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At home with Samantha Harris

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We turned the tables on the Emmy-nominated host from Entertainment Tonight to find out just how she makes this crazy thing called motherhood look so easy

Interview by Abagail Tuller
Photographs by Lisa Franchot

Samantha on… the second pregnancy
This pregnancy has gone by much faster because with [3-year-old] Josselyn, I knew two weeks into the pregnancy. With this one, it was eight weeks, so that first trimester flew by.

Eight weeks?
I was actually quite frustrated that I didn’t know earlier, because I’m very attentive to the changes that need to be made when you’re pregnant. With Josselyn, I was able to be sure I was on the prenatal vitamins and alter my workout so my heart rate wasn’t going too high, and stop the sushi and the other foods that you’re supposed to avoid. I was definitely much more nervous throughout this pregnancy…and I continue to be nervous.

Telling Josselyn
We waited many more weeks after we found out to tell Josselyn, of course. But she was so intuitive that one day she just looked at my tummy and said, “Mommy, you have a baby in there.”

So far…
She’s been really excited. She’ll run by me, lift up my shirt to kiss my belly, put my shirt back down, and keep running. I hope she’ll be as wonderful when the baby comes. We’ve been trying to prepare her with books about being a big sister.

Boy or girl?
We’re going to wait until the delivery, which I would have thought is more common. Apparently only 20 to 30 percent of people actually wait anymore. I didn’t know I was so old fashioned!

The birth
I could only be so lucky to have this birth be identical to Josselyn’s. Her birth was the most blissful labor and delivery experience one could ever hope for. It was like a private symphony in the labor room, because it was quiet with low light. It was just my husband, my doctor, and my nurse—so private and intimate. I delivered in 16 minutes when I started pushing—it really was three pushes and she was out. Granted, I was having contractions at home for probably 30 hours before that!

The epidural
The only thing that was frustrating that first time around was my whole body itched because of the epidural. So I remember that being quite distracting while I was trying to push. And then you have the shakes afterward—my teeth were chattering so much, even while I was holding her.

Nursing
Unfortunately the nursing was very challenging and incredibly painful. It took about two weeks to break through. Thankfully I made it over the hump and found the pleasure of nursing.

Weaning
Unfortunately, I had four bouts of mastitis, and my doctor finally said, “You can’t breastfeed anymore.” One time I was just in the middle of doing a Dancing with the Stars live show and my husband was in the audience. I walked over to him and said, “Is it really cold in here right now?” And he said, “Not at all.” It turned out I’d had a 102 fever during the whole show.
There’s a lot that goes with breastfeeding that’s not fun, but thankfully there’s also the coziness that you get to feel with the baby snuggled up against your breast. Those moments with Josselyn I will cherish forever, and I really do look forward to it with this baby.

That bod!
It’s definitely much harder this time to find the time to work out. I really do try to make it a part of my day every day, so that it actually happens three to five times a week. I change it up. I like Cardio Barre or this boot-camp class down the street from my office. If I don’t have the time to do that, when I’m on set we have stairs on the studio lot, and I’ll put one-pound weights on my hands and try to do some exercise going up and down the stairs, taking them two by two, maybe a slow jog up, and then a really slow walk down.

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