Katie Lowes Lives Her Pregnancy Moment by Moment: "Because Who the Heck Knows?"

On Scandal actress Katie Lowes plays a smart spy. In real life, she also has a thing for reconnaissance. But there’s no controlling labor and delivery, so she’s learning to accept whatever comes.

Behind the Scenes of Katie Lowes' Cover Shoot

I am a type-A planner. That’s just how I roll,” explains Scandal’s Katie Lowes. For instance, when it comes to fitness, the actress is on it, practicing Pilates, yoga, even water aerobics with a squad of pregnant friends. She also feels confident about caring for a newborn. “My husband [actor Adam Shapiro] and I were both nannies for years, so we’re not scared of having a baby,” says Lowes, who cared for actress and singer Connie Britton’s kids before getting her big break in Hollywood. But is she totally fearless? Maybe not. “I do feel completely petrified about how my son is getting out of my body,” says Lowes, 34. As it turns out, her devotion to working out is helping with that too: Her yoga teacher is also her doula. “I love the way she makes me feel like a warrior, yet really calm at the same time,” Lowes says. “When I heard that she’s a doula, my brain exploded.” 

If you’re still firming up your pregnancy, labor, and delivery plans, find some inspo from this dynamo!

Right Time, Right Place

“For me, having a baby was never going to be timed randomly. I wanted to have mine while I was on Scandal. Kerry Washington is one of my best friends, and I’ve gotten to watch her go through motherhood. I also have the greatest female boss in Shonda Rhimes, who is a mother of three and a huge advocate for women. I knew if I was fortunate enough to get pregnant while working on the show, I would feel nothing but support.”

Life Imitates Art

“My Scandal character, Quinn, is pregnant as well, and that’s been the greatest gift ever. Quinn is also engaged on the show. Even though she’s a murderer and a spy, Quinn is the character who’s the most committed to her relationship. I think she has the most fun storyline ever—to be a pregnant badass! And it’s a good message for women: Quinn is in the workforce. Quinn is kicking ass. Quinn is taking names and she’s also expecting.”

Pregnancy Prep

“I tend to overprepare, and I’d seen friends have a hard time getting pregnant, so I wasn’t interested in winging it for a year or two. I have an acupuncturist who is knowledgeable about fertility and she helped me understand my body and cycle. She was very empowering, especially because I never paid that much attention to my fertility before. Luckily, I had an easy time.”

Katie Lowes Black and White Sitting Laughing Silja Magg

The Big Picture

“I feel so honored to be a mom and get to do something that women have done for thousands of years. But I also wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, totally freaked out. I’m super-scared about labor and my whole life changing, because I like my life as it is. It’s beautifully complicated.”

Early Weeks

“I felt queasy around weeks six and seven. I didn’t really have morning sickness, but I did have two weeks of being very sensitive to certain smells. I remember coming home one night from work and Adam had cooked rosemary chicken. I ran around the house opening up every window and door because the scent was so repulsive to me.”

On the Menu

I crave salt. I think I have ten olives a day! Maybe my child will be a martini drinker—not that I’m having martinis with the olives. A few weeks ago we had a big party at our house and I was eating jars of sauerkraut.”

Her Devotion to Fitness

“I’m in Hollywood, so a workout regimen has always been a huge part of my life. When you’re in front of the camera you want to feel good. But I’ve never been someone who’s like, ‘I just can’t wait to get to that spin class!’ So the craziest thing is how much I love my pregnancy regimen. I love it. Maybe it’s because I’m not just working out for me, but for him. I’m working out to be really strong for the birth, and so that I can then lift and hold my son for all of those months.”

Emotional Connection

“My mom is a yoga teacher and I’ve practiced yoga for the last 15 years. I do my regular routine two days a week, and I’ve added a prenatal yoga class as well. It’s the craziest—I cry the whole time! Obviously I’m pregnant and hormonal.”

Her Pregnant Posse

“I have thirteen friends who are expecting right now, so I have an amazing tribe. Two days a week I go to Pilates with one of my best friends at 7:25 in the morning. It’s great having a buddy system; we show up for each other.”

Pool Party

“I hold a Sunday water-aerobics class at my house for my pregnant friends too. We chip in for an instructor and jump around with water weights. We all live in California and have had summer pregnancies so we joke that we’re like a bunch of hot beached whales. We do water aerobics and then eat muffins. All the experienced moms I know have dropped off their hand-me-down maternity clothes and baby goods with me, so after class, I get all that stuff out and we all go through everything. Anything left, I donate.”

Hospital Prep

“I don’t have a birth plan yet, but we’ll be in a hospital. I wanted a doula because it’s my first baby and I want to be able to call her when I’m going into labor so she can come over and help us go through the early stage. My husband and I are both actors; we’re obviously dramatic. So we want someone who is able to say, ‘This is normal. You’re okay; let’s do another lap around the house. Let’s bounce on a ball, let’s walk down the street.’ That way I won’t rush to the hospital too soon. Then, when I’m officially freaked out, we’ll head to the hospital. But she’ll be there as our advocate and as someone who has gone through this many more times than we have.”

Katie Lowes Olive Jumper Stands Silja Magg

Paternal Support

“Okay, there’s another reason we really want a third person in the room: My husband is a fainter. Adam is incredible and my everything. He is my heart and soul and life partner and we’ve been together almost eleven years. But he’s the guy who can’t look when he gets a shot.”

Meds? Maybe

“I definitely want all the help I can get with the birth, but I’m going to take it moment to moment because who the heck knows? I could get to the final weeks and we could need a C-section. Am I going to want drugs? I’ll know when I know. But my doula reminds me that a lot of women have had babies.”

Keeping an Open Mind

“My husband and I are aware, of course, that our son will be born with male parts. But we have no idea what he will identify as or what his sexual orientation will be. I wish, now more than ever, to just please let my son be healthy and happy and safe. That’s all that matters.” 

Their Big Reveal Plan

“We wanted to find out the sex of the baby, so I had my doctor write it on a card that my husband, Adam, picked up. We drove to this beautiful area of California called Meditation Mount, which at sunset has a stunning view of a valley.”

His Fakeout

“Adam surprised me: He brought along two cards, and the first one was a love letter he’d written about how excited he is to be on the parenting journey with me. It was wonderful.”

It’s A What?

“I opened the next card that said ‘It’s a boy!’ In that moment, which only lasted for a minute, I realized, ‘My gosh, I’m an older sister, I take care of my whole family and plan everything. How is our first child a boy? That’s not what I know.’ I hadn’t realized, until then, that I always thought I would have a girl first. I have a little brother, and I
feel very proud of my position in the family. I was projecting like crazy, but it was just my initial reaction and it quickly went away. A moment later, I was crying with happiness.”