Danielle Fishel of 'Boy Meets World' Fame Talks Returning to Work after Welcoming Her Premature Son

Danielle Fishel talks about going back to work after son Adler's birth in June 2019.

When her son Adler was born prematurely in 2019 with health issues, actress Danielle Fishel was ready to set aside her career to be there for her baby, 24/7.

Everything had been going well with Danielle's pregnancy when she went into labor at 35 weeks, and her OB discovered that her baby was in distress.

Adler's subsequent health issues had Danielle questioning her own priorities

Danielle Fishel at the 2016 Emmys at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles | Source: Wikimedia

Danielle Fishel at the 2016 Emmys at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles | Source: Wikimedia


The doctor detected fluid in the unborn baby's lungs and immediately gave Danielle sodium magnesium to stop her contractions in the hope of delaying the birth and allowing Adler's lungs more time to develop.

But the hospital detected a significant decrease in Danielle's amniotic fluid and decided to induce labor in order to save her baby's life.

at the 2nd Annual Bloom Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2019 | Source: Getty Images

at the 2nd Annual Bloom Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2019 | Source: Getty Images


Tiny Adler was born on June 24, 2019, and instead of holding and cuddling her baby, Danielle and her husband Jensen Karp had to watch in anguish as the tiny mite was hooked up to life-saving equipment at the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Every dream Danielle had cherished about being a new mom was shattered. She couldn't take her baby home, and when he started to breastfeed, doctors discovered that her breast milk increased the buildup of fluid in  Adler's lungs.

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One week ago today, on 6/24 at 4:52am, Adler Lawrence Karp made his entrance into the world, 4 weeks early. My water broke on 6/20, one day before my work week directing at Raven's Home ended and my maternity leave began. I was hospitalized that night and put on magnesium sulfate because Adler was only 35 weeks old. Unfortunately, after doing an ultrasound, our amazing OB discovered fluid in his lungs that was not there during our last appointment only 10 days earlier - and thus we entered a nightmare we'll never forget. We still don't have Adler home with us because the deeply good doctors and nurses in the NICU are working diligently to find out why the fluid is there and determine the best way to get it out. This has been the most trying week and a half of mine and @jensenkarp's lives but we have gotten through it with the support of our incredible family and friends who have shown up for us in unexpected ways. Jensen and I have also become closer than we ever thought possible and the love between us has grown exponentially as we have leaned on each other during both our highest highs and our lowest lows. We feel helpess and powerless and useless and we wanted so badly to follow our "birth plan," unsurprisingly none of which involved leaving our beautiful baby boy at the hospital for the first weeks of his life. We have also struggled with making this announcement - we are THRILLED Adler is here and we want to shout it from the rooftops but we know posting about his birth and it's complications opens us up to prying eyes - aka paparazzi staked outside our house, following our every move they way they did several times during my pregnancy. We are much too fragile for that right now and I pray wholeheartedly that we can have some space as we navigate these next few weeks. I can't wait to share more details about him with you (he hates having a poopy diaper for even 1 minute, he loves bath time, he has the cutest sneezes I've ever heard) and sing the praises of his NICU care team but I prefer to do that when Adler is in this crib in his nursery at home on a still unknown future date. P.S. the fox will be removed from his crib before he's ever in it. 👶❤️

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The fluid build-up led to Danielle and Jensen rushing to  Children's Hospital Los Angeles in an ambulance with their baby, as he struggled to breathe. From then on, baby Adler was put on a special formula.


The premature birth and Adler's subsequent health issues had Danielle questioning her own priorities, and blaming herself for working too hard during her pregnancy. She said:

"The guilty thoughts came flooding into my head: 'Why did my water break so early? Was it because I was on my feet working 12-plus hour days at almost 36 weeks?" 

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Update: We have a winner!! Congratulations Katie Hough (@khough917)!! I'm so excited for you! This is not an exaggeration, I don't know what I would do without my @DockATot. 🙌🏼 I love it so much, I have two. It is such a game changer. It's been amazing for Adler (and my peace of mind) and has quickly become my #1 baby product and will now be my go-to baby shower gift for pregnant friends! It travels easily so I always have a safe place for Adler to lounge, rest and play. This is the Deluxe+ size so it's perfect for babies under 8 months and the Grand size can grow with them until they are 3 years+! I’m really excited to offer everyone 15% off their DockATot order AND to host a DockATot giveaway - keep reading for details! #sponsored - If you'd like to grab your own DockATot, use code "Danielle15" at checkout for 15% off at dockatot.com. Code is active until 8/19/19. - Now it's #Giveaway time! What are the prizes? TWO GRAND OR DELUXE DOCKS - one for you and one for a friend! This giveaway includes everything I got for the baby: Grand or Deluxe+ dock AND a Grand or Deluxe+ TravelBag (value of $400+). The contest ends at 12:00pm PST on 8/19/19. Winner will be randomly selected on 8/19/19 and notified by DM by DockATot. - How to win: Like this photo Follow me and @dockatot Tag your BFF, so she can share the winnings! #dockatot #giveaway #babygear #babylounger - NOTE: By entering you confirm you are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility and agree to Instagram's terms of use. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram in any way. Your Instagram account must be set to public. US shipping addresses only. No PO boxes.

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Danielle had considered giving up her career and dedicating herself full time to looking after her baby boy, but as his health improved, she realized the best thing for Adler was a fulfilled mom. She said:

"I truly have to remind myself that what's best for him is what's best for me. And I'm not my best self when I'm just home with him all day."

Danielle revealed that it was hard to come to the realization that she wasn't the stay-at-home-mom type and that she was happier - and a better mom - when she working. Now that Adler is 9 months old, and a happy and healthy little boy, Danielle is ready for new challenges.

 Danielle Fishel at the Catalina Film Festival's Annual Brunch in 2014 in Catalina Island | Source: Getty Images

Danielle Fishel at the Catalina Film Festival's Annual Brunch in 2014 in Catalina Island | Source: Getty Images


Danielle is not content to remain in front of the camera, and she has been trying out her hand at a spot of directing. She has directed several episodes of the "Boy Meets World" spin-off, "Girl Meets World," as well as the sitcoms "Sydney to the Max," "Raven's Home," and "Coop & Cami Ask the World."


Danielle has branched out and is now dabbling in beauty and cosmetics, with an innovative line called Be Free. Be Free focuses on hair-care, and its products are 100% vegan and guaranteed to have been developed cruelty-free.

Danielle was previously married to Tim Belusko whom she met when she went back to college to complete her degree at the age of  27. They married in 2013 and divorced in 2016. 

Danielle, who became famous for playing Topanga Lawrence on the hit 90s sitcom "Boy Meets World," met her second husband Jensen when she started working on "Drop the Mic." Jensen was her executive producer, and the two hit it off straight away.

They married in April 2018, and Danielle has confessed that she is blissfully happy with the man she calls her soulmate.

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