Danica McKellar Introduces Son Draco

12/03/2010 at 03:00 PM ET
Jason O’Dell

It took Danica McKellar a day and a half of natural labor to deliver her son Draco, but she barely recalls a moment of it.

“If I had known it was going to be 36 hours, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to do it,” says the former Wonder Years star, 35, who gave birth on Sept. 7 without an epidural.

“At the end I remember yelling, ‘Oh, come on!’ but besides that, I can’t remember what most of the labor was like!”

What she does remember clearly is meeting her son for the first time.

“There was so much joy in the room and so much relief!” she says. “It was instant love. It was an amazing, amazing evening.”

Since then, McKellar, her husband, composer Mike Verta, 38, and Draco have happily settled into their routine at home in Los Angeles. “Draco loves to listen to [his dad] play the piano,” she says. “I’m like, you don’t know that every daddy can’t do this!”

Her son’s name, which is the Latin word for dragon as well as a constellation, was her husband’s idea at first.

“He’d heard the name and loved it,” she explains. “He said, ‘Once we’re gone, the constellation will keep looking out for him.’ It makes me cry every time I hear it. So of course that made it a winner! I love it. It’s a cool, strong name.”

The author and actress has already lost 20 of the 40 lbs. she gained during pregnancy.

“I would crave whatever somebody was talking about!” McKellar laughingly recalls. “No matter what food it was. If somebody brought up lasagna, I would really want lasagna. Even liver and onions! It didn’t matter. All food sounded good. I was an omni-craver!”

As for her now 3-month-old son? “He’s really good-natured,” she says. “He likes getting his diaper changed. He seems to really appreciate that! And he has a ravenous appetite. He eats every three hours and I’m exclusively breastfeeding. He’s just really sweet.”

McKellar recently released her third math book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, and is the voice of Miss Martian on Cartoon Network’s new animated teen superhero show, Young Justice.

– Ulrica Wihlborg

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 148 comments

Simran on

Lol.. I am 5 months pregnant and I also crave anything that I see on tv on hear people talk about…. I saw someone eating cake on tv and I wanted cake right then and there!!

Regarding their son’s name, of course they can choose whatever they want as his parents, but I am not sure if its a good idea to name your child “Dragon”!! Cute baby nonetheless…

kim on

He’s so cute!!!! What a great picture of mom and baby :)

Tammy on

For someone who still has to lose 20 pounds, she sure does look skinny. I love to hear what mothers have to say after giving birth, especially after the first one. You just can’t imagine the feelings until you’ve been there. Congratulations to her and her hubby!

VannaPnk on

It says she’s already lost 20 of the 40 pounds she gained during pregnancy….& she looks good in the pic. The baby is adorable!!!

Love this one.

LisaS on

What a beautiful mom and her even more beautiful baby! I’m glad to finally see a picture of this little guy, and Danica looks and sounds so blissfully happy.

It usually seems to me that it takes time for babies to grow into their names. Or maybe it just takes time for their names to grow on me or to attach it to a particular baby. But for some reason, I think Draco suits this one. And I really like the story behind his name.

Toya L. on

Well congrats to them and their new baby. I hope the moms who chose meds dont rain on their parade.

Keller on

The only thing is with the hype for Harry Potter i would have not named my child Draco. He will be know has the Harry Potter kid, Draco Malfoy….

Jen DC on

Oh, look at his li’l wrinkled brow! She does look really happy to show off all that hard work.

The story behind the name is really sweet. I like the name – very strong.

mp on

He’s such a cutie!

Tess on

Not a fan of the name, although the story behind it is nice. I’ve always liked Danica, she seems quite normal.

Tee on

Draco is absolutely adorable! Congratulations to Danica for being able to hang in there and have the natural birth she so badly wanted! She should be proud!

Kewky on

I can so imagine her yelling “Oh come on!” and it cracks me up! She’s a great role model. The story of the name is cool and Draco isn’t the worst name out there. He is sooooo cute- a little professor!

Jann on

What a sweet photo. Congratulations!

Ira on

Danica is the ultimate role model for a young girl. She’s smart, highly educated, intelligent, beautiful, talented and does the right thing – no sex tapes or being famous for nothing. This is the girl your young girls should want to emulate America!!! Congratulations. I’m a great admirer of this woman.

zilly on

Why does every “celebrity” mom think she has to go against nature and lose all pregnancy weight and more, before their child is even out of their 3 month clothes? More like three week clothes! I mean she looks wonderful, but you know she’s killing herself to look “like she used to”. It is horrifying what society has become.

tink1217 on

beautiful baby!!!! Great pic of the two of them too..she looks amazing! I personally don’t like the name…but the story behind it is wonderful!

TC on

I don’t think she looks like she has 20lbs to lose but look closely at how she’s standing, her back is arched pretty bad, which I think makes her look skinner than she is (again she still doesn’t look like she needs to lose any weight)

He is so adorable! and she is just beautiful.

Lola on

Awwwwww!!! LOVE HER!!!!!! And I’m totally loving the meaning of the name! I think it’s great when parents enjoy being a little creative with baby names – there’s so much deep meaning and such a unique quality to it.

Lola on

PS: I think a lot of people on here think the name is pronounced “Drakko” and therefore don’t like it. It’s actually pronounced “Dray-co”…so his nickname could be Drake! Don’t hate, appreciate!

Polly on

I’m so happy for Winnie and the baby is beautiful!

Mary on

Congrats Winnie!

Nick on

I love the name! I think it is a great, unique name and of course every parent has the right to name their child whatever feels good to them! It always amazes me how any and everyone feels the need to provide their input on names. Whatever the parents want is best!

Being a mommy of 2 myself I love the information she is sharing about her birth and being a mom…. I also LOVE that she had a med free, natural birth and is exclusively breastfeeding. That is wonderful. I hope this information empowers more mom’s to do the same!

klutzy_girl on

Awww, he’s cute!

Paige on

Aw. He’s adorable.

I actually like the name. Different but not completely ridiculous.

Shirley on

@zilly….you have no idea what she has done to lose the 20lb…..breastfeeding is an awesome way to burn calories, and for many women it is known to help the wait lose process after a baby. For myself, I lost 25lb in 2 weeks after giving birth to my first child, and I had only gained 12lb! With my second I lost 25lb in a month….I did not certainly “kill myself”….just ate healthy and stayed hydrated! And just as a side note….I had c-sections with both my babies, so there could not be any vigorous exercise anyway…I am a huge fan of the benefits in simple walking workouts.

Danica looks fantastic, and likely does have a personal trainer, cook, etc but I am more prone to think her weight loss is simply from having given birth and breastfeeding. What a beautiful woman and baby!

Steve on

Leave it to people to note that she thinks she still needs to lose 20 more pounds! She looks great

Shirley on

Beautiful mom and baby!

There have been a few comments about rapid weight loss after baby, and I have to say, it is entirely possible she has lost that weight without a gym/trainer. I personally lost 25lb right away with my first and 35 with my second within weeks….alot of it of course right after delivery, but much can be attributed to breastfeeding which burns 500 calories in 20 minutes….for many women (not all) breastfeeding will be a source of much post partum weightloss, alone with gentle exercise (walking did it for me) and well balanced diet

jee on

why would she not have an epidural…………it’s not like you get an award for suffering the pain!!! and as a nurse i find these hero types very difficult during thw whole birthing process. it really isn’t necessary.

Claire on

I agree with Ira! She’s a wonderful role model for girls! She seems so real and grounded. Not famous for being a party skank and not in and out of rehab/community service every 20 minutes. For heaven’s sakes, she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in mathematics! How many “popular” female celebrities can say that?! I would love to have my children look up to her. I’ve always hated math but maybe if someone like her was around 10 years ago I would’ve given it more of a chance :-) Not a fan of the name, but I love her so much that I don’t care! I just love that there is at least one former child star who isn’t all screwed up!

Sarah S. on

Baby Draco is adorable! :)

Bancie1031 on

I have always thought that Danica was gorgeous and this picture just reinforces that! Draco is such a cutie!

Gina on

Lola: Draco is latin and therefore if pronounced following Latin rules it sounds as “Druko”- u sounding like in drunk. NOT “Dray-co”. We have no idea how the parents pronounce it, so it could be either way.

nikki on

I too named my son after a constellation, Orion. Before he was born, people gave me their negative comments about it but now that he’s here… they love EVERYTHING about him so good for her! Jee- I too did not want to have an epidural. I was induced, made it to the end.. pushed for 2 hours and had to have a c-section. It had nothing to do with being a “hero”. It was a personal choice and research has shown that labor progresses faster AND recovery is quicker without one.

CJ on

@Jee; we don’t claim to be heroes but it’s more straightforward to have a natural birth than one with an epidural if you can. I had an epi AFTER my son was born for theatre and hated it. I went through six hours of labour with a 9lb 2 baby and would rather have got out of bed and walked to the ward like I did with my daughter but I didn’t have a choice.

I don’t judge those who have epidurals so don’t judge those who don’t. It’s about control over your own body and I find your comment offensive whatever your profession.

LVS on

Congrats on the baby and way to go for an all natural birth and breastfeeding! I love that someone who is already such a good role model didn’t take the easy way out by getting meds and was strong for her son. Good for her. We need more women who are willing to be brave and have natural births. It’s better for everyone involved. It empowers women in general and the mother especially. Women are designed to endure this. I’m 7 months pregnant and plan to go all natural as well.

Shannon on

I am SO annoyed with every cbb article pointing out how much weight the celeb mom has lost already! Its just not right to point it out. It further makes it seem like celebs are better than us “average” folks. Not every mom loses weight that fast and that is perfectly fine. On a happier note, her son is ADORABLE and I love hearing about mom’s who exclusively breastfeed. I did with my son and it was great!

corn on

Shirley, breastfeeding does NOT burn 500 calories in 20 minutes. On average you burn 500 calories per DAY when breastfeeding (anywhere from 200-600 is normal). It’s estimated that the production of 1 oz. of breast milk burns 20 calories.

molly on

Jee-
I don’t think we women that go “au natural” deserve medals but if someone prefers to give it a go to labor/deliver without meds (as I did) then great and if not, great. But I prefered to be able to be walking around and in control of my body at all times. Plus I was up and showered and nursing within the hour after delivery! Natural isn’t for everyone and I am glad we have technology-but not everyone needs it or wants it and it doesn’t make us difficult patients! I was actually joking during much of my laboring!

That aside….adorable baby and mom is hot! Loved her years ago and still do. That will be one bright and beautiful baby!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking on

Jee, the process of birth can stimulate the appropriate hormones to be released. Why mess with something God made work just fine? For instance, many doctors will give pitocin to speed things up, but this actually stands in the way of a natural hormone that’s supposed to be released during birth (oxytocin) that helps you feel maternal toward your baby.

There IS a reward: being sure you were as natural and chemical/product-free as possible, so you didn’t inadvertently cause side effects you may not even know about.

LPW on

I love Danica! And the name Draco is growing on me.

CrazyDogChick on

Wow jee. Let me just say that I’m glad you aren’t a nurse at the hospital where I’m delivering. Perhaps if you weren’t so judgemental, you wouldn’t find the natural-minded mommas so “difficult”.

Childbirth is not about the your experience as the nurse, but the mother’s. And it sounds like Danica is just fine with hers. She has a beautiful, healthy baby which is what we all want, regardless of whether we choose medical or natural pain relief.

Congrats to Danica!

Karen on

He’s beautiful. Don’t really get the whole unnnecessary pain being a virtue thing, but to each her own.

Laura on

Jee doesn’t sound very educated for a nurse. I would hope a nurse would be more supportive and less judgmental. People make personal choices about what they think is best for their baby.

simi on

First off congratulations to the happy family they are both beautiful, wishing them all the best for the future. Oh and I really love the name.

LVS and Nick not every women wants to have a natural birth, and it doesn’t make us any less brave or strong than you who have done 36hours without drug. It was your choice to do it without drugs as it was my choice to do it with. You do not see me bashing your choice to have a different birth plan them me and other women who choose drugs or c-sections. There is nothing empowering, or brave about giving birth without drugs and breast feeding. We should accept every women and her birth plan and child feeding plan regardless of what it is. A women getting a c-section and bottle feeding her child is still a strong, brave mother, and there is no shame in taking the drug or the bottle. It’s people such as yourself that put down women and make them question their choices, and influence their decision and make them not want to share their stories with the world, when they should.

My friend her whole life got told you are not a women if you don’t have a natural birth, I told her she was crazy and should do what feels right to her. But no she wanted to make her family happy and have a natural birth, since she was health and there was nothing wrong with the pregnancy. After three hours of pushing the doctors looked at her and told her she should go for a c-section her hips were just not stretching far enough so she tried for another 2 hours before the doctors did a c-section with out her agreeing to it. The doctor got a judge to order the c-section. Had she not been so set on having a natural birth and being a strong women, a brave women for her daughter the baby would have made it. But by the time the judge ruled and the c-section was done, the baby had died. Her head was stuck in her pelvic area and the cord was around the babies neck so she couldn’t get oxygen that was needed.

A true sign of a strong, brave women is a women that will do what is right for her and the child, a women that will stand up and be proud of herself no matter what. So stop, stop with the whole natural is the best for everyone, everyone should do it. It’s the only way to be a brave, strong, proud mother.

lisa on

I agree with everything that Simi said. Regardless of how the child got here; any woman who decides to give her body up for 40 weeks and then basically gives her heart to share with the world is a strong woman!

Cici on

To the women who say that the female body is made to give birth should realize how many women die each year in child birth. Women have ALWAYS died in child birth. It’s not a given to believe the human body can just do whatever is the norm. It’s like breastfeeding. Children die all over the world because their mothers can’t feed them and they don’t have access to formula. They just starve to death on their mothers’ breasts. (I know, I know, did they try hard enough? Did they call Le Leche?) In Western countries, child birth and bf options are just that – actual options – but in other parts of the world, a woman in labor for a day could die and/or her baby could die.

I don’t blame women for wanting to be drugfree during delivery because they feel empowered by the pain and challenge of it. I also don’t blame women for wanting drugs because they feel empowered by the comfort and serenity of the birthing process. Still women who claim that the female body is some machine that can give birth without complications if only women weren’t so whiny and weak irritate me.

I know women who live in poor countries who would love to have medicine to ease their pain during labor, but they don’t have that choice. They don’t feel empowered. They feel abandoned to their suffering. The fact is that half of my US friends who planned drugfree births changed their minds once the pain got bad enough. I’m happy they had that choice and I wish other women (even ones who are proud to have suffered the pain) should also be happy for that choice, instead of gloating.

Danica was classy about her birthing experience (proud without gloating), but too many posters on here are so negative to anyone they feel are inferior to them. It’s a shame.

Alison on

@Jee Are you kidding me?! You would have been one of the nurses that I would have kicked out of my room. Exactly the reason I went to a Birthing Center to have my son with supportive and wonderful midwives!

Krissy on

Draco? As in “Malfoy”? Come on! Why do celebs give their kids such incredibly crazy names? Whatever…but this poor kid is never gonna live this one down…and when Harry Potter is only a memory, everone will ask if he was named after the Harry Potter character.

Janet on

They both are just beautiful!

deborah on

I had an epi and PROUD of it! Bring it on!!! There’s a reason why I was born into the 21st century! no biting down on a leather strap for me! Hey the Civil War was over along time ago! let the drugs flow! LOL!!!

deborah on

WELL SAID SIMI!!!!!

P.s and after I had all my drugs while in labor…I was up and about after 2 hours giving birth too! with my bra on and belly wrap and ready to eat a BURGER! LOVE BEING A WOMAN! lol lol lol…..

deborah on

Cici..so true what you said! alomst brought tears to my eyes!
thanks :)

Emily on

Oh my gosh!! He is absolutely adorable. Congratulations!!

Nikki on

Danica was not at all preachy about having her natural birth, she just came straight out and honest about it.

If you want to do it naturally or you want an epidural, good for you either way.

As far as women saying that God intended labour to be drug free and that the body doesn’t need medical intervention is crazy. If you were sick, had a heart attack or a stroke, medical intervention would save your life.

I, having never had a child but seeing someone go through labour and birth, have decided to make no decisions until it’s actually me. I would never try and tell people I know better either.

If I fell and broke my leg you’re darn right I would take some pain pills. Labour is just another medical procedure.

I have decided that people are so judgy on this site. I used to really love coming and seeing the parents and babies but all the posters with the judgemental comments have ruined it.

dd on

So, here are some facts about epidurals:
They can cause labor to slow down or stop. Natural labors are much shorter on average.
They require IV meds which inflate baby’s fluids/birth weight, causing baby to look like they are losing too much weight, causing doctors to force mothers to use formula.
They can cause spinal headaches, which are caused by spinal fluid leaking out. This is solved by a ‘blood patch,’ which forms a clot in the hole in your spine that is leaking fluid.
A stalled labor due to epidural can necessitate Pitocin, which can cause fetal distress and/or death due to too-strong contractions that squeeze the baby too hard, or cause the uterus to rupture. As well as delay milk production. And has been recently investigated in a link to autism. Pitocin can also cause maternal death due to hemmorhage, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.
They can cause a drop in maternal and fetal blood pressure, which causes doctors to call for emergency c-section.
They can cause malpositioned babies that cannot descend properly, necessitating a c-section. Babies rely on mother’s movement (walking) and gravity to enter the pelvis.
They can dull the pushing sensation, preventing a mother from being able to push effectively.
So, they can cause excessive tearing because mother cannot control the pushing urge appropriately for her tissues, or cannot push well at all, which requires vacuum or forceps or c-section delivery.
They can cause death due to allergic reaction.

This is why many mothers are choosing to use relaxation, self-hypnosis, physical comfort measures and DOULAS to help them cope with labor. We have one of the highest maternal/fetal death rates in the world, and it ain’t because other countries suck at recording deaths. It’s because of uterine rupture, maternal infection, amniotic fluid embolism from c-section, pre-eclampsia.

Get completely informed when making your choices. I bet nobody at the hospital will tell you these things, and if they did, would you still get the epidural?

amsjll on

WHAT CICI SAID! While interventions are way too often (U.S. is now ranked 39th in safest countries to give birth, as of this year) the beauty is that if we need them, if we want them, if our babies need them, they are there! I was reading about women in labor for a week in Africa. A WEEK! Dead babies of course. STOP THE BASHING!!

Congrats to Danica on her baby! I’m glad you got the birth YOU wanted! I would expect such a name from a mathematician and a composer, it will likely suite him nicely.

Tee on

Jee, it’s nurses like you that make me proud to be a midwife and help women birth at home. (before I became disabled) No, there is no shame in a woman using pain medications if she needs them but quite frankly, less women would need them if they were trained in natural ways to control pain and didn’t have drugs “shoved” in their face.

Right now, I’m dealing with a friend that wants the additional medical security of giving birth in a hospital but is afraid to be there because the staff constantly pushed epidurals on her for her three previous children and she didn’t want them. You sound like a nurse that is a bully. Sorry if I am coming across as rude but your comment floored me. Glad to know I won’t have to work with you.

Shirley on

@corn, sorry, I was wrong about the calories burned….I meant to put day and put the minutes instead…either way it can help some women.

BTW, my two c-sections were not choices. I delivered my first child at 29 weeks 6 days, due to a placental abruption and my second was delivered at 37 weeks, 4 days before a planned section. It was planned due to having gestational diabetes and my doc did not want me to deliver naturally at the risk of rupturing again.

If I could have done it without the sections I would have definitely tried as naturally as possible to deliver…..Danica is absolutely beautiful and good on her for being able to nurse exclusively!

momof3 on

I wanted to experience the whole birthing process and chose not to have an epidural. Each woman has the right to decide what is best for her. I like hearing how parents pick the names of their children – and he’ll have a wonderful story telling his kids how his name was chosen.

Tee on

amsjil- No matter how pro natural birth I am, I agree with you that it’s wonderful that women have access to pain medications if they need them. It’s true that a long labor can cause death to both mother and baby but it doesn’t always. My sister labored for 15 days straight before delivering my beautiful 10 pound niece! And I’m talking active labor, too… contracting every three to four minutes for up to a minute at a time. It’s rare, that’s for sure, but it does happen.

CelebBabyLover on

I love the fact that Danica was able to have a natural birth! :)

Tina on

Super cute baby. Sweet. I would love to see Danica on Dancing with the Stars. I think she would be great.

Anne on

Beautiful Mom and baby. The name is great, but the whole Draco Malfoy thing will inevitably come to haunt him. Darn Harry Potter.

Nick on

Simi- simple statistics in the number of women who actually have natural child births and exclusively breastfeed as recommended by the American Academy Pediatrics and the WHO show we need to be more educated in this area and do it more simply for the benefits to mothers and babies. The US has some of the highest c-section rates and mother/baby mortality rates. Surgery, pure and simple, is a huge cause for these alarming numbers. Do some googling.

Thus sharing those of us that choose to mother this way should share our stories of success in these areas to empower other women, to help them think… hey, maybe I should investigate this choice and maybe I can do it too.

You assume I am putting down others, I never said anything so negative in my comment. You assume I am putting down women who have had a c-section. You couldn’t be more wrong, my dear. I have had the pleasure of a med free natural birth and I had to have a medically needed c-section as well due to polyhydramnios (look it up!). So I know of both and would never put anyone down for making the best choice for themselves, baby and family. Whether that is in the way they decide to birth or feed their baby!

Your negative critique of my comment was completely unwarranted and quite unnecessary. Take a look at yourself and why you would feel the need to come down on what really was a positive comment.

I would ask that you and all women ever considering having children research the benefits of trying a natural, med free birth (if possible, and yes if desired) and the benefits of exclusively breastfeeding for 1+ yrs., (and yes again when possible and if desired).

That being said, I stand by my original comments!

MG on

Simi you couldn’t have said it any better!

Marky on

dd, you should be embarrassed to have posted such outdated nonsense regarding epidurals. What you posted could cause someone to be terrified to receive a procedure they truly need to have a c-section (which you probably think never needs to happen either), and you are posting false information. It is amazing that someone would come on a sight like this and feel so free to lie to others and cause them to feel fear about having something they may very much need under certain circumstances. For that matter, if they want an epidural for pain control, maybe that is their right and it may be what they need.

This is the problem with the “martyr complex” some people have toward childbirth; it isn’t about having a live healthy baby–it’s all about the mother’s “experience” and how “brave” and “strong” she is compared to others.

Like Jee said, nurses love to work with mothers in labor and encourage them to follow their plan, but when they start screaming and throwing things because they can’t stand it any more and won’t do the epidural because some ignorant person told them they could be paralyzed (not possible, since the epi doesn’t even enter the spinal column) it can really get frustrating for everyone. Seen it, people. Not everyone can handle 40 hrs. of labor with a baby in the wrong position and not go over the top., but most can’t.

SH on

Gina-

I took 8 years of Latin and I’m still trying to figure out how you get the ‘u’ sound like in “drunk” out of Draco?? I’d say it’s pronounced “dray-co” in Latin AND in English.

Also, I have 4 kids. It’s very “normal” to lose half of 40lbs by the time the baby is 2-3 months old…especially if you’re breastfeeding. I’ve done that every time easily without formal exercise. You can easily lose a quarter of that just by giving birth.

amfrye on

maybe her husband heard it from Harry Potter…. ?? I love how she completely skipped over that and made up some B.S about the constellations… guess she couldn’t get Rowling on the phone for permission…

tina on

Danica I have news for you!

Draco is an ancient GREEK name. Dracon was an Athenian politician who introduced a series of severe laws, hence the term “Draconian Measures”!

Supriya on

Congratulations! you both look awesome:-) adorable little one out there!

Tina on

What a wonderful and beautiful story! I’m so glad she got the birth experience she wanted, but however they come, if they are healthy, that’s all that matters.

I did want to say for the nurse (and anyone else) who apparently thinks everyone should have an epidural/meds during labor, I didn’t with any of my 3 natural births and had no choice with the 4 but to have it as she was an emergency c-section. I didn’t get mean or nasty and was complimented by nurses for my composure during labor without the aid if meds. It has nothing to do with thinking we are super heroes or anything like that, it’s simply a choice we make and it’s no more wrong than those who do choose meds. It’s not a contest, it’s giving birth.

heather on

zilly…I gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy and lost all but 15 in the first three months by doing NOTHING out of the ordinary except breastfeeding and not eating mounds of ice cream and cake before bed like I did the last 4 months of being pregnant, lol. It took me another 4 months to lose the last 10 pounds and I think Im permanently stuck with the last 5 apparently : )

Quit hating and talking about other mothers when you dont know what your talking about. While it may be true for a percentage of celebs it is not true for everyone.

denise on

@cici: great post!!

@SH: no, you’re wrong, she’s right. there’s no “ay”sound in Latin!

congrats to Danica and her beautiful boy!

badger5079 on

Jee is a nurse, not a midwife. So she is likely to be as qualified to comment on birth choices as any other blogger who is not a midwife.

Anonymous on

Cici-fantastic!

Marky-thank you for posting that!

If you want to have a natural labor, good for you. If not, good for you too! Childbirth is a miracle either way.

And Draco is not the worst celebrity name I have heard. This one is growing on me, actually.

fabs on

I guess for every woman is different, I gained 8.5 kg., about 18 lbs in my first and only pregnancy and lost them almost right away.

I remember being incredible tired the first couple of weeks.. between trying to recover from labor, breastfeeding, taking care of the baby and just not being able to sleep 8 hours straight.. I lost the kilos so fast.. but I suppose every woman is different…

dd on

Marky- OUTDATED advice? Look up “epidural side effects” on any trusted medical website, and you will get the same stuff that I posted. (I never said anything about paralysis…though anesthesiologists have indeed punctured the spine with the epidural needle, SEEN IT, people).

Here’s what the American Pregnancy Association says:

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/epidural.html

Here’s more:

http://health.utah.gov/mihp/pregnancy/preged/duringpreg/epidural.htm

Exactly what I wrote. Those pages are dated 2010. And notice I didn’t even mention the possible effects on a baby-slow to respond, difficulties breastfeeding, fever, etc.

I’m not saying don’t choose an epidural. It is every woman’s responsibility to weigh the risks and benefits. Do not listen when a doctor says there are zero side effects. Many women know these risks and choose not to have the epidural.

Tamra C on

Jee-I had an epi for my first son…it stopped working. When I had my daughter 3 years later, I chose to deliver naturally. It wasn’t about being a “hero”..it was about what was right for my body.

My labor with my son was 15 hours of being hooked to a machine and laying in a bed. My daughters labor progressed much more quickly, and I attribute much of that to the fact that I was able to move around. And, yes, I am very proud of myself for that.

If you are truly a nurse, you shouldn’t judge a mother for making that decision.

t.alexa on

There is also a really cool artist by the name of Draco Rosa…extremely talented! So I think this name will be great for this child…besides – parent’s choice so we need not worry! Congrats, Danica!

California Surfer on

Wow, that birth thing sounds way majorly scary, glad my mama pushed me out but that I’m a dude. Danica is hot, and I too would enjoy seeing her on DTWS and my dog is named Draco so it is a pretty awesome name for the little dude.

macayla on

First, congrats to Danica and her husband on a beautiful son. They sound like they are thoroughly enjoying their first months together, and for that we should all be congratulating them.

Second, it never ceases to amaze me how defensive people are on this site about a woman’s right to choose the birth plan that is best for her and her baby.

One of my dearest friends gave birth to her first child in the hospital with an epidural and it was a nightmare. She gave birth to her second child in the bathtub at home with her midwife. I gave birth to all three of my children with an epidural in the hospital.

Why did I choose an epidural? Well, for my first, I was induced at 16-weeks because he had died, and I wasn’t about to suffer the pain of labor when the end result was going to be anything but happy. Because of the excruciating physical pain of that experience (I didn’t receive the epidural until I was far enough into labor for it not to slow it down or stop it), I was scared and wanted epidurals with my younger two children. I will never regret my decision to have epidurals.

For some “odd reason,” my friend and I can discuss our birthing experiences without judgment or condemnation. We celebrate with each other that we endured the difficult challenge of labor that yielded 5 beautiful children.

If everyone would stop being so defensive and start celebrating the ultimate reason why we endure labor to begin with, then perhaps this board would be less irritating and more positive. Just a thought…

Meghan on

@amfrye, where do you think JK Rowling came up with the name Draco? Probably the same way Danica heard of it! Not everyone on earth is a Harry Potter fan!

Richard Allen on

awesome! now send him over so her can help me with College Algebra!

Roland A. on

What’s so weird about Draco? They can call him Drake for short. His last name is Verta anyway which is sorta different so I think Draco Verta totally works. And if she says it wasn’t named after Harry Potter I believe her. Not everybody gives a crap about Harry Potter. Haters cuz she’s beautiful, smart, successful, and famous…

Tee on

macayla- I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. It’s stories like yours that make me so grateful that women have the option of epidurals even if I don’t encourage women to use them.

Allie-Rose on

tina is right, Draco is a Greek name meaning dragon, and it would actually be pronounced Drah-ko. The sound “ay” didn’t exist in Latin (which I assume Danica would know, though I could be wrong), so it can’t be pronounced Dray-co.

Congratulations to Danica and Mike! Draco’s really a cute baby.

sar on

dd.

I’ve had 3 kids and 3 epidurals, with each child the epidural actually helped my labor move along because I was finally relaxed. No side effects whatsoever, and i just weaned my last child after 15 months of breastfeeding. I was able to nurse him directly after he was born. I was not talked into the epidural by anyone, I asked for it. I did what was best for me and it all worked out in the end. :) More power to the women who do it drug free though, every woman’s birth plan is different but in the end we all get the same beautiful outcome which is all we really need to be focused on.

Whitney on

oh he looks adorable! I think his name really fits him!

Pete on

Danica is #1 in my books!

Angela on

I’m with Allie-Rose. I think the pronunciation is DRAH-ko.

jessicad on

macayla, so sorry for your loss and I can’t even imagine how painful that must have been. You have a great attitude about how women should be with each other, more supportive and less competition.

I’m definitely glad we have options for our labors, but I’ll be going without an epidural if I have another child, and I won’t be one of those women who thinks I’m better than someone who uses medication. I just know what my body went through with blood pressure problems from the epidural, therefore my daughter had to go straight to the NICU for the first 2 hours of her life and it was horrible having her ripped away after being so close for 9 months, I just wanted to hold her and nurse her. If I can do anything to keep that from happening again I will!

I feel like one of the guys posting this, but Danica is definitely a gorgeous Mama! She seems like a positive role model for women and shows we can be smart and have a sexy confidence, love that and love the name Draco!

Ian on

Danica McKellar is my hero.

JB on

What a cutie he is. She is so pretty and I loved her story. Congraulation to the proud parents.

All the comments that were written on child birth. I have never seen so many women competeing on who is right and who is worng. Most of these comments are better not said. This article was meant for Danica to express how happy she and her hubby are to have such a beautiful son. Wow nothing like getting your underware in a bundle. Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!

Cammy on

Danica is glowing! Her son is adorable. What a treasure!

Marky on

dd, the UNNECESSARY ongoing battle between midwives and the medical profession is part of the cause of the apparent rise in the death rate of both mother and baby in the states. Unfortunately, the sad “need” to terrify women into choosing a birth plan that calls for birthing at home or without a hospital available sometimes results in an unnecessary fetal death because someone couldn’t get the help they need. A better choice is a nurse-midwife in a hospital setting where lots of help is available if needed, and where the rooms are well set up to be very comfortable with water delivery available, if desired. Pitocin has been around for longer than I can remember and the rate of Autism was very low until recently. It isn’t caused by Pitocin, so you shouldn’t be spreading those type rumors.

Spinal anesthesia can cause “spinal headaches” because they invade the spinal column, but epidurals don’t. You can sit up in bed with and epi, but you can”t with a true “spinal”. Epidurals are generally given after labor has progressed far enough that the baby is in position and will not cause the baby’s position to change. If a c-section becomes necessary, it is not because Mom got an epi, it’s because she would have needed one anyway. I have too many times seen people like you who would rather see a baby’s collarbone broken to get them out after 8 hrs. of pushing and a mother with a 3rd degree laceration all the way through her rectum and anus, just so she can say she had her birthing “experience” (which she wishes she hadn’t had), then to say, “Sweetie, this isn’t working, I’ll be there with you while you have a c-section and it will be okay.”

I am all for natural childbirth; did it myself, and recommend it highly, but not the guilt trip if someone doesn’t want it, or it doesn’t work out. A live, healthy baby and a healthy mom is always the goal!

Marky on

And, by the way, I think Danica is just amazing. She is a real example to so many young women today. She is lovely, intelligent, and so happy!

dd on

Marky, you are in complete denial and totally uninformed. What do you think an epidural is? it is anesthesia injected into the membrane surrounding the spinal column. The risks are real, doesn’t mean I am pushing someone one way or the other. I never said people should always choose natural birth. I am saying to be aware of the risks.

Women often get epidurals just because their friends did, or it’s just what ‘everyone does,’ without full and complete disclosure of what an epidural is, how it works, and what it does. Many women weigh the risks and benefits still choose the epidural. Good. At least they know the risks. And all midwives will suggest epidural at appropriate times; i.e. maternal exhaustion. Getting an epidural at 2 centimeters because a nurse is pressuring the mother to “just get one now before the anesthesiologist goes home” is NOT an appropriate use of epidural, but this happens to millions of women.

Regarding spinal headaches:

http://surgery.about.com/od/proceduresaz/ss/AnesthesiaRisks_5.htm

Are you really going to continue to deny that epidurals don’t have side effects?

sarah on

Draco is a great name! I love it! I mean I love Harry Potter so every time I hear it I think of Draco Malfoy. J.K Rowling used a lot of Latin words for Harry Potter because it makes sense. I think that Draco is a great name though. I would definatly love to name my child that.

collete on

dd, I’m afraid to tell you that you may be the one speaking from the disadvantaged position of the uninformed.

I can say with absolute certainty, clarity and experience, the area you’ve suggested – what was it again? The ‘membrane surrounding the spinal column’? This area you’re trying to identify, firstly doesn’t exist as you describe it in any medical sense of those words, and secondly is actually the outer end of the spinal cavity. I can describe in detail to you the exact process by which an epidural takes place, the REAL risks posed both to the mother and infant and the outweighing (in some cases) benefits which have long been recognised by the medical community – but, I suspect that your seemingly indoctrinated opinion would always win out in the end.

However I would kindly suggest, that unless you are speaking from a position of recognised medical authority (which, I have no doubt in suspecting, you aren’t) you don’t immediately jump to scare-mongering on websites like these. all your exquisitely researched hard efforts at ‘exposing’ epidurals and the inherent ‘evilness’ of doctors who ‘lie’ (honestly I question the sanity of some people sometimes) to patients does actually have an effect on the psyche of some people, though you may not realise it or care very much. And all it aids is lack of trust in medical staff and their experience and knowledge and hinders the efforts they make to ensure each woman’s delivery is at once, safe – but also in some ways satisfying for her as an individual.

dd on

The epidural is injected into the dura, which is:
” a very tough membrane that encloses the brain and spinal cord and prevents cerebrospinal fluid from leaking out from the central nervous system. The space between the dura and the spinal canal is called the “epidural space”. This space is filled with tissue, vessels and large veins. The epidural space is important in the treatment of low-back pain, because it is into this space that medications such as anesthetics and steroids are injected in order to alleviate pain and inflammation of the nerve roots.”

So, what is inaccurate about what I wrote, besides the fact that I used “column” instead of “canal?” And I never said doctors lie, except maybe lying by omission; that is, not telling the mother that her receiving an epidural has any risks at all. I have heard nurses say over and over and over again, “No sweetie, there are no risks to an epidural.” Nor did I say that doctors are “evil.” Why are you putting quotes around words I never myself typed?

You yourself say “the outweighing (IN SOME CASES) benefits.” Yes, IN SOME CASES there are clear benefits. But what is it….like 95 percent of all births in the US involve epidural now. That is not SOME CASES. I am not scare mongering, though, yes, the risks ARE scary! Everything I have written about epidurals is clear fact. It is our right as women to know the facts about the birth process and what is available to us. Women are being robbed of a satisfying birth experience every day by nurses such as Jee and other people (midwives included) who pressure women to do things they don’t want to do, or block them from being fully informed.

simi on

Nick you are correct on all the stats no one can say otherwise but it was “I hope this information empowers more mom’s to do the same!” that got me. So many women strive to be empowered, strong, brave, proud, but in my mind the only way you can be any of those things is by making an educated decision and standing up for yourself when the time comes, and at the end of it all doing what is best for your child and yourself. Cause at the end of the day a health baby and mom are all that matters. And it is statements like yours, how ever well intentioned, that make women question their decisions. Not all have the self-esteem to question why would you have said that, some other out there are so into celebrities that they will follow what they say no matter what it cost them. I believe in female empowerment, and human right for all, but I do believe that we have to be careful in choosing our words cause what empowers one can kill another.

Someone on here said that so many mothers all over the world would give anything to have the medical care that we in North America have. It’s true we are so luck here but to many of us don’t see it. My best friends son is from Ethiopia, and we went to different hospital to help while we were there, we took extra two months of work to spend in the country and help when and where we could. And the living hell some of those women go through while having children …. there are no word that can explain the hell, pain, deaths that what we saw. Not only from the mother but fathers and children too, some so small that they were under a pound. These same children being given to orphanage with an hour of birth cause there are better chance of their child being feed every two days in some orphanages everyday and that is better than what the mother could provide for their child. So they give their children up, hug their husbands, cry for a while and as soon as she is able to walk the leave, no follow up exam, no looking back at the child that was left behind, just a hope that the right decision for the child was made, and that someday they will meet again.

It was that visit that changed me and the way I look at birth plans and women who are so stuck on following the birth plan, women who worry about what others with think about their birth and are so worried about their plan and their needs and wants that the forget about the first rule of being a parent. The child and his/her needs come before you, yours needs or wants. Every women should stand tall, and proud, if not for herself then for her sisters all over the world that face the impossible everyday and live to tell about. I will support any women in her birth plan as long as it is what is best for the health of the child and her. So if drugs are it, fine, some can stand the pain and not stress, others cannot, me being one of them, firm believer in if you don’t have to suffer in pain don’t, do I agree with women choosing a c-section as a birth plan, if there is a good reason then yes, surgery should be done if that is what needs to be done for the health of the baby and mom. I have a heart problem, I am still in a hospital from my transplant. I could have tried to deliver my daughter naturally but there was a high risk of my heart stopping it was a chance I was not willing to take. Yes the option was mine I could have tried and then at the first sign of trouble gone under and had a c-section, but to me the risk of my heart stopping, her not getting the air she needed, even for a short time was not a chance I was willing to take. So I didn’t and had a c-section. My heart was the reason why I choose not to breastfeed. I had more energy when I was on my medication and my heart worked better and there was less chance of heart failure when I was on them. But the drugs are harmful to a child. According to some doctors I could have stopped the meds and breastfeed for a year, but again the risk of my heart stopping with her in my arms was not worth it. Thank God for the bottle. But I got judged by doctors, nurses, midwives, my friends and coworkers for my choices, instead of being supportive that someone in my condition got pregnant and managed to carry a healthy baby to term.

So support each other as mothers and women.

kiki_m on

I had a natural birth too, at home in my bathtub. And I exclusively breastfeed. I also gained exactly 40 pounds during my pregnancy and lost all of it by the time my son was 3 months old. All I did was do yoga a couple times a week, as has been my habit for years. I still eat the same way I did while I was pregnant. So for everyone who thinks she’s “killing herself” to look good, she’s not. BREASTFEED YOUR BABIES. It’s the best food you can give them and it snaps your body right back into shape. GOOD JOB DANICA!!!! You’re a great mama!

Leah on

“He’d heard the name and loved it.”

Him and the other 1 billion people on the planet who have ever read or seen Harry Potter.

Jennifer on

Cute baby! Congrats to Danica! I had an epidural with both of my pregnancies….and the 2nd one, well, my son came so fast that there was no time for it to kick in. So, it was really like a natural birth …I felt it all! It really doesn’t matter if you get one or not, the outcome of course is just a healthy baby…that should be the focus. Same with nursing. I nursed my two a little, but also did formula. They are bright, healthy, thriving children…… Congrats again to her and her husband…she seems very happy! :)

T~ on

WOW i cannot believe they let her labor for that long. I work in Labor and Delivery (have done so in 3 different states due to being a traveling nurse) and after 12 hours (after the water is broken) they were worrying about infection (it used to be 24.)I honestly cant believe the hospital would be that irresponsible.

The reason i say this is, every hospital i have worked in has a STRICT policy about that. Too much can go wrong.

I cant imagine that she has her facts straight, or maybe the magazine souped it up some.

I am glad all are healthy but i have my doubts about 36 hours of labor.

Rose on

@T: The reason that hospitals try not to let patients go beyond 12 hours is not because of the risk of infections, it’s for convenience and because of pressure from insurance companies.

Rose on

@Marky: I don’t believe you’re correct that the reason why people are more likely to choose a home birth or a birth in a birthing center is because of fighting between midwives and doctors. I couldn’t care less about the fighting that may go on – my reasons for not wanting to go the hospital route is because I have thoroughly researched the subject and I cannot find enough evidence to support the majority of the standard practices hospitals use during labor (monitors, the 12 hour limit a lot of hospitals try to put patients on, delivery position, etc.) I realize that not all hospitals rigidly stick to those things, but I would NEVER deliver in one that does. I would never let decisions about the health and safety of my baby be made based on what is most convenient for the hospital – those decisions will be made based on solid research and there isn’t solid research to back up some of those practices, in fact there is a lot of research showing that those things do more harm than good.

sillyandrea on

For all the people wondering about weight loss – do the math! Immediately after birth you lose weight due to things like the placenta, extra fluid and extra blood.

And oh yeah – the BABY.

It’s not unusual to lose at least 15 pounds just by giving birth.

Darlene on

Yes, people have the right to choose any name they want for their babies, but take it from someone who was given an undesirable name – it will only make them self-conscious and wondering what in the world their parents were thinking.

Lisa on

DD said “Getting an epidural at 2 centimeters because a nurse is pressuring the mother to “just get one now before the anesthesiologist goes home” is NOT an appropriate use of epidural, but this happens to millions of women.”

I don’t know what third world country you live in, but the medical standard in the United States of America for an epidural being administered is four centimeters of cervical dilatation or larger. Unless it is for a Cesarean section, an epidural would not be administered before 4 cm.

Roland A. on

It’s DRAY-koh. I’ve heard her say it out loud. And you can call him Drake for short; how’s that weird? The author of this article is named Ulrica Wihlborg, for God’s sake, which sounds like it’s from Lord of the Rings.

Angela on

T, what if her water didn’t break until right before the baby was born? I don’t see why they wouldn’t let her labor for that long if her water hadn’t broken and baby wasn’t in distress.

dd on

I know personally of two mothers who got epidurals at 2 and 3 centimeters, one at 6 am and the other at 11 pm, because the anesthesiologist was going off shift. They both gave birth via c-section 12 hours later when they had not progressed.

Kristin on

The author’s names are Swedish, duh.

Tess on

@ Krissy I’m amused that you think that one day Harry Potter will only be a memory ! Seven books, eight films. I don’t think that’s even a possibility. Draco will probably grow up reading the books and seeing the films and maybe he and his friends might actually think it’s “cool” that he has the name of one of the characters even though both of his parents seem unaware of the coincidence.

gdfg on

Rose, T worked at a hospital, so she probably knows what she’s talking about.

gdfg on

“We need more women who are willing to be brave and have natural births. It’s better for everyone involved. It empowers women in general and the mother especially.”

What is empowering for a woman is to be able to CHOOSE how SHE wants to give birth.

Sarah M. on

T – A friend of mine had her daughter (her 1st child) after 34 or 36 hours. The last half was after her water had broken. They somehow recreated the sac and she finally arrived healthy and, other than a small bit of acid reflux, is still happy and healthy 4 months later. I’m guessing it really just depends on each woman and each delivery.

The name seems dark to me. But it is a real name and I think it suits him!

Rose on

gdfg: I’m aware that T stated she worked at a hospital. I’m also aware that hospitals routinely give out the standard “it’s a danger to the baby to let you labor longer than a certain number of hours” excuse. I have also done extensive research on the subject and have found no evidence to back up the hospitals’ claims that it’s dangerous at the 12 hour mark, or the 24 hour mark. It does become dangerous after awhile, but it’s closer to the 72 hour mark. It’s very naive of you to assume that hospitals would always do what’s in the best interests of the baby, or that they would always be honest about their motives. Medicine is a business, and as such, decisions are sometimes made that are in the best interest of the company and not the consumer. It’s sad but true.

Sorry if you think I should take T’s word for it just because she works in a hospital, but I will never take anyone’s word for what is best for my child without having extensive research done first to find out if their claims are even valid. In this case it is not.

Marky on

I have never known an ob nurse or nurse-midwife who put the interests of anyone ahead of the baby and mother. That being said, it is easy to think, if labor slows down after you have an epidural, that it must be due to the epidural. People fail to realize that though women have been having babies for thousands of years, many used to die in childbirth and so did their babies, because there was no way to intervene, or stimulate contractions, the way there is now. It is important to know when to use those tools, but the truth is, no woman is braver because she failed to use an available helping tool (such as pitocin or epidural or c-section) and died or lost her baby as a result through fetal distress, or a cord wrapped too tightly around the baby”s neck (yes, that can happen sometimes).

Most moms have uneventful labors and deliveries and should be able to choose their birth plan without guilt being thrown at them by others who choose to do it differently. A few cannot breastfeed because of particular difficulties that are peculiar to their situation, and some just choose not to. They should not be made to feel guilty by the rest of us who happily breastfeed the whole time our babies choose to nurse. I loved breastfeeding and have been a coach to others, but I have always been careful not to make women who made a different choice not feel guilty. I don’t walk in their shoes and it’s not my right to criticize them.

I honestly think the truth is that in the effort to encourage women to choose unmedicated childbirth, or “natural” childbirth, many have felt it necessary to criticize hospitals and nurses in general, for treating women with lack of respect for their wishes. I haven’t seen that in the places I’ve worked and I certainly would rather have my doula at the hospital birthing center with me, in the event I had a crisis, or worse yet, my baby did. Again, the goal is not my birthing experience; it is a live healthy mother and baby. Nothing is happier and more thrilling. Nothing is sadder and more heartbreaking than when that doesn’t happen because someone made a bad choice or there wasn’t enough help close by. And, no, I don’t think everyone needs an epidural–I think they need to be able to choose for themselves.

I think midwives are great–in the hospital, or right next door, and working with a doctor.

Tracey on

Does anyone else just want to yell “SHUT UP!” at all those fighting about the best way to give birth?

I’ll do it my way, you do it your way. When I want your opinion on what I should do, I’ll ask for it. Otherwise, stop preaching. And that’s for both sides.

Danica is cool. Way cool. But I can’t believe Winnie Cooper is old enough to have a baby!

melissaC on

It’s funny how everyone sounds so angry on this site. I say who cares! To each there own. You had an epi? great. you didn’t great. Why make such a fuss? I got 2 epis.

First son i was in labor for 24 hours, after 12 hours i couldn’t breath in between contractions so i finally gave up the natural dream and was so happy i did i was finally able to relax. It hurt so bad trying to pee in between contractions, practically impossible. And since i had GBS and had to be hooked up to antibiotics i had to pee alot. Yes my labor took longer but i wasn’t in pain so who cares.

My second son, the I was in labor for 4 hours and the pain was even more unbearable. I had gestational diabetes with that one so they had to test my blood before i could get my epidural. I was so scared i wasn’t going to get it. My contractions were off the charts they were so stong. Finally when the test came in i was 8 1/2 cent. dialated and started crying cause i thought i missed my chance. I got one anyway and 30 mins later i was ready to go. I did two pushes and he was out.

As a mom i didn’t care how they babies came out just that they did. I wanted to hold my babies out side of my VAST tummy. As a woman i like being able to share these stories. Our unique “war” stories are special to us all and shouldnt be put down. My best friend had all 3 of her kids natural and since ive had two i could validly say she is crazy but again to each their own lol. And i love her no matter how she delivered natural or not everyone is a winner. Stop being so mean u other self righteous mommies out there.

simi on

@ Marky WOW that was very well said, much better then I ever could have, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I wish every pregnant women had someone as understanding and open minded as you by her side. From reading some of the back and forth conversation between you and dd I am starting to assuming that you work in the USA cause I can tell you for a fact that Canada (my country) has very different laws, and regulations when it comes to epi, meds during birth, and c-section. But I agree with that the goal of every birthing experience is a live healthy mother and baby, regardless of how it happens.

@dd can we please get one thing correctly that always drives me off the wall when it comes to self help, I know more that the doctors cause I read it on the internet people, such as yourself. Only cause some scientist somewhere in the world decided to look into causes of autism and it’s connection to some medication does not make it true, till it’s been medically proven and accepted. Until then it should not even be taken into account when it comes to making an educated decision regarding medical treatment. It plays on peoples fears of having a special needs child, and it has the potential to affect a life saving decision, and cause a devastating end. Autism is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder and is has strong genetic basis. There are controversial talks surround environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines, but the vaccine theories are biologically implausible and there is a major lack convincing scientific evidence when it comes to the vaccine theories and other environmental causes are slowly being eliminated via scientific research. So that leaves only one proven option when looking at the cause of autism: autism is genetic plain and simple and vaccines and other medications have nothing to do with. As for the rise of autism in the world it may not actually be a rise in the amount of people that have autism, but the amount of people/children that are finally being properly diagnosed with it.

dd you yourself stated that you believe that every women should have access to medial information regarding birth options in order to make an educated decision on what is best for her and the baby, and I couldn’t agree with you more every women should be educated on pregnancy, birth options, and feeding option, so next time before you state telling others the complications, and dangers of birthing options make sure that your information is correct. How can anyone make an educated decision if they are give false information.

Also keep in mind that when it comes to doctors, nurses, mid-wives, and other professions that you can choose from the help in making you birth plan and being there for you is based on personality of those people and their moral compass as much as yours. Few bad apples can give the rest a bad name. Only cause someone you know, or yourself, had a crappy experience with a doctor or a nurse, does not mean that all are like that. I for one will never, ever, even consider giving birth without my doctor and nurse being by my side. They have been with me through a lot and have always kept an open mind, listed to my opinion, and were always honest about theirs. And to this day many years later, they come to every one of my daughters birthdays, cause the day they helped bring her into this world to me they became family.

alexa on

Cici-awesome!
Danica pls excuse the ppl with all the bad manners! Congrats and much happiness to your new family!

Tonya on

First, Congratulations to Danica and her husband. Draco is adorable. But did anyone read what she said about being in labor for 36 hours? If she had known it would be 36 hours she isn’t sure she would have done it (I read that as she meant go through with the natural child birth). I was in labor for 21 hours, went into shock and they had to hold me on the bed because I shook the bed away from the wall. The doctor was going to give me something to ease the pain but my daughter started to be born so there wasn’t time. I had my daughter by natural birth before it was becoming popular to do so (many years ago).

The point is, every woman is different, every birth is different. The minute she was born I was fine and was laughing and talking – didn’t remember what I had gone through. The great thing is every woman gets to choose and we live in a country where we can choose and change our mind if we decide. If you want natural child birth do so but you don’t deserve a gold star. You made a choice, period. Nothing wrong with asking for drugs, either, again, you are simply making a choice.

iamfree on

Oh good gad! Who cares whether she had natural childbirth or not? She gave birth to a beautiful son and seems to be enjoying her life. Good for her. It’s a miracle with or without drugs.

I had an epidural and never regretted it for a moment. I was able to enjoy almost all of the birth experience because I wasn’t in such severe pain that I just wanted it over with. Other women feel differently and prefer natural childbirth. Good for them, too. Live and let live.

dd, not one woman I know who has had an epidural had any problems or side effects. Sure, there are risks, but there are risks with natural childbirth too. To each her own. And yes, my doctor told me all of the risks prior to giving birth and I still chose the epi and would do so again.

MiB on

One of the things that upsets me is the total lack of understanding (or even listening to) others when it comes to issues like birthing or feeding or child rearing in general. The truth is, we make (and have to make) choices that work for us, not for anyone else. Ideally we would always make informed choices based on our own prerequisites, and we would have the experience we dream of, but that doesn’t always happen, and we have to be open to it. The thing we should never do is to bash others decisions, because we don’t know what lies behind them. It is one thing to say “I wouldn’t do/have done it because….”, and a totally different thing to say “yeah, rub it in, you wouldn’t have been so smug if you’d had a third degree tear/emergency c section [insert disaster of your choice]”.

I myself am afraid of hospitals, my local clinic makes me nervous, and the idea of a needle into my spine terrifies me. So, in an ideal world I would like to give birth at home with a midwife, or possibly in a birth center. I am quite sure that my labour would stall if I had to go to hospital to give birth, because I would be so scared (my aunt, who is an OB and used to run a maternity clinic, told me that there is an in built fright and flight mechanism that will halt the labour if the mother gets frightened so that she can flee the dangerous situation, natures way to make sure that a woman would not give birth in a dangerous environment), so a hospital setting would probably not be an ideal place for me to give birth, but I would if I had to. But that is my choice, based on my prerequisites.

A friend of mine went to the hospital in labour and basically said bring on the drugs, and that was her choice and she was happy and comfortable with it. I also have another friend who had an epidural and suffered some neural damage, which wouldn’t have affected her if she hadn’t been a dancer. Needless to say, it was the wrong choice to her, and she says that if she had known what she knows today, she would have gone for other options (after all, professional dancers have to have a high pain threshold).

Point is, what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another, and we have to do what is right for us and our situation, everyone else should either support us or just back off. Giving information about options, risks and benefits is fine, but trying to talk someone into something is not. Besides, I also don’t really understand why this debate surfaced here, because all she did was to say how she did it, and she has just as much right as any other mother to do so.

As for the name, I like it, and I have to admit that the first thing I thougth of was the constellation (which by the way is what Draco Malfoy was named after in accordance with Black family tradition of naming babies after star constellations). Will the name be associated with Harry Potter? Absolutely, it will. Will he learn to explain that he is named after the constellation? Probably. Will he learn about the mythology surrounding dragons? Quite possibly. The thing is, we don’t know what the future holds for him, he might be proud of his name, he might be ashamed of it, he might not even give it a thought, he might be bullied for it, or it might make him the coolest kid on the block, or it might not matter at all. I have to say, I love the sentiment behind it, that “the constellation will keep looking out for him”, makes me want to look into the shy for names.

dd on

First off, “I learned it on the internet” is not me. I did not want to proclaim what I do for a living because it would just fuel the fire…but OK. I’m a midwife. I was a doula and childbirth educator for many years. Does that make you feel any better about what I write? Probably not, because everyone here is quite biased against midwifery and natural childbirth.

I never said there is a proven link to autism. I said they are researching it now because early data shows a link. Isn’t that worth mentioning? Isn’t that worth considering? Just because you don’t find it important to consider, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t find it worth mentioning. From Autism Today themselves:

http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/ATTN_Researchers.htm

You can remain in the dark about these things, your choice and I support it. Others here might want to gain deeper knowledge.

And EVERY woman I know had problems with their epidural and medicated birth. That’s why they come to me for their subsequent births, at home.

Nee on

Congratulations to Danica and her husband. Draco is a beautiful baby. You will be a real role model for him with your knowledge, accomplishments and dedication. It’s not very often a lady as beautiful as you uses your intelligence to it’s full potential rather then relying on your looks and acting talent. You should be so proud of yourself.

Onto the epidural vs natural controversy. I’ve had 2 sons, one with and one without. I chose the epidural, it was not forced on me due to any emergency situation. I had a beautiful serene birth experience and they left the monitor on so the nurse could tell me when to push as I was having contractions. It took 12 minutes.

The second birth was not so pleasant, to be honest I was begging for morphine. It was 2 hours 14 minutes from when my 1st contraction woke me until he was born. I had planned another epidural as with my first I was not able to relax enough to let labor progress but as soon as I had the epidural I went from 6 to 10 in 2 hours. Our second son would have been an epidural and C-section if there had been time as he was presenting behind 1st when I got to the hospital. I did feel more able to get around with no epidural as opposed to the medicated delivery.

However it did not matter as due to the bodily trauma of delivering a breech they would not let me get out of bed, hold my baby and feed him or have anything by mouth for 4 hours afterward to make sure I was going to be OK. But I do remember every bit of the pain and fear with my second and per the doctor it is a miracle we are both here. She cornered my husband and said if we were planning another one he better get me to the hospital a lot quicker next time so she could do a C section of needed or she’d have his head, LOL. So I think it really should be a personal choice and no mother has any right to judge another mother’s choice.

Some epidurals and C sections do need to be done for medical reasons and some are done by choice, I love that we are in the time were we have the choice to choose pain or no pain. I do have to address the issue of safety. Anyone choosing to have an epidural does have to be given an informed consent form to sign and should be aware of the small percentage of danger involved. For me, I herniated a disc 2 years ago. Counting the birth epidual and the ones I’ve received for the back injury I have had 6 with absolutely no complications. It does bother me when someone attempts to intimidate with fear against the use of this tried and true pain intervention method.

Jee, keep your head up, I know you are probably empathetic to the pain women are having during labor and suggest epidurals because it is hard to see people in pain, not because you just want your job to be easier or are a jerk as people seem to be so quick to judge based on the posts here.

Nee on

DD I’ve had 6 epidurals, one in childbirth and 5 due to herniated discs, I have not had one complication. I’m sorry that every woman you know has had a complication with her epidural but the statistics seem almost impossible that every woman has had a complication. 100%? Maybe the anesthesiologist needs to be investigated, not the whole process of having epidurals.

Lilianne on

Tracey…I do!! Lol. Plus, the super long posts..ugh..no way I want to sift through all that. I had 2 C-sections. In 2 pregnancies I never felt one contraction. It wasn’t my first choice to do either birth that way..but the health and well-being of my daughters was paramount. I am thankful I was in a hospital with trained doctors who could work their medical magic to ensure I had healthy daughters to take home.

Deanna on

For those wondering about her quick weightloss, if you have ever read any articles about her, she eats clean and always has. Her eating habits have never included much processed food at all. She has also always exercised in one fashion or another. Those two things together make it easy for her to drop the weight. If you noticed, she only gained 40lbs the whole pregnancy. My guess is she continued to exercise while she was pregnant (pregnant friendly exercise) and ate well. I completely agree with the posters that said she is a wonderful role model for young girls today! It is people like her that everyone should be talking about, not ones like Lohan and countless others. Way to go Danica! You are AMAZING!

RR on

DD- The second I read your first comment I knew you were either a midwife or doula… it seems we are the only ones who know the truth. :)

I’m also a doula and childbirth educator and have been for over 12 years now. I’ve been to over 200 births, including many c-sections. Most of my clients have been hospital births. I have 4 children of my own and all were hospital births. I hate needles and had all my babies without drugs. Family practice doctors delivered my babies. OBs are trained in surgery and since giving birth is uncomplicated until proven otherwise and having a baby is normal and natural I didn’t think I needed an OB. I do like being in a hospital though just in case something does go wrong. But see… I’m stubborn and I don’t bend to pushy doctors or nurses AND I’m very educated in the benefits, risks and alternative to every intervention… unlike most moms having babies today. Sad but true. Knowledge is power. I didn’t do it for an award, I did it for the baby. There are way too many risks that go along with labor drugs. Facts are facts and actually most doctors will tell you the same, if they are a good doctor that is.

So anyway DD- I agree with everything you’ve said wholeheartedly. :)

Lynn Marie on

Beautiful mom & baby. Congrats!

Like someone else mentioned, I also decided to have an epidural with my two children after having to be induced at 26 weeks with a stillbirth. There was NO WAY I wanted to experience the physical pain on top of the emotional pain. No way. (I had severe preeclampsia & almost died too…spent 5 days in the hospital) So, with my next two pregnancies, I wanted all of the control with doctors, nurses, drugs, etc. that I could get.

I don’t think one way is better than the other (drugs, natural, etc.) We’re all different & that’s GREAT! But, before some people judge other women’s decisions, maybe stop and ask WHY they want what they want. I wanted my babies to be alive. Thankfully, they are. :)

Lola on

Gina: Perhaps you should watch this and see how Danica pronounces her baby’s name: http://omg.yahoo.com/videos/danica-mckellar-of-the-wonder-years-all-grown-up/12564

DRAY-CO

Next time, you should be sure of your facts, lest you should look like a fool…

Kara on

36 hours isn’t abnormal. Hospitals will usually PUSH to not LET women go for more than 24 hours after a woman’s membranes are broken. Of course, she can go AMA (It’s ultimately the mom’s decision and that’s the way it should be!), which would be smart considering medical literature has shown that a woman’s risk of infection does NOT increase after 24 hours of broken water, but 24 hours after bacteria has been INTRODUCED. If doctors would keep their hands out of women’s vaginas and stop “checking” dilation it would not be an issue. I think it’s wonderful that she had a natural birth and is exclusively breastfeeding her son. She’s clearly a smart woman and wants to do whatever she is capable of to give her son the best start in life. I wish more celebs would follow suit.

Kara on

I’d also like to comment on the “rapid weight loss” comments. I actually lost 20 lbs during delivery. My son was 7 lbs 12 oz, and the weight of the placenta, amniotic fluid, etc add up. I was 120 lbs when I got pregnant, 146 at 41 weeks and a day (when I gave birth) and 110 now. I didn’t do anything to lose weight. Exclusive breastfeeding burns (on average) 500 calories a day. I honestly don’t think her losing 20 lbs in 3 months is odd at all.

MiB on

I just wanted to add that while she said that it took 36 hours, she didn’t say it took 36 hours after the water breaking. There are plenty of women who have contractions for hours and hours before their water breaks, in fact, there are women who deliver their babies without the water breaking at all, or whose water breaks when or just before they start pushing.

Betsy on

Jee,
I AM a labor delivery nurse and if a mom wants to have a med free labor, that is HER decision. We nurses have to work harder with a patient who goes med free (we all know that) but the birth process isn’t about the nurse, it is about the woman.Nice she is exclusively breastfeeding as well. She is a great role model for young women having babies today.

Betsy on

DD. Get your facts straight and get some real evidence based information. It sounds as if you have been reading only internet information (much of which is totally incorrect). Do you know how many women I see who come in with birth plans that they obviously printed right off the internet? Much of the stuff in them is so old and outmoded that they obviously haven’t spoken with their health care providers.I am a labor/delivery RN.

Betsy on

I would add this observation (and this comes from years and years of being an L&D nurse at very “natural labor” friendly facilities). You can ask ANY nurse anywhere and she will tell you that those women who are the MOST rigid and come in with the most detailed and rigid birth plans are for MORE likely to end up with every intervention known to the obstetrical world. My gut feeling is that those women who are SO rigid cause their bodies to stop doing things naturally. You have to relax and go with the flow to have labor progress as it should.

Lila on

“without an epidural” –who cares–childbirth is not a monumental feat that shows strength. women have been doing it since the start of time-children to old women, drug addicts and homeless, poor to very rich. women sound so weak who talk about accomplishing it without the use of pain medication as much as the women who talk about needing all the medication they could get. get over yourselves-the birth is not the feat-it’s raising them-there are plenty of kids out there that could tell you that.

Elena on

Kudos for going the natural childbirth route. Women’s bodies can birth their babies! nice to see a celebrity who actually honors that!

Carolyn on

Maybe someone else has already pointed this out by Draco was the first law maker in ancient Greece – the first person who thought to write down a constitution. He was the namesake of the word “Draconian” which means extreme. Danica is a smart cookie. I’m sure she knows this but didn’t want to bore People’s readers with it.

Tom on

Just watched the “Wonder Years” today. Kind of a sad ending. It is amazing how well you have maintained your looks and health. Very cute baby.

Stephie on

Wow media, thats the important thing, she lost 20 of the 40 she gained..Yea..well, she wouldnt’ be a good mom, actress, suthor, etc if she had a little extra weight on her, geesh

Mark on

CONGRATULATIOMS, DANICA…. I’ve always liked you, since the WONDER YEARS, and;wondered what happened to you! May you many years of enjoyment w/your son AND, husband!! :-) Mark

J on

Geez Lila, relax.

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