Was Jennifer Love Hewitt Pregnant at the Same Time as Maddie on 9-1-1? How Her Character ‘Helped’ Her Postpartum Depression in ‘Real Life’
Life imitates art. So when JLH and Maddie gave birth at the same time, 9-1-1 fans couldn’t help but ask: Was Jennifer Love Hewitt pregnant at the same as Maddie on 9-1-1 or was it just a coincidence?
9-1-1 is FOX’s drama series following the firefighters, paramedics and other emergency personnel at the Los Angeles Fire Department’s fictional Station 118 in Los Angeles, California. Hewitt plays Maddie Buckley (formerly Maddie Kendall), the sister of firefighter Evan “Buck” Buckley and a trained nurse and 911 operator who moves to Los Angeles, California, after leaving her abusive husband, Doug Kendall.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 2018, Hewitt explained why she joined 9-1-1 as her first role after a three-year break from acting following the death of her mother, Patricia Hewitt, in 2012. “I had needed to take some time for myself and needed to grieve my mother. I needed to become a new mom; I needed to learn how to be a wife,” she said. “There was a lot going on in my own life that just felt like I needed some space and some time to kind of be. I’ve really enjoyed the break, and I feel like now, the last few months, having gone back into acting, it’s really done a beautiful thing for me in that it’s made everything that I do in my acting/entertainment life not less important but less like, ‘It’s everything all the time,’ like it used to be.”
Since her return to acting with 9-1-1, Hewitt has also become a mother of three. She welcomed her third child, Aidan, in 2021, the same year Maddie also welcomed her daughter, Jee-Yun. So…was Jennifer Love Hewitt pregnant at the same time as Maddie in 9-1-1? Read on for what we know about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s pregnancy on 9-1-1.
Was Jennifer Love Hewitt pregnant while playing Maddie in 9-1-1?
Was Jennifer Love Hewitt pregnant while playing Maddie in 9-1-1? The answer is yes. Hewitt was pregnant while her character, Maddie Buckley, was also pregnant in season four of 9-1-1, which aired from September 2021 to May 2022.
Hewitt announced her pregnancy with her third child, a son named Aidan, in May 2021. She gave birth to Aidan in September 2021. “Well this is how my kids sent me to the hospital. My belly was a big hit. “It is said that women leave their bodies in labor… they travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies, and return to this world together.” It was my greatest honor to go and collect you Aidan James. Now back to snuggles and resting,” Hewitt captioned an Instagram post of her baby bump, which had the words “almost cooked” written on it. Along with Aidan, Hewitt also has two other children with her husband, Brian Hallisay: daughter Autumn, who was born in 2013, and son Atticus, who was born in 2015.
Maddie and her boyfriend at the time, Howard “Howie”/”Chimney” Han, learned she was pregnant with their first child in season 3, episode 18, “What’s Next?” Maddie gave birth to her and Chimney’s baby, a daughter named Jee-Yun, in season 4, episode 9, “Blindsided.” (Before her relationship with Howie, Maddie was married to her abusive ex-husband, Doug Kendall, whom she left to move to Los Angeles, California, to reunite with her brother, Evan Buckley, and work as a nurse and 911 operator.) After the birth of Jee-Yun, Maddie started to suffer from postpartum depression and decided to leave Jee-Yun and Chimney to move to Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie’s hiatus from 9-1-1 was a result of taking maternity leave after the birth of Aidan.) Maddie and Chimney reunited in Boston six months after their move. They broke up on their way back to Los Angeles after realizing they’ve grown apart. Maddie and Chimney get back together in season 6, episode 1, “Let the Games Begin,” after Maddie tells Chimney, she’s “done running.”
In an interview with TV Line in March 2022, Hewitt explained that her and Maddie’s pregnancies at the same time were pure coincidences. “When we started doing Maddie’s pregnancy storyline, I was not pregnant, but very quickly into that storyline, I found out that I was,” she said. “So I was pregnant while she was pregnant. And with the timing of everything, I also ended up sort of being on my own postpartum journey as I was filming her postpartum episodes. It was very interesting timing throughout the whole thing for her and I. It was actually very helpful. My postpartum was sort of rushed through because I had to give it all to Maddie. [Playing that character] gave me a place to put all the emotions. So it helped me, in real life, push through it probably a lot faster than I would have. I was very grateful for that.”
She continued, “The after having a baby part is as important for the mom and for the partner of the mom to pay attention to. There’s a lot that happens. I literally just went through this where I had postpartum. Fortunately, I had people around me to pay attention and tell me that I didn’t seem like myself or that maybe I was struggling more than I was allowing myself to vocalize. I’m so grateful to be playing this storyline for people out there. I hope that they feel seen and heard and can help people who might be struggling and feel like they can’t say anything. I hope it helps somebody.”
Along with postpartum depression, Maddie was also diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis, a condition in which a person’s thyroid becomes inflamed after giving birth. Hewitt explained to TV Line why she was glad 9-1-1 included that part of Maddie’s postpartum storyline. “There are these very simple blood tests they do for women after [giving birth], and then they just send you out. They’re like, ‘Well, it looks fine. You must just be feeling weird,'” Hewitt said. “I appreciated that in Maddie’s storyline, we really get into how part of what happened to her was just a missed hormone panel that no one paid attention to because she fell into this rare category of people who needed this certain kind of thing for her thyroid. I’m sure there will be women out there watching who will think, ‘I’ve been feeling weird, maybe I need to go ask for that and look more into that.’ Or reach out to people and say, ‘I’m not feeling right,’ and they have to pay attention.”
She continued, “There’s a real hole in mental health for women after they have a baby in that it’s very much like walking on egg shells. No one wants to upset the tired new mom who’s breastfeeding and doing all of this. And the moms are sitting there like, ‘Why isn’t anybody asking if I’m OK? I don’t feel right.’”
Hewitt also told TV Line why she was glad that Maddie and Chimney didn’t get back together immediately after she returned to Los Angeles. “Anyone who’s been in any sort of treatment needs to reacclimate themselves to life. They need to get back into their old clothes, their old shoes, their old ways and bring the new things with them. From he moment she is able to go, ‘I am ready to be a mom again and I can do that,’ she’s going to full into being a mom again,” she said. “That is for the rest of the season. There are no more weird or unsure moments with that baby. She is just happy to be a mom again, and feel confident and good about her ability to do so.”
Hewitt also told Entertainment Tonight in March 2022 about how Maddie’s postpartum depression mirrored “versions of” her own postpartum experiences throughout her three pregnancies. “But what made this part interesting is having to go back to work with a four-and-a-half-month-old, five-month-old baby,” she said. “I was so very much in my own postpartum journey. Having to play Maddie in the middle of hers, which is a little bit different than mine, but having to do that every day—it was really hard. But it was also very cathartic and really interesting. I feel it kind of helped me in my own journey, sort of pushed through faster and be able to have a place to put it and to understand all those things that we could go through as women.”
She continued, “It was scary for sure because I was like, ‘Wow, this is intense.’ I know the storyline a little too well at the moment… and being a mom with two other kids, you have to come home from doing all that stuff during the day and then you have to be smiley and have rainbows shooting out of your eyeballs because they need joy and happiness. It was a lot to balance, but it was very, very important to me, for the audience, to tell the story. For women out there to tell the story and the story really handles more than just postpartum depression. It handles depression in general and it handles people that feel maybe suicide is an option for them. We really run the gamut. We talk about all of the things that wrap back into the story and it was very important.”
Check out the gallery below in which we take an “aww”-inspiring look at some of your favorite soap stars and their real-life offspring!