Did you ever go to any extremes to satisfy a craving?
Alison: In my second pregnancy, I craved more sweets. One awkward moment was when we went to the farmer's market and I bought a cantaloupe and I sat down and ate the entire half that I cut up. I was supposed to cut up a few pieces to give to me and my son and he looked at me like, "Do I get some?" I was about to eat an entire cantaloupe! One night, Dave (Sweeney's husband) wouldn't even eat with me because he was so revolted by my hot chocolate and pickles combination. I was drinking hot chocolate and eating pickles at the same time. And at one point I literally wanted to drink pickle juice—it's so cliché but it just made my mouth water thinking about it. I went to the deli and they had pickles in the display when I was ordering my sandwich. I just kept thinking, "Can't I have my pickles now?"
How did you make it through all of those love scenes on Days of Our Lives while you were pregnant?
Alison: I certainly had some awkward moments in my day and none were more awkward than when I was pregnant. I've been really lucky to work with wonderful men who are supportive, kind, and understanding of that time in a women's life. However, I did have one horribly awkward moment where the guy [in the scene] wasn't married and didn't have any understanding of what it's like [for a pregnant woman]. I was in the beginning of my second trimester. We were rehearsing a scene where he was supposed to be on top of me and he didn't know that he couldn't put his weight on me. It was so awkward to tell him, "Please don't put your weight on me right now." He was so mortified. It's awkward because it's something that's a part of your personal life that now is translating onto the stage.
I think it was easier when I was pregnant the second time because they incorporated my pregnancy into the show. The only thing that was weird was that Sami didn't know if she was having a boy or a girl—and I knew that I was having a girl. I kept calling the baby "she" in the scenes and they kept saying, "Sami doesn't know if it's a girl, Ali, you have to stop saying 'she,' you have to not know." I totally identified with my child and that was a tough thing for me to keep making that adjustment for the character.
Did they decide to incorporate your pregnancy into the storyline to make it a bit easier on you?
Alison: As much as I love my employers, I'm pretty sure they didn't do that just for me. They thought of a good idea as a way to incorporate it and it's not just easier for me, it's easier for them to not have to shoot around it. It's really hard to shoot around an actress who, from the chest down, you can't show. It's a very time-consuming thing and it ends up inevitably looking silly. I think it makes it easier all around if they show it. They came up with a good storyline, which by the way turned out to be one of the best storylines I've ever been a part of, I mean literally that choice is still a big part of the story that I'm shooting scenes for today.
Be sure to check out tips and tricks from Alison Sweeney's book The Mommy Diet on BabyZone as she dishes more about looking and feeling your best before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and getting back into shape post-Baby.
Photo courtesy of Robert Trachtenberg.