After welcoming her first child in September, Gigi Hadid is sharing intimate details of her 14-hour labor and her first few months at home with her baby girl.
The 25-year-old supermodel covers the March 2021 issue of Vogue and told the magazine she decided to give birth at home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, after watching the 2008 documentary "The Business of Being Born," which delves into different childbirth experiences.
Until then, Hadid had planned to deliver her daughter at a hospital in New York City. But when she and her partner, Zayn Malik, realized that COVID-19 precautions would limit the number of family members that could be present for the birth, they changed their minds.
“We both looked at each other and were like, I think that’s the call,” she said.
Hadid's mom, Yolanda Hadid, her sister, fellow model Bella Hadid, and a midwife joined the couple for the home birth. Hadid opted for a natural birth but said that it wasn't exactly easy.
“When you see someone do that, you look at them a bit differently. I probably looked crazy, actually,” she shared. “I was an animal woman.”
At one point Hadid did wonder if an epidural might help her, but she powered through.
“I had to dig deep. I knew it was going to be the craziest pain in my life, but you have to surrender to it and be like, ‘This is what it is.’ I loved that,” she said.
“My midwife looked at me and was like, ‘You’re doing it. No one can help you. You’re past the point of the epidural anyway, so you’d be pushing exactly the same way in a hospital bed.’”
While recalling the experience, the model reflected on how she thinks her loved ones felt while watching her give birth.
“I know my mom and Zayn and Bella were proud of me, but at certain points I saw each of them in terror,” she said. “Afterward, Z and I looked at each other and were like, ‘We can have some time before we do that again.’”
She also revealed that Malik caught their daughter when she was born.
“It didn’t even click that she was out,” Hadid said. “I was so exhausted, and I looked up and he’s holding her. It was so cute.”
The proud parents named their daughter Khai, an Arabic term that means “the chosen one,” and she arrived a week late.
“She was so bright right away,” Hadid said. “That’s what I wanted for her, a peaceful bringing to the world.”
The new mother has stayed pretty stationary since giving birth and has been taking care of Khai full time.
Hadid shot her Vogue cover just 10 weeks after delivering and said she's trying to be kind to her postpartum body.
“I know that I’m not as small as I was before, but I also am a very realistic thinker,” she said. “I straight up was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll shoot a Vogue cover, but I’m obviously not going to be a size 0,’ nor do I, at this point, feel like I need to be back to that.”