Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been a hands-on father to both his kids from the beginning.
The 51-year-old Grey’s Anatomy alum and The Walking Dead star helped deliver both his children during wife Hilarie Burton‘s all-natural births — including 6-week-old daughter George Virginia, who arrived Feb. 16.
“My wife is full-on tough,” Morgan raved of Burton, 35, during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday, while their 8-year-old son Augustus “Gus” waited backstage. “No drugs … I was freaking out of my mind. She was great.”
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The couple, who have been married since 2014, had the help of a midwife each time. But when the moment came to finally deliver their children, all eyes were on Morgan.
“With Gus, when he was coming out, the midwife suddenly — and I wasn’t prepped for this — no one said, ‘You’re going to catch the baby.’ That’s kind of what happens,” Morgan recounted. “And so the midwife kind of moved aside and said, ‘Get on in there.’ And I kind of panicked. I didn’t know what to do.”
“I started seeing Gus’ head come out and I dropped the ball, essentially. He had a little bit of a cone head for a while. He got sort of stuck in no-man’s land,” Morgan joked, assuring “Gus’ head is perfectly round and wonderful” now.
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Knowing what he knew, Morgan was prepared for his daughter. “George started coming and the midwife moved aside. And I just went in and grabbed her by her little cheeks and had her out in 3 seconds,” he said.
During his trip to Kimmel, Morgan also revealed why he named his daughter George. The moniker, it turns out, was inspired by an episode of Bonanza called “A Girl Named George.” When he and Burton heard it, they were immediately sold.
“I loved the name and Hilarie loved the name. Gus is named after Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove. We got a weird western theme going on,” the actor joked, admitting the couple watches “a lot of old television.”
“It hadn’t been that long ago [when we watched the episode]. We had gone through every book and baby-name idea and nothing seemed to really click,” he explained. “I remember, it was summertime. We were just kind of dinking around. I don’t know who said it — her or I — and we both looked at each other and were like, ‘That’s it.’ “
So far, Morgan says that everyone is “cool” with the name … except for his mother. “She’s never, ever said the baby’s name,” Morgan said. “We like George. And six weeks in, she’s fitting into it.”
Morgan’s newest movie, Rampage, hits theaters April 13.