Zoe Lucker 'Amazed' By Love for Daughter Lilly Alabama

09/30/2008 at 10:30 AM ET
Anthony Harvey/WireImage

Four weeks after welcoming daughter Lilly Alabama, Zoe Lucker says she is in awe of motherhood. "It’s difficult to speak about these things without sounding like you are a gushing new mum, but it’s overwhelming," the 34-year-old Footballers’ Wives actress tells Hello magazine. "You know what it feels like to love your family or friends or a man, but I am amazed by my capacity to love this child."

While Zoe says she was "excited" by the prospect of a natural delivery, she underwent an elective C-section because of baby girl’s large size. "Lilly was growing so much inside me, it would have been really difficult," Zoe explains. "I didn’t want to go through a long labor, then have a Cesarean, so it was the right decision." Upon Lilly’s entry to the world on September 2nd — at a healthy 8 lb, 12 oz — Zoe admits she feared that the surgery would make it "harder" for mother and daughter to bond, but her fears were ultimately unfounded.

"The second she was born it was the most natural feeling in the world to want to love and protect her."

Something else that has come naturally to Zoe is breastfeeding, which she admits caught her somewhat off guard. "Until the end of my pregnancy I couldn’t get my head around the whole breastfeeding thing, but that was completely instinctive," she says. "It’s amazing how brilliantly your body responds."

Click ‘More’ to read about how Zoe and fiancé Jim Herbert chose their daughter’s name, the trick they played on the press, and to see photos of Lilly!

Zoe’s fiancé Jim Herbert is garnering rave reviews as a dad — but unlike nursing, Zoe says there is no surprise involved.

"Hehas always been my best friend and I knew he’d be a good dad. He wasconsiderate through my pregnancy and has responded well to fatherhood."

Calling Jim’s support "second to none," Zoe saysshe has "huge respect for single mums" as a result. "I was exhausted,and that extra support is priceless." The brand new family of threespent their first night together in Zoe’s hospital room after Lilly’sbirth — though not much sleep was had. "We stayed awake the whole timejust staring at her," Zoe reveals.

Although Zoe had said earlier this year that she and Jim wanted a delivery surprise, she let Hello! in on a secret — they had known the sex of the baby the entire time."We didn’t tell anyone," Zoe reveals. "It was about meeting our babyfor the first time. Everyone assumed I was having a boy because of howI was carrying her!" When choosing names for their daughter, Lilly cameout on top as it was "an old-fashioned name we liked." For the middlename, the couple looked to the movies, choosing Alabama after Patricia Arquette‘s character in True Romance, Jim and Zoe’s favorite film.

Zoe had announced her pregnancy in April. To see photos of Zoe and Lilly Alabama, click here to visit The Daily Mail.

Source:  Hello, October 7th issue; Daily Mail 

Thanks to CBB readers Louise and Mary Beth.

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Rachel on

A c-section for a large baby? 10lb+ perhaps, but 8lb 12oz? A clear case of “I don’t want to go through labour and natural childbirth” aka “too posh to push”.

My son was 8lb 13oz, it was a doddle!

kate on

8lb 12 isn’t that big.. sounds to me like she is trying to excuse the c-section.

Bigger babies are sometimes easier to deliver naturally. My son was 8lb 6 and was born without any stitches needed at all. My nephew, however, was only 6lb but left his mum with 14 stitches!!!

I really disagree with these elective sections for no reason (yes, they thought the baby was big but so what? They told me my baby was big but a section was never in question).

(This is just my opinion.. before everyone starts jumping all over me with the “its no-ones business how she was born” comments!)

Natt on

Kate, I agree with you. My 1st son was 8lb 2. Second was 10lb 2. I dont think 8lb 12 is big – especially given that Zoe is quite tall (I’m only 5ft 4, god knows were the baby went!)

I really wanted both naturally, went through 5 days of failed induction with one, and a full blown labour with the other before both ended in c-section. I still would never pick an elective section though.

The lady opposite me in the ward had an 11lb 5oz naturally, no problems. My sister had a 9lb 6 with minimal stitches.

It seems weird to me to opt for an elective section because of a baby weighing over 8lb. Over 10lb or even 11lb is big, not over 8 – thats surely just average? Its such major surgery and having been through it twice (both boys stuck and in distress) I really dont get why anyone would pick to do it for such a small reason.

Jen on

My 2 girls were both 9lbs 3oz and my son was 8lbs 13oz – all three were a natural delivery. Sorry but it is a cop out to have an elective c-section for an 8lb 12oz baby. So many Hollywood moms don’t want to put in the “extra” work needed to deliver naturally and my last 2 babies came really quickly (within 6hrs of starting contractions). Really sick of this new craze of elective c sections and the doctors that are so willing to do them

Anne on

I agree that an elective c-section for a baby that size is kind of strange. I’m 5’1, 100lbs pre-pregnancy, small-boned, and just all around petite. My daughter was 8lbs, 9oz, and despite a head that got stuck for a few hours, she was delivered naturally, with no stitches. I think we need to give our bodies more credit…they were made to give birth!

Sydney on

To Kate and others, why do you really disagree with elective c sections? I am 20 and do not have any children and am not thinking of having them in the immediate future, so I am just curious as to why you guys feel so strongly about elective c-sections. My mother was in labour for 3 days with both me and my brother (we were 12 years apart) never dilated more than 4cm and had to have 2 emergency c-sections the situation became life threatening to both baby and mother. She always wished she had gone for an elective c-section with my brother as her birth with me was so traumatic, but she tried to do it naturally only to have the same experience again.

I am very much the same build as my mother, extremely narrow hips, and wonder if I might have the same problems and whether an elective c-section may be a better option for me.

So my question is, why do you ladies feel so strongly about natural deliveries? Is it because of the recovery time, risks of surgery, birthing experience?

Hannah on

I think it’s different for everyone. My Mum had me and my sister both naturally, but when it came to my brother had to had an emergency c-section. Afterwards she said she wished she had opted to have all 3 of us delivered by c-section as she healed far quicker that way, which apparently is unusual (:S) So I guess everyone’s body is different, so you have to pick what suits you best, that’s why I wouldn’t necessarily call it a cop-out or anything.

Anyway, I think Lilly’s a very sweet girly name, congrats to the two of them!

kate on

Sydney, I think you missed the point, i am against ELECTIVE sections, those that are planned without any medical reason, just simply because mothers think its the easier option.

Natural delivery is safer for both Mum and Baby, and sections should only be performed when medically necessary.

Sydney on

Hi Kate, I didn’t miss your point, I knew you were against elective c sections, but I just wanted to know the reasons behind why people feel so strongly about them. So for you, it’s because it is safer. That was my question. I think there are very few people who are against c sections altogether. Most people just want to do what is best for the health of mother and baby. Having never gone through childbirth myself I just wanted to ask why women felt so strongly about natural deliveries as opposed to elective c sections. I wasn’t suggesting that you were anti cesarean full stop.

Dana on

I personally would not elect to have a c-section based on a baby’s size. I know the risks involved and would not want to put myself or my child in that situation. That being said, it is the mother’s choice. We may not know all the particular’s of the case. I have a friend who is 5’5″ and had to have both babies via planned c-section. She has a heart-shaped uterus and and her doctor advised her that if her children topped 7′, she would not be able to deliver naturally.

On the other hand, my sister-in-law is 5′ and weighs 90 pounds. Her doctor told her she fine to deliver naturally. Her son was almost 8 pounds. She pushed for over 3 hours and ended up being “cut.” She had 15 stitches and took a long time to heal. She is considering a c-section for her next delivery.

Rebecca on

My youngest was 9 lbs 13 oz, delivered after only 5 hours of labor with no drugs in a waterbirth. It doesn’t sound like she was “excited” about a natural childbirth, it sounds like she just wanted a c-section and is just paying lip service to natural childbirth in hopes she won’t be trashed by the media. Just admit it, you wanted a c-section, had one, and be done with it. Don’t make excuses, own your decision.

Livy on

OK, none of us know the circumstances of this situation. It may be that she had narrow hips, it may be she had a medical reason where it became imperitive she deliver immediatley, it may be she just prefered a cesarean. It doesn’t matter. It was her labour, her birthing experience and she should have whatever she feels comfortable with and wants.

Anne on

Sydney – I don’t like elective c-sections that don’t have serious medical reasons behind them. Personally, I cannot imagine CHOOSING to go through major abdominal surgery and add to the list of risks of childbirth by having a surgery that was not needed. The recovery is longer; I have a friend who had a c-section two months ago and she still has some pain from it. Most women who deliver vaginally, aside from those with any complications, of course, are fully recovered at that point. I myself was up and about and feeling pretty good within days. There is another part of me that doesn’t like the idea that some women are not willing to go through labor and delivery, just because they are scared or think it will be painful or unpleasant. Britney Spears, for example, blatantly admitted she chose a c-section because she was scared of labor. I just feel someone who cannot put aside their fears or personal comfort to bring their child into the world is possibly not emotionally mature enough for parenthood. Being a mother is a sacrifice in so many ways – and your body and your comfort are included. Of course all women who carry and deliver have done something amazing, no matter what the process…I just wish women trusted their bodies and allowed themselves the experience of giving birth, because it really is very rewarding.

momof2girls9702 on

I had two elective c-sections, and I am having a third in May. I thought they were a great experience and I had no desire to experience natural labor and delivery ! To each his own, let’s not be critical of others birth choices. She sounds like a great mom.

CelebBabyLover on

Dana- That’s very true! My mother also has a heart-shaped uterus, and also had to have C-sections to deliver her babies. In her case, it wasn’t size (my brother and I were actually both on the small side), but because we were both transverse breech.

The fact is, we don’t know all the specifics of Lily’s case. It could also be that they thought the baby was going to end up being much bigger than 8lbs. I have heard of that happening before. It’s even happened to at least one other celeb. Anna Nicole Smith mentioned that her doctors feared that Dannielyn was so big she would “bust my womb”. Dannielyn ended up only weighing a little over 6lbs!

Fetal measurements are not always accurate, so sometimes doctors think the baby will be a 10+ pounder and it turns out to be much smaller.

Natt on

momof2girls – I think thats what people are getting at. You wanted an elective as you didnt want natural childbirth – you owned that decision and are proud of it. This interview just seems like she’s making an excuse, to pander to people.

Its like although I personally believe in breastfeeding I respected J-Lo’s decision to bottle feed. She was proud of it and didnt try and pretend she wanted any other way.

My personal stance on elective c-sections is purely my own point of view. I dont understand why anyone able to birth naturally wouldnt give it a shot – why increase risks with future pregnancies, or even limit the amount you can have? Thats what upsets me about having had 2 sections, that the decision on the number of children I have may not be down to me but my weakened womb now and it upsets me. I also hate that although 6 months on I am still tender and slightly sore. I hate the risks involved in c-sections for babies. BUT, if sections didnt exist neither would my boys so I am so thankful for them.

I just dont understand why anyone would willingly cut their bodies open so violently (and tugging a baby out isnt exactly gentle!) when so many times there is a more natural, less risky alternative.

Hannah on

I really don’t think it matters how you bring your child into the world as long as you do your utmost to care for and love your child when it’s here. With so many medical advances these days, why not take advantage of it? To each their own!

Liza on

I was induced at 37 1/2 weeks for a baby of large size and he was 9 lbs. I had a 3rd degree tear and shoulder dystocia, BUT I would have much rather that then a c-section. My second son was the same size, induced again 17 months later, and I had him with no problems, and Im planning on not being induced this time, and letting nature take its course. Im only 5’4 and I have huge babies. So what? I think that CHOOSING to have a c-section is a bit ridiculous, but if it is suggested and medically necessary, go for it.

CelebBabyLover on

Natt- I agree with you for the most part. I don’t understand why some women choose to be cut open when there is no medical reason for it. However, I wouldn’t describe a C-section as being “violent” in any way.

I’ve never had a C-section myself, but I have seen other examples of surgical incisions being made (albeit on TV shows about animals), and “violent” is the last word I’d use to describe them. Usually they are, in fact, very gently and carefully done. In most cases, the process doesn’t even look that bad!

In fact, it actually looks similar to cutting into meat, at least in the first stages! When my mom had me via C-section, my dad actually said (obviously without thinking) that it looked like “they were cutting into chicken!” (granted, I’m sure my mom wasn’t too pleased to hear that right then! LOL!). :)

Anyway, my point is that, in most cases, surgery isn’t nearly as violent or gory as it’s sometimes made out to be!

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’d still never want to be operated on unless it was neccesary (either medically or for my own comfort and/or sanity!)!

As for C-sections limiting the number of kids you can have…Actually, you’d be surprised how many kids some women can have via C-section! I once heard of a woman (I didn’t know her, but she was a friend of one of my friends) who had 7 children, all via C-section!

It just depends on the woman and how doctors do the incision (I’m guessing that women who have “classical” C-section incisions can’t have as many kids as those who have horizontal or “bikini cut” incisions). :)

Natt on

Believe me, mine was violent! Husband couldnt believe it – ok, 2nd was worse than first, but both times they literally prise you open and tug and pull and push. You are sooooo bruised and swollen from the exertion they put on your abdomen and they literally yank the baby from you. Mine were emcs, so that may have had something to do with the urgency – but I would definately describe both of mine as violent!!!

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