The actress announced the birth of her baby boy in late June
Nikki Reed is opening up about her experience welcoming baby No. 2.
Appearing on the Mother Daze podcast alongside her midwife Abby Vidikan, the Twilight actress, 35, talked with hosts Sarah Wright Olsen and Teresa Palmer about her labor and delivery with her son, whose birth she and husband Ian Somerhalder announced in late June.
In the first episode of the two-parter, Reed revealed that in the weeks leading up to her son's birth, she wasn't planning on using a midwife until "something in my plan still didn't feel complete."
Around that time, the two met at an event at Ricki Lake's home, with Reed recalling "connecting" with Vidikan, and Reed asking her to join her birthing team by the conversation's end.
"My first birth with my daughter, it was in the hospital and while it was unmedicated, which is what I was going for, it was still all kinds of chaotic, for all these different reasons," she says. "I didn't realize that for this whole pregnancy, that little bit that I haven't totally unpacked was in the back of my mind like, 'Is this going to happen again?' "
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Initially, The Vampire Diaries alum, 44, was scheduled to travel for work, which made Reed second guess the birth without him by her side. Ultimately, however, he was present to welcome his son into the world.
"We had a couple of meetups where Abby asked me what I wanted in my birth and I said, 'I'm not sure yet'... One of the things I said is, 'I really need a strong energy, like a masculine energy.' Ian, in that time, was in a really soft landing place, a space that was really motherly. And I got that."
Reed's water broke in her sleep in the middle of the night, panicking a sleeping Somerhalder. "I've never seen anything like it. It must have caught him in a moment, and he shoots up and starts running and shoots over to the door and yells, 'YOUR WATER BROKE!' as he slams on all the lights."
Of her labor photos, which Reed also shared on Instagram, she said, "I don't have any photos from my daughter's birth, none, and it's everything. It's what I look at every day, it's so special. And the moments that I had with Abby are so special."
"I have many friends who have had a baby and I don't have a single friend that has had the kind of relationship or care that I've had in this experience. And my heart aches for them actually, because this is what everybody deserves. We live in a country that is not set up for that. We have a healthcare system that is not set up for that. We have a culture that does not support or acknowledge that. And most women are actually overpaying and getting less than what they deserve by virtue of how our health care is set up to monetize women's experiences in that way."
In the caption to her birth photos, Reed wrote, "This was one of the most transformative nights of my life, and walking through it again with these ladies was so sweet."
"To be honest, the reason I felt compelled to share something so personal is because I have this burning desire to highlight the value of midwifery care, and showcase the incredible wisdom that these women bring to the birth space and beyond. Particularly in the postpartum period, so many women are left without support and together we need to change that," continued the new mom of two, who also shares daughter Bodhi Soleil, 6, with Somerhalder.
"With a culture that doesn’t nurture new mamas in the way it should and a healthcare system that doesn’t value the need for PP care, it is time to create a shift. As we normalize talking about birth and fight for women to be given paid maternity leave, we must also discuss the factors that can contribute to postpartum depression like the lack of support we are given," she leveled. "These women here today understand this gap in a way most do not. @lamidwifeabby feels this deeply, and in fact she shares that it is one of the key pillars in her midwifery care."
"When I think back at my birth, I cannot help but feel an almost indescribable love for the care I was given. They quite literally held me up when my body needed support, and have held me in every moment of uncertainty since," she noted.
"My goodness, birth is just so damn beautiful, and I am eternally grateful for the incredible birth workers out there who hold the hands and hearts of women as they bring their babies into the world. Abby you are such a gift. And @birthwhisperer, you are magic. Part one is out today, with part two airing next week as we dive into the very long lead up, what mantras I used to get me through the other side, and the love I have for this sisterhood."
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