Deana Carter could make quite a scrapbook for 2004. In April, she signed with an indie label in California, and in September, she and boyfriend Chris Hicky, welcomed their first child, Gray Hayes Hicky. When they found out she was pregnant, Hicky filmed 90 hours of footage — in the recording studio, during a Canadian tour, at her parents’ home in Nashville and her own cozy little place in West Hollywood, among many other locations.
The result, In the Moment: Deana Carter, debuts Friday (Dec. 3) at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. Here, the “Strawberry Wine” singer talks about how the documentary strengthened their relationship, telling her father about her unexpected pregnancy and the hardest decision she had to make.
CMT: When did the cameras start rolling?
Carter: We started doing this back in January. We were doing this basically for ourselves because Chris Hicky, my boyfriend, is a filmmaker. So we wanted to document the pregnancy and just me writing and making the record before we actually signed on with In the Moment. So now there’s stuff on TV that we didn’t know, in the beginning, was going to be on TV. It’s very raw and very intimate and a look at our lives that no one has ever seen before. No makeup and very raw.
I would imagine that you had to put a lot of trust on Chris’ judgment, as he documented everything you did.
It was really interesting because this whole process really strengthened our relationship and we got to be really close. We started out in the beginning as friends for a few months, really getting to know each other, just being friends. When our relationship turned romantic is when we got pregnant. So, we really did get to know each other through this whole process, just the spirit of what he loves to do and what I love to do. Having the camera going was sometimes … a drag, but for the most part, it was great to feel like we’re doing this together. I feel like it bonded us in a lot of ways.
In some of the footage I’ve seen, you mention that it’s always hard to tell your father that you’re pregnant when you’re not married, no matter how old you are. How did you break the news to your dad?
Well, I had this whole presentation. He loves sweet potatoes, so I got the baby food jars of sweet potatoes and the rattle and the bottle and a pacifier and stuff like that. But I ended up not really giving him that. I just ended up telling them when I was sitting on the couch under a baby blanket. I told my mom a few days before to try to get her advice of mother-daughter, what to do and how to break the news to him. She said, “We’ll just have to sit down and talk about it.” They were great. He was so wonderful. I was really blown away by how supportive they both were.
Late in your pregnancy, you had to fulfill some Canadian touring obligations. What was the hardest part about that?
Just being a little worried about flying so much. Just hoping that we were safe because it was crazy. It was a lot of traveling in a short period of time, peppered in with a tour. It was just scary health-wise. … I don’t want people to think that I’m miserable or complaining or not happy, by any means, but that’s the risk you take showing this intimate footage. But it really hard being pregnant and, at that time, I didn’t know I had the diabetes, and so it’s no wonder I was like, “What is going on?” The lack of breath and the grueling schedule and stuff like that. I realized later why it was intensified, but when you get out on stage and play and have fun, it’s always great. It’s like you want to stretch that out and make the travel last an hour.
When you found out about the gestational diabetes, were you suddenly afraid that maybe this story wouldn’t have a happy ending?
I never really … I just took one day at a time. Ironically, that’s the title of the single, but seriously, I did. I thought, “Well, today I won’t eat this, and tomorrow.” … I had to figure it out because it was in such a bad situation. By the time we found out, it was really severe, and so I had no choice but to make immediate changes and then worry about dealing with them later. The hardest part for me was the C-section because that’s something I just was so adamant about not happening to me. Some philosophers would say that’s probably why it did. Whenever you dig in the sand and say, “I am not going to do this or that,” then God has a way of saying, “Oh, really?”
What’s coming up for you next year?
We’ll be back in L.A. in January and doing a video and getting geared up to promote and just get back out and start working. That’s something we should probably video, you know, film all of that, too. I don’t know if Hicky’s up to it or not. He’s got some movie projects in the works this year coming up. We’re going to have to figure out how to travel with the baby. … I’m so proud of this record, putting everything that we’ve put into it, and just the monumental year that we’ve had. I want as many people on the planet to hear it as I can.
To hear two new songs from Deana Carter, please visit her artist page at CMT.com.