Appearing in Fit Pregnancy magazine with an interview and photospread, actress and author Courtney Thorne-Smith, 40, discusses her pregnancy, body image, Life According to Jim, and more. Courtney and husband Roger Fishman expect their first child next month; they do not know the sex.
Click below for the photo and interview highlights.
(Courtney wears a Lotta Stensson dress.)
On getting pregnant and being an ‘older’ mom:
I really have always wanted to be a parent, and when I hit 36 and had just ended a relationship, I remember thinking how much I still wanted it. But I thought I’d adopt. I was very open to it, thinking being pregnant wasn’t what was important.Knowing that seemed to quiet my biological clock.
Then when I met Roger, he never doubted that we would have a baby. But I was 39, and you never know. I really lucked out.
How she’s feeling:
I feel amazing. My back gets a little sore now, so I roll out of bed and do my cow/cat stretches. But I’m having so much fun; the baby kicks all the time, which is beyond heavenly.
[I didn't have morning sickness,] which surprised me because I get carsick. I did have a few migraines in the beginning, and you can’t take anything, so I had 12 days of migraine sickness instead of 12 weeks of morning sickness.
Nothing really strange, although cottage cheese is ambrosia to me. I normally chop up tomatoes and put them in, but now it’s just salt and pepper, and I also dip apple slices in it. I eat a ton of fruit salad. I love candy, but I don’t eat it because I am such a freak about it.
Before I even knew I was pregnant, I made a spicy beef dish and used grass-fed beef. It smelled really gamey to me, and my reaction was so intense, my girlfriend said, "You’re pregnant."
On what kind of mom she thinks she’ll be:
I honestly don’t know. I hope I will be a calm mother; I do yoga and I meditate, and those should help. The one thing I do know is that I will have time for this baby. I’m at a time in my life that I don’t feel I have to prove anything in terms of my career. I feel I’m in a place where I can really devote myself to raising my baby. The baby is all I’m doing.
And we’re going to try going without help outside the family. My doctor had some very good advice about bringing in someone like a baby nurse. He says some of them have very definite ideas, and you need to find your own way of doing things first — otherwise, you’re doing everything their way, not yours. I want to figure out what works for us.
On how she’s learning:
I’m mostly talking to my friends, I’ve read a couple of books, and I have someone come in for an hour and teach me the basics — how to bathe the baby, etc. But I think the books can make you crazy. Each book you read negates the one you just read. I’ve been careful about what I read, which is really hard when there’s so much swirling around the Internet. When I found out I was pregnant, I saw a nutritionist to make sure I was getting the right vitamins, and to find out what to avoid. I’ve stayed pretty calm.
Most of [my friends] have teenagers now, and they can’t wait to get their hands on a new baby. My friend Jean is a nurse and has six kids; she was one of the first women to have a VBAC. Someone asked me if I was getting a doula, and I said, "No, I have Jean."
On her body image (Courtney used to be a compulsive exerciser and struggled with her view of herself for years):
Well, I used to be a compulsive exerciser, but I’m over that. For the past several years, I’ve been walking 40 minutes and doing Pilates and yoga stretches at home, so that’s what I’m doing now. I used to run 8 miles a day, then go to the gym, do weights and then yoga, until I realized that I was so hungry and tired all the time. So I stopped doing all that and started just walking.
I feel so much freedom now: I don’t have to stay in a hotel with a gym and I’m never so hungry that I panic.A lot of women are in a crazy exercise cycle; they’re so afraid they’ll gain weight if they stop, and it’s especially hard when they get pregnant.
What they need to realize is that if you’re not exercising so much, you don’t have to eat so much, and your body adjusts. It sounds so simple, but you really do have to listen to your body.
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.
On her larger chest:
I don’t like it; 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.
On her 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.
I definitely intend to.
On sleeping arrangements:
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?
On her dogs helping her prepare for 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 precio
us being who is a few hours old? Sure, but it’s a little weird.
Why she and Roger are waiting for a delivery surprise:
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?
On how Roger will be as a dad:
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.
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!
On writing the pregnancy into According To Jim:
Yes, [it will be] 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!
Source: Fit Pregnancy, Dec/Jan issue, p. 49-50