Carnie Wilson on Pregnancy at 40

By Paulette Cohn

Photo courtesy of the Game Show Network

The singer opens up about pregnancy, parenting, weight struggles and her brand new TV job!

Carnie Wilson, best known for her music career as a member of Wilson Phillips and for allowing cameras in the operating room when she underwent gastric bypass surgery [her surgery has now received more than 2.5 million hits], is pregnant with her second child, due in June. She is the mother of daughter Lola, who will turn four on April 22, 2009.

Wilson, who has added a new job to her resume: host of Game Show Network's (GSN's) modernized version of "The Newlywed Game," April 6 at 6 p.m. ET on GSN, talks to justmommies.com about her second pregnancy, the dreaded weight gain, how she is getting daughter Lola ready to be a big sister, and about her new job for which she says she is a natural.

Is your second pregnancy different from your first one?

I am four years older, so I am 40, so I feel more tired now. I am almost seven months, so this is the time you slow down. I am a working mommy, so I really feel it. I was up at two o'clock, because I was anxious. I was thinking about the hospital and breast feeding. I had post partum last time and I was just getting anxious -- not negative -- but, oh, my God, it is going to be here before you know it!

It is similar physically. I was yucky, gross sick for around seven weeks in the beginning, and I ate so many carbs. I had constant motion sickness. Not like "nauseous-I-am-going-to-throw-up," but like a disgusting, gross car-sick feeling 24 hours a day. If I was turning in my sleep, I would wake up and go, "I need a cracker."

The second trimester was like "Wow," so fun, so cool and the symptoms went away. Now, I am entering the third trimester and the symptoms are coming back. I have a little extra weight on me right now and it is rough.

How hard is it for you -- after all your struggles to lose weight, including gastric bypass surgery and a season on "Celebrity Fit Club" -- to know you are going to gain this weight?

It is really hard because I feel so scrutinized. It is really sad that I don't enjoy the whole process because I am so paranoid that someone is going to say, "Oh, my God. She is gaining too much weight." Then I think about it and go, "I don't care what anybody thinks. This is my body, my life. What is going to happen is going to happen." I know I am in control of some things, and some things I am not in control of. I just throw my hands up and say, "[expletive] everyone." I have to do that because otherwise I will go nuts.
The main thing is being healthy. I am not going to gain 70 pounds this pregnancy. I am probably going to gain about 50. That is the truth. It is still a high number, but it is better than 70. In my last pregnancy, I wasn't exercising. From the beginning of the second trimester on, I had a lot of pelvic pain. It was the first time my bones were stretching out and my uterus. This time it has already been stretched, so now when I turn, I feel crack, crack, crack, crack, crack. That is normal. But I can exercise. Three days a week my trainer comes and we take a 45-minute walk. That is the extent of my exercise, but it is better than nothing.

I am not the hiking gal. I have friends that gain 40 pounds, and they are hiking until their seventh or eighth month. It is amazing, but I am not that type. I have never been athletic. Exercise is a chore. I do it because I have to. I would rather be in the kitchen baking cakes. That is the truth.

I am writing another book right now. It is really powerful. I had this thing happen when I was 40. When I turned 40, I was, "I am going to have a baby. I am going to get pregnant, God willing." I am changing my whole lifestyle. I went on Oprah to talk about it. This incredible thing happened: [I decided] I deserve to be healthy. It is not about getting skinny. It is about: How do you want to feel? I know that I feel good if I weigh anywhere between 160 and 175. I really feel good there. For me that is like a size 8 or 10. That is my healthy-feeling range. I have to include normal exercise and very, very little sugar. I was on this great program that I am going to go back to [after my pregnancy]. It was very strict, but I never felt better then when I ate like that: gluten free, wheat free, sugar free, tons of vegetables. I am going to write this. It is coming out in January. It is called Addicted to Health.

Will you make Lola go gluten free?

I don't do that with her. It is really hard. There is so much around her and everybody else eats. Generally, I think moms all face the same thing. It is a natural thing to reward your child with a sucker or an ice cream. Once they taste sugar, they know what it tastes like. Also, she cooks with me and she bakes with me.

Like this morning, I made her egg whites and I made them taste good. I put onion powder on them and salt and they taste good and she loves them. She had some egg whites and some sliced strawberries. She wanted a raspberry bar. I bought these all-natural raspberry bars from Whole Foods, which I shouldn't have done, but I wanted them. I cut it in half and I said to her, "Look, if you eat your eggs, your strawberries and some juice, then you can have a piece of this." I said, "That is what we do. We don't eat sugar as a meal." I am trying to teach her little things like that.

Is your husband part of that, too? Or does he get to eat anything?

I think he is hypocritical when it comes to that. He will say, "Honey, she has got to eat more vegetables. She shouldn't eat sugar." Then I will come home and he is handing her a sugar popsicle. If she gets really upset, he will give her a sucker or a cookie.

How are you getting Lola ready for the arrival of her sister?

It started literally with the peeing on the stick. She was right with me. I never got into how the baby [was conceived]. Then when we saw the line, I screamed and I was jumping up and down and we both had tears in our eyes and she was jumping with me. It was so joyous. Every day she talks to the baby. I just bought this wonderful book, something like, I'm Going to be a Big Sister. It has slots for photos, and it starts with the growing of mommy's belly, and they go to the hospital and Lola is going to be the big sister. I am slowly telling her that when Luciana comes, we will call her Lucy, I am going to need to spend a lot of time with her. Every few hours I am going to need to feed her, but we are going to have so much fun with the baby and you are going to help mommy. You are going to be the best big sister. I make it about her as well. I also tell her when you have a family, mommy and daddy love everybody the same. When you were born, you had so much attention, too.

At the hospital, my friend, who just had a second baby, told me -- and I am not sure if this is crazy -- when you bring Lola in to meet Lucy, make sure you are not holding her. Make sure that Lucy is in a bassinette. Then we let her hold her. I am going to give it a shot.

How did being a mom change how you look at your career?

It is more about providing and not so much a statement of clout or image. When you have a child, if you are a good parent, you are not selfish anymore. You are living for someone else. It is harder because I constantly feel guilty. If I am working, it can be one hour one day, 10 hours the next, and two the next. But I am working every day on something and I am guilty every minute. When she is at school that is the only time I am not feeling guilty. That is part of it for me. She is really good about work. She knows that daddy is in the studio writing songs and he is very focused. Then mommy is doing TV, radio and television and she gets it. I tell her, "I appreciate so much that you understand." She is thrilled because she gets to see it to, and she is proud. I thank her for understanding that my hours can be long. I take her with me when I can.

What is the most important thing you have learned about motherhood that you can pass on to other mothers?

Being a good parent is exhausting. It takes everything out of you mentally and physically. The most important thing is there is no such thing as a perfect parent. No matter what you do, you are always going to have another challenge in front of you. Patience and pacing yourself, taking care of yourself is really important. If you are not together, how can you be together for your kid? There are so many times you just want to say, "Stop it!" I don't. I try to stay calm.

Tell us about your new job as host of "The Newlywed Game."

Carnie Wilson: Six months ago, right when I found out I was pregnant, I joined the GSN family to do some fill-in work with Fred Roggin on "GSN Live." I love game shows, I love people winning, I love happiness, I love the whole vibe of it. Even if you lose, it is just fun. It was a perfect match. I grew up watching every game show.

As I was packing to leave for a Wilson Phillips concert -- it was going to be a four-day trip -- I am, "What am I going to pack for four days? -- pregnancy brain completely frazzled. Then my manager calls and says, "GSN called and they want you to host 'The Newlywed Game.' It starts on Monday." This was Wednesday night. I said, "I am coming home from Indiana on Sunday night. Is it in L.A.?" "No, it is in New York and you will be there for three weeks." It was like literally dropped into my lap like that. I was, "Okay." I didn’t think twice. I just threw everything into two suitcases and I was gone for a month. My daughter came out after 10 days, and then she was there for 10 days, so it worked out fine. That is always my main concern, my daughter Lola.

It was dropped into my lap like a blessing. I was nervous in a way, but at the same time, I didn't think twice. I was just, "How fun. Go for it." There is a makeup artist at GSN that told me they were looking for a host for "The Newlywed Game." I thought, "That would be fun. But they are going to hire a man." It didn't even occur to me that they would consider me. So when it happened, I was screaming. It is the most amazing thing ever. We shot 40 shows in 11 days.

I talked to Patrick Duffy when he was starting "Bingo America" and he told me it is much harder than he thought because you have to keep it going all the time. How was it for you?

Carnie Wilson: Physically, I was 5-1/2 months pregnant. It was just at the right time. If I had been any further along, it would have been more of a challenge. It was eight solid hours of standing, and those hours were pretty much clumped together. It was 11-hour days. We would shoot for three straight days, 15 shows and then we would have four days off.

All I could do was get on my knees and pray to get through. I got on the set and they said, "You are the leader of this. You set the pace." It is totally in my nature to say, "Come on, everybody let's go," but I didn't really know the format. Once I got out there, every bit of anxiety was lifted in 20 minutes. It was made for me. It was the best. It would have been harder if it was a puzzle game show, but this was all about relationships and marriage and stuff I love to talk about and hear about and I got to completely interject my own life in there and I had no filter. I got to really let loose and be myself.

"The Newlywed Game" premieres on April 6 at 6 p.m. ET on GSN.