Lara Spencer on her public pregnancy, advice from viewers and the nesting instinct.
Television journalist Lara Spencer reports on fashion, trends and the quirkier side of life for Good Morning America while juggling married life with another a.m. person, CNN morning anchor David Haffenreffer. We spoke with Spencer, 31, when she was but a millisecond away from delivering their first child, a boy.
Fit Pregnancy: Your due date is … well … yesterday. Are you tired of being a kid condo? Lara Spencer: I never really got huge, so I'm not horribly uncomfortable. But with every little twinge I think, "This could be it." I have a high pain threshold, so I hope I'll notice.
You'll notice, trust us on this one. By the way, we noticed you were still on the air this morning. Yeah. I decided it would be more destructive for my personality to be home watching the clock, so I've continued to work. It's helped that I've found great clothes to wear.
What are your favorite finds? Some of the best things actually haven't been maternity wear. I love Liz Lange Maternity, but I also felt sexy wearing drawstring under-the-belly pants and a tight sweater. I went to athletic stores like Speedo and Danskin for straight-legged jogging pants and to Banana Republic for extra-large sweaters. And I felt like a million bucks. I didn't want to spend a ton of money because I don't know when I'll get pregnant again.
Do you talk to your baby? All the time. I tell him that I can't wait to meet him. I fill him in on what I'm doing that day. When I'm driving, people in the next car must think I'm insane. They see no phone, no other person, and there I am, chattin' away.
You've done your whole pregnancy on the air. What kind of letters do you get? Now that I'm past my due date, viewers have been trying to help me have the baby. People wrote that I should have sex, that what got him in will get him out. I've been told to eat spicy food, Chinese food, shrimp with lobster sauce. If I listen to everybody, I'll either have the kid or gain another 20 pounds.
Any cravings? I could not get enough eggs in my first trimester. Scrambled. Hard-boiled. Before this year, I'd never had a hard-boiled egg. But when I got pregnant, I'd be the one in the greenroom hoarding the hard-boiled eggs. Now I'm full-on into sweets. Especially cupcakes.
On GMA, you've become known for your "Behavior Labs," which test people's responses to various situations. Have you done one to determine if people respond differently to pregnant women? Actually, I have. A year-and-a-half before I got pregnant, I strapped on a fake pregnant belly and rode subways in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Chicago to see where people were kindest to a woman with child. New York won. And I'm happy to report, now that I'm really pregnant, New Yorkers haven't let me down. People have been so considerate. Total strangers get excited about your condition!
Will motherhood change your priorities as a reporter? Yes and no. I'm still me, and I still want to have fun and do stories on quirky people all over the country. But I think you'll see new facets to my stories.
What about exercise? I normally jog, but now I do a lot of power walking. And for the first two trimesters, I worked out with Diane Sawyer's trainer, Jim Karas. We did stretching, resistance work and light lifting with big rubber bands.
Has your schedule left you time to nest? I've been completely crazed! We moved into our house four months ago, and I've redone everything down to backup sets of bedsheets.
How's your husband taking all this? He's been great. I say, "Look, I haven't been moody. I haven't gained a whole bunch of weight. But I need to decorate, OK?" I've washed all the baby clothes twice; and in the baby's room, every drawer is labeled. I have labels for onesies, for little undershirts, for one to three months, three to six, six to nine …
Um, what kind of labels are we talking about exactly? David has this little labeling machine that makes embossed strips …
No. Not the embossed strips. Yep. I love 'em. If I could label my husband with those strips, I would.
What's been the most helpful in terms of viewers' advice? There've been loads of sweet words of wisdom from moms of all ages. The main message has been to trust my instincts. All these women e-mailed me saying, "Don't worry. When you see that little face, you'll know what to do."
Your son is going to have about a million godparents. That's true. And I welcome it.
UPDATE: David Hufford Haffenreffer III was born January 22 weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.