When it came to pregnant celebrities whom I could look to for inspiration during the nine months I was expecting, I hit the motherlode: me and my bump overlapped with not one, but both Duchesses — Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle — as well as second- and third-timers Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, Kate Hudson, and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few.
As someone who delayed taking this literal baby step into the parent ‘hood out of fear, I knew I had to meet that emotion with capital “F” fun and do ALL THE THINGS, so even more so than I already do, I looked to the stars for guidance. In addition to getting Britney Spears to help announce my pregnancy to the world, here are all the ways I followed, er, waddled, in famous footsteps while pregnant:
GOOD ENOUGH FOR GWYNETH
Sure, they cost like ten times the price of regular prenatal vitamins, but getting a subscription for Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP prenatal packets made me feel fancy and comforted knowing the product was top of the line. I figured, if it’s good enough for Gwyneth, it’s good enough for me and my growing fetus! (Plus, the individual pouches of pills were perfect for packing and taking them on-the-go).
Compression socks became crucial to keeping my feet in check by about the fourth month, when they swelled up to resemble two maple donut bars during a heavy-on-the-walking trip to New York City, Atlantic City, and Philadelphia. Jetsetting model Karlie Kloss had previously posted a pic of her fashionable pair by Comrad, so I immediately ordered a lavender and navy-striped set and lived in them both in the air and on the ground for the remainder of the nine months and postpartum, when I retained a ton of fluids from the Pitocin used to help move my labor along. (The Mama Mio Lucky Legs Cooling Gel that Kim Kardashian misspoke as “Lizard Legs” on an old episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians also paired well with my pair of Comrads).
Babymoons have boomed since celebrities made them mainstream, and as someone who’ll take any excuse to travel, I was of course on board with this trend. The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is a special spot for me and my husband — we first stepped foot on the property in 2006 only as observers and vowed to return one day as guests. In 2012, we made good on that goal and held our honeymoon there. Six years later, we were back for our babymoon — just like Jamie Lynn Sigler, who celebrated her baby-to-be here in 2017. From the sweet stuffed animal, “Keiki’s 1st Visit to Maui” bib, bottle of sparkling cider, and pregnancy pillow that arrived in our room before we did, to complimentary congratulatory treats sent to our table at every meal, a luxurious pre-natal massage, personalized tai chi lesson on the beach to ground me and move energy to my growing belly, and the open-ended lei gifted to me and baby-on-the-way, the staff made it special at every step.
I have to hand it to the algorithm that target-marketed me almost immediately after confirming I was pregnant because it introduced me to maternity brand HATCH. The first item I ordered was the temporary belly tattoos, which were SO much fun to use for my weekly bump photos. After a trip to its brick-and-mortar store in NYC, I was hooked — practically every piece of my maternity and hospital wardrobe was from HATCH. If it wasn’t HATCH, it was ASOS (and that was well before Meghan Markle made both brands headline news *pats back*), and the last couple dresses were by Rachel Pally (The Isa dress in cream that I wore for one of my showers was actually a go-to for both Kourtney and Kim Kardashian during their pregnancies). I also have a fun-to-look-back-on memory of using HATCH MAMA Beauty’s belly sheet mask the night I went into labor, before I knew I was indeed in the early stages of that monumental mom-to-be moment.
CELEBRITY SHOPPING SPREE
Famous mom or not, there are certain baby registry items that have become ever-present presents. Sophie La Girafe is a standard (See: Kate Hudson, Carrie Underwood, America Ferrera, Tamera Mowry, and Kylie Jenner). At least one variety of WubbaNub is expected (Stormi Webster has both the giraffe and pink bear). And the easy-to-tote Dockatot is easily a must-have — just ask Eva Longoria. I made sure those all made my list as well as a couple special extras that stood out over the years . . . Even though several royal babies have been born since Prince George was in the womb, I remember Kate Middleton and her mum were photographed leaving London children’s furniture store Blue Almond with a Moses basket in hand and made a mental note to get one if and whenever I was ever prepping for a wee one. Same with the sweet Marie-Chantal angel wings onesie that Kim Kardashian dressed North West in. I wanted it all for my own royal baby! As for the everyday items such as diapers and wipes? Well, when a fellow expectant friend asked which ones I went with, I said, “Honestly, Honest because . . . Jessica Alba.”
MOORE THAN A MATERNITY SHOOT
The Pinterest board I sent my photographer ahead of my maternity shoot basically consisted of all Beyoncé in all her floral glory while carrying the twins, not-pregnant-at-the-time but now-mom Kate Moss back in her Calvin Klein days, and Shakira dripping in gold body paint. Of course, Demi Moore’s iconic naked Vanity Fair cover that’s been reinterpreted many times over by fellow famous moms was also in the eclectic image mix. And somehow, photographer Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV and hair and makeup artist Camille Goldston (at the incredible event-planning co-working space The GALA) were able to interpret these aspirational pics and apply them to me and my bump so I could live out the celebrity-inspired photo shoot I imagined.
I never knew it was a thing to encapsulate one’s placenta to ingest for potential postpartum benefits until Hollywood stars started singing the praises of these personal pills. Since I was worried about developing postpartum depression, and since that was one of the things placenta pills supposedly staved off, I explored the idea further, figured it was worth a shot for a few hundred bucks, and came to the hospital prepared with a plan to store my very own placenta in doubled-up plastic bags inside a lunch-sized ice chest until it was ready to be picked up by the service I set up ahead of time. Unfortunately for me, my son thought it was a sh*tty idea — he pooped so much inside it, my placenta was in no condition to save. (One extra that did work out — newborn baby Dean donated his cord blood to Cord for Life).
Beyoncé, Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe, Kim Kardashian . . . there’s nary a celebrity neck that hasn’t had a necklace on it by celebrity jeweler Jennifer Meyer, so I knew exactly what I wanted my push present to be. Since we waited until birth to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, I couldn’t order it ahead of time, but as soon as Dean made his debut, I placed a custom order for Jennifer Meyer’s signature name necklace. Eight weeks later, I had the instant heirloom in my hands, and it was well worth the wait.
While I was lucky to have had the most pleasant, textbook, and yes, FUN, pregnancy possible, the actual birth didn’t go as planned. It started off like a slumber party — popsicles while my sister played push time DJ and heeded my request to have Britney songs and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” on repeat because, well, “Strong enough to bare the children / Then get back to business,” duh — but it took a turn when my doctor delivered the news that I was in need of a C-section. No lie, I started to cry, but turned to look her right in the eye and said, “well, Beyoncé had to have one, so I guess it’s OK.” 😉