Life in Pieces Star, Angelique Cabral On Trying-Not-Trying Plus, Sex While Pregnant & The Power Of Meditation

Now, as she readies herself for number two, we caught up this sparkling mama at her home in LA. Here, she dishes on feeling strong and able through pregnancy, going from struggling to thriving in her career, sex while pregnant (fine, but you know), and the importance of her daily meditation practice.  @angeliquecabral

Current state of mind?

I feel great, healthy, and strong.

Is this pregnancy different from the last?

Yes. Inherently, second pregnancies are different from the first simply because you know what to expect, and the fear of the unknown is gone. When I was pregnant with Adelaide, it was all new and overwhelming from the hormones to the worrisome “rules” coming from our healthcare system. Now having done it, I’m better able to navigate those rules and the changes in my body, weeding out what works for me and what doesn’t. I feel comfortable and confident in knowing that as women, our bodies are meant to do this and everything will be OK.

What was your path to pregnancy?

Fortunately, we had a relatively easy time getting pregnant, the good old fashioned way. I am deeply grateful for this as I know how many couples struggle with infertility. When we finally made up our minds to start trying, I went off birth control and was pregnant with Adelaide after a couple of months. With this little one, we got pregnant on my 40th birthday in Hawaii. I remember saying to Jason that I was ready to start trying again, and it turns out I was already pregnant! Come to think of it, both of our pregnancies have happened on vacation. 😉

“There’s a confidence and a familiarity that comes with having already gone through it.”

Boy or girl?

We’re having a little boy!

Do you have a name?

We’re getting closer to a name for him, but haven’t fully committed. It needs to be meaningful. Our daughter, Adelaide, was named after a significant time in our lives when we first moved to LA from NYC. Both struggling at the beginning of our careers, we lived in this cute little apartment in Santa Monica near a charming mansion-lined street called Adelaide Street. Every week, we would walk, talk, and dream on that street about our hopes and future. When we got pregnant ten years later, this was the first name that came to us — she represented our dreams realized. Now, we’re at a fantastic place in our careers, and worked hard together to make our wishes come true; she was a big part of that.

“When we got pregnant ten years later, this was the first name that came to us — she represented our dreams realized.”

Does this pregnancy feel different from the last?

I feel powerful, healthy, and very able in this pregnancy. Between Adelaide and now, I lost all my baby weight and was in excellent shape. 

When I was pregnant with Adelaide, I didn’t fully understand how much I needed to eat — it turns out it’s not actually for two! Any time I felt an ounce of hunger, I would eat a bar, a pizza, or a massive thing of pasta — I was so worried about starving my baby.

Then, I had a C-section because of my placenta previa and had to go back to filming Life in Pieces almost immediately after. With long days of shooting, I also wasn’t working out.

To make matters worse, I was breastfeeding, which brought on new hormones, and I was eating my feelings. Similar to pregnancy, I thought I had to eat a ton to develop a healthy milk supply. All this to say, I had a hard time shedding the weight I put on during and after.

Frustrated and fed with feeling uncomfortable in my body, I got serious about fitness when Adelaide was seven months old. I overhauled my diet, upped my workouts, and forced myself into great shape. I have several close friends, all with similar aged babies, and we motivated each other to get fit! By the time I was pregnant with our boy, I was thinner than before I had Adelaide and feeling the best I’d felt in years — which will help me recover and get back to shape after I give birth.

“All this to say, I had a hard time shedding the weight I put on during and after.”

How did you change your diet?

I learned to eat foods that make me feel good instead of foods that make me feel bloated and gassy. It turns out I have a sensitivity to eggs (which I was eating a ton of before), beans, and dairy. All of these things were affecting how I looked and felt. When I went off of them, everything changed for the better. Now, I mainly eat greens, fish, fruit, and a bit of dairy — I try to eat from my fridge, not my pantry.

Are you working out?

I work out with a trainer a couple of days a week and Tracy Anderson six days a week. Plus, I practice Kundalini Yoga and meditate every day. I completed my yoga teacher certification in 2010, and it’s been a massive part of my life since. I’m continually saying mantras and prayers in my head. It’s my way of staying grounded, focused, and not let the craziness of my business (and LA) get to me. Without meditation, it would be easy to come unhinged otherwise.

Sex during pregnancy?

It’s not what you think it’s going to be, that’s for sure! While it can be fun, it can also be awkward, depending on what stage of the pregnancy. Although, now that I’m nearing the end, we’re under strict orders from our doula to have lots of sex as we get closer to the due date (apprently, semen is a great way to go into labor — bonus! :). Weekend plans, here we come!

What is a mantra you say?

I often say: ‘I’m the best the world has to offer, and I have everything I need.’ I also say: ‘Sat Nam’ throughout the day, which means, “All is one, and one is all.” And a super basic one is: ‘yes I can.’ There’s power in positive confirmation. And lastly, I say: ‘thank you’ all the time. It’s important to say thank you for all the aspects of our life. I have tremendous gratitude for all the things from the bad stuff, to the good stuff, and the messy stuff too. 

Adelaide, she knows the mantras, because she’s heard them her entire life. Although now that she’s older when we’re in the car, she tells me to “turn off the woo woo song!” At home, I talk to her about my meditation pillow and being thankful to the universe.

“Meditation is my way of staying grounded, focused, and not let the craziness of my business (and LA) get to me.”

What is your birth plan?

My birth plan is to have a happy, safe birth; however, that may be. We’re trying for a VBAC  (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) because I had a C-section with Adelaide, and hopefully, that will be a success. Although, like all births, there’s no such thing as a plan. Many factors come into play, and ultimately it will be a game-day decision. With my last delivery, I played mantras throughout and wanted the room as quiet and meditative as possible.

Will you take maternity leave?

Jason will have a few weeks off for paternity leave, plus we have family coming to help, and I’ll have the support of a night nurse. Pilot season and new shows generally begin in January, so the idea right now is that I’ll be home with the baby through the holidays. Which I’m thrilled about – the universe could not have planned it better!

Plus, I have been on hiatus this entire pregnancy, which has been such a gift and given me a ton of time with Adelaide. A hiatus is a break from filming between seasons, basically like summer break for our industry. I’m on a 30-minute sitcom, which means we have 6-8 months off a year. And, since I’m signed to the network, I’m unable to work on other projects during this time. It’s a dream job, truly. Although, in contrast, the months we are filming, we work crazy long hours.

How do you manage it all as a working mom?

As a working mom, I’ve learned that guilt is par for the course. “Guilt” that you’re not giving your child everything they need and “guilt” that you’re neglecting your career. But, somehow we make it work.

For example, my working days consist of about 10 hours of filming, and often, Adelaide comes on-set for lunch. When she was an infant, she would come in the morning with my nanny, stay in my trailer, and I would breastfeed her between takes. It was a dream to have her with me almost the entire time. With our new boy, we’ll see what it’s like by the time I go back to work and take it as it comes.

Any advice to women that are working and having fear around how it will change their life or career?

First of all, if you’re at all interested in having a baby, don’t wait! Start trying now as you never know how long it’s going to take. And secondly, as a working woman that struggled to build my career, I was afraid I’d be out of the game. However, it’s not as dramatic as I thought it would be. Reality is, you’re pregnant for a while, and the belly comes gradually, so there’s time to make work arrangements.

Also, women have been doing this forever, literally. It’s what we’re made to do. Through motherhood, I discovered this newfound strength and confidence in myself. I now understand that if I can be a mom, I can do anything on-set or anything for work. I think women are magicians the way we balance it all.

That said, in hindsight, I’m confused by what I must have done in all my free time! I guess I journaled and meditated a lot more. Plus, we walked on that street!

“My birth plan right is to have a happy, safe birth; however, that goes. It will be a game-day decision.”