Tarek and Heather Rae El Moussa Open Up About Their IVF Journey (Exclusive)
Tarek and Heather Rae El Moussa Open Up About Their IVF Journey …
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Tarek and Heather Rae El Moussa weren't planning on having kids together, but then everything changed. The Flip or Flop host and the Selling Sunset star tied the knot about three months ago, with Heather undergoing in vitro fertilization in hopes of having a baby.
The newlyweds opened up to ET's Lauren Zima about their journey, and the challenges they have experienced, as they attempt to expand their family.
"Originally when we first met, it was like I said, 'No I don't want any kids.' He said, no more kids for him. So we were on the exact same page," Heather says in ET's exclusive sit-down. "Well, fast forward two-and-a-half years… you know."
"Someone changed the page," laughs Tarek.
What changed their minds was Heather seeing her husband's love for his two children -- 11-year-old daughter Taylor and 6-year-old son Brayden -- whom he shares with ex-wife Christina Haack.
"To be honest, it was my love for Taylor and Brayden and honestly seeing Tarek as a daddy. Like, he loves those kids, he's so obsessed with them and when we don't have them, he's like, 'I miss them. I miss them,'" she explains. "And I do too. We love having them around, we miss them, and just seeing him be such an incredible dad I think that really started changing my mind."
"And then I started thinking, 'How could I not have one of my own and with the man that I love?'" she adds. "You never know how the future's gonna [go], where it's gonna take you."
Of course, the couple was also influenced by Heather's mom, as Tarek adds, "Grandma really wants a grandbaby. Her mom is like, 'It's my turn! I want a grandbaby!'"
Heather shares that her "poor mom" gave up hope that she would have a child after she consistently told her, "It's never gonna happen." "And then one night, like [a] couple weeks or a month ago, he goes, 'We're having a baby!' And my mom’s like, 'What?!'"
"Well, not yet," Tarek clarifies, adding that they told her they were officially "planning on having a baby."
As for what also helped change the already father of two's mind about having another child was seeing his wife be "such a rock star [step]-mom."
"The kids are obsessed with her and I was on my own for a really long time, and the way I look at life has changed a lot," he admits. "So now I'm back into the married, family dynamic, and honestly it's my favorite thing to do. Saturday soccer games are more exciting than going to watch the Super Bowl live. I'm obsessed."
The couple, however, is facing some fertility challenges. When Heather was in her 20s, she found out she had a low egg count. The now 34-year-old has been updating her followers on Instagram about her IVF journey and doctor visits. They have frozen six eggs, recently wrapping her second round of egg freezing.
"I think as a woman when you hear that, it really hits you and you think, 'Oh my god, what if I can never do this?' So when we started dating, right in the beginning, I talked to him about freezing my eggs, just in case, you know, even though we were both like, 'No.' I'm like, 'I want to do it just as an insurance policy,'" she explains, adding that they then talked about freezing embryos as she had a low egg count and Tarek previously had testicular cancer.
"It's definitely been rough," Heather admits. "These last two-and-a-half weeks, poking myself every single day with needles, three times a day, the hormones, the emotions... At first we found out I only had two eggs. Which going through this whole process and only finding out I had two eggs, I was sad. I did cry a little bit and, you know, going into the extraction -- we went to the extraction on Tuesday. I came out and I had seven eggs, so that was really exciting for us because we thought we only were gonna get two."
For now, the couple continues to track how many eggs and embryos she has, with some making it and some not. "Then we do genetic testing to make sure everything's good," she shares, adding that in about a week an a half they will "find out how many babies we have on ice."
Their timeline for adding a new member to the family depends on their IVF journey, but while Tarek says "within a year," Heather exclaims, "Next month!?"
"Let's just get through the summer," jokes Tarek, before adding, "I'm just kidding. Whatever she wants."
"I think now that it's in my mind, because I was a 'no' and then it was like, 'OK, let's think about it. Let's maybe do this,' and then now that I'm like, 'OK, I'm ready and I'm ready to be an official Mommy and be pregnant,' mentally I'm there," Heather explains. "I'm ready! Sooner than waiting another year or two."
Tarek and Heather are still trying the natural way and if, as Tarek says, they "can't get it done the fun, natural way, then the embryos are the backup." Joking that they will have three kids or even twins, they are already thinking of how life as new parents would be.
"We already decided it's OK, he's not gonna be doing diapers," Heather says, with Tarek quipping, "No, I'll do some diapers, I'll do some diaper. It's a true thing, like, I have a reflex."
"He can't even clean up our dog poop," Heather jokes, with her husband adding, "But I try."
And if he's not on poop patrol, how will he make up for it? "Oh, I just treat my queen like a queen," he says as he kisses her hand.
Those sweet moments and gestures of love is everything Heather could want and more as she continues on this IVF journey.
"His support means everything to me. He's the best husband. I don't think I could do it without him and I think that's so important for women that are going through this, to have someone -- if it's not a boyfriend or a husband or a partner -- but someone in their lives to turn to," she expresses. "Because you're going though a lot of emotions, the hormones affect you and you need to be able to talk to someone. I think as women and knowing we are struggling having babies, everyone's journey through this is really emotional and I don't think it's talked about enough or normalized enough."
"But I've talked about it and it's out there. I'm getting so many messages from women that are going through the same thing, they've had miscarriages, they've been trying for five years. So it's crazy and this really positive awareness that they're not out there alone," she adds.
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