Photography by John Russo
Styling by Tara Swennen
Pregnancy: How has this pregnancy been going?
Angie Harmon: Let me tell you, when you’re pregnant with the first one, it’s great of course, all new and “Yay!” With the second one it’s still OK; you can pay attention to number one and she can share in the joy of the pregnancy. I remember how I used to sit in the bathtub when I was pregnant with my second and have [my first daughter] rub my tummy. I loved that!
But this third one has been horrible! First of all, I’ve had morning sickness. Hellooo! And then I got anemia, which was also new and horrible. And then I tore a disc in my back. So with this pregnancy I have not had two good days in a row; talk about frustration. And you can pile the guilt of not being able to take care of the other kids like I like to right on top of that. Thank God I’m getting a baby at the end of this, because if I wasn’t I’d be insane right now!
What is your back pain like?
Oh my God! In the past, I have never had sympathy for people who threw their back out. I’m like, “Yeah, right. You just get up and get back to what you were doing and stop complaining!” But now, if anyone were to call me and say, “Angie, I threw my back out,” I’d be there in the blink of an eye with a bedpan and a big pot of chicken soup.
How has your husband been dealing with your pregnancy?
Awesome! I play “angel music” when he walks in the room. I’ve become as close to my husband as I’ve ever been going through this. You know what they say when you get married, “for better or worse”? Well, the person who wrote that part of the vow sure knew what we would all be in for. He must have been thinking about this very situation. That “worse” part of the vow could have been translated as, “After you are married, will you lift her on and off of a bedpan?” I’m not kidding.
But Jason’s done at three. I was totally fighting him at the time I got pregnant; he was threatening a vasectomy. I said, “Honey, we need a big family! Imagine Thanksgiving with all the kids coming home and your grandkids sitting on your knee.” Then I went through all this with my back and the sicknesses. So finally I said, “I’m with you. If you want a vasectomy I will drive you there! And while we’re at it, I just might get my tubes tied.”
How have your deliveries been?
Well, the first one was breech, and the second was sideways, so I’ve had two Cesareans so far and am planning a third—but I’m totally fine with it. I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t make me less of a woman because my babies come out of a different place. My C-sections have been fine. They don’t cut through the muscle anymore so the recovery time is quick. It’s not like back in the old days when they used a rusty saw. We’ve actually made medical strides!
Have you had any aversions?
Yes. I have an aversion to appliances, actually. Anything in the kitchen.
What have you learned about yourself during this pregnancy?
Well, I’ve learned that I can withstand a tremendous amount of pain. I’ve never been a good patient. I’m not good with pain. It is not for me. I’ll get a hangnail and think I should go to the hospital. “Honey, look at my finger! This one’s a bad one, call 911!” So I guess this time I’ve developed a higher tolerance for pain. I actually have calluses on my knuckles from crawling back and forth to the toilet because of my back.
Really! Jason is impressed. If you knew what I’ve gone through—I don’t mean to be negative for your readers, but this one has been really different.
Will you use a postpartum doula? Baby nurse?
Jason is my doula. I should make a T-shirt that says, “Jason Sehorn is my midwife.” He and I are both control-oriented. I don’t want a baby nurse; I have him. When the baby starts crying, he doesn’t just lie there and snore. He gets up and makes himself very useful.
What has your own mother taught you about being a parent?
We’ve learned over the years that in order for you to end up being a responsible, kind, caring respectful human being, you have to grow up learning those same things. I can’t do the spoiling thing because it’s a total injustice. When you spoil them they’re taught, “This is how the world works.” And they proceed to become psychotic females, crying and freaking out and turning into stalkers. I want my girls to be strong and self-sufficient.
And call me crazy, but Jason and I are happy with the Disney Princess stories and the happily-ever-after theme. A lot of people ask me why I like those stories. They say, “Don’t you want your girls to know that the prince doesn’t ride in on a white horse and sweep them away?” I’m like, “No!” Their lives are so busy and intense; do I want to rob them of a dream like that when they’re only 4? I don’t want them to miss out on anything. Women can be so wrapped up with how strong we can be.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
My favorite thing is watching the kids when they don’t know I’m watching them, when I can step outside the parent role and just look at them as little human beings. I’m so amused by their actions.
Bob Gulla is the father of four children. He has also interviewed Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Dave Matthews, Johnny Cash, and Kurt Cobain, among others.