WLWT Anchor Kelly Rippin is no stranger to a challenging assignment. But when it comes to becoming a first-time mom, she’ll be the first to admit she’s equally excited and terrified. We caught up with Rippin in the days leading up to her November due date to talk pregnancy nerves, work-life balance, and her fabulous maternity wardrobe.
You’re a morning anchor. I feel nauseous just thinking about your first trimester. How on earth did you get through those early mornings at the studio?
I have been so lucky! I almost had to leave a couple of shows because of heartburn, but my “morning sickness” never kicked in until about 3 p.m. that first trimester. I’m not sure if it’s because my body clock is permanently confused from being on this shift or I was just one of the people who had “early evening sickness” instead, but we were able to keep the pregnancy under wraps a lot longer because I felt great every morning. I did have to dial back the coffee, which comes with its own challenges!
When you first announced your pregnancy in June, you talked about feeling “equal parts excited and terrified” about parenthood. Are you still feeling that way? Has anything changed?
Oh, absolutely. As I get more excited, I also get more terrified! My oldest nephew was born when I was 16 and all four of my nephews have been a huge part of my life, so I’m very comfortable around babies and kids and I love all the challenges they bring. I think the terrified part comes in when I realize this is my—well, our—kid.
The changes to my body, the rearranging of the house to accommodate another human, and, of course, trying to explain to my fur baby that our lives will be drastically different has been very emotional.
But I realized I have felt this way about all of the major changes in my life. I made it through those, learned a lot and I’m better because of them, so I’m confident this will be the same.
How are you approaching work-life balance as you prepare to become a first-time mom?
If possible, I am equal parts a “plan ahead” and a “take it as it comes” person. I hope it will help in what will absolutely be a transition for me. I joke with my husband that we should raise our child like I raised the dog because she’s very adaptable, but I’m aware it’s a little more complicated than that.
I’ve been lucky to have incredible role models in my personal and professional life who are absolute rock stars at work and super-moms. But they’re honest about the challenges and stresses, and don’t make it look Pinterest-perfect.
After years of making my career the sole focus of my life, I still love my job, but recognize I’m better at it when I also am appreciating my personal life. I feel incredibly blessed to be in Cincinnati for this chapter because it feels like the right job, right city, right company for me to continue to be successful at work and home.
You’ve got a fantastic fashion sense. What’s the go-to maternity piece in your wardrobe?
Fashion does not come naturally to me—I blame/miss school uniforms—so it took a little more planning.
I found out I was pregnant just as all the winter clothes were going on sale, so I scooped up a few great sweater dresses and just guessed at what size I would be come fall. Thankfully, a lot of them will be good post-partum too, so I’m happy to get more bang for my buck!
I did the same thing with cotton and flowy dresses—things I could grow into, but also wouldn’t hang unused in my closet when we’re on the other side. My oversized jean jacket is my life and I wear it daily, which helps me transition some outfits from work to weekend.
And I for sure could not have made it the last few months without Rent the Runway! I signed up for a monthly subscription and weaved their dresses in with the few I had invested in. Also, I do have to give a shout out to my mom who loves to shop for my work clothes and is very good at it!
Kelly Rippin and her husband welcomed 7-pound, 14-ounce baby Benjamin on November 12.