“This was all kind of a surprise,” the actress, who’s expecting her first child with her husband, Power actor David Fumero, told PEOPLE while attending the Alliance for Children’s Rights dinner honoring Fox TV heads Dana Walden and Gary Newman.
The couple hadn’t been specifically planning to get pregnant, but Fumero, 33, was ultimately tipped off by her suddenly insatiable appetite.
“I was starving every three hours, no matter what I ate,” she says with a laugh. “I could have eaten an entire chicken, and three hours later I was starving, like clockwork. It was weird!”
After the initial shock passed, Fumero admits excitement set in.
“I had to wrap my head around it rather quickly, but I’m looking forward to it,” she says. “A lot of my friends have had children in the last few years. There’s all these tiny little humans that I love so much.”
Fumero, who wed David in 2007, adds, “My husband and I have been together a long time, so it’s very special and exciting for us and we’re just really happy and excited.”
One of the biggest adjustments for the mom-to-be has been her ever-changing body. “I think the biggest surprise to me was I didn’t really realize how much your body is actually hijacked!” Fumero explains.
“It just does things and changes without your permission. That’s a really weird thing to go through that I didn’t really think about. Then as soon as you get used to it, it all changes again. It’s much tougher than I thought it was going to be.”
Fumero experienced one particularly uncomfortable element midway through her pregnancy. “I did have some pretty awful tailbone pain, which was weird, in the second trimester. It was just a bummer,” she recalls. “[It] made everything harder, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you’re in your second trimester — you must feel amazing.’ And I was like, ‘Actually, I feel like I got hit in the butt with a bat!’ ”
She admits that as “a boy person” she’s especially excited to be having a son.
“I know little boys have a lot more energy than little girls can sometimes, but I’m excited to be active and do sports with him,” Fumero says. “My husband and I are both active people, and so I think it’s going to be really fun to do all the stuff that we already like to do with him, like teach him how to surf and go hiking.”
A photo posted by melissafumero (@melissafumero) on Feb 27, 2016 at 4:22pm PST
Since her character, police detective Amy Santiago, isn’t pregnant on the hit show, sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that Fumero was expecting by the way the show creatively found ways to shoot around her midsection over the past several episodes.
“I was constantly standing behind something,” she says, laughing. “Our crew has been having so much fun with it. I probably get more stressed out or nervous about it. How are we going to hide in this scene? The camera guys get really into it and all the directors have gotten into it, [finding] a justifiable reason for me to be behind this thing.”
She jokes, “Either it’s part of the scene, or ‘Oh, that makes sense that Amy would be studying a huge binder.’ So it’s been really creative and really fun.”
Adding to the lighthearted vibe was her costar and on-screen love interest Andy Samberg.
“A few times, when I’ve gone up on a line or at the end of the scene before they’ve said cut, Andy will just look down and scream at my belly or something as if Jake’s all of a sudden seeing a belly there,” Fumero says. “It’s really funny. It’s been a running gag that’s made me laugh every time.”
— Scott Huver