Rebecca Gayheart’s Secret to Stress-Free Pregnancy? Daughter Billie!

08/25/2011 at 03:00 PM ET
Meeno Peluce/Getty

She may be only 17 months old, but Billie Beatrice is already helping mom Rebecca Gayheart have a successful second pregnancy.

“What’s made it different is that I’m very focused on Billie … so I’m not very focused on [the pregnancy]. I’m not as neurotic,” the expectant mom, 40, told PEOPLE Thursday during friend Soleil Moon Frye‘s Target-sponsored Happy Chaos book launch party in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“[With Billie] I was micromanaging everything I was eating and every little symptom I was feeling. And this pregnancy I just know everything’s okay.”

Gayheart is planning to continue her stress-free streak once her second child with husband Eric Dane arrives this winter.

“Hopefully I’ll be like that with the second baby, as well,” she explains. “Because the first baby … you just want to do it all perfectly. And you can’t.”

However, despite her high hopes, Gayheart is well-aware of the obstacles that await the couple as they parent two kids under two!

“I’ve heard that’s very challenging. But I think I’m up for it,” she says. “Eventually it’s going to be great because they’re going to be very close in age and very close, hopefully.”

For now, Gayheart is investing all her time into Billie, particularly when it comes to teaching her toddler to try new foods.

“She doesn’t want to eat her vegetables right now,” she shares. “I’m sneaking it into food, so she doesn’t know she’s eating them, but she is!”

After demonstrating her dancing skills “for months,” Gayheart’s little girl has also started showing some toddler talent in the music department.

“She started singing lately,” the proud mama says. “Billie’s singing and it’s very sweet, her little, ‘La-la-la,’ [and] twirling. Oh my God. So cute.”

Thrilled to be completing her family — Gayheart reveals this pregnancy will likely be her last — the actress is equally as excited to once again take the stage in the near future.

Meeno Peluce/Getty

“I’ll probably wait until six months after this baby’s born. I am anxious to go back to work because it’s been awhile for me now,” she explains.

“I’ve been working my whole life, and I miss it. The last job I did, thankfully, was a Broadway play, Boeing-Boeing. That satiated a lot for me. So it’s lasted, but it’s worn off. I need a job!”

And although she’s eager to continue with her career, Gayheart admits her greatest joy will forever be her family.

“It’s so cliché, but it’s just the feelings you have for your kid. It’s like no one else on the planet,” she reveals.

“When I’m with [Billie] there’s nowhere else in the world I want to be. Because I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

– Anya Leon with reporting by Scott Huver

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , Maternity , News , Parenting

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Brooke on

OMG…does that baby look like her daddy or what???

Elisa on

Billie is cute, but she still has baby hair. It happened to me, I only got ‘real’ hair after 3!

Jen DC on

She’s an adorable little girl! And she does look like daddy – all that length, too. Billie seems as though she’ll be very tall.

heather on

is Dane out of rehab yet?

ForeverMoore on

Very sweet interview…I can totally relate to everything she says, I’m due in December when my son will only be 18 months old! It will be tough, no doubt, but I’m really excited for them to be close in age!

Kylie on

i really hope she doesn’t get photographed smoking while pregnant this time around! that made me soo mad – i’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in this article!

Maggie on

Hannah on

Congrats to hers! My littles are 19mos apart… Not what I would have chosen, but it ended up being perfect spacing! HARD the early months, but also easier…My oldest will never remember being the “only” and I think it’s made her a lot more flexible… We’re expecting our 3rd in the winter and my younger will be 2.5…I don’t foresee the transition being nearly as smooth.

Mel on

My 4 kids are 21 months, 24 months and 17 months apart. At 2,4,6 and 8 they are so close, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

KLS on

Pretty and so fair! I hope she keeps her slathered in sunscreen.

Mel on

Let me guess, the secret is CRACK?? Billie is fugly… Sorry.

annalynne on

yes heather. he got out recently, a few weeks ago i think.

Daria on

I still am cautious about her. I watched the video of her smoking while pg with Billie; it wasn’t “100% false”. She and her husband seem to have had a wild streak in the past and I’m hopeful they enjoy ‘safer’ fun now that they have a child in their life (and another on the way). The jury is still out for me on this couple.

Kate on


She was photographed smoking during her first pregnancy. Can’t lie in a photo.

Sarah K. on

She wasn’t visibly pregnant in that photo from what I remember and they came forward and said that the photo and the video were taken before she was pregnant. Billie looks healthy and happy, so I’m not going to jump to any conclusions.

HappyGoLucky on

I’m happy for them. Especially being able to have children in her late 30’s – early 40’s.

It’s sad that so many people want to think the worst of others.

Anonymous on

That is a baby face only a mother can love!

Maggie on

Kate, the smoking photo was old and was bundled with pregnancy photos by the agency and sold as a set, which quickly had a stop put to it. They are clearly from different days, clothing, hairstyles. The couple’s rep released a statement right away but obviously people choose to believe the worst.

Manal from Jordan! on

My mom’s friend smoked all through her pregnancy!… I hated it! but her baby is healthy and happy!…

Bille is so beauitful!! God Bless her!

Katie on

Shame on her for smoking during her pregnancy. If she smoked, she probably drank too! People like this who have babies with no fertility problems make me mad. I on the other hand can’t get pregnant on my own and don’t even take tylenol during a pregnancy let alone smoke!

RKF on

And Manal, your friend is a grade A idiot. You have no idea how “healthy” she is when nicotine and other toxins were coursing through her for nine months. Just because it may not be visible doesn’t mean the health issues aren’t there. Unbelievable.

Nicole on

Katie – if you truly have infertility issues then I can not believe you would wish them upon someone else. Why you’d want someone else to endure that sadness and pain because you don’t agree with their choices (choices that have been denied, even) is beyond me.

Good thing that not being a judgmental cow isn’t a requirement for getting pregnant or no one who frequents this page would have children.

Billie looks beautiful and well-taken care of. It’s obvious both Eric and Rebecca adore their daughter and I’m sure their just as excited for number two.

meghan on

Know what makes me mad, Katie? People who lack basic reading comprehension. Read the multiple prior posts and maybe you’ll learn something.


Mel, my gosh, you are cruel!!!

Sarah K. on

Katie, fyi drinking and smoking do not necessarily go together and as Meghan beautifully pointed out, it’s already been stated by many posters that those pictures were misleading and not taken during her pregnancy. Besides, I’m pretty sure Rebecca and Eric had trouble getting pregnant themselves. This may be a think before you speak type moment for you.

Sarah K. on

“It’s funny because you get the doctors involved, they call you and it’s like, in eight days I have to put in some work. I know that for those four days I’ll be very busy and I shouldn’t schedule anything else.”

“They’ve been trying for so long.”

These quotes were previously posted here before and during her pregnancy with Billie. Sounds like they also struggled to conceive, Katie.

Ali on

Not the cutest baby in the bunch but you can tell she is gonna be a looker one day with the parents she has. She’ll probably be very long and lean like her daddy. I think Rebecca is having a boy this time. I don’t know…just a vibe!

soph on

Soleil looks like Patti Stanger’s daughter in that photo.

Nicole on

I don’t find that baby cute…she has her mother’s eyes, and Rebecca Gayheart’s eyes have always freaked me out.

Is that Soliel Moon Frye with her in that second picture? Soliel isn’t aging well at all. :\ Unfortunate, because she was adorable when she was younger.

Sarah Beth on

Billie’s a cutie. Rebecca has not aged well, yipes.

Holiday on

I think the baby is cute and when she gets more hair will probably be even cuter. I had my son and daughter spaced 4.5 years apart and love the gap. My son is in kindergarten now and I get alone time with my daughter, just as he had alone time with me all the way until she was born.

Jen DC on

I think she’s a very striking, lovely, fair little girl.

Here’s the thing: It’s really, painfully difficult to quit smoking (as someone who has quit and restarted several times over the last 20 years; currently quit).

She and her husband have said she wasn’t smoking while pregnant, but EVEN IF SHE WERE, I could give her a pass if she were trying to quit and succumbed to a couple.

It’s been pretty clear at least recently that she’s kicked the habit and other than that one picture, I don’t see any evidence of other pregnancy pix showing her smoking.

So. Hopefully she’s quit and she’s not smoking now, so how’s about we all get over it?

RKF on

Wow Jen – you would give an expectant mother “a pass” over succumbing to a couple of cigarettes? Are you crazy? I am an ex-smoker myself, and understand the addiction firsthand, but could never FATHOM putting even one cigarette in my system, let alone a few. I’d unselfishly deal with the horrific psychological/physical withdrawal symptoms instead. And I would never, ever condone a pregnant woman having “a few cigarettes.”

Please spare me the “get over it” comment after making such a preposterous statement.

Janna on

RKF, well that’s because you’re the world’s most perfect, unselfish mother who has never done a bad thing in her life and to whom the whole world should look up to. Rebecca Gayheart would be lucky to even stand in your shadow.


lhartley on

I don’t claim to be a perfect parent or person, but I can say that I have never run over and kiled someone’s child. I am sure the parents of the nine year old she killed love to hear about how stressfree her pregnancy is this time around. Maybe being a parent herself has helped her to realize what she took away from this family. I don’t know how she lives with herself. Smoking is the least of her problems.

lhartley on

I regret posting that comment and would delete it if I could. I have a hard time understanding how someone is able to live after doing what she did, but I do not know the guilt and remorse she feels. Maybe it eats at her soul every day. I know it would mine. I do know that I would spend the rest of my life working as an advocate for safe driving, maybe some good would have come out of this senseless loss. I spoke/typed without thinking and although I do stand by my opinion on her and her choices, I should have never stated them publicly. No good will come of it and it is not my place to judge others.

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Baby looks more like a boy to me.

Amanda on

After I had five miscarriages, for some stupid reason, I started smoking. I think it was to punish my body for being unable to accomplish the most basic of womanly abilities.

Lo and behold, we got pregnant, and even though I wasn’t smoking much (a pack every 3-4 days), my fertility docs, my high risk doctor, and my ob all said the same thing…do NOT abruptly stop smoking. I had no craving or urge to smoke at all, but nonetheless, I was told to wean myself off of what little nicotine I was getting and to do it very slowly, lest I throw my body and therefore the baby into withdrawls and shock. Therefore, I had to smoke every day until I was around 22weeks, which is what the latest research suggests is the latest you can quit and still not have the baby suffer any ill-effects from it. Don’t believe me, then look it up.

I carried my pregnancy to term and then some, giving birth on Christmas Eve at 41 weeks to a 10lb 12oz baby boy, who was and is perfect in every way. Moral of the story…you mothers of the year don’t know everything. You don’t know the context in which a picture was taken, or even when it was taken. You don’t know the personal relationships between a woman and her doctor, and what they have decided is best in that woman’s particular situation.

People are so judgmental it’s disgusting. At least the poster above me had the guts to call herself out, and she didn’t do anything half as bad as you women normally do. And the people calling a little girl “fugly”…wow. I have no words, and it’s hard to render me speechless. So sad.

Jillian on

I totally agree with you on the smoking comments. There are NO reasons why a mother has a “slip up” while pregnant, IMO. I think it’s lazy, selfish and idiotic. In regards to Rebecca, I don’t believe the rumors that he id smoke whil pregnant.

I hope that her husband is doing better. He returned to work about a month ago.

sara on

You people are crazy…that little girl is BEAUTIFUL!

mia on

Seems like there is quite a few catty bitches commenting on this article. Guest- wrinkles are not gross they are a part of life. You will get them too someday if you live long enough.

bjornvo on

You are entitled to your opinion, but for the record she has worked work The Chrysalis charity since the accident. Every year she organises the Butterfly ball that brings in 100’s of thousands of dollars that go towards helping those in need – the organisation helps people find work. She continues to work for this charity throughout the year – its been ten years since she initially started, so you might want to rethink your idea that she spends her time doing nothing.

As stated countless times before, the photo of her “smoking while pregnant” was taken long before she ever fell pregnant. This rumour has been spread by the trolls on the internet that have nothing better to do with their time. Leave her in peace – its been 10 years since the tragic accident – people have to move on with their lives otherwise they become bitter and twisted. You dont have to ever forget, but you have to learn to forgive, especially as there was no malicious intent on her part – it was after all a terrible accident.

toni on

You all know they “People magazine” put her picture to generate comments. They know RG is controversal and it drives some people crazy. It seems a new low to attack her daughter. Can’t wait until the new baby is here. Will you people attack him or her to. It seems that the internet brings out the anger in people. See Ya

Jen DC on

RFK – yeah, I give her a pass and think you should get over it. Quitting smoking is apparently tougher than quitting EVERY OTHER DRUG, all of which are illegal, except alcohol. IF – and I say if because there is some dispute – she were caught on film smoking a SINGLE cigarette early in her last pregnancy and was never seen or reported smoking again, I can forgive that. I can give that a pass.

Do I think it’s repugnant? Yes. Do I think it would have been ok for her to smoke for the duration of her pregnancy? No. But realistically, REALISTICALLY, I see how it could have happened and understand the dependency as well as the difficulties quitting. And like I said: She’s quit now.

But she doesn’t need my forgiveness and understanding nor yours either. It’s between her and Eric Dane and her OB/GYN. And it seems that Billie is healthy, so they have our good outcome despite her slip up.

Jenner on

There are some not-so-attractive babies in Hollywood, but I won’t name them. However, Billie is precious, just a beautiful baby girl.

Jaclyn on

I will never fail to be surprised at the filth that comes out of people’s mouth regarding other people’s children… are you serious? Calling a toddler ugly? you people need better hobbies.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about Rebecca, but no one deserves some of the things I’m reading here. Billie is an adorable little girl who obviously makes her parents very happy, especially Eric who looks overjoyed with her in every photo I’ve seen.

And also, going to rehab doesn’t make you a bad person… speaking badly of people who have the courage to go to rehab does.

ClaireSamsmom on

I just find it kind of cruel to make such unkind comments about an innocent baby.

JMO on

I had a “friend” that smoked with both her kids. Her doctor told her the same thing about smoking to not cut it out completely while pregnant bc the withdrawel effects could be far worse while pregnant and that could be dangerous both for mom and fetus. Well she was supposed to cut back. Never did. Went through a pack a day. The kids are both fine. Born on due date at healthy weights. I still wouldn’t risk it though and think it’s careless but of course I’m no doctor!

Maria on

I have a 17 month old baby also- born the same week as Rebecca’s! I couldn’t imagine being pregnant again right now as my baby takes up so much of my energy. But it seems like Rebecca really wanted another so I Am happy for her.

All the bad things people say are probably just fuled by jealousy. I think she is beautiful. I have also heard it gets much harder when there are two little ones but then again millions of people do it all the tie! I am more inclined to stick with just my one baby. Congrats to Rebecca and her family.

Jillian on

Jen DC, Quitting smoking is apparently tougher than quitting EVERY OTHER DRUG, all of which are illegal, except alcohol.

Not sure where you got your info from, but this is just not true. Because of the side effects and horribl withdrawal symptoms it’s FAR harder to quit illegal drugs (not sure if all of them) over smoking. Many people quit smoking cold turkey and with many illegal drugs you can’t do this. Heck, you can’t even do that with prescription drugs. It w harder for me to get off my prescription mess than to quit smoking. It took me 6 months to get off and stop feeling sick. It was the WORST six months of my life and they were not even pain killers.

Maria, “all the bad things people say are probably just fueled by jealousy.” ummmm… People can dislike someone or something they did an not be jealous. It always makes me chuckle when ppl assume jealousy. Under your theory than ppl would be jealous of Casey Anthony? gacy?

Veronica on

I totally loved the article. You can feel the love she has for her bambinos radiating off the screen, hehe :O) I have two little ones also close in age and felt the same during the second pregnancy. I was more relaxed and confident but also distracted by my older one so I wasn’t being neurotic if things weren’t perfect. God bless their family and may the force be with her :O)

People who post “ugly kids,” “not aging well,” and RKF-types that focus on the negative, wow, CRAZY! I hope we don’t run into you in the playground. May God bless you too.