Natalie Zea Admits to ‘Rough Start’ with 6-Month-Old Daughter Reygan, But Says Now Everything Is ‘Happy and Fun’

05/18/2016 at 04:15 PM ET

Natalie Zea and husband Travis Schuldt had an interesting nickname to describe their rough start with their now 6-month-old daughter Reygan.

“We affectionately referred to the first four months as ‘Vietnam,’ ” The Detour actress told PEOPLE at the Turner Upfronts 2016 in New York City Wednesday morning. “She was a tough little one.”

However, the couple — who starred together on Passions, and were married in July 2014 after 10 years of dating — survived those months, and Zea, 41, reports “everything’s fine now.”

Natalie Zea
Jesse Grant/Getty

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Going through that initial rough patch has also made them more appreciative of how well Reygan is doing now.

“I think when you have a rough start, it makes you so much more grateful when they end up coming out of that being really happy and fun and sweet,” Zea says.

Zea is also celebrating the fact that Reygan has finally started napping on her own.

“She was napping on us for way too long,” the actress adds. “People were like, ‘Really? You’re still holding her when she naps?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t have a job right now … ‘ ”

Zea currently stars as Jason Jones‘ wife on TBS’ new road trip comedy The Detour, which is nearing the end of its first season.

“It’s a dream job,” she says. “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been quietly and obediently doing dramas so that I could get to this place where I get to really let loose and have a lot of fun.”

The Detour airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on TBS.

— Chancellor Agard

FILED UNDER: Natalie Zea , News , Parenting

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Showing 11 comments

brittany on

I have family members who fought in Vietnam. I hope this woman realizes how foolish she sounds comparing colic or whatever to being in a war zone.

Sue on

Insensitive comparison. They probably said it for attention because it is clearly not the same thing. Not even a little bit.

Ddnj on

Colicky babies combined with sleep deprivation mess with your head and make u say some crazy things.

Blazin' on

That is the most offensive comparison I have ever heard. My father served in Vietnam–and he came home a very damaged person after what he saw and endured. To compare raising a child (while you likely had the help of a nanny and got to sleep in a warm bed every night)to what Vietnam (or any other) veteran went through is downright stupid. If you want to make amends, shut-up and go volunteer for a veterans organization for awhile. Then you will learn what real “combat” entails.

Vinny on

It’s ridiculous to compare raising a child to combat in the vietnam war, though I loved her on DWTS.

laurenashley66 on

It sucks that you can’t make a joke without offending people. She clearly doesn’t think it was like Vietnam…

Sue on

@laurenashley66 It isn’t funny because many suffered greatly as a result of the Vietnam war…and continue to suffer. What happened there impacts generations. I am not easily offended, but I did not like the comparison. She has the freedom to say it, you have the freedom to not be bothered by it and many of us have the freedom to think it lacked sensitivity.

Common Sense Girl on

Well, first of all, she’s not only inaccurate but a poor speller.

Reagan wasn’t president during ‘Nam. If she really wanted to go full-throttle with the idiotic comparison she would have named the kid Nixon.

Crybaby on

@Blazin, you didn’t actually serve in Vietnam so you wouldn’t know and neither did she. You don’t know what that woman does in her free time. Raising a child (ren) is like a battle/war zone. Maybe it would’ve been better for you if she said the Civil War or World War II.

Omalz on

So inappropriate to compare raising a child like combat zone in the Vietnam war, you can compare something else but not Vietnam war.

ginger4933 on

At her age maybe Iraq or Afghanistan would have been a better analogy. She’s ridiculous,she has money and a husband,wake up you pampered diva!!!!!