Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew Talks About Working Mom Guilt & Possible Season 9 Return – Exclusive
Grey's Anatomy’s April Kepner looks like she’s on her way to a nervous breakdown after betraying her religious beliefs by losing her virginity and then flunking the boards. But Sarah Drew, the actress who plays the resident basket case, has had just as frantic a time, doing double duty this season after giving birth to her first child, Micah.
In an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Sarah told us how she’s juggled parenthood with work, commiserated with her mommy co-stars, and received support from her “champ” of a husband, teacher Peter Lanfer, after their son was born on January 18.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What’s it been like starting a family while doing Grey’s? Sarah: It's been an insane year, a wild roller coaster and my life has completely changed as everybody told me it would when adding a child into your life. [It’s] changed magnificently for the better, but also, it's been hard. I had a really rough first about ten weeks of Micah's life, trying to be at work, but being concerned with getting back to the trailers so that I could feed the baby, and then being sleep deprived. Your life gets sucked up into this vacuum that is this little tiny creature who just needs you and needs you and needs you. And then they start to give back, which is great. In the last month, he's been smiling and laughing and cooing, and doing all kinds of really fun things and just making me fall more and more in love with him.
Have you experienced working mom guilt? Nobody warned me about this Mother guilt thing! There’s a lot of guilt. I was feeling guilty because I wasn't present at work, and then I was feeling guilty because I wasn't around Micah as much as I could be. I was guilty because he really wasn't really interested in breastfeeding and just wanted bottles, and then you feel rejected. Then you feel guilty taking a nap, coming home from work and not immediately jumping into Mom role. But I'm over that [now]. And it's so freeing!
Did you get comfort from your working mom co-stars? Yeah, actually it was really fun. I talked to Chandra Wilson and Kim Raver a lot about this, and they were both so supportive and totally get it. They both had their babies while they were working and [went through] all of the [feelings of] trying to figure out the breast feeding and trying to do their job well, but also, be a mom and feeling totally spent, but wanting to be Wonder Woman, and then feeling guilty that they weren't. It's just so unbelievably helpful to have them to talk to through the process.
Your body bounced back really quickly from the pregnancy! Yeah. I haven't really been exercising. I’ve been breastfeeding and pumping [which] really takes the weight off and puts you back in your shape pretty fast. I’m certainly thrilled with that. And then also just being on your feet all the time. I did a lot more sitting around before Micah was born … I don't sit around ever anymore! I think I've got good genes, my parents are both really tiny.
Did you miss any episodes? No. I gave birth on a Wednesday, and that Thursday, I was supposed to shoot two scenes for [an] episode, and I was in the hospital texting [the producers], saying “Hi. I'm having a baby.” So they basically pushed it off until the absolute last possible day that we could shoot those scenes before the episode had to be cut together, edited, and finished. So that happened to be exactly three weeks later. They were amazing and accommodating and wonderful.
How did your husband help you with your busy schedule while shooting the finale? My husband was a total champ and was on baby duty all weekend which was amazing given that he is teaching on the East coast and flies home. He totally stepped up and did the bulk of taking care of the baby. He's awesome!
You’re on hiatus now? Yes. I have about ten weeks.
So that means April will be back for season 9?! Well, nobody knows because in the season finale, pretty much everybody is left in a cliffhanger, and anybody could go based on how it's written. The finale leaves everybody's story potentially ended. It's a really exciting season finale, but, we're all kind of on the edge of our seats wanting to know what happens beginning Season Nine, if we all have jobs or not.
Catch the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT onABC.