Packed to the Rafters stars Jessica Marais and James Stewart show off their beautiful week-old daughter Scout exclusively to WHO as the actress reveals the “sheer and utter love” she feels at becoming a mum.
Marais, 27, who met Stewart, 36, on the set of Rafters in 2009, welcomed Scout Edie Stewart on May 9 in Sydney.
“I remember putting her on my chest and saying, ‘I love you’ and just crying,” the star recalls at WHO’s photo shoot on May 15.
“They were tears of joy, disbelief and exhaustion, but mostly just an overwhelming sense of love that I’ve never had in my life before, really.”
Stewart says he was breathless and blown away by the experience of watching his little girl come into the world.
“I cut the cord and I was nervous when [the doctor] was handing me the scissors, but then I got down to the business of it,” he says.
The couple had music playing during the birth, and “Fields of Gold” by Sting was playing as Scout was born.
Named after the character in To Kill A Mockingbird – one of Marais’ favourite novels – Scout “has her mum’s lips and my nose,” says Stewart. “And definitely her dad’s head of hair,” adds Marais.
But baby Scout honours another family member as well, says Marais. "Atticus Finch (Scout's father in To Kill A Mockingbird) always reminded me of my dad," [Marais's father, Tony, died of a heart attack when she was 9,]b "He used to say not to judge a man until you have walked in his shoes, and he always encouraged me to treat other people with kindness and equality.""Atticus and Scout have a very special relationship, so I was definitely paying tribute to him, in a way," says Marais of her late father, Tony, who died when she was nine.
But, as the new family are moving back to Hollywood in a month for Marais to resume work on the TV series Magic City, she is conscious of her upcoming responsibilities – juggling work and motherhood.
“It is overwhelming, I’ve given myself one more week to not think about it,” she says. “I know I have an incredibly supportive partner that I’m so lucky to have, and he makes everything much easier.”
Adds Stewart: “When the baby is born, a team is born.”
For the full interview and exclusive baby photos, pick up this week's issue of WHO, on sale today.