The ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor, who is due with her first baby in March, is sharing what it’s like to go through pregnancy in a highly visible career.
“When you do pregnancy on air, it opens up for a whole different side of things,” said Czarniak. “The hardest part for me was the in-between stage when you’re not completely showing but start to get to the ‘what do I wear?’ part. We had to get creative.”
Rather than announcing her pregnancy on-air for the world to see, Czarniak and her husband, NBC anchor/reporter Craig Melvin decided to put something on Facebook for friends and family. “It allowed us to control the message,” she said. “We didn’t want to go through it on-air.”
Although she didn’t announce her pregnancy on-air, there are many things that her co-workers have done to help her adjust to pregnancy.
“My co-workers are just asking questions about my pregnancy and genuinely want to know how I’m doing. It’s also helped me get to know them,” said Czarniak. “My director reached out and said he wants me to be as comfortable as possible on air. We worked out camera angles that I’m comfortable with.”
And while the majority of Czarniak’s co-workers are males, she says that it’s been “really cool” to experience pregnancy in a male-oriented field. “It’s interesting to hear their perspective and stories,” Czarniak said. “I asked everyone about the birthing experience and colleagues have shared what their wives have went through. It’s good to hear real life stories from the male perspective.”
But being pregnant hasn’t slowed down Czarniak’s on-air career at all, it just requires some small changes. “Being pregnant make you a little bit slower,” Czarniak admitted. “I have to get to the set earlier so I can get ready for the show because it takes me a bit longer. I just have to be prepared more.”
And for her on-air pregnancy wardrobe? “I went to Rosie Pope and got enough staples that could carry me through,” she told us. “I also have tank tops that make me feel great.”
Like most of us, Czarniak has to find a way to work around the normal pregnancy side effects. “I am going to the bathroom all the time and find myself getting out of breath reading stories,” she said. “But the upside is it has really improved my hair.”
Czarniak, who started her career with ESPN in 2011, says that her job has actually helped her during pregnancy. “Work has helped me enjoy pregnancy,” she said. “My day is long and very routine, so I have very little time to think about being pregnant or any negatives about it. And if you don’t think about it, you’re not realizing it.”
And she isn’t the only one enjoying this pregnancy. Czarniak’s husband loves it just as much as she does. “Every week we read what changes are happening,” she said. “We talk about it a lot.”
He’s even helped fulfill those crazy pregnancy cravings that can come at any hour of the night. “I have been craving peanut butter frozen yogurt but have had a hard time finding it,” she said. “I would call the frozen yogurt place everyday asking if they had peanut butter flavor, and everyday they would tell me no. Finally one day I come home and my husband shows up with a big tub of peanut butter frozen yogurt. I don’t know how he found out that they had it that day, but it was so sweet.”
With her baby due in March, don’t think that these last few weeks of pregnancy are slowing her down. “I think I may work until the week before and see how I feel,” she said. “I want to see how things are progressing because I don’t just want to sit at home.”
It’s a good thing that Czarniak enjoys being busy, because it’s great practice for when she becomes a new mom!