Certainly she approached maternity in mature fashion. “We talked about having children while we were making A League of Their Own,” says Rosie O’Donnell. “Both of us lost our mothers at an early age, and so being a mom was important to us.” After Evita wrapped in May, Madonna, who
was 5 when her mother died, put her pink Hollywood Hills mansion on the market and bought a more babyfriendly, single-story house in lower profile Los Feliz. For a while, the nursery has been ready for its raison d’etre. The room, decorated in soft florals, has a crib and a changing table piled high with stuffed animals – some given to her, some purchased, then tossed on the heap, says Madonna’s younger brother, video director Christopher Ciccone: “There’s a certain serenity in her newfound chaos.”
There has also been much joy. “She’s been in a great mood,” says her trainer Ray Kybartas. The first time she felt the baby kick, in May, Madonna says, “I felt like laughing out loud.” During the amniocentesis that same month, “she was very emotional,” says manager Norman. “When Madonna watched the monitor and saw the needle go in, there may have even been a tear on her cheek.”
Until labor started, Madonna says, she had a relatively easy nine months. She never had morning sickness, and except for a craving for poached eggs in her fourth month, she didn’t have much trouble adhering to her usual low-fat diet. As for working out, she did an almost daily hour of aerobics and some weight training with Kybartas, who adds that “we also did a lot of stretching, especially leg work that would help her in the delivery room.” In her last month, she cut back from six sessions a week to three.
One part of her life she hasn’t phased out is Leon, 30, the handsome personal trainer and aspiring actor she met while running in Central Park two years ago. Despite reports of their
breakup, the pair are living together, though Madonna dodges the question of how involved Leon will be in raising their child. “He is definitely in the picture,” says publicist Rosenberg.
Madonna lately has displayed a strong sense of family. Two weeks ago she had dinner at her home with Leon, Christopher, sister Melanie and her 6-year-old son Levon. Afterward she did something that one relative says he hasn’t seen her do in years: the dishes. Now that she’s a mother, she has no plans beyond doting on her baby. Because of problems with a stalker last year, Madonna says she won’t be releasing a baby picture soon and “I won’t be doing anything in public with my daughter until she’s much older.” Rosie O’Donnell assured her life will be different. “I told her,” she says, “It’s going to change her in the best possible way.” With Lourdes Maria on her hip, Madonna’s wants are few. “I just can’t wait,” she says laughingly, “to wear anything with a waistline.”