Jacqueline Laurita has changed a lot since shooting the first season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey about a year ago.
She's pretty darn close to giving birth to her second child with husband Chris Manzo. "I'm due early next month," Laurita tells me. "I'm 50 pounds heavier. I'm ready to pop. I'm like Jiffy Pop."
Jacqueline has made no secret about their struggles to add to their brood. Last week's premiere episode included a visit to Jacqueline's doctor, where we learn she has had five miscarriages over the last seven years.
It's not only Jacqueline's nature to be so open, but she's hopeful her honesty will help other women struggling with similar issues...
"I know not everybody talks about it, but that's what I was going through," Jacqueline says. "It was really hard…You want to give up, but look what happens. It could happen for someone else, too."
Laurita and her doctors credit a daily baby aspirin and progesterone therapy for the successful pregnancy.
But as open as she is, the camera probably won't be rolling on the actual birth. "There may have been talk about it, but we're not really sure," she says. "I don't know if I want people to see me like that."
Jacqueline is the only Housewife on the show who isn't a native Joisey girl. She and her daughter from a previous relationship moved to the Garden State from Las Vegas when she married Chris. Housewives Caroline and Dina Manzo are his sisters. "They're actually very welcoming," she says of the Manzos.
The townspeople...not so much. "They hear you're from Vegas and they're like, 'Oh, Vegas,' " Jacqueline remembers with a laugh. "They think things, and I'm just like, Oh please—I was a cosmetologist. Nothing exciting."
Jersey, on the other hand, has proven to be much more exciting, like the time Teresa Giudice flipped that table aimed at Danielle Staub. We've only seen a snippet in commercials, but it's already become the most talked-about scene of the show. "I was unharmed," Jacqueline says, laughing again. "Thank God I was finished eating. My Bellini wasn't so lucky."
The second episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs tonight. Will you tune in?