For the past two and a half months I have resembled a bear. Not the bear I played in our "GMA" Oscars spoof of "The Revenant," but a bear hibernating and caring for her cub. Every moment since my C-section has been spent with my beautiful son, Adrian. I cherished every cry, smile and dirty diaper because like so many mothers, I had a limited time at home with him.
Before March 1, this breastfeeding mamma hadn't been away from home for more than four hours. So, the idea of flying to Los Angeles, putting on a mini dancing outfit and starting rehearsal for “Dancing With the Stars” seemed daunting. I had no idea which professional dancer would be my instructor for the next three months and I was beyond anxious. Every morning I woke up to pump, I would stare anxiously at the ceiling awaiting the adventure ahead.
The promo shoot was a success -- and so was my pumping! I pumped in the wardrobe room, public bathrooms and just dove right in between the dancing schedule.
I am so honored to be a part of this outstanding show. And after two weeks of rehearsals, I can assure you, this is no joke.
My poor partner, Val, has had to start from scratch with me. I have very little dance experience and zero ballroom experience so every toe point and finger placement has to be learned. He is incredibly patient and such a lovely man.
Approximately 28 hours of rehearsals later, my feet are screaming! I can barely feel my second and third toes on each foot and on Tuesday actually drew blood. I didn't even feel it. Val looked down and informed me that my toes were bleeding. I've been icing and doing Epsom salt baths, but nothing can take the swelling down enough. I think my feet are just going to have to get used to it. I keep remembering the movie, “Black Swan,” and the feet of a ballerina. I am going to fight through the pain because this is such an amazing opportunity. I feel so fortunate to get the chance to learn to dance. The wardrobe, the sets, it is all a dream come true.
In less than a week, I will hit the dance floor and jive my heart out. I just hope you all can come along with me for this awesome journey. I will be updating this blog whenever I can and try to share some behind the scenes fun. People keep asking how I will do it all…I just say, I have the best support system, friends, family and my baby behind me. I am inspired by all the other mothers who have taken on this much and more. If they can do it, so can I.
"Dancing With the Stars" Season 22 premieres March 21 on ABC.