What this ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Shared About Her Pregnancy

Playing Dr. Jo Karev on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, actress Camilla Luddington is busy in both her professional life and personal life. With a wedding to plan to fiancé Matthew Alan and her daughter Hayden recently turning two years old in April, Luddington has a pretty packed schedule. During Luddington’s pregnancy with Hayden, she had talked about the many changes a woman goes through when expecting.

“Grey’s Anatomy’s” | Byron Cohen/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Different than television

Though she plays a doctor on the hit medical drama, Luddington knew it would be different when her time came in real life, though the series did sort of pave the way. “Mimicking childbirth on Grey’s has taken the mystery out of it,” she told Parents in an interview. “Of course, we also deal with every worst-case scenario. I know everything that could go wrong, but I try to keep that separate.”

One job perk was having true physicians on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, so Luddington was able to get medical input at any time. “We have real doctors on the set, and I bug them so much about stuff,” she said. “The other day, my stomach was lopsided. I was like, ‘Look! Is this okay?’ They told me I probably slept tilted to one side. So that night, I slept on the other side, and sure enough, the baby centered herself.”

At the time of Luddington’s pregnancy, she had to hide her baby bump from the camera since her character wasn’t expecting. “My character on the show, as of right now, is not pregnant, so I have to make sure I don’t rub my belly on camera. When I start rubbing, which I do mindlessly, the director points to her belly, and I know to stop,” she told Parents at the time. “At some point, they’re going to need computer-generated imagery to fake things, and if they do, I’ve already asked them to give me amazing six-pack abs!”

Changes, changes

Luddington had commented during her Parents interview that the first three months of her pregnancy were challenging. “My first trimester was tough. I felt lied to, because I always imagined myself as the type of pregnant woman who would do yoga and drink rejuvenating smoothies,” she said. “Those plans went out the window. I couldn’t walk the dogs around the block without needing a nap, and I couldn’t eat anything other than bagels and cream cheese.”

Speaking of cream cheese, Luddington told a story involving the food product to provide an example of some, um, interesting mood shifts. “I asked Matt to pick up some Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which is pasteurized, on his way home,” she recalled. “Well, he walks in with some other brand, and I had a huge meltdown. I was raging because I didn’t see ‘pasteurized’ on the label. Matt had to run to the store again. It was all so ridiculous.”

Luddington also realized she needed to identify her body’s limits, including when it came to exercise. “Two months in, despite feeling ill, I said, ‘Screw it, I’m going to work out.’ Matt and I went to a private Pilates class, and afterward, in the parking lot, I threw up all over his feet,” she said. “He was wearing flip-flops. After that, I said, ‘Okay, maybe I have to give myself a break.’ Only well into my second trimester did I slowly get back into exercise, doing Pilates maybe twice a week. It’s been a blessing to learn my limits.”

Mostly, Luddington couldn’t wait to meet her baby. “I’m finding myself counting down the days until she’s here, not because I want it to go quickly, but I’m just so excited to meet her,” she shared. “I want to see her face and hold her in my arms. Even so, I keep telling her, ‘Stay in there! You have a while to cook!’”

Wedding plans

Luddington and Alan’s daughter Hayden was born in April 2017. Now the couple plans on making their daughter a part of their upcoming wedding ceremony, though they haven’t yet chosen a date. “I think she’ll be involved in some way,” Luddington told Entertainment Tonight in August 2018. 

The actress does have a few ideas of what she’d like for her special day. “I think the most important think I want is food trucks at my wedding,” Luddington said, according to Entertainment Tonight. “We have food trucks that come to Grey’s every once in a while and the food is just spectacular. So, I’ve been thinking instead of having a sit-down dinner, having three different food trucks pull up.”

She also knows what she doesn’t want, and that’s anything similar to the mishaps her character Jo had to go through with her wedding to Alex (played by Justin Chambers) in the season 14 finale. “I pray to God that my wedding goes way more smoothly,” Luddington said in the interview. “What’s funny is I actually avoided certain things during Jo’s wedding. I almost didn’t want to go through it having the things that I wanted in real life in my TV wedding.”

Fans of Grey’s will surely be waiting for details on the upcoming nuptuals!