New mum Kate Mara had to abandon her birth plan after developing a potentially harmful disease and a high fever which required her to undergo an emergency Caesarean section.
The former House of Cards star gave birth to her first child, a daughter, with husband Jamie Bell last month (May19), but her journey to motherhood was full of drama, after doctors diagnosed her with liver condition obstetric cholestasis, which could cause harm to her unborn baby.
She had to be induced a month before her due date, but still spent three days in labour in hospital, ruining her hopes of having a natural home birth, and was administered an epidural to try and move the process along.
Mara ended up having to be rushed into the operating room for delivery as her temperature climbed to 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius), and it was at that point the actress finally broke down over her surgery fears.
"I kept really calm for most of those three days (in labour) but right before I went in for the C-section, that's when I sort of (felt) the devastation of it and the disappointment of not being able to experience a birth any way that I had hoped," she explained on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast.
"I was so scared to have the C-section, to have this surgery. I was genuinely terrified of what that meant and what could happen and all of these things, and then of course just being tired made me that much more scared, I think."
She added, "I was just super sad. I remember that moment very clearly because I burst out crying and was like, 'I'm scared.'"
Her daughter arrived safely, but Mara's health crisis wasn't over - she also needed a blood transfusion after enduring excess bleeding during the surgery, and wasn't able to hold her baby immediately after her birth due to the side affects of the pain-numbing medication.
"I was like, 'When am I going to stop shaking?'" she recalled. "I thought my teeth were going to pop out, my jaw was clenched so tight from the shakes, and then I thought, 'I definitely can't hold her because I can't move.' My arms were locked.
"My husband brought her over to me and he kind of held her on my chest and it was amazing, but it was not at all what I imagined it would be. I could barely keep my eyes open to look at her."
Despite the difficulties the actress faced during the labour process, Mara insists she "wouldn't do anything differently" because everything eventually worked out: "We really did do everything in our power to make it as peaceful and natural and easy for our baby to come out as possible," she said.
Mara, who also used the candid podcast chat to open up about a previous miscarriage, has yet to share the tot's first name, although she did reveal the little girl has been given her maiden name as a middle moniker.
She wed her Fantastic Four co-star Bell in 2017.
The British actor also has a five-year-old son named Jack with his ex-wife, Evan Rachel Wood.