Cuddling together on a bed, their baby between them and their 21-month-old in consistent transformation — over, around and on tip of them — Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins are marveling during their prolonged tour toward apropos a family of four.
“I didn’t consider she would ever come home,” Lauren tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It was so exhausting, so defeating. Emotionally, it would mutilate me sometimes.”
And baby No. 2, Ada James, didn’t make it many easier on her mama. Sick for a initial 20 weeks of her pregnancy, Lauren struggled by a marathon 36-hour-plus labor event before Ada was born on Aug. 12. “I feel like we went by dual apart births,” she says. “And they were not easy pregnancies, possibly one!”
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At her side for both was Thomas Rhett — many to Lauren’s surprise. “It repelled me how concerned he was with Ada given ever given I’ve famous him in center school, he has been a many dramatic, can’t-deal-with-anything-too-intense person,” she says. “He’s nice and he will daub out during a dump of a hat, though by those initial 28 hours, he did not leave my side.”
Lauren had hoped she would go into labor on her own, though as her Aug. 8 due date upheld and time grew brief before Thomas Rhett would have to leave city for a show, so they motionless to induce. “It was some-more critical for him to be home for a small bit than to wait for my physique to do it all on a own,” Lauren says.
She was, however, committed to a healthy birth — a choice Thomas Rhett says he couldn’t understand. “I don’t do pain,” he says. “If there is a drug to be taken to not make pain happen, I’m on it.”
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The thespian and Lauren’s mom spent hours in a hospital, massaging and pulling on Lauren’s vigour points as she endured contractions. “I’m like, ‘You unequivocally don’t wish drugs right now? If we were you, we would have taken drugs right when we got here,’ ” he says.
“She was so strong-willed, though there came a indicate where we weren’t removing anywhere and it was so unpleasant that she finally did.” It was, he jokes, “the best impulse of my life!”
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When things finally started moving, Thomas Rhett resolutely planted himself during a head, rather than a tail, finish of a operation. “I betrothed myself we wasn’t going to watch,” he explains. “And afterwards we got a small glance from this counterpart that was set adult and we was like, ‘Well, I’m invested now.’ ”
“When we saw Ada come into a world, it was literally the many supernatural thing I’ve ever seen,” he recalls.
Willa Gray, however, wasn’t scarcely as tender with her initial glance of her baby sister. In a weeks heading adult to a birth, she had been preoccupied with Lauren’s belly, ceaselessly repeating “Ada? Ada?”
But when she saw a genuine thing, “I consider it wrecked her when she satisfied it was a tellurian instead of a baby doll,” Lauren says.
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During a sisters’ initial assembly in a hospital, Willa refused to contend Ada’s name. In a video Lauren posted of a moment, she looks a small shell-shocked, though did strech for Ada’s palm and, with a small encouragement, gave her a discerning kiss.
“It was so sweet,” Lauren says. “Willa loves to reason my hand, and she started rubbing Ada’s palm like we do with her.”
Back during home, it’s been a little reduction picture-perfect, Lauren admits. Though Willa is “finally entrance around to a baby,” it hasn’t been easy. “She has to take a behind chair with me given Ada only needs me so many more. It’s tough to explain to a 21-month-old that ‘Mommy can’t reason you,’ ” Lauren says.
The toddler is, however, intrigued by Ada’s crib (“She wants to distortion down and take naps with Ada,” says Lauren) and, adds the mom of two, “I consider she’s flourishing to adore her some-more and more.”
As for Ada James, she seems to consolidate her given moniker. “Ada means happy,” says Lauren, who researched baby-name meanings before she came adult with a ideal fits for both her girls (the newborn’s center name is in respect of 4 opposite family members).
“It was beautiful, and we thought, ‘Well, she’s a happiest small surprise we’ve ever had,’ ” Lauren adds.
For some-more on Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins’ new life as relatives of two, collect adult a latest emanate of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.