Daniela Ruah has seen heartache recently, in the form of a miscarriage she experienced in October when she was nine weeks pregnant.
“Something like that hits you physically, emotionally and psychologically, but my doctor said, ‘Even if you sat on my table the whole time, this still would’ve happened. You have to try again,’ ” recalls the actress, 32, in her September 2016 cover story for Fit Pregnancy and Baby.
“So that’s what we did, and I got pregnant on our second try,” continues Ruah, who is already mom to 2½-year-old son River Isaac with husband David Olsen — the latter of whom is the older brother of Ruah’s NCIS: Los Angeles costar Eric Christian Olsen.
“Nature is a beautiful thing — it does what it needs to do when it needs to do it,” adds the expectant mom, who is due with the couple’s second child, a daughter, this fall.
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There’s a sweet story behind how Ruah found out she was going to be having a little girl.
“David wanted to tell me whether we were having a boy or a girl this time, since I got to surprise him last time. So I went for the blood test, and a week later, he told me the doctor still hadn’t called,” she shares. “Then, one day, I was trying to put River down for a nap, and I handed him to Dave and said, ‘You try.’
“Next thing I know, Dave and River are standing in front of me wearing pink dresses and wigs,” Ruah continues. “My first thought was, ‘Why aren’t you putting him down? Now he’s going to be too excited to nap!’ Then I realized that they were telling me we were having a girl.”
She continues, “I just sat and started crying, and Dave hugged me. I’d always hoped to have one of each.”
Of her birth plan, the Portugal-raised actress says that due to her previous experiences with her son, she’s keeping flexibility in mind first and foremost.
“My water broke three weeks early, and after 12 hours of labor and Pitocin, I was in incredible pain and still only one centimeter dilated,” she says. “I wanted to try to do it without drugs, so the moment I requested an epidural, I was mad at myself.”
Luckily, the soon-to-be mom of two realized she had made the right decision.
“As soon as I got it, I dilated to 10 centimeters in 90 minutes. It was awesome,” she says. “This time, I’m going to try to go again without an epidural, but I won’t be mad at myself if I need one.”
As for balancing her work schedule with breastfeeding a newborn, Ruah plans to make nursing a priority — even if it means doubling up her duties on set.
“I plan on breastfeeding like I did for River,” Ruah shares. “On set, I fed him and pumped. One day, we were behind schedule, so I put a hoodie over my pump and went to rehearsal. There was that ‘wah-wah-wah’ sound, and everybody was like, ‘What is that?’ I said, ‘I’m pumping,’ and that was it.
“They were unfazed,” she adds. “You do what you have to do.”
Ruah admits that being pregnant and “feeling the baby moving” is something she loves.
“I feel more like a woman than ever before,” she confesses of her feelings toward being pregnant. “There’s just an all-around sensation of power.”
— Jen Juneau