Texas born and raised, Dayna Devon started her television career as a newscaster, then landed the coveted job of co-anchor on Extra in 1999. Dayna, 35, who covers major Hollywood events such as the Academy Awards and Emmys, regularly gets to interview show-business royalty like Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Will Smith. But the thrill of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous pales in comparison to her excitement about becoming a new mom. She and her husband, Brent Moelleken, a plastic surgeon, are eagerly expecting a daughter in October 2005.
>How has your pregnancy gone so far?
It’s been a dream. I didn’t have much morning sickness, just the occasional car sickness—really nothing at all. I didn’t like chicken for a time, but other than that I have been fine. Since I didn’t have any nausea, I’ve had to watch my weight gain, though.
>How has it felt to be scrutinized from head to toe by millions of viewers?
Hard. I won’t lie. I’ve gained a lot in my face, and you can’t hide that with a camera angle. On top of that, you gain a huge basketball but try to look fashionable, hip and sexy! Sometimes it’s hard to remind yourself that this is beautiful and natural. Hopefully, the women out there are rooting for me.
>Do you feel immense pressure not to gain a lot of weight since you are on camera?
I’ve had to watch what I eat pretty closely to try to stay in shape for a national television show. It’s been tough. I talked with some actresses about this. Many use pregnancy as a break since they’ve had to keep such a close eye on their weight for so long. But every single one of them who really put on the pounds will show me a huge stretch mark or a place on their body that hasn’t recovered, and they say if they could do it again, they wouldn’t gain so much weight.
>What have you done to stay fit?
My husband makes me walk to my meals out. Last weekend I swear I walked 20 miles. He calls it the Brent Boot Camp. I am a runner, but I haven’t been doing it during my pregnancy. It just feels like too much impact on my joints.
>Any tricks for staying balanced with such an intense schedule?
I take a nap every day. Even on days when I am feeling really good, I force myself to sit down and rest. It helps me avoid the crash–and–burn. I’ve also really tried to keep an eye on the sugar.
>How else have you altered your diet?
I’ve been drinking more soy milk for protein. I’ve read a lot about antioxidants lately, so I am trying to eat different colors of food. I eat a ton of spinach, tomatoes and carrots. On Sundays, I’ll cut up red and green peppers for snacks. I also eat an apple a day, which I think has helped me avoid constipation. I’m trying not to eat things in packages—like Fritos. I’ve completely cut out artificial sweeteners and I haven’t had a headache since. But occasionally, I do have to have a cupcake—and I will cry if I don’t get one.
>Have you had any weird cravings?
During my first trimester, I was so hungry I would have eaten anything. It was unreal—even after I had eaten, I was still hungry. My husband came to bed one night and found me propped up on my elbows, wide-eyed, asking for tacos. He said no, because it was three in the morning. So I said, “Can we just talk about tacos, then? Beef or chicken?” It’s the power of suggestion. Someone would mention eating the best chili and I would go to the ends of the earth to find a bowl of chili. I also went through a really weird mango phase: I was eating three or four a day.
>What has been your favorite thing about being pregnant so far?
Feeling her move. Maybe it’s because I’m 35, but I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I was pregnant. I took eight pregnancy tests and then went to the doctor for another. For a long time I didn’t believe it was real. I would read the pregnancy books and they’d say, “She’s now the size of a grape … then a kumquat.” So I got used to thinking of her in terms of produce. Now that she’s moving, she feels like a little human and I’ve bonded with her way more than I expected.
>Any pregnancy pet peeves?
I don’t like people touching my stomach. The people who are closest to me always ask first, but the ones I don’t want to do it are the ones who come
up and wrap their hands around me. I’m like, “Hey—I’m not touching your testicles!” [She laughs]
>How do you imagine becoming a mother will change your perspective as a working woman?
I think it’s going to change everything about me. I started working the second I could, with odd jobs around the house, then babysitting. In college, I worked in a bar at night so I could intern at two television stations. I think it’s going to put life in perspective for me for the first time. Work is great, but it’s not the end-all. I kind of need an attitude adjustment.
>Are you looking forward to the birth?
No, not at all. I’ve done some research. At four months I saw a birth online and I was like, “No, no, no. I’m not doing this, forget it.” Luckily, my husband delivered babies in medical school, so he should have composure, and his mother is a registered nurse. My mom is a panicker, so she will probably be kicked out of the delivery room. She’ll be in there initially until she gets out of hand.
>Do you have a labor plan?
I totally plan on an epidural. I respect people who do it naturally, but it’s not for me.
>What kinds of things excite you most about having a child?
My husband is 45 and wanted children yesterday. When I found out on New Year’s Day and handed him the test, he started sobbing. I believe that my husband was put on this earth to be a dad, and even when I’m hormonal or overtired, I am so happy I can do this for him. I’ve never seen any human as full of joy as he was at that moment.
>What do you look forward to most?
I can’t wait to know this little human being.
>Any advice for newly pregnant women?
Read everything you can get your hands on, so you are not surprised by things like varicose veins or a bloody nose. It reduces your anxiety. I also recommend Jenny McCarthy’s book [Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth; Da Capo Press, 2004]. It’s hilarious. Knowledge is truly power going into a pregnancy.