The Perfect Piece
After years of being on the fence about motherhood, all the pieces seemed to fall magically into place when Ganelle Blake welcomed baby Bronx into the world.
By Amy Gordy Photography by Lily Darragh
Ganelle Blake has always been surrounded by lots of family. She’s the youngest of four girls, is an aunt to several nieces and nephews and stepmom to three, so she didn’t bat an eye at the thought of bringing in another member to the Blake family. She and her husband, Charles, welcomed Bronx Giovanna Blake on Sept. 1, and couldn’t be more thrilled with their laidback daddy’s girl, who fit right into the Blake clan.
Bringing a child into the world is not something to consider lightly, and Blake took her time to decide if she wanted to take the mommy plunge. “I did always know I wanted to be a mom, but around age 30, I started to question it because I didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary anymore,” Blake said. She had settled into the idea of, “If it happens great, if it doesn’t that’s OK,” when she and her husband got together and her ideas began to shift.
“Charles and I had been best friends since high school—we met when we were 15. When it became clear that we were going to be together, and I was going to be a stepmom, I thought ‘OK, that was going to be it for kids,’ but having my stepkids around was eye opening, and I began to feel like it would be great to have a child together.”
Blake’s three stepchildren were ages 3, 5 and 6 when she and Charles got together two years ago. “I went from it being just me and my dog to a family of four. It was incredible and busy, and the thing about it is, once you have three kids, one more is not anything. My stepkids have a great mom who is part of our family, so they are with us half the time and half with her,” Blake said.
Now, as a family of five, Bronx has become the center of attention with everyone. “My stepkids love her. They don’t even notice me anymore, they see me and it’s just, ‘Where’s Bronx?’ They just want to kiss her and hold her all the time.”
The kids aren’t the only ones in love with Bronx. Blake is so thankful she took the plunge into motherhood. “It’s been really surprising how much I love Bronx. I know it sounds clich., but I didn’t know that love existed at this level. It’s a big responsibility to love that hard, and it’s scary almost,” she said.
Blake’s pregnancy was complication-free, but her birth plan didn’t quite go as she planned. She had a C-section after 36 hours of labor, and ended up on bed rest when she brought Bronx home.
“She just wouldn’t come out. I never prepared myself for that. I just knew I was going to push her out, and I didn’t. There were all these things I had prepared to do when I got home and I couldn’t. I couldn’t even sit up, but I did get to spend a lot of time just the two of us, which was nice. Charles cooked and cleaned and took care of everything so I could spend time with her,” Blake said.
She also made a few changes career-wise in preparation of baby Bronx. “I started my own strategic consulting business, Giovanna Group, so I could do fundraising and consulting and stay home with Bronx,” she said.
This working mom was also just accepted to the Clinton School of Public Service, where she’ll study in the fall with the hopes of taking her consulting business global the following summer. She also makes time to stay involved with Junior League of Little Rock and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “My volunteer life and life in the community hasn’t changed much. The No. 1 way things have changed is in my relationship with my family. I’m much closer to my husband, sisters, nieces and nephews and mother- and father-in-law.
Bronx is the glue that brought everyone together. My life is so much more fulfilling now, I wouldn’t change a minute of all the chaos for the world.”