The View alum Debbie Matenopoulos is “excited about every aspect” of impending motherhood. Expecting her first child later this year, the mom-to-be, 39, says she hopes for a natural birth and is reading What to Expect When Expecting to help her prepare for the baby.
Debbie also opens up about her regular role on Home & Family and her new book, It’s All Greek to Me, which she calls her “first born baby.” She goes on to talk about losing her father to ALS, meeting her husband during the grieving process, and keeping in touch with Meredith Vieira from The View.
CBS: Congratulations on your pregnancy! How are you feeling?
DM: “I am so excited about the baby. I feel so fortunate that the universe has blessed us with this unexpected surprise. I am feeling great…now. However, for the first 3 1/2 months, I wasn’t feeling so hot. I was really tired and nauseous all day. It should be called ‘all day sickness’ instead of ‘morning sickness.’ ”
CBS: Congratulations also on your marriage! Tell us how you met your husband and a little bit about your love story.
DM: “Thank you! I met my hubby through friends a little over 2 years ago. I was going through a very tough time in my life and was definitely not looking for love. I had just lost my father to a horribly debilitating disease, ALS, and had not been out with friends in 5 months. My girlfriends dragged me to a Labor Day party and that’s where we met.
Although I thought he was incredibly charming and handsome, I was still mourning the loss of my father and I wasn’t emotionally or mentally available. After hanging out with him for about 2 hours at the party, I excused myself to the ladies room and then slipped out without saying goodbye to anyone. He tried to track me down for two months and kept asking my friends for my number. And then finally one night I was at a mutual friend of ours restaurant and our friend called him and said, ‘If you wanna see her again, you better come now.’ He was there within 20 minutes and came right up to me and said, ‘This time you can’t leave.’ And we’ve been together ever since.”
CBS: Do you have a birth plan? Are you hoping on a natural birth?
DM: “I don’t have a birth plan. I am just getting used to the fact that I am pregnant [laughs]. I would ideally like to give birth naturally, but I know things don’t always work out that way. I do know I will do my best to have a natural birth. My biggest hope for the birth is that the baby is healthy. Everything else is secondary.”
CBS: Are you excited about motherhood? Have you always wanted kids? How are you preparing for the baby? Reading all the books?
DM: “I am excited about every aspect of motherhood. It’s all new to me and I’m really looking forward to it. I am focusing on having this baby first and who knows what the future holds, but god willing, I’d like to give this baby a sibling at some point as well.
As far as preparing for motherhood, I have been taking lots of advice from my friends who are already mothers and I have been reading, What to Expect When Expecting. It’s the greatest book ever — so helpful. I have always wanted children and I feel like right now is the perfect time.”
CBS: We’ve been fans of yours since you appeared on the original cast of The View. Tell us how life has changed since then. Did that job change everything for you? Do you still keep in touch with those original co-hosts?
DM: “Thanks for being my longtime fans! That means a lot. My life has changed so much since those days. I was only 21-years-old. The experience of being on The View was the most defining moment in my television career. I owe all of my successes to Barbara Walters.
Although looking back, I was probably too young to have much of a ‘view’ about the world at that time, it was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am better suited for The View at this point in my life than I was back then because I now have a well of experience to draw from.
I do still keep in touch with Meredith [Vieira] and always love to see all of the ladies whenever we happen to be in the same place. They are all really great women.”
CBS: You often appear on Home & Family. Tell us more about that show and your recurring role. Please also tell us about your book, It’s All Greek to Me. Do you look to cook? Tell us about the recipes and inspiration behind the book.
DM: “I am currently one of the cast members on Home & Family on The Hallmark Channel. I cover everything fashion, and I also do makeovers every Monday on deserving women and men that often have very compelling stories — sometimes heart warming, sometimes heart wrenching. I really love my job. We have such a great time on set. We are truly like a real family.
It’s All Greek to Me is my first born baby [laughs]. It is my first cookbook that was just released on April 28. I worked harder on this project than I have on anything else in my career and I am very proud of it.
I initially set out to write this book because I love to cook and often have dinner parties and cook everything from scratch myself. All the recipes, however, are my families’ century old recipes and I wanted to share them with the world. They are not only delicious, but they are also incredibly healthy for you.
I truly believe that we humans were intended to eat a traditional Mediterranean diet rich in whole foods from our earth. But I also believe that we don’t have to deprive ourselves to be healthy. The recipes in this book are absolutely delicious, satiating and incredibly good for you. This book started as a cookbook, but throughout the process, turned into so much more than that. It became my love letter to Greece, where we traveled to make the book and where we shot the whole thing. I really really loved this experience.”
CBS: Besides motherhood, do you have any special upcoming projects?
DM: “I hope to continue writing and creating cookbooks and building a following in the food space for years to come. It seems like a natural progression as I begin the nesting phase of my life. I want to begin to create things that my children will be proud of someday, and that will allow me to spend as much time as I can with my family. To me, family is the most important thing in life.”
Home & Family airs weekdays at 10 am on Hallmark Channel.