Nearly a year after welcoming her gorgeous baby girl Freeya, actress Danielle Brooks is sharing what it was like to give birth for the very first time.

The Orange Is The New Black star was a recent guest on the Katie’s Crib podcast where she opened up about delivering her daughter via C-section. Brooks says her original plan was to have a natural birth. However, things didn’t go as planned due to a health complication that risked both her and her baby’s health.

“I ended up having to have an emergency [Caesarean] section because Freeya had meconium in her system, which is basically when the baby poops inside their amniotic sac,” said the 31-year-old. “So she was in distress and, therefore, we both could be in distress, and so we just had to make it happen.”

Brooks says that after doctors determined the baby was in danger, there was Grey’s Anatomy-level chaos. “They threw an oxygen mask on my face and an IV in my arm,” Brooks says. “It was almost 10 people in a tiny room watching a monitor and telling me to stay calm,” she says, revealing that her daughter’s heartbeat was irregular just before labor. Brooks admitted to singing gospel songs to help get her through.

With her fiancĂ© Dennis Gelin and her doula by her side, Brooks ended up having a safe and healthy delivery. And by the way…baby Freeya is too cute for words.

Brooks is loving every moment of motherhood, which she says has been enlightening. “When I became a mother in November [2019], I felt like I knew myself on a deeper level than before, because suddenly I was imparting what I’ve learned and who I am to another human being,” she told Women’s Health. “And so that’s been really cool, too, finding ways to use my voice and share knowledge. I’m very hungry to get back to my acting work, but there’s also other types of work that I need to do.”

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