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Vera Farmiga Felt the Pressure to Bounce Back After Baby

07/07/2009 at 05:00 PM ET
Courtesy Cookie for use on CBB

Actress Vera Farmiga thrives on her unconventional lifestyle. Despite her roles alongside some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, the New Jersey native feels most comfortable at home with her husband Renn Hawkey and their 6-month-old son Fynn McDonnell in Ulster County, NY.

“I can’t wait to get home and dig my hands into the soil,” she tells the August issue of Cookie magazine. “I have to say, I feel closest to God when I’m working with rat manure.”

While she was open about her pregnancy — even revealing her exact due date and the sex of the baby — once she welcomed her son, the new mama chose to keep all the details private.

Her desire to shield her family life from the spotlight was made that much easier when she made arrangements to deliver at an “amazing” birthing center in the small town of Rhinebeck, NY.

“The place is like a gymnasium! You can hang from the walls, bounce on a ball, labor in a tub, have a six-handed massage.”

Although her plans to have a natural birth went awry when she underwent an emergency c-section, Vera was undeterred by the course of events. Only two weeks after welcoming Fynn, The Departed actress began work on a new film with George Clooney. The offer, she laughs, is one that could not be ignored! “It was an opportunity I could not turn away,” she says. “I mean, George Clooney.”

As the second oldest of seven children, having spent her youth “with younger siblings on my hip,” Vera was unafraid of the prospect of motherhood; She was, however, unprepared for what awaited her after baby’s arrival. Unable to exercise due to the cesarean or follow a strict diet because she was nursing, the extra pregnancy pounds still lingered when Vera went for her first post-baby costume fitting. “It takes a lot to scootch me off my game, but [at 15 lbs. heavier than usual] it was the most insecure I’d ever felt,” she recalls.

“When people tell you that by the time you start filming, you gotta lose the fat off your face — well, the only way to get through that is to try to maintain a sense of humor.”

To that end, her immediate return to work was a decision that did not come without its share of consequences. “Now that shooting is almost over, it’s easy to say coming back to work so soon wasn’t that hard for me, but man, it was,” she reveals. “Talk about trying to balance work and family — I was in the trenches. There were days I’d come to the set and just cry and cry and cry.”

Click below to read about Vera’s problem with silk shirts and how Fynn helps her stay in the moment.

Fortunately, with Fynn nursing, baby boy and Renn were always close by, traveling the country alongside Vera. Determined to continue breastfeeding, the 35-year-old would pump in between takes and have the milk shuttled to the hotel.

“I can’t tell you how many silk shirts I ruined just thinking about him!”

Elated with motherhood, Vera can’t help but note the great lessons Fynn — whose Nordic name came as a result of his father’s resemblance to a Viking — has taught her. For the new mama, she has quickly learned to live life for all it’s worth.

“When I see the way Fynn throws himself into each simple task — eating, yelping, squeezing a fart — I think, ‘Wow, this little guy isn’t trapped in his head; He’s operating to the hilt.’ And it occurs to me that this needs to be my attitude whatever I do.”

Vera will be putting her mothering skills to the test with her new movie Orphan, in theaters July 24th.

Source: Cookie

– Anya

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Showing 10 comments

Olivia on

Congratulations to Vera and her husband. Fynn is beautiful, and she looks great. It’s always so exciting to see someone you knew “back then” become so successful. One of her younger sisters was on my softball team, and I knew Vera as the ultra-talented girl who closed our piano recitals every year…actually, all the Farmiga kids were accomplished pianists. Bet they’re all doting on Fynn. So happy for her!

Alice on

Wait, we never got a birth announcement did we? I thought she must have delivered but that’s the first I hear of little Fynn! Congrats to the family and on keeping baby’s first months private.

Kara on

I delivered at the same hospital, Northern Dutchess Hospital’s, Neugarten Birth Center. It really is everything she says she is.

I had a wonderful experience there.

fuzibuni on

omg. that sounds like a really tough experience.
i don’t know how she managed to film only two weeks after having a c-section. i would have cried too!
especially when people are telling you to ‘lose the fat on your face’ when you are recovering from surgery, breastfeeding, and don’t have your baby with you.
thank goodness she has a supportive husband who was able to travel and take care of their newborn.

hopefully george clooney was worth it.

April on

That baby is so adorable what a chunky monkey!! I had to laugh at her george clooney quote, I’d probably do anything to get close to him too. :) :)

tammy on

I don’t know this actress, but reading this story was sad. To think that she suffered so much over 15 pounds is ridiculous. It was the most insecure she ever felt? wow… no wonder there are so many eating disorders and screwed up people.

Laura on

I just had a baby in Feb and I am still 15lbs over my normal weight and I feel pretty insecure about my weight too. It is the most I have ever weighed (besides when i was preggers) so i can totally relate to what she is saying and i know i don’t have an eating disorder. Plus those extra pounds just make me sluggish…it has been harder to lose these last 15 pounds than my first pregnancy.

jody on

My son’s now 8 months, and I still have 15 pounds to go too. Whatever they say, breastfeeding doesn’t always make the pounds melt off! I’ve been on this plateau for the past 5 months! Luckily for me, just a little exercise every day and making sure I eat my 5+ servings of fruits and veggies a day is helping shift those last pounds. I have a bet with my husband – if I lose the weight by the first week in October (1 pound per week), we buy me a sapphire maternity ring. If I don’t, he gets his PS3. Should be fun!

Kate on

I’m so thrilled Vera Farmiga is on the cover of Cookie magazine with her adorable son Fynn–congrats to her and her husband!

She is by far my favorite actress and I am so excited to see she is happy and doing well! I love how she is so down to earth and she seems like a really kind person–it is sad how when she started filming, people were telling her to lose “the fat on her face.” It’s understandable that she would feel insecure about the extra weight.

I am a 20 year old college student and have no idea what it is like to work and have a baby but she seems to be doing a great job! I talk to mothers of children i babysit for who have
to pump at work–it sounds very difficult so i give her a lot of credit–and she’s in the spotlight! Nice job Vera!

I can’t wait to pick up my copy when it comes out :)

SharonHart on

Vera sounds very grounded, getting back to nature is very helpful when life gets a little crazy. I coach women through the transition back to work and the pressure of suddenly having another human being depending on them 24/7! It’s overwhelming for any mom, but for an actress that has the whole production depending on her…and pumping on top of it shows Vera’s level of committment to both roles. Fantastic!

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