Adrienne Bailon opened up about how she played a role in the birth of her first child, son Ever James, via surrogate.
“I actually got a chance to pull him out,” the formerThe Real co-host told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on 6 September.
The Cheetah Girls alum and her husband Israel Houghton, 47, announced the birth of their first child together via surrogate on 16 August. Ever James is Bailon’s first child, while Houghton has four children from a previous relationship: daughters Mariah and Milan and sons Jordan and Israel.
After multiple miscarriages and eight rounds of IVF, the couple opted for a surrogate to carry their child. To make sure that their surrogate had “support” during the birthing process, Bailon and Houghton decided to have a home birth surrounded by family and friends.
“Obviously, with COVID protocols and all those kinds of things, you’re limited to how many people can be in the room,” Bailon said. “My sister, obviously, I wanted her to be there, my mom to be there, and so, guess what? With the home birth you don’t have those limitations.”
“You can have everyone in the room there to have that experience with you,” she explained. “So, literally, my mom was there, my sister was there, and literally tucked in a room right behind us was my niece, his daughter, so, they met him within minutes of being born.”
The singer also described the moment she was able to have skin-to-skin contact with her son as “an out-of-body experience,” and the couple documented the special occasion in a “cringey” home video.
Bailon, 38, surprised her Instagram followers when she shared a post announcing her son Ever’s birth in August. But the singer explained how maintaining her privacy was an important part of the surrogacy process.
“I know it sounds weird, but after everything I’ve been through, multiple miscarriages, I’ve done IVF eight times, so, I feel like to some extent, I owed it to myself to give myself that privacy, to give myself the right to have something sacred and something just for us, and our family,” Adrienne shared.
“And that ultimately, I wasn’t going to disappoint anyone. I think it’s hard enough to deal with your own disappointment when you go through things like this, that it gets that much harder when you feel like you have to now explain to everyone else.”
She continued: “I hope that even by me not giving the information, it hopefully inspired somebody to say, ‘I don’t owe this to anyone, I don’t owe an explanation to anyone about why, how,’ and I think that there is that saying, ‘Get out of my uterus.’”
“As women, we have people constantly prying and asking questions that sometimes are just inappropriate and sometimes you don’t wanna share, and I hope that this encourages somebody to know that they don’t have to feel bad about it.”
The actress revealed that she has five embryos left, and is hopeful that she will be able to carry a baby in the future.
“My dream would be that I will carry one day and the thing is, when you only have one embryo left, you can’t test your body if it’s never been proven to carry full term. And now that I’ve got five, there’s more opportunities to try, so that’s my hope. That’s the goal and I’ve not given up on that dream,” she explained.
Although her journey with surrogacy has not been what she initially imagined for herself as a mother, Bailon expressed that she wouldn’t change a thing about it.
“This journey obviously with surrogacy is not what I initially thought my journey to motherhood would be like at all,” she said. “I imagined beautiful maternity photos, and what it would look like being pregnant, and I dreamed of that, and I still dream of that, and I’m hoping that that doesn’t mean that that’s not gonna happen for me in the future.”
“But I remember literally telling my sister maybe two days after Ever was born, and just being like, ‘I would not change a thing.’”