“Kristen, God bless her, was in labor for 33 hours,” Shepard, 40, said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, airing Thursday. “[Her labor with Lincoln was] 15 [hours]. That’s child’s play.”
Bell wasn’t the only one reeling from the “intense” delivery. “She got an epidural hour 14 — as you should — and I think dads need something,” he explained.
“I deserve something because I was along for the ride,” he said. “It’s still a car crash and I’m in the passenger seat. I’m playing Katy Perry and I’m breathing and I’m rubbing her back and I have fatigue and I think, ‘I need something for this, help me.’ “
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Once she was wheeled into the operating room, things took a bittersweet turn for the dad-to-be. Although Shepard was excited to witness the delivery of his baby girl, he admits he made one very big mistake.
“I had been warned by a lot of different gentlemen, and even my own mother, that said, ‘You might not want to watch the baby come out. [It’s] maybe not the greatest idea,’ ” he said. “What they did not warn me about was the c-section, which is way worse.”
“So there’s a sheet and then they go, ‘The baby’s here!’ Then you peek around the sheet and they’re lifting out the baby, but then you notice your wife is completely disassembled,” he continued. “I can see inside of her.”
As Shepard celebrated their daughter Delta‘s much-anticipated arrival, he also found himself unable to look away from the aftermath of the birth.
“I was like, ‘It’s a girl! Your liver’s out, I think. And those are definitely your intestines. And she has your eyes! Oh my God, put her back together correctly.’ “
The new dad joked, “After seeing this autopsy, I would rather see a school bus drive out of her vagina. It isn’t any worse than seeing your partner flowing over. Guys, I need medication if this happens again.”
Fortunately, despite the “heartbreaking” but necessary decision to undergo a c-section, Shepard said Bell has already bounced back.
“I have a healthy baby so everything’s great,” he says. “[Kristen]’s a super healer because she never smoked, never drank. Eats perfect. She’s like Wolverine! You cut her and as the knife’s going through, it’s sealing. If those kids came out of me, I don’t know what they’d look like. I’d still be in the hospital probably.”
But Shepard can take the credit for one thing: Delta’s unusual name.
“It was a joke because our first daughter’s name is Lincoln, which is very masculine,” he explained. “A friend of mine teasingly texted me, ‘Oh great, what’s this one gonna be? Navy Seal? Delta Force? Green Beret?’ “
The rest, Shepard said, is history: “I was reading this text out loud to Kristen and I said, ‘Oh, Steve said, “What if we named her Delta?” Delta! Delta Bell Shepard! That’s it!’ And that’s it.”
Now, the proud parents are settling into life with their 21-month-old and 4-week-old daughters. And although the transition from a family of three to four has been seemingly smooth, Shepard admits Lincoln’s love for her baby sister can be slightly dangerous.
“We’re all eating dinner and my mother says, ‘Guys! Guys! Guys!’ We look over — Lincoln has some rocks that she loves and carries around — and she’s throwing them in the baby bassinet to share. They’re big rocks,” he recalled. “There were no injuries, but that got our attention. Sharing is not caring, always. They say it is, but sometimes it’s almost murder.”
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— Anya Leon