By Meredith Lepore
Updated Dec 24, 2014 @ 3:01 pm
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

It sounds as though the experience of pregnancy and the Dec. 9 birth of her and fiancé Wladimir Klitschko's daughter, Kaya Evdokia, has left Hayden Panettiere a bit mystified.

“I’m limping around. I’m still trying to figure out what [pregnancy] has done to my body, how it’s changed it. What’s temporary and what’s permanent,” the 25-year-old actress tells People. “I feel like an 80-year-old woman trying to go down the stairs, you know, please tell me this is temporary. But I know some things will never be the same again.”

Despite the many changes her body went through, it hasn't distracted the Nashville star from feeling excited about the newest member of the family. “You’re suddenly looking at this little thing like, 'Oh, that was you in my belly this whole time,'" Panettiere says. “[We’re] just getting to know her." It sounds like it will be a very happy holiday season for the new family.

Panettiere and Klitschko, 38, announced that they were expecting in June, eight months after they were engaged, and the actress's pregnancy was written in as a plot line for her Nashville character, Juliette Barnes. But unlike Panettiere, Juliette has yet to give birth. We'll be watching to see how things evolve for her in the second half of Season 3, which returns Feb. 4, 2015.