• Sophie Schillaci

About That GRAMMYs Pumping Photo...



Do I have your attention?


I've received many questions (and props -- thank you for that) regarding this pumping photo, which was taken on GRAMMYs morning as we put the finishing touches on my red carpet look.


I was on duty reporting for Entertainment Tonight and stressed for months about that day.


For those unfamiliar with the logistics, the GRAMMYs is the longest red carpet of awards season. It runs for nearly five hours, in conjunction with a non-televised ceremony where they announce the winners for many genre-specific categories (like rap, hip-hop, country, gospel, comedy and more).


And as any breastfeeding mama knows, that's a long time to go without pumping -- especially if you factor in time spent in traffic getting to and from downtown Los Angeles, and the logistics of getting in and out of the building.


I swear, I was worrying about the GRAMMYs before Everly was even born.


I have covered the show for many years, including prior to joining ET, and have always enjoyed the craziness of it. I wasn't sure if I would be asked to cover it this year, so soon after maternity leave, and I wasn't sure how my breastfeeding journey would progress. The awards fell just about a week before Everly's half birthday and I had hoped to still be exclusively breastfeeding her at that point.


As the day approached: Yes, I was asked to work. Yes, I was still breastfeeding.


One of the first things I did upon my return to the office in January was to meet with our ETonline style editor about what I should wear. A mom of two herself, she was kind enough to pull some strings and help me find a few options from Shopbop that would not only flatter my new postpartum body, but that would be pumping friendly. I needed something with easy access to the girls, not too revealing, and forgiving on my midsection and hips. Covering the arms is (and, for me, has always been) a bonus.


We landed on this gorgeous number from Retrofete, which was not only shiny and stretchy, but gave me all the good '80s vibes. I was feeling it and could see a whole look coming together.


All that was left to do was plan my entire day around breastfeeding and pumping, prep my husband for his first day flying solo with the baby, and study questions for about 100 artists that were expected on the carpet. No problem...


FYI: I had a wardrobe team stitch up the neckline... on the red carpet... with actual needle and thread... to control my mom boobs.


Now let's rewind.


Did you catch this ah-mazing snap of Rachel McAdams late last year? Glammed up in couture, pumping that liquid gold for her babe.


Now picture a very un-glammed me, sitting on my bed, with unwashed sheets and unwashed hair, holding my nursing baby girl for what felt like the bajillionth time that week.



Photo by Claire Rothstein for Girls. Girls. Girls. Magazine (via Instagram)



I'm mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when I land on that photo. Stopped dead in my tracks. Like, car-crash-stopped. Catch-my-breath stopped.


Dramatic, but true.


I've seen countless (amazing) photos of mamas and babies breastfeeding. I've seen all the #Real and #Unfiltered photos with beautiful soft bellies that grew babies and the full but sagging breasts that nourish them. I'm grateful for and appreciate every one.


But this gorgeous shot -- oh. This was my old and new worlds colliding.


Hollywood meets Motherhood.


This made me feel good. Great, even. Maybe it was because my own milk was flowing at that very moment, but I felt every ounce of Rachel's power and ferocity through the lens.


That photo is easily worth a thousand words, but it inspired just three in me: "Oh, hell yes."


When the GRAMMYs came, I knew I wanted my Rachel McAdams moment.



That morning, I woke up and I took care of my baby. I changed her, fed her and got her ready for her day. I even put her down for her morning nap before heading out the door.


I drove downtown and got situated at our hotel right next door to Staples Center. We spent about two hours on my hair and makeup... making sure I could fit in a pumping session just before heading down to the red carpet.


I put on my dress, strapped on my pumping bra and took care of business. All the while, getting last looks and final touches on my teased hair and pink lipstick. I asked my makeup artist to snap a photo.


Then, I walked down to the red carpet and I took care of business. I interviewed the nominees, winners and performers, including Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, Camila Cabello, Meghan Trainor, Diplo, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line, Backstreet Boys, and more.


And when it was all said and done, I found myself stuck walking directly behind Katy Perry (and a mob of selfie-seekers) on the way out. Then I hopped in my car and headed straight home to breastfeed my girl.


Instead of watching the awards show, I watched Everly laugh and giggle as she bounced in her chair. I caught up on her big day with Dada over dinner, read a bedtime story and put her to bed.


Then I pulled off those lashes, scrubbed my face for-everrrrr and passed out. Mama had a long day... and does not have a baby that sleeps through the night.


If you look closely, you can see the scratches on my chest where Ev claws me during her nursing sessions.

But this is always where we'd rather be... (Photo by Alicia Chandler)

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