Gigi Hadid originally planned to give birth in a New York City hospital. But when COVID-19 hit, she and boyfriend Zayn Malik reevaluated their plans and decided to go with the next best thing: an inflatable pool in their Pennsylvania farmhouse.
The 25-year-old supermodel revealed this week to Vogue that she labored for 14 hours before delivering her daughter Khai in September.
"It didn't even click that she was out," she told the magazine. "I was so exhausted, and I looked up and he's holding her. It was so cute."
"Afterward, Z and I looked at each other and were like, 'We can have some time before we do that again.'"
Hadid revealed that Malik wasn't the only one at her side when they welcomed Khai into the world. Her mother, Yolanda, her sister, Bella, and her midwife and assistant were all in the room.
"When you see someone do that, you look at them a bit differently. I probably looked crazy, actually," she reflected. "I was an animal woman."
Hadid opted to deliver without an epidural.
"I had to dig deep," she said. "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."
"I know my mom and Zayn and Bella were proud of me, but at certain points, I saw each of them in terror," she added.
Thankfully, after 14 hours, baby Khai was born without complications.
"She was so bright right away," Hadid said. "That's what I wanted for her, a peaceful bringing to the world."
Gigi's mother Yolanda also spoke to Vogue about supporting her daughter through childbirth.
"I'm proud of her face on a magazine, but seeing her give birth was a whole other level of proud," Yolanda said. "You go from looking at her as a daughter to looking at her as a fellow mother."
Gigi also revealed that she and Zayn plan on raising Khai in Pennsylvania.
"I think she'll definitely be raised here," Hadid said. "The greenery and the farm-y lifestyle are similar to what made me feel really centered as a kid, and I think that's really important to Zayn and me. I think that just giving your child the opportunity to explore different interests is such a beautiful thing."
Hadid said that when it comes to parenting, she's realizing that there's no 'one way' to do it.
"You have a kid and you're lying in bed together and you look over and you're like, 'Okay, what now?' And you ask all of your friends the same questions, and everyone has a different answer. And that's when you kind of realize that everyone figures it out for themselves," she said.
"And you do it in your own way, and you can take bits and pieces from people, but you're always going to end up doing it a little bit differently. This is our way."
We love that sentiment because it's so true. You can read all the books, listen to podcasts, and surround yourself with experienced parents. The only one who's going to know how to raise your baby is you, mama.
It's about finding your way and what works for your little family.
Read Hadid's full interview with Vogue here.