As a former Las Vegas performer and reality show star, Holly Madison certainly has the experience of looking picture perfect. But when it comes to her post-baby body, she’s not under any pressure to bounce back too soon.
“I’m going to get healthy, but I’m not going to focus on how fast I’m losing weight,” Madison, 36, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “I don’t have a time limit.”
“I was eating junk food and ordering a lot of Postmates,” Madison admits. “I spent more on Postmates than I did on groceries!”
Comfort food, indeed. “I was vaguely nauseous and the thought of greens grossed me out,” says Madison. “I was a Shakey’s Pizza regular!”
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Now, “I feel different,” Madison reveals. “I’m not used to feeling like this. But I don’t feel the pressure. I’m just going to get healthy.”
Until then, Madison says with a laugh, “there are tight undergarments and smoke and mirrors!”
One thing the mother of two has certainly been losing is sleep since bringing home baby Forest.
“It’s been nice. Not a lot of sleep, but it’s been nice,” she says. “I just put the month aside to try and get a new routine with the two kids. I thought I’d been through the baby thing before [with Rainbow Aurora, 3,] and I’d got it down, but juggling with the two kids is something new … It’s a learning process for sure.”
Madison also says her husband Pasquale Rotella was especially excited to welcome a little boy into their family. Before the due date, the eager dad-to-be suggested the name of one of his closest friends, Forest.
“We also liked the name because it’s just a very nature-themed name and it goes with Rainbow,” she says. “I came up with [his middle name, Leonardo,] because people would ask me when I was due and people would say, ‘Oh, he’s a Leo!’ So I kept thinking that was a sign.”
Once their baby boy was born, Madison says Rotella made a lot of plans.
“He was excited to have a son,” she says. “He’s excited to buy him sneakers. He was really doting on both kids. It’s more about the dynamic of finding balance. He’s always concerned with making Rainbow feel included and giving her attention.”
Part of managing this dynamic started early on, when Madison says she and her husband started talking to Rainbow about their growing family.
“Pasquale and I have been talking to her about getting a brother or sister long before I was even pregnant,” she says. “We were trying to get the idea in her head, like, ‘You’re not the only one, so chill!’ And we got some gifts from friends, like ‘I’m a big sister’-type books. Those helped a lot.”
For now, Madison looks forward to her kids developing a close relationship.
“Their sibling bond is so valuable,” she says. “It’s so great to have that person who has the shared memories of growing up. It’s her own little team. It’ll be so cute to see them play. It will be really interesting to watch how that develops.”
Madison says she can see many more bonds forming in the future as her family continues to grow in size — maybe.
“When I was younger, I always thought I might have three kids because I have a brother and a sister,” she says. “I wouldn’t mind having even more, I just want to space it out a little bit. I could see myself having six kids over the years. I am totally open to adopting. One day, a big family.”
— Aili Nahas