Lea Michele Shares Her Biggest Regret Surrounding Her Pregnancy (Exclusive)
By Rachel McRady
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Though she's known for her impressive singing voice, as showcased on her new lullaby album, Forever, Lea Michele stayed quiet about her health struggles while pregnant with her son, Ever. The 35-year-old actress and singer opened up to ET about her private struggles as she and her husband, Zandy Reich, tried to conceive and then worked through her difficult pregnancy on her way to welcoming their son, who turned one in August.
"I had a really intense pregnancy, I had a very intense journey of trying to get pregnant," Michele told ET. "We were pregnant during a pandemic dealing with those complications. And then my son was born, we were in quarantine for almost a year altogether with him, so it's been pretty wild. We're just now starting to get back into the swing of life again."
Michele opened up about suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which the Mayo Clinic defines as a hormonal disorder common among women of a reproductive age. The performer had to have multiple surgeries and procedures as a result of the condition, all leading to concerns that she and her husband wouldn't be able to have a child at all.
"We had given up a little bit, my husband and I," Michele admitted. "But they say when you give up and when you stop trying is when these little miracles happen. But it wasn't just for nothing. We did work really hard with my doctor and in the process of doing all of those surgeries, to help my body have a baby, which is all I’ve ever really wanted."
Michele said her biggest regret was not being more open with her family's struggles on social media throughout her pregnancy.
"I wasn't sharing what we were going through behind closed doors," she said. "I think a lot of people saw me with my pregnancy and assumed it was fine and it was far from that. And it really was something that I regret. I wish I would have let people know what we were going through because for other mothers that may have been experiencing the same thing, they could have seen my pictures and it would have made them feel a certain way, and I wish I would have shared more."
One place Michele finds lots of support is in her group of celebrity mom friends like Emma Roberts, Ashley Tisdale, Hilary Duff and more.
"I have incredible girlfriends who are also moms that I call constantly with questions, and they are there for me," Michele shared. "And it is so wonderful to have such a supportive female group to have and to reach out to."
Michele said she and Tisdale "talk all the time," adding, "I was really grateful that I could be there to give her advice and help her out in the same way that like my friend, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, is an incredible mom, and she was the one that I would call, like, all the time with questions."
And though Roberts is younger than her, Michele finds comfort in her Scream Queens co-star's motherly advice.
"In motherhood, she is so grounding for me, she's really always the one that, like, she'll just be like, 'You're good, everything is good, like, don't be so hard on yourself.'"
Michele is now preparing to release an album of reimagined pop songs and classics with a more mellow vibe for sweet moments with kids. She has dedicated the record, Forever, to her son, Ever.
"The first time that I played him the record, you could see this sort of expression he had on his face where he's like, 'I know this person.' And my mom, who helps me so much with my son, was like, 'That's Mama,' and he really kind of got it, which was wild," Michele shared.
And while he has some favorites on the album like her cover of Coldplay's "Yellow," Ever doesn't necessarily always want to listen to his mom's music.
"I’ll put on the album and be like, 'Do you want to listen to one of Mama's songs?' And he'll go [shakes head], and I’ll be like, 'What do you mean?'"
Turns out, Ever would prefer a baby classic -- "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
"I'll say, 'Oh, OK, we can put on the 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' for the 200th time,'" she joked.
Michele's lullaby album, Forever, is out on Friday, Nov. 5.