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Grey's Anatomy star Camilla Luddington recalls the "claustrophobic" experience of giving birth to son Lucas last year while wearing a mask at the hospital

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 30, 2021 12:46 PM
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Camilla Luddington endured 15 hours of labor, while wearing a mask, no less!

The Grey's Anatomy actress, 37, announced the birth of son Lucas Matthew, her second child, in August, and in a new interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, she recalls the challenging experience of childbirth while wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luddington, who also shares 4-year-old daughter Hayden with husband Matthew Alan, says she feels a bond with other moms who gave birth during the unprecedented times.

"You had a baby during a pandemic — that's hard," says host Clarkson, who is a mom of two.

"Yes, it's a different experience. I had to labor in a mask, which was, like, the biggest thing. So it was over 15 hours wearing a mask," says Luddington. "It was intense. Anybody else who gave birth during the pandemic, I feel like we have a bond too because of things like that."

Clarkson jokes, "I would have ripped that thing off and been like, 'Get over it!' That would have been really hard. I can't imagine that."

"It is claustrophobic," Luddington adds, "and obviously, you know, giving birth is very physical and traumatic, but hopefully I won't ever have to do that again," she says of wearing the face covering.

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Luddington told PEOPLE in August that "it feels amazing" to welcome their second child home.

"Our family has been isolating since March [2020 amid the pandemic], which has come with its own challenges, but the upside is that it gave us a lot of time to be able to prepare," she said at the time. "Once I hit 37 weeks, I was willing him to come. Our bubble feels complete now that he's here."

Though she'd been pregnant before, it was "much more stressful" this time around considering the COVID-19 crisis. "I absolutely had more daily anxiety," she said. "Not only did I have concerns over contracting COVID and what that could potentially mean for my pregnancy, I was also worried about things like my husband not being able to be present with me during the birth."

RELATED VIDEO: It's a Boy! Grey's Anatomy's Camilla Luddington and Matthew Alan Welcome Son Lucas Matthew

"It changed a lot of the experience for me this time around. One example being Matt wasn't allowed to come to ultrasounds, so we missed out on sharing those moments together," she added.

It also "never occurred" to Luddington that she'd "have to wear a mask in labor — it just wasn't something I had thought about and when I found out I would have to, I cried," she recalled to PEOPLE. "I completely understood the importance of wearing one, I just dreaded it. Labor is so physically exhausting I couldn't imagine adding a mask."

Luddington assured, however, that she "honestly forgot" she had the mask on during most of the delivery. "I was in labor 15-plus hours and so much else was happening that my mind was elsewhere," she said. "I didn't feel like ripping it off but I was thankful they allowed us to remove them for a short time to capture some after-birth pictures without the masks on."

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