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Gena Lee Nolin: Bombshell & Baby

The glamour of Hollywood, its limelight and the celebrities that make it all shine, can seem so intangible and unreal. Most television and film stars appear so picture-perfect that one can hardly imagine them experiencing the discomforts of pregnancy or working through heavy contractions. In reality, however, many of today’s hottest celebrities are moms. Some, like Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin (she plays Neely Capshaw), embrace pregnancy and motherhood with a passion that exceeds even the zeal they have for their work.

Gena Lee NolinAt first blush, Gena Lee Nolin, young and in fabulous shape, hardly seems like she would be one of Hollywood’s newest celebrity moms. But after talking to her for even a few minutes, it’s obvious that Nolin is all mom, with a down-to-earth attitude and boundless love for Spencer, her baby boy. “Spencer is the light of my life,” says Nolin. “I definitely always knew I would be a mother, and it’s great.” In a candid interview with us, Nolin discussed her pregnancy and childbirth experiences, and related details about her life as a new mom. Despite her celebrity status, Nolin demonstrated that all pregnant women can share one of life’s most significant bonds – motherhood.

Age Not Important
At 26, Nolin is a young mother by society’s standards. She acknowledges that fact and dismisses it quickly. “Some people think I’m a child, but to each his own,” she says. “I was married to my husband (Greg Fahlman, a video production professional) for four years before we had a baby, and that was nice. We got to know each other very well and built our relationship before the baby was born.”

On Becoming Pregnant
Spencer was very much a planned addition to the family, and his arrival was timed just right. “We decided to start trying to have a baby in September, 1996,” Nolin says. “I thought it would take a few months to get pregnant, but we conceived during the first month we tried! I was really surprised, since my period was very late and I took three home pregnancy tests that all came out negative.” When she took a fourth test, she was sure it would be negative, “but I was surprised and happy to see the positive sign. It was perfect timing. I worked until I was three months pregnant, then I was on hiatus from Baywatch until he was born. It was wonderful because it was so planned – it was the best feeling.”

Unlike fellow actress and mother Hunter Tylo, who won a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Spelling Television based on her pregnancy-related firing from Melrose Place, Nolin says she encountered no negativity from Baywatch producers regarding her pregnancy. “Everyone at work was really great about it and excited,” she says. “I was under different circumstances (than Tylo),” Nolin explains. “I’d been on the show for two years already and didn’t have to miss any work. But you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do. Spelling knows what he has to do in his production, so I can see both sides.”

Gena Lee NolinDuring Pregnancy
“I had no morning sickness at all, not a day of it,” says Nolin. And knowing this special time in her life would last only nine months, she savored every moment of it. “The pregnancy went so smoothly – it didn’t hinder me at all. It was great, wonderful. I almost felt that my body was taking a vacation, that this time was for me and my baby only.”

Despite her job on Baywatch, which requires her to wear a swimsuit all day long, Nolin wasn’t preoccupied with the pregnancy pounds and inches. “I wasn’t caught up with worries about weight gain, I just let it happen,” she says. Of her pregnancy mindset, she offers, “I was really into the pregnancy, and wanted what was best for me and my baby. Before the pregnancy, I was very conscious of what I ate, did free weights and aerobics. It was ‘thin-thin-thin,’ ‘swimsuit-swimsuit-swimsuit,’ and nothing more to life than that.”

Instead of stressing about her weight, Nolin developed a sensible plan that worked: “I laid off the heavy exercise – no two hours a day of step aerobics, though I did walk a lot and do yoga,” she says. Walking, she says, was key. “Walking really helped alleviate the discomfort. It helps with water retention, and late in the pregnancy, it can help bring on labor, which can be a plus.”