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Daya Vaidya Introduces Twin Sons Jai and Dev

10/19/2012 at 12:05 PM ET

Meet Dev Eshaan and Jai Blue!

Actress Daya Vaidya introduces her identical twin sons in an adorable series of shots exclusive to PEOPLE.

Born on July 25, the baby boys joined the former Unforgettable star and her husband Don Wallace‘s daughter Leela Grace, 3.

From tackling twins and tandem nursing to telling her boys apart (hint: one’s a little ladies man!) and her natural delivery, Vaidya opens up to PEOPLE about her new life as a mom of three.

Daya Vaidya Introduces Sons Jai and Dev
Daya, Dev, Leela, Jai and Don – Rivka Singer

PEOPLE: Congratulations on the birth of your sons! Can you tell us a little about each of the boys — their personalities thus far, little physical differences, the ways you’re able to tell them apart?

Daya Vaidya: Thank you! Jai — the older one by four minutes — doesn’t stop eating, so he’s getting nice and plump, with the cutest double chin! Dev is trying to catch up with his brother. He’s almost there. They were tiny five pounders, so it makes me very happy to see them both gaining weight so well.

We call Dev our little charmer because he’s always cooing with big eyes, especially when our female friends pick him up. He seems to already love the ladies!

Jai, on the other hand, has a perpetual impending look of disaster on his face, as though someone may drop him at any moment. We can tell he’s not actually worried, it’s just the way his brow creases and his forehead wrinkles. But it’s pretty funny because he looks like an 80-year-old man on a baby’s body — an 80-year-old man with a receding hair line and double chin!

We can totally tell them apart though, especially because of the size difference, facial expressions and Jai has two birth marks on his knee and neck. They’re both really sweet, good babies that miraculously sleep at night!

PEOPLE: You had mentioned that the boys’ names would have a lot of meaning to you and Don — just as Leela’s does. Can you walk us through the background of each and why you chose it?

DV: I told my husband early on that I would like to find Sanskrit names for our children to honor my father — who passed away in 2000 — and the values he taught us. He knows how close I was to my father and really supported me in honoring him.

Leela means “cosmic or divine play” and my dad used to speak of this concept a lot when I was growing up. I always thought it was pretty. Jai means “victory” or “victorious.” Blue is the film Don wrote, produced, starred in and where we met. Dev means “God or divine.” And Eshaan is one of the many spellings that means “Lord Shiva.” It also stands for “northeast” which symbolizes knowledge, prosperity and peace.

Daya Vaidya Introduces Sons Jai and Dev
Rivka Singer

PEOPLE: We saw that you’ve been Tweeting about nursing your sons. Has that been a challenge for you or easier than expected? Do you have any recommendations for readers looking to do the same?

DV: I am exclusively breastfeeding both boys. With my daughter I’d researched breastfeeding and sought help from lactation consultants, so with the twins I felt prepared to really attack this challenge.

I tandem nurse the boys on a breastfeeding pillow for twins when I’m home and take turns when we’re out. We’ve got it down now, but the first couple of weeks were tough!

For me the hardest part are those first 48 hours after delivery. This is the crucial time that can sometimes make or break your milk supply, so I’m extremely anal about nursing around the clock like a madwoman.

I always tell my friends who want to breastfeed, “Just commit hardcore to those first few days in the hospital to get the baby (or babies) suckling constantly … and I mean constantly.”

There was this nurse who came into my room the night I delivered and saw me trying very hard to get one of the boys to latch. She said to me, “Don’t worry about breastfeeding right now — you’ll just frustrate them. Try again after 24 hours.” I was annoyed because this is the kind of bad advice given to mothers that can potentially permanently affect their milk supply.

I had a hard time getting Dev to latch. He just didn’t want to do it. Jai was a little better, but both had problems. I used a pump to stimulate when the boys got too tired and then I would wake them and try again. I eventually got a latch and I kept them suckling no less than every 1.5-2 hours all day and night.

It is EXTREMELY challenging and this is the point when you need people supporting you and telling you you can do it, because it hurts and you’re not seeing the milk yet and you’re hormonal.

I do not believe in telling women, “Oh just stop and give them formula. Give yourself a break.” Women need support and encouragement from everyone around them. You need people saying, “Don’t give up and you can do it!” Not, “Oh it’s okay, you tried, don’t worry, just supplement.”

Of course there are times when a woman has done everything she can and it’s just not happening, or there is a medical condition, etc. Or sometimes someone has thought long and hard about it and she has decided it’s not for her. This is her choice and I am in no way saying we should condemn women who choose to bottle feed. This is ultimately always their choice.

However, I think there are a lot of women out there who really want to do it and quit because of bad information, lack of support and even pressure from pediatricians.

For moms of multiples, the book I love is Mothering Multiples by Karen Gromada. And for great breastfeeding instruction, I love The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins.

PEOPLE: You planned for a natural, unmedicated delivery, and were able to see it through. Why was this important to you? Anything specific you’d like to get across in regards to the response to your birth announcement? If a reader is looking to experience the same, do you have any book or website recommendations?

DV: I am glad you asked me this and until I had children I had no idea how polarizing women’s birthing and breastfeeding choices can be. I was surprised at some of the reader’s reactions to my birth announcement and how many strong emotions it brings up.

I was never gloating about my delivery, but I was very proud because it was extremely challenging and the odds were against me. My pregnancy was considered high-risk, so most people don’t even attempt a vaginal delivery.

But because of my allergies to pain medication — especially Fentanyl, one of the main ingredients in an epidural — it was very important and safer for me to avoid any medication or surgery.

Also, I didn’t want to numb any of my senses; I wanted to experience every moment — including the pain.

That’s what was right for me. It doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone and I’m certainly not judging anyone for their choices. I think we as women should support and celebrate one another, not feel threatened by another woman’s decision or birth outcome.

If someone is interested in natural childbirth, a great book is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. A great and supportive website would be mothering.com.

Daya Vaidya Introduces Sons Jai and Dev
Rivka Singer

PEOPLE: How is Leela adjusting to the boys? Any funny stories or things she’s said?

DV: She loves being a big sister and is crazy about her brothers. She’s very sweet to them — kissing and hugging them constantly.

But her latest thing with the boys is getting us to tell them not to “hit” her or touch her hair. I think she got tired of Mommy and Daddy constantly telling her to be gentle and careful around the twins, so she loves hearing us say, “Now Jai, don’t hit your sister.” Or “Dev, don’t pull Leela’s hair.”

Yes, we know they’re only three months old and just stretching their arms. I’m sure Leela knows it too, but she gets a big smile like, “Ha, it’s even now!”

She also wants our attention more than ever and she’s like a politician when it comes to getting it. She negotiates everything and lets us know what she wants: Five more minutes to watch her show, two more books, her juice filled exactly right and in the specific color cup.

Lately she wants Mommy’s make up so she can look like Katy Perry. She’s 3 and she wants to look like Katy Perry!

– Sarah Michaud

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Showing 61 comments

Sarah S. on

What a gorgeous family! :)

Mira on

OMG, Leela is gorgeous!! Beautiful family!

Sunburn on

Beautiful family although I have NO idea who they are…..

Becky on

I don’ t know anything about this family, but these are beautiful family pictures..Congrats on the new babies.. :)

Grace2 on

Wow, what a beautiful family.

Tracy on

Loved the article. Beautiful famiy!

TM on

OMG we do the same thing with my 5 month and 3 years old “be nice to your sister….” We then use littles had to stroke her sisters face- makes them both smile!

kim on

beautiful family but WHO are these people?? 75% of the people ‘People’ writes about these days, i have NO clue to who they even are!

Lady on

I don’t know who they are, but don’t care. They are an absolutely gorgeous family, i’m sure their boys will be just as beautiful as their little girl. Congrats to them!

Suz on

I’m with the rest of you, I have no idea who this family is, but oh my they certainly are a beautiful family. The kids are absolutely adorable. I don’t watch tv or go to the movies so i guess that’s why i don’t know them.

Janet on

Wow, what an amazing woman and mother!! And such a beautiful family. I really hope other women read this and use it to empower themselves and not give up right away on breastfeeding or trying for natural childbirth. Great story!!

BlueSkidoo on

I have no idea who she is, but they are an absolutely gorgeous family and I love her interview and attitude. Definitely be keeping my eye out for her now!

Jennifer on

so so so sweet:)

Janna on

It would have taken all of you LESS time to look up who she was, rather than writing “Who are these people” and “I don’t know who she is” (as if anyone cares if YOU know who someone is).

Google is your friend.

Sandra on

OMG! What a gorgeous family – and what a beautiful little girl! :)

Anonymous on

Fentanyl is not a main ingredient in an epidural. Correction, it is added for additional pain relief. Is not a main ingredient. Some anesthesia providers don’t use it all. So that is incorrect info she gave. I work in Anesthesia and itching, or nausea is not an allergy. Hives or Anaphylaxis is a true allergy. Don’t mislead women.

Mary-Anne on

Awesome interview! Congratulations on the safe delivery of your two babies.

Holly on

Cute names!

Amy on

Wow. It’s just impossible not to smile looking at that little girl’s smile. So cute!

Donna on

Beautiful, beautiful family, though I have no idea who they are.

Leslie on

Gorgeous family and nice interview! It was good to hear more about Daya and her twins.

TRINIA on

@Anonymous why debate with her on a subject she discussed with her doctor.. do you know her body have you examined her to know what she is allergic to.. I am glad she reads this blog maybe she will tell you to “thank you for your opinion”.. but I think I will listen to my doctor for any medical advise. SMH…

Brooke on

This is what a perfect family looks like. My Goodness…Gorgeous

Jayda on

That family is just beautiful! If Leela ever needs to I’m sure she can fall back on modeling, she is gorgeous at 3, I wonder what she’ll look like at 16.

Jasna on

As an Obstetric anesthesiologist I can say that very few people are allergic to Fentanyl. Also the local anesthetic concentrations used are so low that the chance of numbness is low. Making a decision not to have an epidural for a twin delivery is one of the worst things one can do to oneself and the babies as there is a higher chance of C/S during twin delivery. Having an epidural in place is the best thing for mother and babies!

Krista on

What a beautiful family and loved her advice on breastfeeding. I exclusively breastfed my son and know how hard it is when you don’t have support. Congrats on your beautiful boys!!

Lara Vaidya on

I’m Daya’s sister, so let me set the record straight about her allergies. She IS allergic to Fentanyl and went into shock when given it in 2003 and almost died- trust me it was scary. She is also VERY sensitive and has reactions to any opiate pain reliever she’s been given.

When pregnant with the twins she discussed her allergies at length with her perinatal SPECIALIST (one of the best in the country actually) and had consultations with the OB anesthesiologist and yes they said this allergy is rare and yes they can give an epidural without it, BUT they agreed to not chance it if Daya felt comfortable proceeding without an epidural and was willing to go under general anesthesia if an emergency occurred.

Daya knows her body and knew it could be fine, but instinctively felt an epidural would be bad for her. We’ll never know if it would’ve caused a reaction, but why take that chance? Especially when it’s not dangerous to have twins naturally, unless your OB isn’t experienced in natural and breech twin delivery- which her OB was – very experienced.

I watched the boys being born and Dev (baby b) was a breech extraction and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed. My sister worked very hard to have this birth drug free and that’s what was right for her. With most other OB’s, it would’ve been an immediate C-section, but b/c her OB could deliver breech and he knew Daya’s strong wishes, he was able to deliver both boys naturally. I was by her side for the whole thing and it was amazing!

Cindy on

I know several people who had unmedicated delivery of twins. It seems odd to say that she should have had an epidural when she was obviously successful without one.

Lara on

Oh and anonymous -when she said “numb” her senses, she meant she didn’t want an epidural taking away the feelings of labor. She wanted to feel everything, incl the pain. That’s how she is and always has been.

Jen DC on

I think that little girl is so, so beautiful and has such a sweet, infectious smile! And her tiny brothers – I love the stiff legged, toes flared “get me out of this” cry picture! Heartbreakingly adorable.

Again… unless you are HER doctor or know HER case specifically, the fact that Fentanyl causes allergic reaction in a small population of folks is irrelevant. Obviously, she is one of the small percentage for whom it’s no good. You are also not the anesthesiologist providing care, thus don’t actually know the combination dosages of the meds she could have received. And regardless of all this, whether she is factually incorrect or not, YOUR PERSONAL DOCTOR will advise you. Obviously taking advice from a celebrity website with regard to your health and safety is ill-advised.

maria on

As beautiful as those little twins are, I could not help but only notice that little girls huge, proud smile. Beautiful family all around.

Kimberly on

Beautiful family and I love her attitude in her interview. She talks about her choice making it clear this is what worked for her.

@Anonymous — She obviously has a bad reaction to the drug, so whether she’s allergic or not, why put yourself through the ordeal?

CyndiV. on

Beautiful family! I didnt even know she was pregnant. I wish them well. To all the people that must have a comment on HER birthing choice…shut up please. We are all different therefore we make the choice that is best for ourselves and our baby(ies). She kept stressing that it was HER choice and I’m sure that she consulted at length with her doctor(s). You must not know how to read if you did not get that. HER CHOICE.

BTW, she was one of the detectives on the show “Unforgettable” with Poppy Montgomery. Loved that show and loved her in it.

rose on

beautiful family!!!!!!!!!!!! love her attitude about nursing

amy on

Beautiful family!

twinhappy on

What a gorgeous family! Congrats!

Angela on

Beautiful family! Congratulations!!

Guidita from the Shore on

@sister Lara – U rock for reiterating your sister’s points with the facts. It’s weird that women think they have to compete..even in childbirth experiences. Do your research, make your choice and leave the rest in the hands of Jesus Christ. Viva la familia.

lol on

Beautiful family! God Bless!

Anonymous on

Jasna- As you should well know (being a nurse), there ARE other ways to anthesitize a woman before a C-section. My mother, for example, had spinal blocks for both of her C-section (and from what I understand, a spinal is actually better than an epidural in an emergency as, unlike an epidural, it takes effect almost immeditely).

There’s also general anesthesia. So I fail to see how having an epidural in place “just in case” is neccesary for laboring women!

Anonymous on

The boys are adorable! :)

Marky on

Most of you would suggest I take Tylenol if I have a headache, BUT the first time I took Tylenol I had a seizure. No doctor I have seen since, has thought I should take Tylenol or any pain med containing Tylenol (which means most pain meds are off limits for me). A Tylenol allergy is extremely rare, like the one Daya has to Fentanyl, but it can exist, and I am terrified it will be given to me in an emergency situation.

Janna is right; if you aren’t an Unforgettable fan (I am), then look it up, or just say the family is cute, but don’t say, “Don’t know who these people are, but….. It is just so lame sounding.

Leslie on

Right on, Lara! Thank you so much for your comment!

I have been hearing a lot of advice about epidurals being a requirement for delivering my twins… and that going natural is dangerous so I should just get a c-section so that the second twin wont get stuck etc etc. The amount of fear and scary stories being thrown at me from many medical professionals is daunting.

Luckily I also have great success stories to inspire me… My mom had twins naturally, as did her best friend, and Daya’s story has been very encouraging to me as well. I finally found a doctor who is skilled in delivering twins even if the second one is not vertex.

My previous doctor told me he would never do a breech extraction without an epidural, and would give me an emergency csection if the second twin was not head down. Hearing that Daya had a breech extraction without any pain killers is very inspiring to me and makes me feel like I can do it too if necessary. Thanks so much for sharing that part of the story. You helped me feel more confident!

Anonymous on

Wonderful story of this lovely radiant family! I love this mama! I agree with all she said about breastfeeding in the beginning hrs. days. And supporting other mothers. Right on!

sat on

radiant family!

JM on

I have to join the people saying they have no idea who these people are, never heard of them before. BUT i also have to say that that little girl is one of the cutest kids i have ever seen with such a gorgeous smile. she could be a child model!

Hea on

Beautiful family!

Stephanie on

Absolutely gorgeous family! Thank you for sharing your story, and kudos to you for sticking to the aspects of your birth plan that were important to you.

Everyone thought I was nuts for wanting to feel every aspect of my labors and deliveries, but it is something that I am so grateful to have experienced.

happygolucky on

Daya Vivian Vaidya:

Best on for her role on Unforgettable. But she has also appeared on the following shows:
Dexter
Two and a Half Men
All of Us
Cuts
NCIS

Anonymous on

Marky- Ask if your allergy to Tylenol is on your medical charts, and if it isn’t, request it be put on (there’s always a section on medical charts that details any medication allergies a patient has, with very clear instructions that those medications NOT be given to the patient). That’s an easy way to make sure it won’t be given to you in an emergency situation. :)

sunnyzwei on

That’s one drop dead gorgeous family!

blessedwithboys on

Awesome article!

tammy on

Could this family be more beautiful? O! M! G!!!

christine ingram on

beautiful family

Jenn on

Great story! They are all really pretty!! That little girl is going to be a stunner when she grows up.

mylifekeepsintrudingonmyknitting on

@Jasna, as an OB anesthesiologist, please at least be honest: in a truly stat twin c-section, either emergent for both or converting to breech/vaginal we both know that taking the time to dose an existing epidural that may or may not work is rarely done. General is nearly always used, regardless.

Please don’t perpetuate the image of the “pushing medication” doctor by calling this woman’s well informed labor decisions dangerous or calling into question her care over her babies’ best interest.

It is possible when, allowed to do what it is made for, with properly trained attendants, for birth to work beautifully and as it should with minimal intervention. Some births do require intervention, which luckily DO exist, but can we please avoid the ridiculousness of finger pointing and terms like “risk” and “dangerous”.

This is hardly a family who went in blindly “hoping it would all work”. They took the steps that we, as medical professionals, encourage people to take and made informed decisions. This, and the beautiful outcome should be applauded and supported.

Also, strong work on the tandem nursing!

NYCGirl33 on

I must agree with most of the posters.. WHAT A GORGEOUS FAMILY! Congrats on the little men and congrats to the Big sister who is too much of a cutie pie!

Ellarae on

What blessed parents to have made such a beautiful family… Thank you, Daya for sharing your personal beliefs. I am a twin and it gave me a new perspective on what my parents must have gone through (and our older sister!) Best wishes to all of you for a happy life ahead. God bless.

4mom on

Congratulations! What a beautiful family! Thank you for pointing out how little support you get in the hospital for breastfeeding. I have breastfed all four of my children through sheer determination, even going so far as to lie on the sheet of recorded feedings during our hospital stay. One nurse said if the baby is latched on longer then 20 minutes she is just using me for a pacifier. Good! Not only do I comfort her but she also stimulates my milk production!

How ignorant and uninformed the nurses and doctors in an OB ward can be. My lactation consultant was 90 minutes away but had kept me well informed of what to expect. My first child latched on like a pro and never looked back, my other three required lots of work. My second child wouldn’t latch properly for over two weeks but I kept at it until she got it right, the nurses couldn’t even tell me how to help her.

If you are going to breastfeed make sure you have read lots of material on the subject and have the full support of your partner as these are two things that will make it easier to stand up for you and your baby when a misinformed medical professional offers poor advice.

Denise S. on

Beautiful family!

Charli on

Wow, what a beautiful family!!! This was a great article.

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