffice to say my subsequent pregnancy was a very nerve-wracking one, with all the first time pregnancy naivety gone. We had to do a lot of extra monitoring in order to be sure the same problem was not detected again. On top of that, I unfortunately experience very bad morning sickness and vomiting throughout the day up to week 22 of each of my pregnancies; therefore, I never really truly enjoyed being pregnant and have always envied those women who manage to just waltz through pregnancy happily, naively and problem free! My third pregnancy was by far the easiest, but it was certainly not stress free. I was slightly less anxious, having given birth already to a healthy baby girl, but being pregnant and throwing up daily for 20 odd weeks while chasing after a two year old was a lot to manage. But of course, totally worth it!

How were you able to hold onto hope and come out of the darkness after such a big loss in your first pregnancy?

I think for me I was really focused on getting pregnant again, and believing that eventually I would become a mother. I was comforted by simply looking around and knowing that despite my loss and what I had experienced, most pregnancies do end with the delivery of a healthy baby. I found it really helpful to join a support group and meet other women that had also experienced late-term pregnancy loss and know that I was not alone. My mum was also a huge support to me and really helped me through the challenging year following my stillbirth. I tried to just keep really busy, throw myself into work, travel as much as I could, and enjoy the extra time I had been given before entering motherhood and having the responsibility of looking after a child. I guess I tried to find the positives in what was a really hard and horrible experience. Because of my pregnancy loss and being quite open about it, I managed to connect to new people and form relationships that I never would have if not for my experience. So at the end of the day, some really positive things were born from the loss of my baby.

What do you like the most about being a Founder and working for yourself? 

I've been working as an independent consultant now for eight years, so I am certainly accustomed to the freedom, flexibility and responsibility that comes with being self-employed. Having worked for many years here in both the nonprofit and the startup/entrepreneurship space, it was very natural for me to establish my own organization. I have never been daunted by the idea. I guess what I like most about it is the flexibility, and of course I like being able to use my experience to help others that need the support.

How important is building a community and support-network to you, and how do you go about nurturing that?

For me, a community and support network is extremely important. I really struggled when I felt like it didn’t exist for me. That was a huge part of the motivation for starting Candles of Hope. I didn't want other women and families that experience pregnancy or infant loss to feel alone or unsupported. I wanted support to be more readily accessible. I think the best way to nurture community is to be open about our difficult life experiences. The more I shared, the more I realized so many other women had been through similar trauma and we were able to mutually support one other.

Do you have a self-care routine, and if so, what does it entail?

Gosh I wish I could say that I did. It’s quite embarrassing really, but I don't really do enough self-care. At the moment, my self-care involves a glass of wine, some chocolate, and a bit of Netflix at the end of a long, tiring day working and looking after two kids under the age of four! 

What is the thing that surprises you most about motherhood?

Maybe how all-consuming it is. But maybe that's not actually a surprise...

What are some of the biggest lessons you want to teach your children?

I guess mostly to be kind, gentle and empathetic towards others.

What does a perfect weekend look like for your family?

Spending time outdoors and doing something fun and active. Maybe a picnic or hanging out with family and friends. And of course, a good night's sleep (although that doesn't happen too often.)

Best advice for moms and moms-to-be who have unfortunately had to undergo a pregnancy or infant loss?

You are not alone and everything you are feeling is normal. Please don't judge yourself. Everyone experiences grief differently. Your loss is real, and getting through this difficult trauma is a process. The grief comes and goes in waves. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Know that in the end, you will get through it and find a way to live with your loss. This experience will always be present, but it will eventually find a less all-consuming place in your life. It will always be a part of you, your identity, and the way you view and experience the word- but in time it won't hurt as much.

What were some of your go-to maternity pieces and how did they influence your postpartum style? Is there anything you’ve needed but couldn’t find that you wish for The Line 9 to create?

Maternity leggings and stretchy maternity jeans. I had a few basic t-shirts as well, and some nice, looser sweaters. During pregnancy I was much more comfortable wearing tight and clingy clothes than I had ever been prior. My style has definitely changed since having been pregnant (as has my body which I guess is somewhat inevitable.)



Shop Elysa's Look: The Tee Dress and The Legging / The Longsleeve

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