7 to 7: Sarah LaFleur on Raising Three Babies While Running a Fashion Brand

woman with sunglasses in street

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Sarah LaFleur

Parents don’t work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—we work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from the moment our kids wake up until they go to sleep. This is an unfiltered look at a few days in the life of M.M. LaFleur founder, Sarah LaFleur.

When Sarah LaFleur went to dinner seven years ago with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Chris, the intention was simply to celebrate her 30th birthday—but they wound up having a fateful discussion about family-planning. They ultimately decided that having kids was not something they could afford financially or logistically at the time, as Sarah was just a few years into starting M.M. LaFleur, a clothing brand catering to busy, working women.

In the years that followed, the couple, who married in 2016, watched as many of their friends got pregnant, seemingly without any difficulty. They figured that when the time came, they too would just have sex and have a baby.

But when one of LaFleur's closest friends was having trouble conceiving and only learned of her fertility challenges after a year of trying, she encouraged the fashion designer to make an appointment with a fertility specialist just to know upfront whether she would have any issues.

"One thing led to another, and one of the tests showed that I have this thing called a unicornuate uterus, which essentially means that I have one fallopian tube and half a uterus," LaFleur explains. "The condition is highly unusual, and to this day, they don’t know if that’s what caused my infertility or not."

Even though she and Chris had never made a formal decision to start trying for a baby, LaFleur was put on the fast track for IVF. After a few unsuccessful rounds, the prospect of surrogacy arose.

"They were basically saying that we were at our last stop and there was nothing more they could do for us," she recalls. "So, we ended up going the surrogacy route. We met a wonderful woman who had twin girls of her own and worked at a hospital as a medical health technician. She said that pregnancy was so easy for her and that she viewed it as a gift that she could give the world."

Sarah LaFleur

We ended up going the surrogacy route. We met a wonderful woman who had twin girls of her own and worked at a hospital as a medical health technician. She said that pregnancy was so easy for her and that she viewed it as a gift that she could give the world.

— Sarah LaFleur

The couple decided to move forward with the surrogate, but the embryo transfer didn't take. "I somewhat expected it because so many things had already not gone in our favor, but our surrogate was incredibly disappointed," the designer says. "We were debating what we should do next, and she said we should transfer two embryos because maybe it would increase our chances that one of them would take."

Before they did the second transfer, however, LaFleur decided to give IVF one last try with a slightly different protocol that a friend had told her about, using a blood thinner called Lovenox. Her doctor warned that the method was scientifically unproven, but agreed to do it anyway.

LaFleur found out she was pregnant in January 2020, just before the scheduled second embryo transfer with her surrogate. "I had this dilemma over whether or not to tell her," she recalls. "I didn’t want to...make her question why she was having a baby for a couple who could carry a baby themselves." LaFleur ultimately elected to tell the surrogate and was pleasantly surprised to find she was not only thrilled for the couple, but was also more than happy to still go ahead with the transfer.

In February, LaFleur found out that the transfer took and that her surrogate, too, was pregnant. "I remember she and the nurse both told us that her hCG levels were really high and that there was a chance of twins, but we laughed it off and thought there was no way," she says. "Then she called me after her next scan. They had seen two heartbeats—and I just screamed."

LaFleur was so convinced that her own pregnancy would result in a miscarriage, as roughly 50 percent of those with unicornuate uterus do, that she didn't allow herself to consider the possibility that they could have three babies until she reached the 20-week mark. But have three babies, they did.

"We gave birth in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, but luckily by that point, they were letting partners in the operating room, so my husband was with me," LaFleur recalls. "Then, six weeks later, we flew to Minnesota to pick up the twins."

The couple braced themselves as they welcomed the newborns home and became parents of three overnight. Although it's taken some considerable trial and error, LaFleur has finally gotten things down to a tee a year and a half in.

Below, the M.M. LaFleur founder shares how she runs a growing business in New York City, spends quality time with her family in Litchfield, Connecticut, and still finds time for regular trail runs with her dog.


7 a.m. I wake up and start getting ready. I typically spend Tuesday through Thursday in New York so that I can go into the office, and I always crash with one of my girlfriends on these days. I’ve gotten a hotel a couple of times, and I didn’t like it. I've been couch-surfing lately, but I try to rotate the friends I stay with so I don’t get too comfortable on their sofas.

Back at home, the babies are just waking up. Chris is feeding, changing, and playing with them.

woman sitting in chair looking toward window

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Sarah LaFleur

8:30 a.m. I have a breakfast meeting this morning. At home, our nanny is just arriving and taking the babies.

9:30 a.m. I head into our office in the Financial District and catch up on some emails. Some days, I'll go to our Bryant Park store and work from there.

11 a.m. I start my meetings at this time. We have in-person meetings Tuesdays through Thursdays, so these are all in the office rather than over Zoom. Back at home, the babies are just waking up from their first nap of the day.

2 p.m. I have a session with my team to talk about a brand campaign.

3 p.m. Back at home, the babies are waking up from their second nap, which began around 1 p.m.

5 p.m. I spend some time going through emails and wrapping up the work day.

7 p.m. I grab dinner with friends. It's nice to have these days in the city to not only spend time at the office, but also catch up with so many of my friends. After that, I hop on the train back home to Litchfield, and am in bed by 11.


7 a.m. The alarm goes off, and it's my turn to get the babies. My husband and I take turns, so the other person can have a little bit more time to themselves to start the day. There was lots of trial and error in finding a way for just one of us to handle all three babies at once, but we ultimately found a way to make it work. I give the babies their milk, change them, and play with them.

8:30 a.m. Our nanny arrives and takes the babies. This next half hour is what I consider my very sacred time. My husband and I like to run—he’s actually a runner, whereas I run just so I can keep my mental sanity—so we head outside with our dog, Ruggles.

9 a.m. The babies go down for their first nap and will wake up around 11.

9:30 a.m. I get ready, then eat breakfast and catch up on some emails.

11 a.m. The next seven hours are my working time, and today, I have back-to-back meetings. The first is a Zoom with my DC store manager.

12 p.m. I have a long meeting with my COO. Although I usually try to block out some time to have lunch, I don’t have time today, and end up eating during this call.

1 p.m. The babies go down for their second nap and will wake up around 3.

4 p.m. I have a Zoom meeting with an external partner.

5:45 p.m. I’ve found that my Zoom tolerance is about seven hours, so at this point, it’s time to call it a day. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that my energy level really affects the rest of the team, so if I’m pessimistic and unwilling to give my best, everyone feels it. I’ve made a point of capping my day before it depletes my energy.

6 p.m. I grab the babies from our nanny. She’s a superwoman, and we feel so lucky to have her. We’re also fortunate to have family around helping out.

7 p.m. Bedtime for the babies. We read to them, give them milk, and play with them, then they go down for the night in their cribs. They fuss for about two minutes, but then they go to sleep. Every now and then, one of them will get up in the night, but for the most part, we have really good sleepers.

After the babies are down, Chris and I cook dinner and eat with our nanny. After that, we watch a little Netflix, but I also love reading, and when I’m really anxious, that’s the most therapeutic thing for me. I do that for an hour or so, and then I’m in bed by 11.


7 a.m. It's important that the babies stay on schedule, so we wake up at the same time on the weekends as we do during the week. Chris will go grab them, feed them, change them, and play with them, and then my mother-in-law (or whoever is visiting at the time) will take them for a little while.

8:30 a.m. Chris and I squeeze in a trail run with Ruggles.

9:30 a.m. I have to be honest: I do work on the weekends, but I actually like it, because then my weekdays can be on the shorter side. It’s very manageable too, and it’s a time when I can catch up on emails and planning without having any meetings. So, I start doing that after our run.

11 a.m. Chris and I spend the next few hours playing with the babies. We get to be outdoors with them a lot and do fun activities like apple-picking, so that's a huge benefit of living out in the country.

1 p.m. I'll spend the next couple of hours doing a bit more work and reading, while the babies are napping.

family with babies and dog

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Sarah LaFleur

3 p.m. The babies are up from their nap, and we have some more playtime with them.

5 p.m. We go for an early dinner at Le Gamin in Sharon, which is one of our favorite restaurants in our area. We like to take the kids out to restaurants—nothing fancy, just a diner or café—and we do that for our own sanity just so that we’re not at home the whole weekend. It works out well because they’re actually so quiet and content when they’re eating, and it’s a nice way for us to get out of the house.

6 p.m. Bath time for the babies. We'll read them a story, and then they get tucked into their cribs at 7.

7 p.m. Chris and I watch a movie together, then get ready for bed, and head to sleep by 11.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ombelet W, Verswijvel G, Vanholsbeke C, Schobbens JC. Unicornuate uterus and ectopic (Undescended) ovaryFacts Views Vis Obgyn. 2011;3(2):131-134. PMID: 24753858

  2. Lodigiani C, Di Micco P, Ferrazzi P, et al. Low-molecular-weight heparin in women with repeated implantation failureWomens Health (Lond Engl). 2011;7(4):425-431. DOI: 10.2217/whe.11.38

  3. Póvoa A, Xavier P, Matias A, Blickstein I. First trimester β-hCG and estradiol levels in singleton and twin pregnancies after assisted reproductionJournal of Perinatal Medicine. 2018;46(8):853-856. doi:10.1515/jpm-2017-0132

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