“How I Met Your Mother” actress Alyson Hannigan and her husband Alexis Denisof with their two children, Satyana Marie, 6, and Keeva Jane, 3. (Photo: Splash News)
Fact: Alyson Hannigan is just as funny in real life as the characters she’s played in “How I Met Your Mother” and “American Pie” and she proves it with her latest obsession: Hot dogs. “I’ve been craving them,” Hannigan tells Yahoo Parenting. “We were just doing a night shoot and I kept thinking, ‘If we wrap by 3:30 a.m., can I cook one over the stove with a coat hanger?’” The actress, 41, who is currently filming the gay marriage drama ‘Modern Love’ and promoting a partnership with Ball Park, chatted exclusively with Yahoo Parenting about home births, Hollywood baby names, and whether she’ll let her two daughters, Satyana Marie, 6, and Keeva Jane, 3, watch her movies.
Your daughters have unique names. What’s your stance on the unusual baby name trend in Hollywood?
[When I got pregnant the first time] we thought of traditional names like Madeline. Then I went on name websites and realized how popular it was which made it go down in ranking. As the pregnancy progressed, the ideas became unique. I loved Satyana but we didn’t name her for four days because we were debating over how to spell it. I finally said [to Alexis], ‘We have to name her because I am tired of calling her baby girl.’ And we loved Keeva, a Gaelic name which resonated right away. I remember talking to Jason Lee’s wife and their kid’s name is Pilot Inspector. She had been looking at an old record player and said, ‘Pilot is cool.’ I think the closer you are to giving birth, the hormones start going.
Alyson Hannigan’s daughters. (Photo: Twitter/Alydenisof)
You had two home births — what was it like?
It’s definitely not the right choice for everyone. I don’t like hospitals and the idea of being in labor somewhere I don’t like at all wasn’t how I wanted to bring my kids into the world. I thought, ‘Where am I most comfortable?’ For me, the choice [to give birth at home] was phenomenal. We had a midwife but we asked our doctor if he needed to be there. He said, ‘Sure, but you don’t need me. A midwife does everything I do.’ [For the second birth], we asked Sati if she wanted to watch her sister being born and she said, ‘Call me and check in.’ So we did and she said she was busy playing Barbies. But she did want to change Keeva’s diaper.
You were pregnant twice while filming “How I Met Your Mother.” How did the show handle that with your character?
The show hid my pregnancy the first time by being creative with props — I hid behind a globe or some popcorn. For the second, my character was pregnant and more so than me. So I wore a [stomach] pad which was so uncomfortable. The last thing you want to do [while pregnant] is add more padding. I said, ‘If my daughter is claustrophobic, I will blame the pregnancy pad.’
Alyson Hannigan and her family. (Photo: Splash News)
Did you feel pressure to lose your baby weight?
I did feel pressure but I haven’t lost the weight! It’s frustrating but I don’t think it’s the message to send moms. ‘Oh look, I lost all my weight in three weeks!’ Who cares? It’s the last thing we should be focused on. It’s amazing what your body does to produce another human…you should thank your body for what it does. [Trying to lose baby weight quickly] is as if you just ran a marathon and someone said, ‘Go to the store.’
What’s your best marriage advice for couples expecting their first child?
No matter how much you love your spouse, you won’t love them in the same way you do your baby. It’s a different love and everything changes. You have to figure out how to parent together. There’s such a huge learning curve, especially with the first baby. Everything seems like, ‘If I don’t change this diaper correctly, she won’t go to college.’ My advice is, know that the time does go by fast…it’s a huge roller coaster, it’s the hardest thing and most rewarding thing. Bear with it and communicate. Our second child was 2 by the time Alexis and I figured out how to be a couple and parents.
Will you ever allow your daughters to watch “American Pie?”
I will have to sit down and have a conversation with them before they go to high school.