Adrienne Bailon has been transparent about her and husband Israel Houghton’s infertility difficulties. However, she made the decision to shock those closest to her by acting differently when she learned on December 11, 2021, that the surrogate she had privately hired was pregnant.
“Honestly, everyone was shocked,” Bailon, who only told six others about the good news, said. “Even my sister, who watched The Real throughout the whole last season, literally said to me, ‘Adrienne, I am impressed.’ She’s like, ‘I am so proud of you. You are really holding this.’ I did that because it was really sacred to me.” While the former talk show co-host, 38, had previously gone into detail about her struggles hoping it would help viewers in her shoes, she didn’t realize how hard it was going to be when she didn’t have happy news to share.
The highs and lows were so difficult that they were mentally taking a toll on the actress, prompting her to stay mum. “It was important to me for my own mental wellbeing and for my family,” Bailon says. “I was just like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything.’ It was actually very peaceful that way. You didn’t have other people’s opinions.”
After eight failed in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and a miscarriage, Bailon found herself with what she thought was only one viable embryo. Taking her doctor’s advice, the couple decided to explore surrogacy which came with a new set of emotions. “I got to be honest, even the process of surrogacy can be quite nerve-wracking,” she shares.
“Somebody else has your child with them. We call it extreme babysitting for nine months. It can cause you to be really anxious. You’re just thinking, ‘Oh, is everything going okay? What’s happening?’ I feel like having people ask me, ‘How’s everything going?’ That was going to make me that much more anxious, so I just wanted to have peace and have a little joy that I could hold for myself every day and something to look forward to.”
With their families by their side, Ever James, whose name came from the couple’s wedding hashtag #happilyeverhoughton, was born during a home birth at an Airbnb in Lake Tahoe, California, just like Bailon always wanted. “It’s an absolute miracle,” Bailon shares of the moment her son came into the world.
“The birthing experience was incredible. We had multiple doulas. I had a doula for me. She had a doula for her that looked after her for aftercare. Same for me, someone that was there for me emotionally, anything that I needed physically. It was a family affair and absolutely beautiful.” Upon further testing, Bailon received good news when doctors discovered she has five embryos left.
Despite the emotional journey she’s already endured, Bailon hopes to try again — and this time become pregnant herself. “That’s the ultimate dream for me,” Bailon says. “I’m not giving up on that dream. Maybe I will carry one day and I can’t wait for that. I’m still hoping for that.”
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