Star Mom: Chandra Wilson

Dr. Miranda Bailey '- aka "The Nazi" '- recently gave birth on Grey's Anatomy, but in reality Chandra Wilson, who plays the no-nonsense chief resident, had her third child, six-pound, 14-ounce Michael last fall. For Wilson, a Houston native and veteran of the stage, TV and movies like Lone Star, Philadelphia and this summer's Strangers with Candy, that meant one hell of an extended pregnancy.

"That thing is very annoying. It itches," she pooh-poohs about the pregnancy pad she wore until her character delivered. Wilson, who is the very approachable antithesis of the woman who makes interns tremble on-screen, compares her pregnancies '- factual and fictional '- with us.

Was your latest real-life delivery easier than Bailey's?
Yes. My pregnancy and delivery were like a dream. I had a cesarean birth. He was about 10 days early. I couldn't have asked for it to go better.

Was shooting the delivery scene as exhausting as it looked?
I did all the pushing back-to-back in the same day. I knew what it was going to be like, so I was in a zone.

Was there any discussion of not writing your pregnancy in?
Well, at first I did some "clipboard acting" [hid her belly with props] until they decided. The show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, had been thinking about Bailey's home life, so it kind of coincided.

How will motherhood change Bailey?
She's still as determined as ever at her job. She's still going to accomplish. But she's going to do it all '- she's going to have her family and she's going to work and she's going to make all that work.

 

How do you make it work, juggling career and motherhood?
I'm a breastfeeding mom, so he's there with me. Just like with anything, you schedule as best you can and you go about your day knowing that it's all going to change!

Are the long hours a problem?
Fortunately, because there are 10 of us in the cast, the work gets spread evenly. We'll have a 14- or 16-hour day, but then we'll have an 8.

Michael must be a hit with your costars.
That started in utero! He's got so many aunts and uncles and cousins now.

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