Rachael Leigh Cook: I’m Happy We Waited to Have a Baby

06/25/2013 at 06:00 PM ET

Rachael Leigh Cook Daniel Gillies Expecting First Child
Joe Scarnici/Getty

After tying the knot in 2004, Rachael Leigh Cook and her husband Daniel Gillies are “so excited” to be expecting a baby — but that’s because they waited.

“We got married incredibly fast,” the actress, 33, told PEOPLE from the set of her TNT crime-drama,ย Perception.

“We got engaged after dating for maybe five months and we got married a couple of months after that. There was just so much more both of us wanted to do. We wanted to travel and accomplish a lot more in our professional lives.”

Although many people were waiting to see her pregnant — Cook says that after announcing she was expecting, many reactions included “Finally!” — she insists she and the Vampire Diaries star, 37, have no regrets waiting almost a decade into their marriage to add a baby carriage.

“We’re both people who like kids, but we weren’t jumping up and down, like, ‘Oh my God, let’s start that chapter of our lives,'” she explains. “We weren’t those kind of people. Now that we know what our lives are going to look like — sort of — for the next couple of months, we just felt like it was the right time finally. We’re not getting any younger.”

Expecting their little one this fall, Cook recalls of earlier months: “It was difficult. I was tired. I didn’t have any of the sickness, but the fatigue and all of the changes that are going on with your body on top of what goes on working a 15-hour day once you get through hair and makeup — in heels — is not that fun.”

“Luckily, I love my job. It’s just hard carrying that much more weight around. But the wardrobe’s been exceptionally accommodating and everyone’s been really sweet,” adds theย She’s All Thatย star, whose show kicks off season two on Tuesday at 10 p.m. “I started showing way sooner than I expected — I’m unavailable for any more work until the kid comes.”

— Dahvi Shira

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 68 comments

Allyssia on

My husband and I waited 13 years to have a child (we married in 1999 and had our first child in 2012) so I personally think its best to wait to have kids. People in our family actually thought we didn’t want children, but we explained that we were just waiting for the right time. For us, it was when we were both in a good place in our careers, had a house, and had traveled all over.

We are in our mid-40s now and don’t regret our decision one bit. We are more mature and can handle it better now than we would have in our 20s.

Chelsea on

I love your response Allyssia. What u did was amazing, and worth the wait cause u went about it the smart way.

Lorainne on

So happy for her! I was married after 6 months of dating but we waited 9 years to start our family. We have now been married 15 years and are expecting #3. It worked great for us. Our relationship was rock solid by the time the kids came along.

sandy on

people- there are NO guidelines on when to have a child!!

ONLY mature couples have children when they are ready. My hubby and I waited to have kids- married in 1991 and had our first in 2000! We lived in a tropical setting, enjoyed being married- we’re not ready- continued to live life as a couple. All the while getting the “When are you going to have kids?” Gosh how pathetic!!!

Guess what? One day we were ready- we now have two great kids. STOP pressuring others when to have kids. There is NO time line when to start.

lexi on

gorgeous couple and congrats ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

katw on

I guess u don’t have common sense DeeDee!!

Courtney on

My daughter was a 5 year anniversary gift for us. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We enjoyed traveling, fixing up our home, and just being married. Good for them for choosing to do what they felt was best!

guestlady on

We waited until we were.ready after being married 8 years. There is no shame in that.

Jenni on

Can we not turn this into bashing anyone because they made a different decision than you? For some couples it works to wait. For others they are excited to start sooner. To each their own.

Congrats to Rachael and her husband. -Not because she waited but because she is expecting.

whittles on

Haha, I always think that, too DeeDee. It’s especially funny when they address their comments directly to the celebrities. Yes, cause Rachael Leigh Cook is going to read all your comments.

Taylor on

I think it’s great. Hubby and I were married after 6 mos of dating. We tried, but got our daughter (adopted) after 4 years of marriage and son at 5 1/2 yrs of marriage. Waiting until our early-late thirties is so much better than if it had been in our 20’s. Congrats and best of luck to them!

Josh on

I never seen a celebrity so much sense(okay, she seems more of an actor than a celebrity, aka, she’s more interested in her job/acting than fame, which is + + + to me), way to see someone be level headed.

Seagyn on

Good for you, DeeDee! Good for you! Too bad you sound bitter because the article isn’t about you. Please sit down.

As for RLC: I didn’t even realize she was married. I used to have a major crush on her in She’s All That. Congratulations!

Ava Kate on

I personally love that RLC and her husband waited until they felt ready before getting pregnant, instead of bowing to pressure from family and friends.

My husband and I got married when I was 21, nearly ten years ago. Our family have made it known how ready they are for us to have children, but we have really enjoyed the time to just be together and make sure our relationship is rock solid before bringing kids into the mix.

I hope they enjoy their little bundle of joy whenever he/she makes their arrival.

Heidi on

So cool to see two actors experiencing success at the same time. Daniel is so handsome, I love him on TVD and the Originals. I’m glad that they were able to wait until they felt ready and didn’t have trouble conceiving, which sometimes happens.

Beth on

My husband and i have been married for 2.5 years. A lot of people keep asking us when we are going to be having kids and we keep having to say “when we are ready…which is not yet!”

We are both in our late 20s, have a house, and good jobs, but we still want to wait. We decided that once my husband gets an even better job (or at least better pay), it will give us the financial stability we need for me to be a stay at home mother.

There are times when I really want a child of my own….work in child care, parents want grandchildren, etc…but I know I will not regret waiting another 1-2 years because my husband and i will BOTH be ready!

Brat on

That is a good looking man.

Ashley on

Loved her since She’s All that. Congrats to her for being smart and taking their time to bring a child into this world.

Erin on

I don’t think there is ever a ‘right’ time. When two people decide to start a family, is there business. I, personally, started young. My hubby and I got married after 6 months & then had baby #1 a year later. We have been married 3 years and just had baby #2. We are happy and have a healthy marriage- would not change a thing!

ddd on

Sick of hearing these stories and then 2 months later they break up.

Cindy on

My husband and I had our first child right after we got married at the age of 24. Although we were unsure at first, it was the best decision we ever made. Our oldest is now 11 and we are enjoying every day with him and our two other children…no more diapers and finally time for mom and dad to hit the gym again and go out for dinner, with the kids, because they all sit well in a restaurant now (finally). I’m enjoying being a young mom and I don’t regret my decision at all.

maryhelenc on

I think it doesn’t really matter when someone chooses to have a child, every couple is different. Congrats to them and I hope they have a healthy, happy child.

Holiday on

We waited 5 months and are so glad we didn’t wait. We have way more energy and are more flexible than older parents. We were 22 with out first and 26 with our second and the younger you have kids, the more years you have with them.

Navy Wife on

I totally agree with you Holiday! We had our 2 girls by the time I was 27. Once the youngest is out of the house we will be in our forties and will be able to have plenty of alone time. I also figure having them in our twenties will give us plenty of time with our grandchildren.

lexi on

Couples have to do what’s right them. Some couples have children right after they get married; some don’t. My parents had their first child six years after they got married. They decided to wait to have kids so they could finish school, get established in their careers, save money, and travel. It worked for them. But every couple is different.

Stacey on

If more people waited for a few years, I strongly believe there would be less broken homes. If after a year or two you got divorced, there wouldn’t be any kids to have to deal with. Yes, I am sure there are plenty of couples who had kids right away and are still happy, but, for the most part, waiting means a solid foundation from spending time as a couple, to buying a home to being financially stable.

M on

Know what’s awesome??! Knowing yourself and your spouse and being able to make your very own grown-up decisions about your life! And realizing other people get to do the same thing! Kudos, free world. Kudos.

yasemina on

My husband and I got pregnant on our honeymoon at age 24. We thought we were one and done, but decided to try for baby #2 this year. Unfortunately, it resulted in a miscarriage at age 34 for me.

A balance must be struck. While it’s important to know each other, feel certain, graduate college, and own a home, it’s also highly irresponsible of Rachel to send this message. I had a miscarriage most probably due to age. We only have 1/8 of our eggs left at age 30 and many are bad. There is a heightened chance of miscarriage and birth defects as you approach 35.

My message: don’t wait forever and try to find a balance.

Telegirl on

Yasemina, I agree that finding a balance is important and that every couple is different. I am so sorry you had a miscarriage but I do not believe that waiting until you are in your late 30’s is a recipe for disaster.

I had two pregnancies and two live births (so grateful) at 36 & 39. We have two healthy, beautiful children. My condolences on your loss and I hope you can find the courage to try again.

margieo on

I’m sorry for your loss yasemina. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective.

Shaksndn on

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage yasemina, but your numbers overall are a bit off. It isn’t until most women hit 40 that their number of eggs drop drastically…tons of misconceptions out there about fertility these days!

Hope you and hubby are healing well

Kath on

It should be her responsibility for people to use common sense, yasemina!

Alayna on

Good for her…Each couple needs to do what is best for them. If a couple wants to wait 1 year, 3 years or ten years it has to do with the couple and what they feel ready for. No judgement.

?? on

Congrats! I enjoy being married and I don’t want to bring kids in the mix. We are happily married and have decided child free is what is right for us. No rule book that says when you have to have kids or if you have to have any at all.

Jennifer on

Yay! So happy for them!! I hope they wrote it into Perception that its Dr. Pierce’s baby! Doubt it tho since she said wardrobe was good about the pregnancy! Congrats again!

Cari on

My husband and I got married very young and had our first baby almost two years after we wed. We now have been married for almost 7 years and have 3 adorable, crazy kids. I love being a “younger” mother. And I’ll enjoy being a “younger” empty nester. I can for sure see the pros to waiting. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. To each their own. Congrats on the little bun in the oven!

Sdca on

Im exactly u Cari!! I was 19 when i got married, almost 21 with my first, 24 with my second, and 26 with my 3rd. Now I’m a 27 year old mother of three kids, married for 8, going strong! Ill most probably be diaper free by age 30, and in my book thats an accomplishment. But, everyone has their own life, own lifestyle, own priorities…but i do agree with yasemina…having kids too late can be dangerous…to each their own, I’m happy in my life situation, may you all also be happy!! Amen!

Khloes mum on

Congrats RLC! When a couple is ready for children is really up to them. Some are ready young and some like to wait. All that matters is when it happens, the baby is loved and the parents love each other.

I personally was ready by 21 but god had other plans. I suffered 4 misscariges but never gave up until we were finally blessed with our perfect baby girl last year just before my 26th birthday. Khloe just celebrated her 1st birthday on the 23rd. My point is your ready when your ready. Sometimes a higher power knows before you do.

All the best and I hope for a happy healthy pregnancy and baby!

Anonymous on

whittles- Why are you assuming she won’t read the comments? I’ll concede that she PROBABLY won’t, but other celebs have (we know this because they have commented on articles about them, usually to correct a misconception that people have gotten about them and/or their children from the article- such as why they choose such an unusual baby name).

Heck, a few even blog here (and read the comments posted to those blogs)! So a celebrity reading comments on a site like this isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem (at least when we’re talking about non A-listers. I’ll agree that it’s probably pretty safe to assume that the Jolie-Pitts, for example, are probably not reading comments about them on the Internet!). ๐Ÿ™‚

Frieda Deadman on

We’ve been together 13 years. We married before we conceived our planned and wanted child. We loved being together, no matter what, but were not ready to have children when we first met. I laugh, now, at how mature I thought I was at age 31 when we first started dating…he was 29…LOL

giana on

It looks like it has worked for her too.. being married almost 10 years. She will be so happy she can be excited about her pregnancy and bring her baby into a stable home

Gigi on

I always wanted to be a young mom. Married right after college and had a baby a year and a half later. I quit my job to be a stay at home mom which was easy since it was so early in my career. We rented an apartment and had older cars but it was worth it for me to stay home and raise our baby.

After 15 years I am still a happy stay at home mom/housewife. I am happy with my decision to have a baby while young. I am in my late 30’s and I can’t imagine having a baby now, I have a teenager and he’s a handful. I say do whatever makes you happy.

Emily on

My husband and I were married in 2007 and we are just now starting to try for a family. It was the best decision because we were able to settle into our marriage, finish up a few professional goals and get our finances in order. We have done plenty of traveling and spending time just as a couple and now feel we are “ready”.

Sure we could have handled having children it earlier in our marriage, but it probably would have been something we had to “handle” and stress about with less time to enjoy the whole process.

Lauren on

Her story mirrors ours exactly! We got married super fast as well; I had friends cautioning me that we were rushing. We did not have kids for 8 years as we grew our careers and saved money. It worked out well for us because, like many of the comments I’ve seen below. We’ve been married 17 years.

Kellie on

To each their own. Some people wait, some don’t . I felt the time was right when I got married at 19 to start a family. Nearly 20 years later, we have 5 kid ranging in age from 19 to 10. It worked for us, but that is us!

Romy on

she looks so different. plastic surgery?

Kat on

Good for her for waiting. My husband and I agreed that we wanted to have a life and experiences before we had children, so we had things to pass along. My daughter came along after we both turned 30.

It is good to be a couple before you are a family, so on those sleepless night you want to rip eachother’s heads off – you remember why you partnered up in the first place.

merry on

There’s always someone who needs to hate some part of the article or comments.

I don’t think there’s the right way to have a relationship, marriage and children, to each his own, but I enjoy reading all the stories other readers post here, because most of them are sweet and vibrate with content and happiness. What’s wrong with that?

Sun on

Smart to wait until you’re ready and married not like those women out there having babies before they are ready or not married.

BW on

Congratulations! It’s very refreshing to read about celebrity couples who wait to have children until they are ready and have a solid and long lasting marriage.

klutzy_girl on

Like some others have said – every couple is different and will make the right choice based on their own situation. There is no cookie cutter time frame.

DeeDee and whittles – why even bother commenting if you think it’s so ridiculous? You are being contradictory and hypocritical.

Also, Holiday there is no need to be snippy with others and criticize someone who does something differently than you. It comes across as you really not being happy with your decision. If you were, you wouldn’t feel the need to act that way.

klutzy_girl on

Yasemina, you are misinformed. Women are still perfectly fertile at 30 years old. The real issues start kicking in 35+.

Beautifulblurr on

The time is different to have children for everybody. My husband and I waited 5 years and I’m glad we did because it allowed us the time to do things that we wouldn’t be able to do when we did have kids. Because when you do have kids it should be all about them with no resentment. It’s just refreshing to hear of a married couple trying to have a child in Hollywood. All the best for them x

meghan on

Romy, it’s called aging. She was 21 when she came on the scene. Faces change over a 12 year span.

meghan on

I knew Holiday would be here defending young motherhood while taking passive aggressive swipes at “old” motherhood. I also notice that her story changes. Now her kid was planned. If abortion is being discussed, she was unmarried, in college, had an unplanned pregnancy and ‘chose life’

Paula on

Smart couple!

klutzy_girl on

Yeah, Holiday you sound just like someone I work with. She did the same thing now she’s completely unfulfilled and wanting to get a divorce and can’t wait for her kids to grow up – said she feels like she never had her own life. Sounds like you!

Natalie on

@ Klutzy not all women are perfectly fertile at 30. If you plan on having children as a women you need to be having conversations with your care provider early and often and keep track of your fertility. I’m not telling anyone when to have a child just that if you want to make sure you are on top of your fertility don’t assume everything will be fine for you at 35 or 45. I know too many women personally that wanted pregnancy and babies and thought it would just happen once they had done everything they wanted and sadly it was too late for them. So just talk to your care provider and stay on top of that.

Natalie on

@Allyssia so you had your first kid at 44/45. You’ll be 50 when your kid is in kindergarten and in your 60s when your kid graduates high school. Your kid will most likely have to care for your and put their dreams of school, advancing careers and starting familes as you will be 80 when they are 35 and most likely dead before they are 40. Great job being selfish.

Holiday on

Megan you have no clue what you are talking about. I was in college and married with a planned baby. Btw are you still a mid 30s virgin? How’s that working out for you? Klutzy girl it’s obvious you want a baby so much, sucks for you that you are not a mom and your jealousy shines through in your posts.

Isabel on

Holiday always has the same two opinions on articles: every woman desperately needs a daughter and any first time parent over 25 is old.

meghan on

Holiday is also a lying liar who lies.

meghan on

And she’s a nut job. The personal attacks really illuminate how truly unhappy she is with her choices.

klutzy_girl on

@natalie you are right, fertility is different for everyone, I was just generalizing based on most studies. I should have elaborated. Thanks for the concern but all is well on my end, thankfully! ๐Ÿ™‚

@holiday who said I don’t have any children? Perhaps I just don’t go on and on to try and validate my life like you do, I don’t need to convince myself or the internet of my choices like you do!

ANJ on

Natalie- Your comment on older parents being ‘selfish’ is beyond ignorant.

Damoiselle on

Isabel – you forgot one, that children need siblings because an only child will turn out spoilt and selfish

Nina on

Why are some people saying having kids later in life is so much better than in their 20’s? That’s just ur opinion. I had a baby at 26 and love it. I was young enough to react better to the post pregnancy part in my opinion. It was better for us. I don’t want babies in my mid 40’s cause I have more in mind for when I’m that age. It depends on u as a person. Not how u think people should be. Congrats to them for being happy. The real test is the year after birth. Seems like alot of celebrities have more issues than.

Emily on

My parents waited 10 years before having their first child. I was born 2 years after that, when my parents were both 37. Now I’m 17, and I like having slightly older parents because I feel like they raised me differently (and better) then they would have if they were younger. Every situation is different, of course, and in no way do older parents always make better parents. But my parents have eased any fears I have in case I have to wait until I’m older to have kids. And for my family, waiting definitely worked. It’s nice to hear a story like this – about another couple that decided to wait until the right moment.