Ellie Goulding Is Pregnant: The Singer on Her Life at Home, and Moving into Motherhood

Once Goulding came to terms with the fact that she was unexpectedly pregnant in a pandemic, the changes felt both fast and slow. “It happens really quickly, and then you almost don’t believe it at first,” she reveals. “You’re still eating the same, looking the same, for a while I was probably in denial. I was in such a good streak of fitness.” Goulding’s book, Fitter. Calmer. Stronger., focuses on how exercise and movement can make you feel better and improve your quality of life, so fitness had been top of mind for her. But as she got further into her first trimester, all of those things that she’d talked about and encouraged suddenly felt like they were being thrown out the window. “I started having a completely different body and different energy, I couldn’t deal with everything!” she says.

“I actually went from being smug about how healthy my salads were and my breakfasts and eating nuts and seeds, and then all I wanted was McDonalds,” she laughs. “And I was kind of terrified, I suddenly wanted all of the bad things! Whatever this baby did when it took over my body was like, Hell no—I do not want broccoli, spinach, collards! I just wanted sugar and carbs.

When it comes to the emotional experience of being pregnant during this time, Goulding says it’s led to a lot of self-reflection alongside feelings of added isolation. “You have your partner, and you have your friends, but in a pandemic, it can feel particularly lonely,” Goulding explains. “Because it wasn’t something I had planned for right now, [and] I knew it was a more solitary journey because of what’s going on. I think that made me keep it very secretive and made me very protective over it. The sickness and tiredness was nothing I’d ever experienced before. I feel like it’s a taboo to talk about pregnancy as being challenging. It’s not always serene and like you’re not always glowing. I’m not saying that every second of this pregnancy has been miserable. It’s not always going to be easy. [But,] I have a newfound respect for any woman who has children.”

As for the gender reveal obsession that doesn’t seem to be waning any time soon, Goulding isn’t interested in participating. “It’s not a focus for me,” she says. “We found out by default because we had a scan. [But,] it wasn’t a thing. We just wanted a healthy baby and there wasn’t much more to it. Instinctively, the whole gender reveal is not my thing.”

She also seems to understand deeply that every woman has a different pregnancy and birth experience. “Never have I wanted to listen to other women’s stories so much!” she says. “I’m trying to take things much more in the moment now and not worry [too much] about the future because every single day it’s different. It’s nice to think about the nursery and what kind of baby I’ll have, but personally I’ve been able to deal with it by being kind to myself, accepting myself bad or good, and taking it day by day.”

Goulding is embracing the unknown, and accepting that living in the present feels more productive than worrying what exactly the future will be like. “I’m excited to be a mother—but also I want to make sure that I continue to work,” she adds. “I can’t wait to go back on tour. I’ve been in the studio most days, [and] I’m excited for the challenge. It will be a totally new experience.”

Hair: Nick Latham
Makeup: Lucy Wearing

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