Mom and daughter Dawn and Cher, who star together on TLC’s hit show sMothered, look almost identical and regularly dress in matching clothes. Even their voices sound similar, and the pair are so close that when Cher got pregnant, Dawn was adamant that they should even give BIRTH the same way.
The second season of sMothered has followed 29-year-old Cher’s journey through pregnancy, with the cameras there to capture every contraction as she went into labor before she finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Belle May.
Cher’s doctor husband Jared knows his wife is pain-averse, so her initial decision to have an epidural seemed sensible. But as Cher’s pregnancy progressed, viewers watched as the mom-to-be — with more than a little urging from her mom — changed her mind about her birth plan, and decided she wanted to give birth naturally… just like her mom had done with her.
It turns out Jared was right, and Cher did end up having an epidural — but her mom tried so hard during labor to convince her not to that she actually had to be told by the anaesthetist to LEAVE the birthing room.
Did Cher really want to have a natural birth?
Despite it looking to viewers like Cher had been convinced by her mom to change her mind about the epidural, Dawn, 59, insists differently. She told Monsters and Critics in an exclusive interview, “I did want to have a natural birth. I am vegan and a big animal advocate. I always felt that if animals in the wild can do it, then I can do it too!”
“I told Jared that if my contractions go really bad, just remind me that animals in the wild do this all the time. I also saw the documentary ‘The Business of Being Born,’ and was convinced I wanted to have a natural birth after seeing that.”
“My mom wanted me to have a natural birth because she was so worried that if I got the epidural, it would slow down my contractions. She encouraged me to have a natural birth but respected that in the end, it would be my decision. She was very supportive and I am so glad that I was able to have my mom and husband by my side through this amazing experience.”
The other major drama of the pair’s time on sMothered Season 2 came after the birth when Cher and Jared got home and were learning how to be parents.
While Jared wanted some alone time for him, Cher and Belle May to bond as a family, Dawn basically set up camp in their New York City home — and only flew home after Jared convinced his wife to ask her to leave.
The aftermath of THAT awkward conversation
Dawn was left confused and upset by being asked to leave and give them space because, from her point of view, she was only trying to help. She told Monsters and Critics, “When Cher and Jared asked me to leave, I immediately felt like I did something wrong.”
“As a mom, and now Mimi, all I wanted to do was help as much as I could. I know how hard being a new mom is and I wanted to be there for them through it all. Many first-time parents hire baby nurses in order to make the transition easier.”
“Instead of hiring a baby nurse, I told them that I would be there to help. When they asked me to leave, I was unsure why. I was there trying to make their life easier.”
Cher told producers on the show that if it had been solely up to her, she would have let her mom stay. However, it turns out it wasn’t long before she got her mom back.
“Looking back, I do understand why they wanted that special time together to grow as a family, just the three of them,” says Dawn. “Although they asked me to leave, they later asked me to return and help out, as soon as Jared’s paternity leave was over.”
“My husband and I have a great relationship and talk through everything together. We have been together 11 years!” added Cher. “We agreed that it was important to have time as a family while he was on paternity leave, but he understood that I did want my mom to come back when he went back to work.
“He works very long hours and being a new mom can be very tough at times. Having my mom there would be extremely helpful. I don’t have a nanny, babysitter, or other familial help in NYC, so having my mom visit really helps a lot!”
“Also, my husband agreed this was a good idea because it is hard to clean, cook, take care of daily chores etc. with a new baby around and since he was busy at work, he also wanted my mom to step in. Unfortunately, in the show you only got to see us asking her to leave, but we very quickly asked her to come back.”
How the birth changed Dawn and Cher’s relationship
Dawn lives in Florida, where she has a very close relationship with her own 88-year-old mom (“I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” she says). However, that makes it difficult to see Cher as much as she would like to.
“I wish we lived closer so that I could help them whenever they are in need,” she says. “I often think about moving to NYC, or at least getting an apartment there to come and go easily. Jared works long hours and Cher does not get any breaks. I want to be there to help Cher and also be a bigger part of Belle’s life.”
Dawn vocalized on the show her concerns that the birth of Belle May would change her own relationship with her daughter — however, she and Cher are quickly adapting.
“Our relationship changed because Belle needs Cher’s undivided attention now,” says Dawn. “Before Cher had a baby, she never missed a phone call. Now I often get rejected because she is busy with the baby. We are still extremely close, and still talk all day long, but because of the pandemic, we do not get to see each other as often as we would like.
“I think Cher understands me more as a mom now, and it has been a lot of fun discussing mom topics!”
Being a new mom in lockdown
Although the pandemic has meant she and her mom haven’t been able to spend as much time together as they would have liked, Cher says lockdown didn’t otherwise make much difference to her as a new mom.
“Honestly, not much has changed for me as a mom [during lockdown],” she says. We were home a lot prior to this due to her [Belle May’s] rigid nap schedule. I do miss visiting my mom and family in Florida and I do miss attending baby classes, but besides that, not too much has changed for us.
“I document a lot of my life as a mom on my instagram page @cherhubsher which shows my daily life with my daughter. Even though we are social distancing, we try to make the most of every day. My mom also drove to NYC twice to visit which was so special.”
sMothered airs Sunday nights at 10/9c on TLC. Make sure you don’t miss our other interviews with the moms and daughters of sMothered — including Cathy and Kristina, Alena and Marcia, Laurie and Sarah, Mary and Brittani, and Sunhe and Angelica.
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