Andrew Keegan on His Girlfriend’s 77-Hour Labor: ‘It’s a Very Animalistic Thing’

05/16/2016 at 02:00 PM ET

It’s been two months since Andrew Keegan and Arista Ilona welcomed their daughter Aiya Rose.

And on their first date night since their baby girl‘s birth, the new parents were missing her terribly.

“She’s already checked [her phone] I think five times,” Keegan told PEOPLE at the Power Up Gala in Los Angeles on Thursday night. “We have a dear friend who is looking after the little one tonight.”

Keegan admits his daughter is surprising the first-time parents more and more each day. “[There’s] a lot of personality at this point,” he says. “A lot of smiling.”

Aiya’s voice is starting to take shape too. “She says, ‘Agoo,’ ” the actor says. “She started it six weeks ago. She’s incredible.”

Andrew Keegan Arista Ilona
Araya Diaz/WireImage

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For Ilona, there are other things that amaze her about having a little girl. “My favorite thing is when she falls asleep on his chest,” she says. “It melts my heart.”

Adds Keegan, “I’m like an electric blanket — when she lays on me, she falls asleep.”

The couple share the parenting duties as much as possible, but Keegan credits Ilona for the hard work she puts in during the night hours.

“I am really so impressed when I wake up in the morning and go, ‘Wait, what happened?’ ” says Keegan. “Then she goes, ‘I got it.’ ”

But Ilona is grateful for Keegan stepping up for morning duty. “You do the 6 a.m. diaper changes and burping,” she says. “That way I get an extra hour of sleep. I’m like, ‘Yes, I got an hour!’ Having a baby makes you really be present and enjoy the little things like brushing your teeth by yourself and taking a shower, washing your face.”

But after Ilona’s excruciatingly hard labor, everything seems like smooth sailing.

“Seventy-seven hours over three days,” Keegan explains. “We started at home and then we went to the hospital. There’s nothing sane about 77 hours like that. It’s just staying supportive throughout and there was a lot of circling around. It’s a very animalistic thing that happens so you just have to drop into your more natural state. Just be supportive and let her go through what she needs to go through.”

But in a moment it’s all forgotten with one glance. “It’s worth it when you see her giggling and smiling at us,” says Keegan of their daughter. “You don’t even think about it.”

— Raha Lewis

FILED UNDER: Andrew Keegan , News , Parenting

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Showing 7 comments

Ananda on

All I want to know is…Where did she get that beautiful dress?!

Nina on

To be in labor for 77 hours is not normal. I’d like to know how long they waited to go to the hospital. Very stupid.

Oy vey on

Really, Ananda? I’m sorry, sweetie, but that dress is nothing special. The fabric is cheap and that design is already about S decade old (the nude silk under black lace.). You can probably find it at Dress Barn.

Anonymous on

Wow 77 hours? Ugh, sounds like my worst nightmare. Women are afraid to get C-Sections but would rather suffer for 77 hours or labour?

Sara on

I totally agree with her. Once you bring children into the world, you do appreciate all the little things more. Even now, my girls are 12 and 7, and I still marvel in the deliciousness of an uninterrupted shower, a pedicure, sleeping in.

All the best to these two, and their baby girl!

Diana on

Oh Vey, you should look twice before commenting so rudely. There is no nude silk. It is a beautiful top.

Zos on

Love the dress she is wearing.