But what she didn’t know was that her dreams of having a baby would come much later in life.
“I don’t regret starting later — everything I’ve wanted to do, I’ve done. I lived in Europe for six years, waitressed, worked at a book company and in a law office.”
Although she wouldn’t change the timeline of her life, Sims — who is mom to 2½-year-old son Brooks Alan and expecting her second child with husband Scott Stuber — admits her age has played a factor in her pregnancies. After discovering the couple would be welcoming another baby — a girl due in March — Sims decided to keep the news a secret until it was safe to share.
“I’m 41, so I had an ultrasound and blood tests to make sure everything was okay,” she explains. “We waited until we got the results at 14 weeks to tell anyone, but my in-laws came to visit early on and they said I looked green!”
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy
Fortunately, Sims has found a way to counter the morning sickness — which has become an all-day affair — with her fun sense of style.
“My mom taught me that if you look good, you feel good,” she says. “After Brooks was born, I wore sweats at first. But, for my state of mind, it made a difference to get up and get dressed in decent clothes even if I had nowhere to go.”
“I had a difficult time with Brooksie. First, I had a velamentous cord insertion [when the umbilical cord inserts into the fetal membranes rather than the middle of the placenta, causing a higher risk of rupture],” she explains.
“The doctor monitored me closely throughout the pregnancy, and I had a scheduled c-section to protect the cord, which was necessary, but disappointing.”
The model and actress adds, “This time, I don’t have the same condition, so I’m not opposed to a [vaginal birth].”
The mom-to-be is also keeping her options open when it comes to breastfeeding. Despite her best efforts — including drinking fenugreek tea and a supplemental nursing system — Sims was never able to nurse her newborn son.
“When Brooks was born, my milk never came in, and I tried to breastfeed for three months. I felt awful and ashamed. I wanted to breastfeed because it’s so good for the baby, so I worked with a lactation specialist,” she recalls.
“After three months, she said, ‘You’re done. You don’t have any milk.’ I’ll try breastfeeding again, but if it doesn’t work, I won’t push it.”
Jeff Lipsky for Fit Pregnancy
Her struggles didn’t stop there. After gaining 65 lbs. during her first pregnancy, Sims worked hard to regain her body after baby. But, following months of hours spent exercising, shedding the weight didn’t come easy for Sims, prompting her to push for answers.
“On the day I went in for my c-section, I stepped on the scale, but I didn’t look. My husband saw the number — 204! — but he was afraid to tell me,” she says. “Three months later, I had lost just 25 lbs. … I wore a corset, tried acupuncture and went to a Chinese herbalist, and the weight still didn’t come off. My neck looked like a linebacker’s.”
It was then that Sims underwent a biopsy and an ultrasound and was diagnosed with thyroiditis, a condition, she later learned, that also had affected her milk supply.
“Fortunately, it’s treatable with medication,” she shares. “I feel good, but I still get blood tests every month.”
With only weeks to go until the Sims-Stubers officially become a family of four, Sims still has no doubt that her husband can take on the challenge of two children.
“I always knew Scott would be an amazing father and we became a team very early on,” she says, adding that the couple have weathered the highs and lows of having kids.
“One day Scott was trying to read the newspaper and got frustrated because he had to keep getting up to help with Brooksie. I said, ‘Our life isn’t the same anymore. We have no time to read the paper!'”
As for her own approach to parenting, Sims says her philosophy is simple: mother first, friend second.
“I’m all for time-outs and structure. I’m also for having a good time, but my toddler knows when I mean business,” she shares. “Some parents try to be their kids’ best friends and it can be detrimental.”
Jeff Lipsky for Fit Pregnancy
— Anya Leon