November 16, 2014 01:00 PM

She may make pregnancy look good, but Vanessa Lachey insists the path to parenthood is filled with its fair share of bumps.

For the actress, who is expecting her second childa girl! — with husband Nick, one of her toughest moments came while pregnant with her now 2-year-old son Camden John.

“I felt guilty because everyone told me about this love I’d feel, and I wasn’t there yet,” she says in the December/January issue of American Baby.

“I remember asking Nick, ‘Is something wrong with me? I’ve wanted this my whole life and I’m forcing myself to have those feelings.'”

Justin Coit for American Baby

But Vanessa, 34, recalls the exact day her sentiments toward her baby belly shifted. “For me, the love really flowed when I found out the baby was a boy,” she explains. “That’s when I could finally bond, once I knew ‘it’ was a him.”

The struggles didn’t stop after she welcomed her son in September 2012. Vanessa — who has been opened about her battle with the baby blues — admits she was forced to take things slow as she settled into motherhood.

“Remember to be patient. It’s hard! As a baby, Camden would take about an hour to breastfeed. By the time he finished, it was almost time to feed again,” she recalls.

Instead of becoming frustrated, Vanessa used those quiet moments to soak up time with her newborn.

“A friend reminded me that infants are learning everything for the first time,” she explains. “So who am I to say, ‘Hurry up and eat. We have to go?’ I tried to look at that time as an opportunity to love on him.”

Now that she’s set to welcome her second child just after the holidays, Vanessa is more confident in her parenting role and wants other mamas to embrace the exciting moment in their lives.

“Worrying is a waste of time. Once Camden was born, certain fears calmed down,” she says. “I no longer thought, ‘Will I be able to do this?’ My instincts really did kick in.”

She adds, “We stumble and make mistakes, too, but that’s what learning is. That’s the beauty of it. Every mother out there knows what she’s doing, whether she believes it yet or not.”

Oh, and one more thing, she adds: Don’t let fellow mothers and their “best moments” on social media put a damper on your day.

“Don’t feel like you’re not doing enough when you see a mom posting about making applesauce after you bought it,” she says with a laugh. “It’s fine! Just for raising a little human being you should be commended.”

Justin Coit for American Baby

— Anya Leon

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