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.
Thanks to CBB readers Louise and Mary Beth.