Q&A with Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald, our favorite angst-filled teenager from the '80s, is excited to welcome twins


Q: How does it feel to be going through pregnancy again after 5 years? A: It’s not exactly the way we planned it, but various circumstances kept us from having a baby sooner. I actually think it’s a good thing considering we’re having twins, as it would be so much harder with a toddler than with an almost 6-year-old.

Q: Do you think you’ll do anything different this time? A: I think I will try to slow down and appreciate the moments more. Everyone says it goes by so fast, but when you are in middle of it, it doesn’t seem like it’s going so quickly. All of sudden, your baby is a toddler, then a little girl and all grown up. It does go by in a heartbeat. This is going to be our last time around, so I’m going to appreciate the moments and try not to be too overwhelmed.

Q: Are you the type who loves being pregnant? A: No. [She laughs.] I don’t hate it though. There is something wonderful about it. The second you know, you cannot stop thinking about it. But I find it difficult to be restricted in my movements and to feel vulnerable all the time. I am used to feeling very strong and active, to be able to pick up anything and you can’t do that when you are pregnant. I find that frustrating. On the other hand, people are so kind to you and that’s really nice.

Q: Any weird cravings or aversions? A: Interestingly, when I was pregnant with Mathilda, I wanted Mexican food all the time. This time around I want Japanese food, which is a lot better. It’s kept my weight down and is definitely a better craving to have. I also want anything with water in it like cucumbers, watermelon and orange juice. The only thing that I can’t stand is the smell of eggs. It’s hard because eggs are one of my daughter’s culinary staples and she is a picky eater, so I am making scrambled eggs all the time. [She laughs.] Q: Was Mathilda born in the States? A: She was born in New York.

Q: How are you feeling about having twins? A: It’s exciting, especially since it’s a boy and girl. It’s the best of both worlds. Also, since there is such a big age difference with my daughter, it will be nice that they will have each other. I won’t have to scramble for playdates; I am really bad about that. I guess I am a naturally shy person and slow to make friends. I always feel a little deficient in the playdate department. [She laughs.] But I am worried about lack of sleep. I will be working and I’m taking just eight weeks off to give birth and take care of them, and then I go back to work in September. I have never done that before.

Q: What are you most excited about? A: I am really excited to have a bigger family. I can’t wait to meet and see them. It’s so hard to imagine your children before they are actually here. I say to my husband all the time, “Can you imagine life without Mathilda?” She is such a huge part of us now, it’s impossible to think of life without her. Our daughter is so different from us; she has elements of me and of my husband, but such her own personality, sense of humor, and individual ideas. It’s so interesting to see how they grow and develop. It will be the same way with the twins. Because it hasn’t happened yet, it’s so exciting to think about who these little people will be.

Q: Are you planning to breastfeed? A: Yes, I am going to, but I don’t know what that’s going to be like with the two. I did breastfeed Mathilda.

Q: Do you think it’s ironic to be pregnant while playing the mother of a pregnant teenager on The Secret Life of the American Teenager? A: Yes, I do. It’s funny. I took on the role of playing a mother of a teenager before I was there in my own real life. Age-wise, it certainly works, but in our society most people are having kids when they are older, so it feels like I skipped a few steps. I think it’s cool though. It’s an interesting dynamic to have a teenage daughter on the show.

Q: Does any of your previous experience, playing complicated teens, inform your involvement in this show at all? A: All of that feels very far away to me. I do think it connects me to them. All the teenagers on the show have seen my movies, so it creates a bond.

Q: Have you been more reluctant to exercise since you are carrying twins? A: I was in the beginning. I wanted to wait until everything felt very secure. I’ve worked out a little bit, but I can’t say I have gone crazy with it. I’ve done yoga and been walking, but no weightlifting. Having a 5-year-old keeps you busy and active no matter what. The priority for me has been resting and making sure everything is progressing along. I try to eat right and be sane about it. I know my body will come back.

Q: Have you thought about names? A: We have our lists, but we are waiting to meet them.

Q: How does Mathilda feel about the babies? A: She’s excited, but there’s a certain amount of trepidation since she’s been an only child for 5 1/2 years. She doesn’t exactly know what it’s going to be like. Everywhere we go people tell her she’s going to be a big sister. She’s been a baby for so long, so it’s a lot for her to take in. She did tell us that when the babies are born that we should find a stepdaddy for them.

Q: Any advice for first-time pregnant women? A: Every woman is different and has her own experience, but it’s important to eat right and take care of yourself. You don’t need to run a marathon but don’t stop working out if it feels good. You have to listen to your own body. And trust that you can give birth.

Q: Do you have a birth plan? A: I am going to try to do it naturally, but it’s not easy to find an OB who won’t immediately schedule a C-section when you have twins. It feels like our country has gone a little crazy on that front. I really do feel that giving birth the natural way is important. Of course, if they tell me I have to have C-section because it’s dangerous for the babies not to, I won’t say no. But I don’t want to discount it as a possibility.

Q: What kind of mother would you say you are? A: I think that I am loving, compassionate and interested. I am a little bit more of a disciplinarian than my husband. There’s always one in a family. I think I am fairly liberal in that I don’t try to force things, ideas or religion on Mathilda, but I want to make sure that she has manners, a code of ethics and cares about others.