Pregnancy

Melissa Meister Of ‘Pregnant And Dating’ Tells Mommyish Why Pregnancy Made Her A ‘Dater’

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Melissa Meister With Pregnant and Dating wrapping up a couple of weekends ago, I am now going through reality TV withdrawals.  What do I watch next?   But the real question is, how are the ladies of Pregnant and Dating adjusting to the new little ones in their lives? I was delighted to speak with Melissa Meister, celebrity stylist, costume designer, and now mom to baby boy Arrow Meister!

What was your path to motherhood like?

I had been married for quite some time.  It wasn’t that I was married to a bad guy; I was married to someone who traveled 11 months out of the year.  I decided that I wanted to have a family, and the relationship wasn’t an ideal situation. We divorced.  I immediately knew that I would have a child on my own. My career was doing well.  Someone I cared for very much became my sperm donor, and I started IUI (intrauterine insemination).  Then I happened to reconnect with a friend.  I made it clear I wanted to start family, and that it was a main priority (Melissa categorizes herself  “over 35”) .  He was on board with that so I stopped treatment and we tried things naturally.  After two and a half years, we got pregnant.

Arrow Meister

Why didn’t the relationship work out with the father?

Our relationship had been off and on for three months.  Before I became pregnant we decided to get serious and went to couples therapy.  When I became pregnant our therapist suggested that during the last 30 days of my first trimester, he and I should break away and think about the seriousness of having a baby and to avoid a miscarriage.  We took this break in order to establish something long term with our relationship. Two days before our break, a friend called me and told me that he had changed his relationship status on Facebook, to “in a relationship” with someone else.  We were both conflicted.  Despite what you saw on the show, he was actively involved with going to doctor’s appointments and keeping in touch with me up until the day he got on the plane to go to Australia with his new girlfriend.  That was a decision he struggled with as well.

Melissa Meister with Arrow Meister and Arrow's father Rob Heppler

Melissa Meister with Arrow Meister and Arrow’s father Rob Heppler

How did people react to you generally as a pregnant single woman?

My friends were very encouraging about me going out and meeting new people, especially since my ex was very public about his new relationship.

Did what you were looking for in a relationship change after you became pregnant?

I wasn’t much of a dater before, but since I was pregnant it made me really evaluate what I wanted in a partner.  I was more aware of red flags and not going to jump into anything quickly since my main focus was the baby.  I think a lot of people got the title Pregnant and Dating confused with being pregnant and having sex.  There was no sex for me whatsoever, but I know some of the other girls on the show were really curious about having sex while pregnant.  That wasn’t an option for me.

Are you still seeing the man, Eric, you met on the show?

I really like Eric. We’ve definitely kept in touch.  Of course after Arrow was born I couldn’t even think about dating, but now that he’s a little over six months old, Eric and I have been spending more time together.

Melissa Meister and Eric Joseph 4__1375106886_67.84.130.87

Melissa Meister and Eric Joseph

Do you want to have more children?

If I had the financial means to have full time help, I’d definitely have more kids.  I’d have five more kids! I have babysitters, but no nannies. As primary caregiver I get to see a lot of what’s going on.  It’s an interesting balance, but to have another kid without having a partner or more financial security wouldn’t be a great decision.  I’ve had a career in entertainment for about 20 years, and knew I wanted to be a mother, with or without a significant other.  It wasn’t a careless decision I made.  I’m an independent career woman and an adult, so I was definitely excited when I became pregnant. There’s been a huge shift of what family looks like today. It’s now more single moms, two dads or two moms, it’s like Modern Family and The New Normal.  It’s acceptable to be a single mom now more than ever.  I want to be that role model for other single moms.  I really want to step into that role.

(photo: Melissa Meister)