July 07, 2009 05:00 PM

Courtesy Cookie for use on CBB

Actress Vera Farmiga thrives on her unconventional lifestyle. Despite her roles alongside some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, the New Jersey native feels most comfortable at home with her husband Renn Hawkey and their 6-month-old son Fynn McDonnell in Ulster County, NY.

“I can’t wait to get home and dig my hands into the soil,” she tells the August issue of Cookie magazine. “I have to say, I feel closest to God when I’m working with rat manure.”

While she was open about her pregnancy — even revealing her exact due date and the sex of the baby — once she welcomed her son, the new mama chose to keep all the details private.

Her desire to shield her family life from the spotlight was made that much easier when she made arrangements to deliver at an “amazing” birthing center in the small town of Rhinebeck, NY.

“The place is like a gymnasium! You can hang from the walls, bounce on a ball, labor in a tub, have a six-handed massage.”

Although her plans to have a natural birth went awry when she underwent an emergency c-section, Vera was undeterred by the course of events. Only two weeks after welcoming Fynn, The Departed actress began work on a new film with George Clooney. The offer, she laughs, is one that could not be ignored! “It was an opportunity I could not turn away,” she says. “I mean, George Clooney.”

As the second oldest of seven children, having spent her youth “with younger siblings on my hip,” Vera was unafraid of the prospect of motherhood; She was, however, unprepared for what awaited her after baby’s arrival. Unable to exercise due to the cesarean or follow a strict diet because she was nursing, the extra pregnancy pounds still lingered when Vera went for her first post-baby costume fitting. “It takes a lot to scootch me off my game, but [at 15 lbs. heavier than usual] it was the most insecure I’d ever felt,” she recalls.

“When people tell you that by the time you start filming, you gotta lose the fat off your face — well, the only way to get through that is to try to maintain a sense of humor.”

To that end, her immediate return to work was a decision that did not come without its share of consequences. “Now that shooting is almost over, it’s easy to say coming back to work so soon wasn’t that hard for me, but man, it was,” she reveals. “Talk about trying to balance work and family — I was in the trenches. There were days I’d come to the set and just cry and cry and cry.”

Click below to read about Vera’s problem with silk shirts and how Fynn helps her stay in the moment.

Fortunately, with Fynn nursing, baby boy and Renn were always close by, traveling the country alongside Vera. Determined to continue breastfeeding, the 35-year-old would pump in between takes and have the milk shuttled to the hotel.

“I can’t tell you how many silk shirts I ruined just thinking about him!”

Elated with motherhood, Vera can’t help but note the great lessons Fynn — whose Nordic name came as a result of his father’s resemblance to a Viking — has taught her. For the new mama, she has quickly learned to live life for all it’s worth.

“When I see the way Fynn throws himself into each simple task — eating, yelping, squeezing a fart — I think, ‘Wow, this little guy isn’t trapped in his head; He’s operating to the hilt.’ And it occurs to me that this needs to be my attitude whatever I do.”

Vera will be putting her mothering skills to the test with her new movie Orphan, in theaters July 24th.

Source: Cookie

— Anya

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