CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with actor/producer Matthew McConaughey for his first television interview following the birth of his son, Levi Alves, for House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
In House Call for Saturday, Aug. 9, the subjects discussed focused on labor and delivery, the significance of his son’s name, life after baby, vaccinations, and saving the cord blood and placenta from the childbirth.
House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta airs each Saturday at 8:30am ET / 5:30am PT on CNN with replays each Sunday at the same airtime. Below are highlighted excerpts from the interview that will air in two parts, on the weekends of Aug. 9 and Aug. 16.
Actor/producer Matthew McConaughey on the significance of his son’s name.
GUPTA: Levi McConaughey, that's his name.
MCCONAUGHEY: Levi Alves McConaughey.
GUPTA: I like that. So where did that come from?
MCCONAUGHEY: Levi is another name for Matthew. Matthew and Levi were the same apostle, the same evangelist. Those are two names for the same man. And I had always like the name Levi for that reason... So a favorite verse of mine in the book of Matthew in the Bible, 6:22 is my favorite verse... all of a sudden Levi comes into the world and... we look up and it is 6:22 p.m. and we just were like, oh, my God, are you kidding me?...And Alves is her last name... So Levi Alves McConaughey.
Actor/producer Matthew McConaughey speaking with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the labor and birth of his son
GUPTA: Did you guys have a plan ahead of time and was she going to get an epidural, was she going to get pain meds? How did that all go?
MCCONAUGHEY: Yes, we did have a plan. (LAUGHTER) It didn't happen. It didn't happen.
GUPTA: Sometimes the best-laid plans.
MCCONAUGHEY: Yes. We had a plan, we had an ideal that we said, let's go in and do it as natural as possible.
GUPTA: Was it frightening for you? When you're hearing all this go on, the pulse was dropping and they say C-section. What's going through your mind?
MCCONAUGHEY: You see a woman just really digging deep into her soul and bearing pain and being on top of it and you see a strength come out of a woman that you've never seen before... And the baby comes out and his eyes were wide open and he was crying, glad to see the day.
GUPTA: So no regrets about the way that it went?
MCCONAUGHEY: No, it went down perfectly. And even though we went 60 hours to do what could have been done in a few hours, it was a great journey for both of us...we call it the best dance we've ever had. We've gone through something that we're like, I know and you know and only you and I know and that's good for us.
Actor/producer Matthew McConaughey and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss neonatal cord blood, and a use for the placenta.
GUPTA: A couple of quick questions. Did you decide to store cord blood? Did anyone talk to you about that?
MCCONAUGHEY: I have the placenta and -- yes, I also did the cord blood. Yes.
GUPTA: Do you keep that because you think it might be helpful to Levi at some point in his life? Why did you do that?
CCONAUGHEY: The cord blood?
MCCONAUGHEY: I don't know that much about it, I just know it could-- I understand it's a smart thing to do now and we did recycle it and so that is stored. I don't have any real reasons why -- our doctor said it's a great idea and I suppose hopefully I'll find out why it's a great idea later.
GUPTA: And you kept the placenta?
GUPTA: So what's the story there?
MCCONAUGHEY: Well, it's going to be. That's fertile ground, so to speak. So we're going to have -- we're going to plant -- it's going to be in the orchards and it's going to bear some wonderful fruit. There's an aboriginal custom, one of many, but when I was in Australia, they had a placenta tree that was on the river and it was for the women and it was the most fertile land and fertile river and all the placentas of all that tribe, all that clan, whatever aboriginal tribe that was, all the placentas went under that one tree and it was this huge behemoth of just health and strength.
And this tree was just growing taller and stronger above the rest of Mother Nature around it. It was gorgeous.
Actor/producer Matthew McConaughey and Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss life after baby, including breast feeding and already taking baby Levi to his first John Mellencamp concert.
MCCONAUGHEY: What surprised me the most? Here is what surprised me the most, everyone, or most everyone talked about how, oh, you have a kid, life changes, it's like 180 degrees on a dime full stop, wow. And a lot of them had an insinuation under that like, you have to stop living your life as you live it. That hasn't been the case.
GUPTA: Is that right?
MCCONAUGHEY: And that's been a nice surprise because Camila and I were laughing about it the other night. We took Levi to a John Mellencamp concert. We've taken him out. Everywhere we go, we're getting him traveling with us to get him equipped to be around sights and sounds of people. There's no one in the house, if Levi's sleeping on his crib on the table. You're never told in our house, shh, Levi is sleeping. No. Get used to the ambience. Come with us. That's how I was raised. I went with mom and dad when they played bridge. I went with them when we barbecued. Bring the crib outside. Stay with us.
So our life has not changed. It just takes a little more prep time to do whatever it is you're going to do. And especially with Camila breastfeeding every three hours, she can't be away from the child. So she's got to be there.
GUPTA: Does she plan on breast feeding for a long time? Have you guys talked about that or has she talked about that?
MCCONAUGHEY: Yes. I mean, I know there is different theories. I know we're definitely going up to a year.
Actor/producer Matthew McConaughey speaks with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on paparazzi frenzy clarifies that a recently published image was not that of his girlfriend and son.
MCCONAUGHEY: that picture you may have seen, that wasn't him.
GUPTA: That wasn't him?
MCCONAUGHEY: He was in the tent. That was a great paparazzi moment. That wasn't Camila either. Camila is in the tent. It was a shot from here, right? And I'm out, I'm here, there's a brunette girl and a kid right here behind her and it says, Matthew McConaughey on the beach while girlfriend Camila and Levi stayed in the shade.
MCCONAUGHEY: The kid is like, almost 2-years-old. So I'm going, you're telling me that at 20 days Levi is -- just jumping up and down on two legs.
GUPTA: He is a McConaughey. (laughter)
MCCONAUGHEY: Yes, I was jogging the other day and he lapped me.
Highlighted excerpts credit: “House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.”
Dr. Gupta was on American Morning on Friday and he talked with Rob Marciano about the interview.
I have one more clip to add to the follicle frenzy following Ali Velshi. This one is from Issue #1 where they felt the need to show us a close up of his facial hair. Don Lemon also shared his thoughts on Ali coming back from vacation.
One other note, it was great to see Christine Romans back on CNN. She was subbing for Geri Willis on Issue #1.
The Cafferty File is one of the segments that I look forward to each day on The Situation Room. Jack Cafferty is always one to speak his mind. In the following clip, the question is about whether or not the President should know how to use a computer.
Now, I can’t say that I disagree with anything that Cafferty said in his commentary. But, I found myself a bit perplexed as I watched. Jack Cafferty has stated on several occasions that he doesn’t even have a cell phone and doesn’t want one. We’re not even talking about a Blackberry (or its equivalent) that you find most reporters carrying these days- but a simple cell phone. I just find that criticizing the lack of use of one modern day tool when the person doing the criticizing doesn’t see the need of another modern day tool…well, a bit odd.
Have you voted in our Hot Fun in the Summertime polls, yet? Well there is still time and some of the races are definitely heating up! Here’s a quick update on where things stand at the time of this post:
Hottest Male Anchor poll: Surprise! Surprise! Anderson Cooper is running away with this one with 66% of the vote so far.
Hottest Female Reporter poll: It is AC360's Erica Hill with a solid lead and 36% of the votes.
Hottest Producer poll: Charlie Moore with 27% of vote is just barely ahead of Tommy Evans' 26%.
Hottest Female Anchor poll: The race is split three ways with Kyra Phillips currently leading with 25%. Betty Nguyen and Robin Meade aren't that far behind with 22% each.
Hottest Male Reporter poll: This is the tightest race at this point. John King and Michael Ware are tied with 33% of the vote each.
How is your favorite doing? The polls are still open, so express your opinion and vote! Click here to be taken to the polls.