Kim Kardashian may share almost every aspect of her life with her millions of Instagram followers, but she’s a bit more delicate when it comes to her young children. Her new baby girl was born in mid-January, but didn’t appear on Kim’s Instagram account until the end of February. But when she showed up, she was everything fans had been waiting for. The one-month-old was completely adorable.
Kim is arguably the biggest reality TV personality in the world. She’s the star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which pulls in millions of viewers every season. Not only that, but she’s a pretty shrewd businesswoman. Her careful marketing of her image has made her very, very rich. According to Time magazine, she has a net worth of $175 million.
In 2012, she began dating a man who was equally famous. That was Kanye West, a multi-award-winning rap artist. And before long it became clear that the relationship was very serious, as in December of that year Kim became pregnant. The baby, North “Nori” West, was born in June 2013, and a little less than a year later her parents married.
The wedding was, of course, a huge and extravagant affair. Reportedly, guests weren’t given place cards, but had all their names carved into a magnificent marble table. The wedding cake was apparently seven tiers high, and Kim had not one but two custom-made wedding dresses, one for the aisle and one for the reception. And the main event took place in Florence… because that’s where they conceived North.
It would be fair to speculate that a relationship so open to the public eye might not actually last all that long. But the couple, whom the media quickly dubbed “Kimye,” actually did seem to have what it took to last the course. In December 2015 Kim gave birth to their second child, this time a boy whom they named “Saint.”
But neither of Kim’s two pregnancies had actually been easy. While carrying North and Saint, she suffered from the conditions pre-eclampsia and placenta accreta. Both are pretty serious problems. If not treated properly, pre-clampsia can kill a pregnant mother. Placenta accreta, which involves the placenta not being expelled from the body properly, is likewise very dangerous.
Before giving birth to Saint in 2015, Kim wrote on her website about her experience giving birth to North. “My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails,” she wrote. “My mom was crying; she had never seen anything like this before.” And even after that horrible experience, she went on, she still had to have surgery to remove it.
She had the same problems when she had Saint. Because of the pre-eclampsia and other difficulties – such as Saint being in the breech birth position – Kim ended up having her labor induced several weeks before she planned it. But luckily, everything went smoothly, and both mother and baby went home safely.
Despite all this, Kim wanted a third child. In a March 2017 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, she told her family as much. “I want my kids to have siblings, but the doctors don’t feel like it’s safe for me,” she said. Her mom, Kris Jenner, looked worried and told Kim, “I don’t want you to do something that would put you in danger.”
And in the end, Kim decided she would not carry the baby herself. In June 2017, it was confirmed that a surrogate mother would be used. At first the decision was met with derision from some sides of the internet – with the claim made that she obviously just didn’t want to damage her famous body. But in fact doctors had urged her not to carry another baby, and her choice of surrogacy was for her health rather than her looks.
And everything turned out okay. The baby was delivered on January 15, 2018, and Kim made an announcement on her app. “We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care. North and Saint are especially thrilled to welcome their baby sister,” she wrote.
Yet for many days after the birth, there were no good photos of little Chicago. She did make a brief cameo in a birth announcement video for her cousin – not long after Kim gave birth, her sister Kylie had her first child, Stormi. But there was yet to be a truly good close-up of Chicago’s face. Finally, on February 27, Kim posted one. It had a silly filter on it, but that only added to the cuteness.
When they saw it, Kim’s followers went wild. In the nine hours after the photo went live, a whopping six million people pressed the “like” button on it. And by the side of the picture there was a long stream of comments talking about how “cute” and “beautiful” Chicago was. There were a few people making fun of the baby’s name too, but they were few and far between.
The name Chicago does at first glance seem like a slightly silly one – after all, her full name is “Chicago West.” But it transpired that there may have been a deeper reason for the name. Kanye had been very close to his mother, Donda, before she died in 2007. She had been a professor at Chicago State University. The name was almost certainly a tribute to her.
So Kim had officially introduced her baby to the world. But there was one other thing she had to do, which was introduce the woman who had helped make it all happen in the first place. And on the March 4 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, she did just that. Her surrogate had a starring role in the series finale.
She kept her face away from the cameras all through the episode to protect her identity. But viewers did learn her name – it was Lorena – and how she felt about being pregnant with Kim and Kanye’s child. “I like being pregnant. I know that sounds really weird,” she told Kim and her family. “Pregnancy itself, you know, it just feels natural. Like I’m supposed to do it.”
“I’m so proud of doing it in general,” Lorena went on to say. “Like, with all the women who do have pregnancy issues, that put so much trust in people like me, it’s amazing. It’s already a big deal.” And as for Kim herself, she shared her thoughts with the cameras. “I really didn’t know what to expect because I don’t really know anyone that’s gone through this,” she said.
“It was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be emotionally, but it’s so worth it, and our surrogate is such a nice person. My family absolutely loves her, and I’m just so grateful,” Kim said. And after the episode was done airing, she went to Twitter to leave a message. “I was so excited for my family to meet my surrogate. She’s the best!” she wrote.
All things considered, Kim was right in saying that surrogacy isn’t always an easy thing. Indeed, multiple rules govern the practice, and they’re different in every state. However, IVF gestational surrogacy, the type Kim chose, is becoming more and more common all the time. These days, more than 750 babies are born from the procedure every year. It can bring hope to mothers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have children.
In the final analysis, these are exciting times for the Kardashian clan. Kim has had her new baby, Kylie has had hers, and Khloe is also expecting one – she revealed in the Keeping Up With the Kardashians season finale that it was going to be a girl. Whether Kim will have a fourth baby, that’s another story – she may decide it’s best to leave the number at three. But it’ll be exciting to see them all grow up!