If you’re reading this magazine, the odds are high that you’ve heard of a little book titled What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Often referred to as “The Pregnancy Bible,” the bestseller was authored by Heidi Murkoff, who, unsatisfied by the prenatal literature available at the time, wrote the first edition just after the birth of her daughter. Twenty-nine years later, Emma Bing, the very baby who inspired the series, is a new mom to a baby of her very own.
What’s it like to go through a pregnancy with a gestational guru like Murkoff on speed dial? “It’s funny,” Bing says, “I ask my mom questions and then don’t believe her answer until I read it in the book.” Even with an expert as her mom, pregnancy came with its fair share of unexpecteds, things Bing couldn’t possibly have understood until she was the one with a baby in her belly. “No matter how much you prepare and know ‘what to expect,’ there are always going to be some surprises,” she admits, “but that is what makes it such a beautiful experience.”
So what about pregnancy took her by surprise? “I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park on a summer’s day, but I also didn’t realize there would come a point when I could no longer shave my bikini zone. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just move my belly to the side.’ But you can’t!”
While Murkoff may not have been able to exempt her daughter from the standard belly woes, she did grant Bing full access to the What to Expect resources, including the new exercise video. “I tried to work out every day for at least 30 minutes,” she says. “The workout video is like a workout buffet. Each segment is 10 minutes so you can mix and match to create the perfect workout for the day. It was such a lifesaver.” Bing also maintained a blog on WhattoExpect.com throughout her pregnancy and even filmed a few short Q&As with Murkoff. Following in the footsteps of her own mother, Bing wrote candidly about the good, the bad and the ugly. “I never thought I would talk about discharge and peeing myself, but you know what? That’s what happens. That’s the reality of pregnancy. I wanted to talk to [readers] … mom to mom, bump to bump. We are all constipated and hormonal. It’s a special bond.”
Some might worry that having a mom with such a wealth of knowledge would result in an overwhelming amount of unsolicited advice and overbearing instruction, but Bing assures that’s not the case: “She doesn’t spout advice unless I ask, which I really appreciate. I have asked her probably a million questions—I nag her if anything!” And although her pregnancy was announced in Times Square and expectant moms delighted at having Murkoff’s daughter as their pregnant peer, Bing feels like she made the highly anticipated pregnancy her own. “The thing about my mom is that she is the most selfless person I know. She would never want to take any focus off me,” she says.
Since welcoming her son Lennox Page in February via a fairly smooth delivery (“My only plan was an epidural!” says Bing), the novice mom is settling into her new role and responsibilities. Murkoff continues to help and offer guidance as her firstborn learns the ropes, and Bing welcomes the first-time grandmother to be as involved in her son’s life as possible. “There is nobody my husband and I would trust more with our child,” she says. “She is my best friend,” which most anyone would agree is the best kind of mom any daughter could ask for.
Name: Emma Bing
Lives in: Los Angeles
Partner in crime: Russell Ali
Favorite movie: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Strangest pregnancy craving: Black olives
First thing she does in the morning: Pees (for the 50th time) and then eats