With her first trimester behind her, actress Sarah Drew is immersed in all things baby these days, shopping for maternity clothes, preparing a birth plan and debating baby names with her husband Peter Lanfer. In an exclusive interview with Celebrity Baby Scoop, the 30-year-old Grey’s Anatomy star talks pregnancy and parenting tips – she’s already gotten a few from her co-star Ellen Pompeo – and reveals why being an expectant mom is “so exciting and super terrifying at the same time.”
Having signed on as a guest blogger here at Celebrity Baby Scoop, Sarah will be sharing the ups and downs of her pregnancy with us as she prepares for the arrival of her baby – we’re thrilled to be a part of her journey!
Congratulations! What makes you the most excited about having your first child?
I’m really excited to jump into this next stage of my life. I’ve always wanted to be a parent, and I’ve waited a long time. I’ve been married for 9 years, and I wanted to wait till I felt ready. I feel like I’m ready now. I’ve come to a great place in my career. I am on a series, able to hide my pregnancy, able to work, and have a job after the baby comes. I’ve always wanted kids, and this feels like the perfect time.
How are you preparing for the delivery?
I have a lot of reading material and so many friends who have done different forms of delivery. Some used a doula, which is a labor coach who is with you throughout the labor. They help you through the pain, they advocate for you and support you while you’re in the process of birth. People hire them for home births, as well as hospital births. Actually my sister in law and a dear friend from college are both doulas, so I’ve learned a lot from them. I also have a wonderful support system here. I have so many friends with children who have all done it (the delivery) differently. With medication, without medication, both in hospitals and at home. They’ve all had very different experiences, which were all beautiful in their own way. So, I’m talking to my friends, and reading as much material as possible in order to choose the birth plan that is right for me. The most important thing for both myself and my husband is to deliver a healthy baby.
Do you plan on taking time off from filming Grey’s Anatomy after you have your baby?
I am actually hoping not to take much of a break. I don’t want to miss any episodes. When Ellen Pompeo had her baby, they shot her scenes from two episodes early and then she had those two episodes off. I’m hoping they do same thing for me. Or maybe they will write my character off for two episodes like they did for Jessica Capshaw. That would be fine. I don’t want to take a huge break because I don’t want April’s story line to fall by the wayside, but I also want time to bond with my baby. What is great is that the show has 14 series regulars, so it is easy to write a character lightly for a few episodes.
What changes have you noticed in your eating patterns or lifestyle ever since becoming pregnant?
It is interesting, actually. I am usually a foodie…my husband is an amazing cook, and I love going out to interesting restaurants. Food is now more fuel than fun. I need it to stave off the nausea…I feel like an infant myself hahaha. My body starts to cry if I don’t eat every three hours. I live off fruit and string cheese. However, I’m hoping to expand my menu a little, and take some more joy in my meals as I enter my second trimester. Another big change I’ve experienced is that I’m hibernating a bit more, and my energy level is lower. I am usually a very social person. I love going to parties and throwing parties. Now I enjoy hiding out at home with my husband and my dog. I feel like I’m nesting and I feel tired. It is a little distressing, because it is not who I am, but at the same time, I know it is just temporary. My body is working super overtime creating a little person! My anxiety about my husband’s safety is another change I’ve noticed. I’m like, “don’t you leave me alone with this child!” Haha…I’m feel like I’m clinging to him for dear life. It is very bonding.
Are you thinking of any baby names? Will you find out if it is a boy or girl?
No decisions on baby names yet. We also haven’t decided if we want to find out the sex or not. I wanted to find out, but my husband wanted it to be a surprise. I am four weeks away from the ultrasound where I can find out if it is a boy or a girl. We both initially wanted different things, but I am starting to enjoy the idea of it being a surprise. It is against my nature not to find out, as I am such a planner and organizer, but this is one of life’s great surprises and it could be pretty cool to wait. Right now, I am still just getting used to the idea of having a child. It is a scary thing…my life will change massively. It is so exciting and super terrifying at the same time. I want to have career ambitions and be a great mom, and figure out how those two desires can coexist.
What great advice have you received from other stars with children that has helped you during your pregnancy?
Ellen is so great; she is a wealth of information. She loves to take care of people on set. As soon as I got pregnant, she sat me down and said, “Okay, lets talk. How’s the nausea? Are you thinking of nannies?… “ so incredibly helpful and engaged right off the bat. She gave me great advice for helping with the nausea! Boil fresh ginger to make a tea, and bring it to work to sip on when the nausea arises. This was really helpful…it definitely worked! Jessica, Chyler and Chandra have also been super helpful. It’s been so wonderful talking with other women who have children while continuing to act full time. I think there is a lot of judgement out there about motherhood. People judge you if you stay home full time, and people judge you if you hire people to help care for your kids. It’s so nice to talk to moms in the same situation as me. There’s no judgement. Only support.
What is your favorite part about being pregnant?
My favorite part is that I’m starting to show! In my first trimester, I just looked like I had too many beers! I could not fit in my clothes; I felt very unattractive. Now you can tell that I’m pregnant. It’s a very special feeling! I love walking around and showing that I’m growing a little person in here! I love looking pregnant; it is very fun. Feeling the heartbeat was also a pretty incredible moment. It is so wild to think about a human being growing and forming organs inside of me. It is pretty tricky and wild that the body is able to do this.
Have you done a lot of shopping for maternity clothes?
I have done a little maternity shopping for new clothes. I don’t go to the maternity sections, because a lot of those clothes are so loose! I haven’t had to buy too much yet. I have one pair of pants that fits me, and one pair of maternity pants my mom bought me. Haha, I need to start looking some more. Most of my wardrobe of dresses and tops from before I became pregnant are working fine.
Any advice for all the other pregnant women out there?
It is an interesting period in my life…my energy level is low, and I’ve felt so sick. It is easy to get down and feel sad and I feel like I’m not supposed to be sad right now. Like feeling down makes me non-maternal, because I’m not glowing and gushing all the time. But I realized that I needed to give myself a break, because my body is going through something dramatic. So, here is my piece of advice: let your body feel how it feels, take naps, don’t feel guilty about saying no to things. Your body is working so incredibly hard and it is expected not to feel like yourself. It’s helpful to let go of the pressure to feel cheerful and happy all the time.