Lea Michele Shares Story Of Her ‘Very Intense, Very Scary Pregnancy’: ‘It Was The Lowest I’ve Been In My Entire Life’
Lea Michele’s path to motherhood wasn’t easy.
The actress gave birth to her first child, Ever, with husband Zandy Reich back in August of 2020, and she’s kept her parenting journey pretty low-key since then. But as it turns out, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than any of us knew. The actress joined Katherine Schwarzenegger for her Before, During & After Baby Instagram Live series to share the truth of her “scary” pregnancy.
The Broadway alum suffers from PCOS, a condition characterized by cysts on the ovaries. She explained:
“It’s easy to manage it in your daily life, but when you’re trying to conceive, it’s much harder, especially if you have extremely irregular periods. You never really know when you can get pregnant. On top of that, I had to have multiple procedures to remove polyps and cysts and scar tissue.”
Because of the condition, Lea thought that particular path to motherhood might be closed to her forever. She recalled:
“I’d had my third procedure and was down from taking these medications and healing from surgeries. I was like, ‘Let’s just stop.’ … I kept thinking, ‘Maybe this isn’t meant to be for me. Maybe this isn’t going to happen.’ It’s something that for me, personally, was always my biggest fear in my entire life. It’s what I’ve wanted more than anything. Emotionally, it just started to build and build. … Then we got pregnant.”
Unfortunately, that miracle led to a “very, very intense, very scary pregnancy.” She shared:
“I started bleeding terribly, horribly. I had to tell my mom I was pregnant in the bathroom. That lasted my entire first trimester. I experienced very heavy bleeding, some which was scary to the point that we rushed in the middle of the night to the hospital. Probably every other day, we were certain that this time was definitely it. I was put on an extreme amount of medication, progesterone, to help sustain this pregnancy, and I was put on bed rest for my whole first trimester. That was just horrible, absolutely horrible.”
The 34-year-old continued tearfully:
“I finally announced I was pregnant, and I still was uncertain if the pregnancy was going to last. Oh my god, I’m going to cry. I just woke up and I was like, ‘I just want to be a mom right now. I want this time.’ And it was horrible. It was the lowest I’ve been in my entire life.”
“That’s the thing with social media… I’ve always been someone who is afraid of showing any flaws and it’s something that, I don’t think that that’s a positive attribute. The problem with social media is people go, ‘Oh, you’re announcing your pregnancy and it’s beautiful and you’re wearing a beautiful dress and everything looks great.’ … But that was one of the hardest days of my life, because I was just like, ‘Oh, I’m going to let everyone know I’m pregnant, but this probably isn’t going to work out.’ There’s that sense of vulnerability to me that’s been really challenging.”
Lea admitted her family was “really, really afraid” for most of her pregnancy, but finally got news that the baby was healthy about two months before giving birth. (By then, she was embroiled in a whole other drama, getting called out for her behavior on the set of Glee — a drama that seems to continue today, as she’s one of the few cast members who won’t be joining an upcoming tribute for Naya Rivera.)
After all the fear and uncertainty of the pregnancy, the singer hoped to give birth vaginally. Sadly, that was another expectation that got upended when her baby wouldn’t flip, meaning she needed a C-section. But of course, all of those concerns fell away when she finally had little Ever in her arms. She said:
“My little baby is such a fighter. I remember the minute I held him, the first thing I said to him I was like, ‘You did so good.’”
Lea did express regret that she didn’t share more of her story sooner, and how isolating it was to experience alone. She mused:
“I’ve never shared my experience with anyone, which I think is something that — now that I am a mom — I see myself doing in a lot of ways, not sharing for fear of not sounding perfect or just being afraid… I withheld a lot of my experience.”
Well, we’re glad she’s opening up now. So many women are reminding us lately of the incredible ordeal that is pregnancy and labor. We’re proud of all the new mommas out there for their amazing strength!
Ch-ch-check out the full conversation (below):
[Image via Lea Michele/Instagram]