Actress Emily Deschanel on her scripted and real-life pregnancies
Emily Deschanel’s character on the Fox TV series Bones, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, is decidedly awkward in social situations; Deschanel is anything but. An outspoken vegan committed to animal-protection organizations like Farm Sanctuary, Deschanel, 35, and her husband, actor and writer David Hornsby, are expecting their first child this fall. (As you might be able to tell from their similarly striking blue eyes, her sister is actress and singer Zooey Deschanel.) We talked with her in Los Angeles during her eighth month.
Fit Pregnancy: How are you feeling?
Emily Deschanel: I really like being pregnant. Not that there aren’t things I don’t love, but when I think about what my body is doing—creating a child—it just blows my mind. I’m in awe of the process and science. And seeing my belly move is pretty amazing; it’s like in the movie Alien. I knew about the kicks, but I never expected somersaults.
Q| Speaking of science, we hear that your pregnancy is being written into the show.
A| Yes, it will be revealed that I’m pregnant and that it is Booth’s child. So now we are living together, trying to figure it all out—the couple thing, the parents thing—and how it will affect our working relationship.
Q| What has been most challenging for you?
A| The fatigue is the hardest part. We work 14- to 16-hour days and, for the first trimester, we weren’t telling people about the pregnancy, so it was hard. Now it’s just things like putting on shoes, getting up off the ground. It’s comical.
Q| What are you looking forward to most about being a mother?
A| Besides meeting the baby, of course, I look forward to that bond, the love that people say is stronger than you can imagine. Also, I think getting to see everything fresh, through a child’s eyes, is a wonderful thing. And the milestones, just getting to know who this child is.
Q| You’re a committed vegan. Has keeping up that way of eating been a challenge?
A| I don’t think it’s any more challenging for me than for anyone else. You have to make sure you get all those essential nutrients. The real challenge for a vegan is getting vitamin B and omega-3s, but you can get those in a vegetarian supplement. I’ve increased my protein intake with beans and brown rice, and shakes made with almond milk and hemp powder. The funny thing is, I love kale and always used to put it in my breakfast shakes, but for some reason I can’t stand it right now.
Q| Any cravings?
A| Lemonade! I want it all the time. That and grapefruit. Those cravings I indulge. But I also crave chocolate all the time, and I try to ignore that.
Q| What kind of prenatal exercise do you do?
A| I’m still Spinning and doing yoga—right now it’s a prenatal yoga DVD I do at home—but I really love classes. I like the music and the motivation you get from the people in class with you. And I’m walking a lot these days.
Q| How do you plan to balance motherhood with your busy life?
A| I have no idea, but I’m lucky because I’ll have a nanny and I’ll also be able to bring the baby to work. Otherwise I’d never see him or her. [The couple is not revealing the baby’s gender before the birth.]
Q| Will you breastfeed?
A| Absolutely, for a year, maybe longer. I’m a total hippie, so we will co-sleep and breastfeed. My mom breastfed me for more than a year, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. It’s cheap and much better for the environment, and you don’t have to lug all that stuff around. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but I’m determined, even if it’s hard at first.
Q| What is your favorite part of your pregnant body?
A| I love my belly, ’cause my baby’s in there.
Q| What kind of dad will David be?
A| He’ll be great. I knew early on that he’d be an awesome dad. He’s lots of fun and great with kids. There will be laughter in our home.
Q| What are your plans for the birth?
A| We’ve been taking HypnoBirthing classes, and I plan to do that. David will be with me, and also a doula.
Q| On your show, your character Bones is so fearless; is this true of your own approach to life?
A| Brennan is much more fearless than I am, and I definitely have learned from her how fear can get in our way. It’s sometimes helpful, of course, and stops us from doing stupid things. But other times it is a useless emotion.
Q| What is the best piece of advice you can give other first-timers?
A| It’s kind of ironic, because you do get so much advice, but someone told me: Trust your instincts. I love that.
It's a boy! Emily and David welcomed a son, Henry Hornsby, on Wednesday, September 22.