Hayden Panettiere has been unusually open about her process of becoming a mother to daughter Kaya, now five years old. Shortly after her birth, Panettiere suffered from debilitating postpartum depression, checking into a rehab facility and relying on Kaya’s father (and now ex-boyfriend) Wladimir Klitschko to care for Kaya in her absence. Panettiere, who has since spoken out to raise awareness about PPD, has typically taken great care to keep her daughter’s image private. But it seems lockdown like has the mom feeling reflective, and she’s just shared a rare throwback picture of baby girl Kaya in their early days together. Despite the difficult journey that followed, Panettiere is reclaiming those memories.
Panettiere shared the dreamy snap to Instagram on Wednesday, adding the caption: “Seems like this picture was taken yesterday. Can’t believe my baby is 5 already! Time flies.” In the photo, the new mama hugs Kaya to her chest, who in turn wraps an arm around Panettiere’s neck.”
Earlier Wednesday, Panettiere shared another photo of Kaya, now at age five — and engaged in an unusual activity. “I took this mold of my belly when I was pregnant and my daughter Kaya begged me to let her draw on it,” Panettiere explains. “After I explained to her how DELICATE 😬 and special it is to mommy I finally gave in and said yes. Luckily daddy helped her with a little outline for her to color in.”
Panettiere and Klitschko have worked out a co-parenting arrangement that allows Kaya to live with each of them part-time, going between the US and Ukraine. It seems all three are together at the moment — unsurprising given Panettiere’s commitment to keeping the family together no matter the hurdles. Since her and Klitschko’s 2018 split, they’ve both indicated that Kaya is their first priority.
Panettiere’s honesty about the mental health struggles that can come with having a baby helped women everywhere find a voice for their own pain, and we applaud her for speaking up. But she’s also just a mom who had a really tough time and hasn’t had motherhood look quite like she expected it to. I’m glad that, when Panettiere looks into her past with baby Kaya, she finds the joy there too.
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