The View co-host thought Survivor was hard -- until she tried motherhood.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck outwitted and outplayed her way to the Final Four during Survivor's second season. She then used her reality show fame to score an E! fashion series (The Look for Less) before filling a seat on Barbara Walters's ABC morning gabfest, The View. But it wasn't until she and her pro football player husband, Tim, welcomed their daughter, Grace Elisabeth, in April 2005 that the fierce competitor realized she had finally met her match. Now a year into parenthood and her new role as the spokesperson for EPT, Elisabeth shares her views on pregnancy paranoia, workouts, and diaper bag addiction.

Try and Try Again

"When we were living in L.A., we decided to start trying for a baby. My doctor was honest about our chances. She said, 'Your cycle is so irregular that it's impossible to track your ovulation. And with your busy schedule, it's going to be almost impossible for you to conceive.' I was depressed because it was out of my hands. So when I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked."

A Public Pregnancy

"I couldn't believe that I had to get all puffy on national TV. But it ended up being a nice thing because I got letters from women who were pregnant at the same time. Knowing someone else is going through the bizarreness of pregnancy with you makes it feel a little less impossible."

Pregnancy Fitness

"I did as much as I could for as long as I could. Early on, I was able to run, but I had to jog slower. The people I could normally keep up with were passing me, and you know how competitive I am. But at that point no one knew I was pregnant. I wanted to wear a sign that said, 'You're not faster. I'm just running for two.' Doing at least some exercise kept me feeling good and like I wouldn't be so behind once I had the baby. I'm still not back to where I'd like to be, but it takes time."

Nine-Month Review

"It's amazing the mentality shift that occurs in pregnancy. All of a sudden you want to be good to yourself. Everything I ate was natural, but I did have a chocolate bar before the show each day. I thought that was a suitable morning snack."

Labor Pains

"I had back labor, which was incredibly painful, and then I tore. I was down for eight weeks. I have a friend who was out in-line skating the day after her birth. I was hoping I'd be like her. But I didn't even want to move."

Real Simple

"I caught baby-shopping fever. It's funny because we bought all these toys, but Grace is perfectly happy chewing magazines. But I do splurge on diaper bags. I have a half dozen in different colors and styles."

Carrie Bell is a writer in Los Angeles.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2006.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

American Baby