Claire Holt may be hoping to one day have enough kids to field a baseball team, but the transition into first-time motherhood was no easy feat for the star.
The Vampire Diaries actress, 31, recently opened up about experiencing the baby blues after welcoming son James on March 28, and revealed she feared she was in over her head.
“[Adjusting to parenthood is] nothing like I ever imagined and I thought I was a giant failure for the first month, for sure,” she said on Thursday’s episode of the Informed Pregnancy Podcast with Dr. Elliot Berlin.
Holt explains that she was largely consumed by worry over baby James’ health, especially because the newborn swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid during his birth.
“I don’t think I had postpartum depression in any way, but I definitely had the blues and I definitely felt like I was doing everything wrong,” she admits. “I had tremendous anxiety about his health and his safety.”
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Claire Holt Recalls the “Unbelievably Painful” Moment of “Torture” During the Birth of Her Son
Because he had swallowed so much fluid, Holt says a nurse told her she’d have to be on the lookout for a particular noise that indicated he was choking on the fluid, and that she’d have to call for help to suction it out.
“I looked at her and I said, ‘I’ve been awake for 40 [hours], I can’t. What if I sleep?’ ” she recalls. “She goes, ‘You won’t, you’ll hear it.’ I was like, ‘I can’t do that … you have to take him to the nursery.’ So they took him to the nursery and he came back two hours later for me to feed him, with a sign saying ‘Gaggy baby.’ “
The Australian star said the incident kick-started a downward spiral that only intensified when she began breastfeeding and had trouble getting James to latch.
Since welcoming her son with husband Andrew Joblon, Holt shares that things have turned around and she now hopes to add to her brood.
“Right when he came out, I wanted four [kids]. After the first month, I wanted to give him back. And now I want 10,” she says. “I just love it so much. I don’t know if my body or my husband hope I have 10, but we’ll see.”
The Originals actress previously alluded to her struggles on Instagram in April, writing that she has had many moments of feeling “exhausted,” “in pain” and “defeated” since her son was born.
“My only concern is making sure his needs are met, yet I often feel that I’m falling short,” Holt wrote. “Motherhood is an overwhelming combination of bliss and self-doubt … I just have to do my best and take it one hour at a time. Thankfully, this little guy is worth every second of struggle.”
Claire Holt Says She’s “So Much More Grateful” for Newborn Son After “Devastating” Miscarriage
Meanwhile, the star also spoke candidly on the podcast about how painful it was giving birth to James, as she had to have a Foley balloon inserted to help induce labor.
“It was so unbelievably painful for me and I feel like I have a pretty high pain threshold, in general,” Holt recalls. “There was pressure. So the contraction was so strong for me for that minute and … I basically contracted constantly for two hours, is how it felt.”
The actress announced she was expecting in October, seven months after she revealed she had suffered a miscarriage and undergone a consequent dilation and curettage procedure.
“You never forget the deep pain of loss. It dims with time but it informs many of your experiences,” Holt wrote in her announcement post, reflecting on the miscarriage.
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