Jamie-Lynn Sigler Talks Conception, Cravings and Navigating Pregnancy With MS
Q: Congratulations on Baby No. 2! What was the process of trying to conceive like?
A: With my son, he was an accident—a glorious accident, but it was very unplanned. Coming in the second time around, consciously thinking about wanting to get pregnant, I wanted to be as relaxed as I possibly could be with the planning of it all. With my health and decisions with my body, I usually have to be very calculated when it comes to a lot of things. I prayed and wanted [conceiving] to be simple and easy, because other things for us aren’t. When [we realized] it was the right time for us to try, we got the ClearBlue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test and it was really simple. When I got that smiley face it was kind of the go-ahead to try. We were very lucky that the very first month that we tried we were able to conceive.
Q: What advice would you share with women who are trying to conceive?
A: I think that I’m very lucky in that for both of my children it wasn’t difficult for me. I think there’s something to be said for taking as Zen of an approach as you can. I know it’s not easy—I have many, many friends that have struggled for many years to conceive. Sometimes it gets to the point where all they need to do is relax. I’m not a doctor, but I feel like using the ovulation test instead of doing it blind works for me and my family. Taking those sort of proactive steps—but also trying to be positive about the situation and thinking about the positive result at the end. And [don't] be ashamed. That was why I didn’t share my MS for so long—because for whatever reason, I was ashamed to be ill. I think that there are enough women out there who have been open and honest about the struggles they’ve had, and sharing whatever your journey may be with those close to you is important and makes it easier.
Q: How far along are you now?
A: I’m about four months.
Q: Aside from the difference between conceiving both of your children, what has been the biggest difference between your first pregnancy and this one been?
A: My symptoms are [very] different. I was way, way, way more sick in my first trimester—just a lot of nausea, a lot of headaches, a lot of just not feeling well. It all happened to come at a time when I was traveling and working back-to-back jobs. In a way it was good that I had all those things because it helped me push through. Adrenaline can really be a friend at certain times. It was definitely a lot rougher—even now, in my fourth month, I’m still feeling it. There are days where I just drop my son at school, come home and I’m just in bed until I need to go get him again in the afternoon. It hasn’t been an easy one, that’s for sure.
Q: Do you know the baby’s sex yet?
A: "We do. My husband doesn’t really want us to share that yet and I really respect that. But we will if the time is right. Everyone has their predictions—literally everyone. We all thought it was one thing and it was the opposite."
Q: How does your son feel about becoming a big brother?
A: I’m trying to involve him as much as possible. I took him to an ultrasound and he really enjoyed that—he liked seeing the baby, hearing the baby’s heartbeat. I still don’t think he fully understands that there’s going to be another person in the house. He talks about it every once in a while. We talked about possibly having a baby brother or sister with him and his response was ‘I like it the way it is,’ but what kid’s not going to say that? He has all our attention and time. But I think he will be a phenomenal big brother. He loves to help and be of service and feel like he’s being a big boy. He’ll pull through when the time is right—he’ll be four-and-a-half when the baby is here…We’ve already thought of a really big present for the baby to get him when he or she arrives.
Q: You mentioned that you’ve been feeling tired and sick—how have you been keeping fit and healthy through this pregnancy?
A: I’m really trying to be conscious. When you’re feeling sick all you really want is carbs and fruity drinks. All that is great, and especially when you’re pregnant you should be off the hook and listen to your body, [but] I’m trying to be conscious and make sure I’m getting enough water and proper nutrition. When I subsist on carbs and sugar, nobody’s going to feel good.
Q: What about fitness?
A: I already deal with back pain, problems with balance and things like that, so I’m being practical. I’m going to physical therapy twice a week and changing up my plan into more prenatal care and trying to strengthen my pelvis and my back and all the areas around my belly. Long walks are very hard for me, and riding a bike [is something I can’t do], so my husband got me a tricycle. They make adult tricycles, believe it or not. My son hops on his bike and I hop on mine. It’s such a freeing feeling and it’s so amazing. It’s something I haven’t done in so long and it’s such a great way to spend time with him, get my legs moving and get my heart rate up. That’s something I’m really trying to do almost daily. Being in the pool has been a big one for me—I’ve definitely been swimming a lot more.
Q: Have you had any crazy cravings or aversions?
A: The only crazy craving I’ve had is balsamic vinaigrette dressing—which isn’t a bad thing because that usually goes with salad.
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Q: You’ve been really vocal about your struggle with MS. How has that affected your pregnancy?
A: Like I said, I already deal with back issues, leg issues. I’m trying to give myself even more breaks than I normally do. Having our babysitter work more, understanding that sometimes after school even if I want to play with my son and I haven’t seen him all day, I still just need to rest for another hour or two. I already deal with my fatigue and I’m just trying to honor that and not push myself as much as I normally would.