6/02/2011

Emily Procter Investigates New Motherhood

The 'CSI: Miami' star talks about bringing little Pippa on the set, her quirky choice of lullabies, and why motherhood is 'the best thing I've ever done.'
By Stephanie Watson
WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD


Don't expect Emily Procter to be the sort of celebrity mom who slips straight from the delivery room into her size 0 jeans. Since daughter Pippa (short for Philippa) was born in early December, the CSI: Miami star has had far bigger priorities to focus on than her pants size.

Right now, the 42-year-old actor sees no reason to get super skinny. "I think, 'For who?' Not for your child. Your child's not looking at you and going, 'Mmmm, I love a clavicle. Let me nestle into that,'" she giggles, the hint of a North Carolina twang floating through her laughter.




"If at six months I'm carrying a lot of extra weight, then I'm going to get drastic about it," says Procter, who put on about 45 pounds during her pregnancy. "But I'm going to let myself off the hook, because if there's one thing that is not my focus at the moment, it's how much I weigh. My focus is on being a mom, and that's hard enough."
< Fair enough. She also takes an unusually refreshing perspective on those late-night feedings that leave so many new parents in a bleary-eyed stupor. When Pippa first slept through the night at 10 weeks old, Procter wasn't relieved -- she was dismayed. "When she started sleeping through the night -- and I know there are people out there who are going to want to throttle me -- I missed the quality time that the two of us had in the middle of the night," she sighs. "I just felt like it was the two of us, alone in the world."


Emily Procter: Working Mom


Every time she has to leave Pippa, Procter feels a keen sense of separation anxiety. Since she went back to work as detective Calleigh Duquesne in CBS's CSIseries just four weeks after giving birth, Pippa has been right with her on the set. She wouldn't have it any other way, but the arrangement has taken a bit of adjustment.

Although she says the producers have been "great" about accommodating her new role, the show runs on a tight schedule. That means Procter has to squeeze feedings and naps into the 10-minute breaks between scenes. "My first or second week back, I had to shoot a compound bow," she recalls. With its intricate system of cables and pulleys, the weapon requires a lot more training than the average bow, and Pippa's feeding time was getting precariously close. Procter quickly fired off several shots in a row. "I was like, 'People, I've got a baby to feed!'"

Juggling nap times, feedings, and diaper changes has been a lot easier at home, where Procter's boyfriend, Paul Bryan, has chipped right in. The music producer didn't skip a beat transitioning into fatherhood. "The minute she was born, it was just that fast for him. He was like, 'I love her,'" Procter says, emulating Bryan's deeper voice. "We actually argue over who is going to hold the baby."

Procter and Bryan: Partners and Parents


With the addition of Pippa, the couple seems to have found the right family balance. During bath time, Procter gets in the tub with Pippa and washes her. "Then I hand her over to Paul, and he dries her off and puts her in her night clothes." On Saturday mornings, Bryan takes Pippa when he goes for coffee to give Procter some much appreciated me-time after mom and daughter spend the morning together, and Procter returns the favor by taking Pippa out for walks. "I think it's nice because we both get to have one-on-one time with her, and we spend a lot of time together as a family," she says.

One thing the couple definitely doesn't agree on is lullaby selection. When Procter sings to Pippa -- which she does often -- it's not the dulcet tones of "Rock-a-Bye Baby" or "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

"I couldn't remember any songs when she was first born, so I started singing the Oscar Mayer bologna song," Procter says. When Paul complained about her song choice, "I told him, 'Look, there's spelling in the song. I think that's wonderful.' And bologna is a difficult word to spell!

"Paul is a musician, so this isn't a quiet household. During the day it's like, 'Your nap is going to be when your nap is going to be.' It's going to be loud. There are going to be people around," Procter adds. "But for her bedtime we're very specific about keeping it the exact time and making sure the lights are low and having it just be very peaceful and quiet." 

It's the little moments -- no matter how insignificant they may seem -- that Procter treasures these days because she knows how fleeting they are. "I've spent a lot of time just staring at her and saying, 'Don't miss this moment,'" she says.
Now that she realizes how wonderful motherhood is, Procter wishes she'd done it sooner -- and more often. "If I had known, I would have had 20. I would be a Duggar for sure," she laughs, referring to the reality-show mother of 19.  "It's one of those things where all the clich├ęs come true. It's the best thing I've ever done." Original Link

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