Best known as Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Kaitlin’s pregnancy was written into the script for the sixth season, which premiered September 16.
Her TV career has included appearances in Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Drew Carey Show and Miss Match. Recently, she began making a name for herself in top movies, including the romantic comedy Leap Year as the best friend to Amy Adams’ character Anna and in the indie fav, Weather Girl, winner of the Best Film Award at the 2009 Vail Film Festival.
Hubby Rob McElhenney is one of the creators, directors and stars of Sunny. They met on the show and married in 2008. When we talked to Kaitlin just before she gave birth she was excited about becoming a mom.
“Rob and I started trying for a baby a while ago and it took a bit longer than we thought so we were really excited when I got pregnant. It ended up being perfect timing, as I was able to shoot the show when I had the most energy.”
Kaitlin credits staying busy and exercising with maintaining good energy throughout pregnancy. “Even when I am tired I exercise and it revives my energy. It is also important to plan time in your day to rest, especially if you are working. A balance of exercise and forced rest has been really good for me.”
Carrying her first child, she describes really enjoying every step of pregnancy. Any problems along the way have been helped by her supportive mother and her company, Earth Mama Angel Baby, which specializes in organic teas and beauty products for pregnancy and beyond.
EMAB was founded by Melinda Olson, Kaitlin’s mother, when she discovered that personal care products for mamas and babies weren’t always as pure and safe as they sometimes claim to be. EMAB uses highest-quality, certified-organic or organically grown herbs and oils for their teas, bath herbs, handmade soaps, salves, lotions and massage oils. All products are 100% toxin-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes. Packaging is eco-friendly recyclable or reused/reusable packaging.
Kaitlin drank EMAB teas for every stage and used the Natural Stretch Oil to prevent stretch marks. “I feel very lucky. It has been a wonderful and easy pregnancy. I am walking a lot and feeling really healthy. I am really loving it.”
Like many moms, she juggled work with her pregnancy, in Kaitlin’s case that was her hectic filming schedule. “Working by second trimester was the biggest challenge. I just took one day at a time and tried to get enough rest. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I work long hours, so I thought I would be exhausted. One advantage being married to the executive producer is that he has control over me not having to come in first thing! When it was possible, I have not had to be there for the first scene, which would mean getting up at 5am. I need some sleep!”
Although busy throughout pregnancy, Kaitlin spent a lot of time planning her pregnancy and thinking about how she wants to raise her first child. “I am an information gatherer. So I have been preparing by doing lots of research. I have done HypnoBirthing class for a natural birth, breastfeeding class and baby CPR. I have planned to have the baby naturally, at home with a midwife and doula. The number one plan is to prepare as much as I can and go with it when the time comes!”
Her research has led her to deciding to breastfeed her baby. “I am planning on breastfeeding. I don’t have a backup plan as I am just hoping it goes smoothly. My mom breastfed and a lot of my friends do and I have a lactation consultant if there are any issues. I know it is the best food for a baby, so that is what I decided to do.”
Rob and Kaitlin have also planned how they want to raise their child together. They chose to find out the sex of their baby but would have been happy either way. “Rob and I have talked a lot on how we want to raise our kid. Often children are raised in an environment of fear, that it is a big world and their parents know best. Our philosophy is to raise our child in safety, confidence and happiness; to teach him that the world is a good place, rather than a scary place. I don’t think you can spoil a baby!”
Like most mums, Kaitlin has been inundated with tips and advice on being a mom. She says the best tip was when asked about the due date, to give a general date a few weeks after you are actually due.
“This helps as everyone keeps asking how you are near the end of your pregnancy and it tricks you into relaxing. So far it isn’t working as I am still wondering when I will be due!”