Lea Michele said that motherhood forced her to reflect on her career and the single-mindedness with which she pursued success.
The actor appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show on Wednesday where she shared how out of balance her life felt before meeting her husband, Zandy Reich, and starting a family. “I just couldn’t see things clearly. It was all about my career,” she explained to host Drew Barrymore. “I’ve been so career focused my entire life I think to a fault.” She added, “I think that I had just this sense of drive that created a lot of blind spots for me in my life.” But all of that changed once she finally met the right person and felt ready to settle down. Michele continued, “When I met my husband, it was a real sense of grounding for me, and then having our son [Ever Leo] and experiencing the challenges that we did throughout the pregnancy was something that, unfortunately, created a stronger bond in us that I would never wish upon anybody, but it did.”
The Glee star and Reich got married in 2019, announcing their pregnancy shortly after in May 2020. Michele previously opened up about how difficult it was to conceive on an episode of Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt’s Instagram Live series, “Before, During & After.” “I had a very, very intense, very scary pregnancy,” she told Pratt. “I really withheld a lot of my experience from the people around me.” At age 30, Michele was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and, as with many people who suffer from that hormonal disorder, struggled to get pregnant. And once she was finally able to, throughout her first trimester, the actor had bouts of heavy bleeding that led to her needing to stay on bed rest and take high doses of progesterone in order to help her body sustain the pregnancy. Even once they publicly announced the pregnancy, the actor confessed she “still was uncertain if the pregnancy was going to last…It was horrible. It was the lowest I’ve been in my entire life.”
Michele told Barrymore that the entire experience “transformed” her and made her all the more appreciative of everything she does have, such as her new role starring as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl after replacing Beanie Feldstein in July. “When you’re given a great opportunity as I have been with this, which I’m so incredibly grateful for as a performer, as a person, I just feel like what I do now with this is on me and how I handled this,” she said. “I’m really ready to take all of this on and do a great show every night but also have fun with my cast, come home and celebrate with my family, which is something I never did before.” The actor concluded, “I’m really enjoying being able to open my eyes to everything that’s going on around me because it’s all good and if it’s not fun, then why do we do it?”