Heather Rae Young didn’t think she wanted children. “I always had very big dreams for myself, and they didn’t include kids,” the 34-year-old “Selling Sunset” star told TODAY Parents.
But when Young was in her 20s, she decided to have her fertility levels checked, just in case. She was shocked to learn she had low egg count. “I went to different doctors just to be sure,” model-turned -real estate agent recalled. “Each time, I’d get the same results.”
When she met her now-husband, Tarek El Moussa, in 2019, it was love at first sight. El Moussa, 40, already had daughter Taylor, 11, and son, Brayden, 6, from his previous marriage to his “Flip or Flop” co-host, Christina Haack. And Heather was content with being a stepmom.
“We were both a hard no on babies,” she revealed.
But that all changed about seven months ago.
Heather Rae El Moussa, who lives in Orange County, California, with her husband, opened up in her own words about the moment she realized she wanted a baby, and why she’s sharing her IVF journey with the world.
When Tarek and I started dating, I told him, “As much as I love Taylor and Brayden, I’m not going to have children of my own.” But seeing Tarek as a dad completely changed my mind about everything. He's obsessed with them.
My favorite part of the day is when we’re holding the kids in our arms and putting them to bed at night. We start with Brayden and then we go to Taylor’s room and it’s just the best. No matter how stressed or overwhelmed I am with work, they always make me smile with their funny stories.
Tarek and I communicate very well with each other, so I didn’t hold back about how I was feeling. At first he was like, ‘Oh, I’m not sure… I already have two beautiful children.” But the more we discussed it, the more excited we both became. Now, he’ll just look at me and go, “I can’t wait to have a baby with you!”
He's also been talking about wanting to coach their soccer teams.
I’ve been documenting the process of freezing my eggs and sharing our journey on Instagram, because I think it’s important to be open with my followers. We got seven eggs at my last retrieval and now we’re creating embryos, which is so exciting.
We’ll probably do the embryo transfer [the final step in the IVF process] this summer. Ideally, if I can get pregnant naturally, that will be our first choice.
Tarek and I are very open with Taylor and Brayden about what’s going on with the egg freezing. I was worried initially about how Taylor would react. She’s 11 and bringing a newborn into her life would be a huge change. They’ve had so many changes in their life — and I’m very aware and conscious of that. But Taylor right away was like, “I want it to be a boy! Let’s start picking names.”
I had to do hormone injections in my stomach and it was really painful because I’m only 103 pounds, I don’t have a lot of fat on my body. Taylor would bring me ice to put on my tummy and we'd turn up the music. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive family.
The hormones you take when you’re freezing your eggs are no joke. I had a day last week where I could not stop crying. I couldn’t get myself out of bed. Tarek stayed with me and comforted me. I’m so thankful that I have my family by my side because it’s an emotional journey.
I’m glad I decided to share my story on Instagram because struggling with infertility can feel very isolating. I also want to encourage women to think about their fertility in their 20s.
So many of us are focused on our careers. We’re not thinking about babies. But any point in your life, things can change. Things can change at any moment, and you want to be prepared.