Anna Trebunskaya always envisioned a family in her future — she just never realized her dreams of motherhood would come much sooner than expected.
And it all paid off on Jan. 18 when she gave birth to her baby girl, Amalya, at home.
Now settling in as a family of three (plus their protective pooch, Murphy!), Trebunskaya, 33, and her actor boyfriend, Nevin Millan, are basking in complete baby bliss.
From the days leading up to her natural water birth to the most surprising part of motherhood, the Dancing with the Stars pro is opening up to PEOPLE about her first few weeks as a new mom.
PEOPLE: How are you feeling?
Anna: I’m feeling good, actually. I’m slightly in a haze/twilight zone. It’s been a few weeks and it’s gone by so fast. It’s nice. It’s very different than the kind of life I had before. This is different. This is great.
PEOPLE: Tell us about Nevin – how did you meet? How is he as a dad?
Anna: He loves it. He’s a hands-on dad and does everything I do except breastfeed. He loves carrying her around. Nevin‘s an actor/producer, and I took acting classes for two years. We started to talk and that evolved. We both were ready for this step. We’re not 18, you know! Having kids is something we both wanted. We adore each other so we’re excited to be on this journey together.
PEOPLE: You decided to have a homebirth – why did you choose that and how did you prepare?
Anna: Everybody makes their own decisions — this just seemed the most natural to me. I wanted to have a natural birth and I wanted to have her at home. I had no medication. I went full on, as nature has intended.
Your body is going through so much change being pregnant and the things you have to go through during labor are insane. I was amazed, like, “My body just did what?!” Women’s bodies are phenomenal. A lot of women are scared of a natural birth and for good reason. But I had a good pregnancy. I had no problems, good health, so natural birth was an easy decision for me.
I will say I did a lot of research on it. I put time and effort into watching videos and documentaries, meeting with my midwife and reading books. I took birthing classes, which teach you natural ways of eliminating pain and stress. That really helped a lot.
If anybody is considering a homebirth, they have to get themselves prepared. It’s by no means a walk in the park, but it’s definitely worth it. It was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had.
PEOPLE: Tell us about your labor and delivery.
Anna: The day before I was walking around the block, making myself dinner and having a cup of tea — meanwhile I was having full on contractions! All the way leading up to the birth, I was in the bedroom or I was walking up and down the stairs.
But in a way, the walking felt better to me. I was on the big yoga ball stretching and Nevin was rubbing my back during the contractions, helping me relax and breathe through it. There was a method to the madness. We did a lot of preparations.
It was me, Nevin, our midwife and her assistant. The four of us. My mom came at the very end when we had her. My mom was scared for us — she thought I was crazy!
I delivered her in the bathtub in the master bedroom — it was a water birth. Once she was born, they pulled her out of the water and she made a little whimper and started making sounds. They put her on my chest and she went straight to my boob!
PEOPLE: You’re amazing!
Anna: Oh, thank you. I’ll take a little credit. It was an intense experience.
PEOPLE: What’s surprised you about yourself now that you’re a mom?
Anna: I thought, “Oh, I’ll probably want to go back and work out right away and get back into my schedule,” and to be honest with you, I don’t feel like I want to. I want to stay home every moment and watch her eat and sleep.
What surprised me is I never knew how excited I’d be about my daughter pooping and peeing. I’m like, “Yes! Everything is working and it’s the right color.”
Even her screaming — I’ve figured out what’s the hunger scream is but the other ones I’m trying to understand. When she’s tired but doesn’t want to sleep and she’s fussy and whiny, even then I’m like, “That’s fine!”
Truly, when you hear somebody else’s child crying it’s kind of annoying, but when it’s yours somehow it’s adorable.
I’m learning and it’s a completely new journey for me. We are just on baby island and it’s one day at a time. Some days we sleep more than others!
– Monica Rizzo