Actress, mother and activist Elisabeth Rohm has successfully juggled career and motherhood over the past few years with grace and charm. She is best known for playing ambitious Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn on NBC's long running hit "Law & Order" and Detective Kate Lockley in the TV series "Angel." Recently, she co-starred in the hit film American Hustle, has a published book, and a celebrity mom blog on People.com that reaches over a million readers.
Her most inspiring role yet has been sharing her story of infertility publicly -- which sparked a conversation and continues to encourage women everywhere to share their truth about fertility.
I had a chance to catch up with Elisabeth, who shared a few memorable moments of modern motherhood with me -- including one helpful tip on how to get out of the post-pregnancy sweatpants rut.
Most embarrassing public mommy moment:
When Easton tells me I smell.
Parenting habit you swore you would never do, but totally do now:
I never thought I would be the mom who negotiates with rewards, but everyone needs incentive. I recently told Emerson "If you do this, we can have ice cream." Sugar does the trick when mommy just can't take it anymore!
Something nobody tells you about parenthood:
That your child will sometimes break your heart.
Last judgment you made about another mom/dad:
Parenting is complicated; we all know how painful and difficult it can be at times. We all measure ourselves by comparing our situation with what others are doing -- we might tell ourselves, "I'm choosing this job, so it's OK, I am a good mom." I have found that working moms have compassion for one another.
Share one of your "mom truths"
Sometimes when Easton is out on a play date, I find myself thinking, Oh my god, I am alone, this is so great!
Why do you think so many women keep silent about their fertility struggles?
Fertility is like an indicator of a lot of things, such as not planning ahead, or age. It's a huge part of your identity as a woman and when you have fertility issues, it feels like a lack of femininity. Whether you want a child or not, it's an intrinsic part of womanhood to know you can have a child -- and when you're told you aren't able to have a child, that power is taken away from you, and that is a difficult thing for any of us to face.
What was your fertility roadblock?
My hormone levels were really high, which showed that my eggs were in an accelerated aging process. My doctor said that it was unlikely I would ever get pregnant naturally, and that I really needed to be proactive if I wanted to have a family. That was a shock to find out at 34.
What made you decide to share your story four years after your daughter as born?
I have always been very candid about my experience being a mother. In my blog for People Magazine, I share an uncensored look into my journey of motherhood. While writing the blog, I felt a need to share my fertility story -- and once I did, there was such a huge reaction and an outpouring of support, it became less about me and more about the need for other people to talk about it with an absence of shame and judgment. I know I needed to step up and say, "I also had fertility issues." I wanted to start the conversation, and my book Baby Steps: Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not as I Expected) gave me the opportunity to do that.
What fertility advice do you offer your friends who want kids?
I tell my friends to be an advocate for yourself, ask your OBGYN to test your fertility and check your hormones. See if you are cruising along as planned and if you have issues, you can address them sooner than later. At 35 your chances diminish drastically and at 40 you are in the danger zone. Educating yourself is your best approach.
Your go-to self-care: Massage
Getting out of the sweatpants rut: Put on a pair of heels, it works every time!
Last time you asked for help: Five minutes ago from my Aunt Nancy.
What job would you do if you weren't acting: Maybe some relief work if I had more time -- which I will do when Emerson gets a little older.
Favorite app: Fandango, we love movies.
On your night table: 12 Years a Slave
In your bag on the red carpet: Phone because I'm a texting addict, lipstick, mascara and old school twenty bucks.
You can only grab one magazine before a flight: Vanity Fair
Elisabeth will be speaking at Fertility Planit in Los Angeles, April 4th, visit fertilityplanit.com/
You can pick up her book, Baby Steps: Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not As I Expected) and read her blog "Mom on the Run" at PEOPLE.com