After five years playing a doctor on ER
and a brief stint as a fertility specialist on NBC's recently shelved Inconceivable
, Ming-Na thought she knew all she needed to about giving birth. Heck, she'd already had one child: daughter Michaela, who turns 5 next month. Having her second child, though, was "scary," says the actress. "I wanted a C-section, but my doctor said we could do a vaginal delivery." After 14 hours in labor, "I was cursing her!" Even so, she says, "I was so excited to see Cooper. He had a lot more hair than Michaela and a gigantic conehead."
Now back in the L.A. home she shares with manager-husband Eric Zee, 39, "I'm feeling good but tired—and I still feel fat," says Ming-Na, 41. "My feet have swollen. The only shoes I can wear now are UGGs." And remaining a stay-at-home mom is, well, inconceivable. Early next year, "I will go back to work," she says. "I need the balance."