Reality star Kandi Burruss almost became a mother of five.
On the season 12 premiere of Real Housewives of Atlanta on Nov. 3, 2019, Burruss revealed that the surrogate she and husband Todd Tucker are using was initially pregnant with twin girls, but one of the embryos did not survive. The news was bittersweet for the couple. « I was sad at first, but then I just had to be grateful that the one made it, » Burruss said (via Us Weekly). News broke in September 2018 that the couple was expecting their second child together via a surrogate — something that was new to both of them. The former Xscape member welcomed her son Ace in 2016 with Tucker and gave birth to her daughter Riley with ex Russell « Block » Spencer in 2002. Tucker has a daughter named Kaela from a previous relationship.
Fans have been with the couple every step of the way of the surrogacy as Burruss and Tucker documented their journey during season 11 of RHOA. Viewers were even introduced to a candidate who ended up being the couple’s surrogate, a woman named Shadina. So why did Burruss opt for a surrogate in the first place?
Kandi Burruss had a rough pregnancy before
After facing fertility struggles, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker turned to in vitro fertilization to conceive son, Ace. However, it wasn’t without its own set of struggles and scary moments. « [I had] a couple of scares during my pregnancy with Ace, » she told People. « I was a high risk and I did have bleeding a few times. So my womb is just, it’s not the best place to have a healthy pregnancy with no issues. » Around the time of her pregnancy, Burruss also suffered from fibroids — benign lumps and tumors which can make conception difficult. With those factors in mind, Burruss’ OBGYN, Married to Medicine star Dr. Jackie Walters, called surrogacy « a great option,” according to People.
Typically, one embryo is implanted in the surrogate, but Burruss had two embryos left from the IVF process with Ace. « I only want to do it if we can do them both. I don’t want to leave anybody behind, » Tucker told Dr. Walters (via People). Dr. Walters told the couple that their options were two separate surrogates or one surrogate with twins, with Burruss and Tucker ultimately choosing the latter.
Kandi Burruss was a bit wary of surrogacy from the start
Although Kandi Burruss understood that surrogacy was her best chance for having another child, that doesn’t mean she was completely onboard from the get go. « To allow somebody to carry my child inside of them? It was a tough decision to make. … I just feel like this whole situation is strange, » Burruss said on Real Housewives of Atlanta (via Essence). « I don’t get to be excited about the first kick. I don’t get to be excited about, ‘Oh, now my baby bump is showing.’ I don’t get to be excited even about my boobs filling up with milk. »
In an interview with The Daily Dish, she confessed that even though both she and husband Todd Tucker were nervous about having a child via a surrogate, it weighed on her a little differently. « I think it’s easier for Todd to handle or deal with because as a man he’s used to somebody else carrying the baby. But for me it’s a little bit harder for me to deal with the thought because I’m supposed to carry my own kids in my mind. »
Andy Cohen stepped in to ease her mind
When Kandi Burruss went through the IVF process, even though it wasn’t smooth sailing, she wasn’t completely in the dark about what to expect. Not knowing anyone who had gone through the surrogacy process that she could lean on made the experience all the more daunting. « When we were going through the IVF process, I did have a couple of friends who had done it, so, you know, I could talk to them, but this is a situation where I don’t have anybody I can talk to, » she told US Weekly.
Despite her initial hesitation to fully embrace the idea of surrogacy, the television personality revealed that Bravo host Andy Cohen – who welcomed son Benjamin via a surrogate in February 2019 — offered some kind words that helped her get through it. « I had made a comment. I said something like, ‘I guess I’m gonna have a baby mama,' » the Bravo personality told former Busy Tonight host, Busy Phillips. » And he said to me, ‘Don’t you ever say that because you are the mother. And to say she’s your baby’s mom is taking away from you.’ It made me feel better. » Burruss teared up, adding, « At the time I didn’t know that he was doing [surrogacy] too. And then when he announced it, he hit me up immediately and said, ‘Now you see why I felt so strongly.' »
Tucker and Buruss’ child is due in November 2019.