Forget Dawson’s Creek and Cougar Town — Busy Philipps‘ greatest career move was none other than the birth of her daughter Birdie Leigh in Aug. 2008.
“I only became a celebrity because I had a kid. Before I was pregnant nobody cared,” the actress, 31, tells Babble.
“My husband has a theory that celebrity gossip feels so seedy, but if you can put a positive spin on it, like touting a new baby, then people somehow feel it’s okay. I joke to my agent that having a baby made my career.”
Unfortunately for Philipps, her increasing popularity comes with a price: public criticism. And although she “would like to say, ‘Oh no, I don’t even pay attention,’” the first-time mother admits the negativity can take its toll.
“Right after Birdie was born, I consciously tried not to look at what people were saying, [but] a relative forwarded me a link to people saying, ‘The name Birdie is stupid’ and ‘What a terrible made-up name,’” she recalls.
Choosing to see the positive side of her celebrity status, Philipps hopes becoming a mother — and opening up about natural childbirth — will inspire women when it comes to choosing a birth plan.
“It’s hard talking about it because it sounds like I’m taking away from how sacred it was. It was an incredible experience,” Philipps reveals. “I also want other women to know it’s possible to have a crazy, spiritual, amazing birth in a hospital. I was in a hospital. I had a doctor.”
But, adds the proud mama, it was Philipps herself who essentially helped deliver her daughter!
“I don’t know what I thought was going to happen beforehand, but I was completely squatting and after my doctor got [Birdie's] head and shoulders out, she asked, ‘Do you want to pull your baby out? Give me your hands,’” she shares.
“I didn’t even know my midwife took this picture of me with my hands pulling my daughter out and then right onto my chest.”
Determined to go the same route with her future children, Philipps admits the experience of natural childbirth left her with a new found sense of power. “During the days and weeks afterward, I felt like I could do anything in the world; there was nothing in this world that you could present before me that I could not conquer,” she says.
“[Natural childbirth] is not for everyone. I totally respect that. The best thing for your baby is the best thing for you. I have some friends who feel really strongly about an epidural and I’m 100 percent behind that, but that was not my plan.”
– Anya Leon