Matlin has been back playing Mayor Laurie Bey on Fences since March 1. But while a nanny tends to Sarah in her mother's trailer, Matlin's thoughts are never far away. "Everything revolves around this baby," she says. For the first-time parents, both 30, child rearing presents unique challenges. Because Matlin is deaf as the result of a bout at 18 months with roseola, a childhood virus, Sarah's nursery has been wired with a system that responds to her crying by flashing a white light in the living room. "I'm always going in to check on her, too, in case the electricity is off," says Matlin.
And, yes, she and Grandalski—who had learned signing to fulfill a college language requirement before he and Matlin met in 1991—plan on teaching Sarah how to speak with her hands. "I don't know what her first word will be," says Matlin, "but I hope it's a nice one."