Welcoming their first baby during a global pandemic was a daunting prospect for Dancing With The Stars judge Rachel White and her Kiwi hubby Stuart, but it turned out COVID was the least of their concerns when it came to the birth of their sweet son Maxim Ilya, with a difficult pregnancy that saw the brunette beauty nearly die on the delivery table.
“It’s so much easier to talk about what happened now because I finally have my baby – he’s beautiful and literally my dream come true – but there was a lot that came with it,” says Rachel, 34, speaking exclusively to Woman’s Day from their home in Los Angeles. Going back to the beginning, the champion dancer reveals her heartache at struggling to fall pregnant. “At the time, it was hard to admit that having a baby just wasn’t happening for us,” she confesses. “I felt like whenever I found out someone else was expecting, even though I was happy for them, it was really hard for me. I’d wanted it for so long and I’m such a goal-oriented person, so it was difficult.”
She and Northland hunk Stu, 38, saw a doctor in Aotearoa and underwent a heartbreaking failed attempt at intra-uterine insemination before trying a “pretty intense IVF treatment” back in the US.
Thanks to top Californian doctors, the couple were able to test Rachel’s embryos for haemophilia C, a condition the Russian-Californian star lives with that prevents her blood from clotting properly.
She enthuses, “Luckily we were able to bring Max into this world without it because any time I bleed, I’m at serious risk. It’s amazing not having to worry about it because looking at crazy Kiwi Stu, who has had upwards of 10 operations, I was concerned if we had a boy, he’d be jumping off roofs! We’re stoked and feel like everything happened for a reason.”
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