Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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I know you struggled with body image for years; how are you feeling about your body now?
I feel great: I wanted this so badly. One day I was with one of my friends, and I was rubbing my belly, and she asked me, "How does it feel?" I told her, "It feels really good." And she said, "Great! I hope you keep rubbing your belly with love even after the baby is born." And that was so powerful, because my belly has always been the spot I obsess over.
I have come to appreciate my body so much—and I think that's why I was able to get pregnant, because of that appreciation. Now, the baby is kicking and it's all working. It's a miracle what this body can do, and I want to treat it with respect, always, even when I'm not pregnant. And it gets better and better: I know I had a better body when I was 20, but I hated it so much that it feels better now.
Are you going to breastfeed?
I definitely intend to.
What about sleeping arrangements? Bassinet in the bedroom? Crib in the nursery?
We haven't really decided, but the baby probably will be in a bassinet in our room for the first few months, then move to a crib. Roger doesn't want to put the baby in another room. I don't think we'll have the baby in bed with us, but you never know; if you do that, can you ever get them out?
Any birth plan?
I'd really like to deliver [vaginally], but if the baby needs help, I'll go with it. It's just that the recovery with a Cesarean section is so much longer, and I want the total childbirth experience if I can. But whatever happens is fine.
You have dogs. Has owning dogs helped you prepare for having kids?
I have a chocolate lab named Norman and a 16-year-old basenji named Ed, so I do have the experience of taking care of someone for years. But you have much more freedom with dogs. My friends laugh when I ask, "Then you put the baby in the crate, right? Or do you have to take care of them all the time?"
I love kids; I think they are fun and funny. I love playing and doing crafts, but having my own, of course, will be different. The first thing my friends who've had babies do is ask if I want to hold the baby. I'm like, Do I want to hold this precious being who is a few hours old? Sure, but it's a little weird.
Do you know what sex the baby is?
We are not going to find out the baby's sex. Once I realized that I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, I got into the adventure of not knowing. And the main reason to not find out is so you don't put all these projections on them even before they're born, like, "Oh, the baby's so active, he's going to be an athletic boy." Well, maybe she will be an athletic girl, you know?
What kind of dad will Roger be?
Amazing. He already warned me that he would be buying things all the time, but I think he'll be stricter than me. He and I have a really warm, fun relationship, and I think that will be transmitted to the kids. We are in a time in our lives where we appreciate every single moment.
You said "kids."
In theory, we will have more. I keep joking with my doctor that we are on a timetable, so it's baby out, and Roger in!
Is your pregnancy being written into the show?
Yes, but not right away. I met with the producers, and they said, "Uh, you're showing —Cheryl isn't pregnant in the first episode." I said, "OK, here's the problem: Courtney is 6 months pregnant. It's not like I can take it back." But the clothes are so forgiving right now; it should be easy to hide. People will just think I got a boob job.
Is it OK for me to say—your boobs are so much bigger than usual. Do you like it?
I don't; my husband, of course, loves it. They look like cantaloupes, they are filled with whatever breasts get filled with, and apparently they will get even bigger. My friends say that means I have lots of estrogen, whatever that means.
You're a knitter; are you making anything for the baby?
No. When I got pregnant, I completely lost interest in knitting for a while, but I'm sure I will again. I've been trying to get everything done before the baby comes, cleaning my closets and getting organized. One of my friends told me that she didn't need help with the baby, she needed help with the house so she could take care of the baby. That sounds like great advice.