Zoe Saldana Opens Up About Her Scary Emergency C-Section: We Came ‘Close to It All Changing Forever’

06/15/2016 at 02:30 PM ET

Zoe Saldana is the mom of two happy and healthy baby boys – a title that was once in peril.

Saldana opens up about her scary, 2014 emergency C-section and welcoming Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio, now 18 months, into the world prematurely in the July issue of Allure.

“The boys came at 32 weeks,” she explains. “They found protein in my urine; my platelets crashed. I didn’t qualify for an epidural, so I delivered under general anesthetic. I didn’t even meet them until a day later.”

Zoe Saldana

The children landed in the neonatal intensive care unit, she previously told PEOPLE, while Saldana waited and worried.

“Looking back, I think the boys were 3 or 4 months old, and one morning I woke up with just this flood of emotions,” she says in Allure. “[Husband Marco Perego] had them, too, and we were able to have our deconstruction session in the bathroom while they were napping, to say to each other, ‘Holy s—, did we come close to it all changing forever?’ ”

She continues, “We allowed ourselves to have a moment of ‘poor us.’ And that was it. Then somebody cried, and it was ‘Got to go!’ ”

Zoe Saldana

Now, the couple has gotten into the stride of parenting – save for one mommy duty.

“Everybody told me, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I know you hate changing diapers, but when you have your own kid … Well, guess what? I had my own kids, and I will do whatever I need to do to not change a dirty diaper,” the 37-year-old jokes.

— Lindsay Kimble

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting , Zoe Saldana

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Showing 14 comments

CaliGal on

Whaaaaaaa! A whole DAY?!?! OMG!!! Millions of women and babies still die during childbirth. Get over it and be grateful you have two healthy kids.

Cat on

Why to people feel the need to comment if they have nothing constructive to say? I’m a mother myself of of a daughter who ended up in the NICU and though I did see her when she was first born I didn’t get to hold her until nearly a day later. That may not sound like much in the grand scheme of things because she is a healthy six year old now but at the time it was terrifying. I was worried the entire time that she wouldn’t be ok and there was NOTHING I could do about any of it. It’s horrifying that mothers and babies die in childbirth – horrifying and I wish it would never ever happen but it does. I just ask please of people like CaliGal that you not discount a persons feelings simply because it could have been a lot worse. At the time that was the worst it could have been for me – a sick baby and me powerless to help her. Could it have turned out worse than it did? Yes. Am I incredibly lucky and blessed that is didn’t? Yes. That doesn’t mean however that my feelings count any less than those of a family who loses a loved one in childbirth.

Jessica on

She is clearly grateful. I think her sharing an intense moment in her life, especially one so very intimate and life-changing as having and nearly losing children, is in the spirit of other women are not alone, and no one is exempt from such challenging times. I wish women were more supportive of one another; perhaps then the world wouldn’t be polluted with such anger, judgment, and cruelty.

CaliGal on

Cat, I’m so glad your baby (now little girl) is healthy. Like I said, millions of babies and Moms aren’t so lucky. Count your blessings. There are many many babies who are disabled and suffer their entire life due to birth injuries and premature delivery. There are many families who lose the Mom during or after child birth. I’m not asking you to censor your feelings. A movie personality who also had great care and healthy babies doesn’t need our pity.

Drama Mama on

Women DON’T support each other because one makes a big deal about being “worried for a day” and others have disabled quintuplets and never complain. It’s all in the way a person looks at life.

Twinning on

CaliGal, your comment is so stupid and clueless. Yes, moms and babies die during childbirth, but it doesn’t mean she can’t express her feelings about not being able to meet her sons until they were one-day-old. Giving birth at 32 weeks is extremely stressful, you have no idea, and she was probably scared they weren’t ok. Although nurses and doctors can tell you they’re stable, you can get it until you see it ! And they probably had breathing assistance, feeding tubes and more medical devices which is impressive for any parent ! So please don’t say anything when you know nothing about it !

anon on

@DramaMama- yeah and the mother with disabled quintuplets ends up having a breakdown because she “never complains.” Women don’t support each other because society tells us not to and everything is about who has it worse. I have drama, you have drama, we all have drama, let’s just be nice and acknowledge that there will always be someone who has it worse than us?

mer on

What is wrong with you, women! She’s not making “a big deal” and “complaining”. She’s just telling her experience. Don’t read it if you don’t care. And fu*k your comments if you have nothing nice to say. Women should support each other more. And you can feel sympathy for both a mom that had to be without her kids for a day, and for a mom with diabled quintuplets. It’s not a competition.

stefani on

i had an emergency c section under general as well. placenta previa and preeclampsia. it was AWFUL! i nearly died, but only could think that my son would live. it was the scariest thing ever in my life. needless to say, he is an only child. it scared me so badly, that i chose not to have another. he is now 18, just graduated from HS and off to college in a few weeks. for those who’ve not had an experience such as this, how dare you speak rudely. you have NO idea. and yes, many women and babies don’t survive childbirth, but that’s NOT what this story is about, so shut it

Cyndi on

I delivered at 31 weeks 0 days due to severe Pre- Eclampsia so I can relate. Sounds like a similar situation! It’s scary! Glad to hear all is well! (as is on my end. My 3.1lb preemie is now almost 6 years old and 40 lbs!

Molly on

Love that she is open and honest about what she went through. Glad she is good now and having a lovely family!

Marky on

It sounds to me as if she is merely telling her story in an interview during which she was asked to do so. How this gets interpreted as “being ungrateful”, or whining, or the ever-present intimation that she has money, therefore her care was 100 times better than all the people commenting on here. Newsflash!! I worked in a hospital considered one of the best in TX for giving birth, and no matter how much money the mom had or didn’t have (and we were the hospital LBJs daughter gave birth in), her care was the same…everyone did everything they could to have a positive result for the mother and the baby. Our hearts broke for the ones who went through difficult deliveries, or whose babies didn’t make it, whether they were rich or poor, first child or 5th. I can’t imagine what makes someone like CaliGal jump down the throats of anyone who mentions everything wasn’t easy about premature delivery of twins (usually smaller to begin with), and the heartache of not seeing them until the next day; do you even understand pre-eclampsia and eclampsia? Not an easy, light-hearted childbirth event……

nolad on

her babies were in intensive care system for more than a day. She saw them the first time a day after, but she probably could take them home much much later.
I don’t get the need to add hate here. She’s talking about something private a lot of parents can relate to, she’s not trying to invalidate the feelings of parents that get it worse. YOU are the ones trying to invalidate her feelings.

Vanna on

I have seen her kids pictures, they are adorable.