Jamie Lynn Spears is confident she made the right decision to avoid the limelight in Hollywood and give birth to her baby in her new hometown in Southwestern Mississippi. In the cover story of the new OK! magazine, Spears, 17, who gave birth to daughter Maddie Briann Aldridge on June 19, said that being home has allowed her to focus on the baby.
"Around here, everyone has the same focus," the "Zoey 101" star said. "The focus is family, and that's a good way to live." Rebuffing reports that she delivered the baby by C-section, Spears said that her labor was induced, but she gave birth naturally without any complications.
Fiance Casey Aldridge was the one person Spears said she wanted in the delivery room with her, and he reportedly provided a calming presence by holding her hand during the baby's birth. "Once I got in there, my doctor was just so calm and so good it was not bad at all," Spears said, explaining that she started having contractions right after she was induced. "I was just talking to Casey. And you know what's so weird? I was asking him if he was OK. He was like, 'Yeah.' We were both so excited."
Though she was braced for what doctors told her would likely be eight to 12 hours of labor pains, Spears said she experienced only three to four hours before giving birth.
"I had a perfect pregnancy and a perfect delivery. I was very blessed," she said, admitting to being anxious before the delivery. "The first time I saw her, it was surreal. You can't even imagine that moment. She just looked at me, and she really didn't cry at first. I was scared, and then she started screaming. It is the best feeling in the world."
Also present at the hospital were Aldridge's parents and sisters, as well as all of Jamie Lynn's family, including sister Britney, who flew out from Los Angeles for the birth.
"It was such a big day," Jamie Lynn told the magazine. "And being able to have your sister there, your whole family there, meant a lot. Everybody flew in to celebrate." She said that her mother, Lynne, has also been around "a bunch" to help with the baby.
The arrival of Maddie — whose first name was suggested by Aldridge and whose middle name is in honor of one of his cousins, who died just before the baby was born — occurred almost simultaneously with a now-suspect report about a "pregnancy pact" among a group of Massachusetts teens. The combination of the widespread coverage of the two stories caused some pundits to worry that teen pregnancy is being glamorized.
Spears, who undoubtedly has a financial advantage over the typical teenage mother, painted an ideal picture of new parenthood: They have Maddie in a bassinet next to their bed, and Spears said she and Aldridge have figured out the baby's routine so "there's no screaming and crying."
"Sometimes, in the middle of the night, he'll get up and rock her for me," Spears said of her fiance. "He is so good with her, you'd think he'd been around babies all his life. He instinctively knows what to do to make her happy."
The former child star said she's looking forward to being a soccer mom, but would support her daughter if she decided to follow the Spears family path into show business. "Whatever she becomes passionate about in life, I'm going to support it 100 percent."
The couple, who took parenting classes before the baby's birth, haven't set a date for their wedding yet.