On Valentine’s Day, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and her husband James Perry welcomed their new daughter into the world. The Perrys, who have been been married since 2010 and co-parent Parker, Melissa’s daughter from a previous marriage, were excited to welcome their newest addition to their family.
Although many people thought the Perrys adopted their new daughter, it wasn’t until a week later that Melissa told her surrogacy story:
Because I had retained my ovaries, we were able to create our own biological embryos. In Vitro Fertilization was a physically taxing and emotionally brutal process. But for many people, it has changed their lives. A new report, out this week, found that more than one of every 100 babies born in the United States now are conceived with advanced fertility help. Our daughter is now among them. Through IVF, we were blessed with a handful of potential Perrys. One of those embryos led to a moment I will never forget—a text message from our gestational carrier with a picture of her positive pregnancy test and a message:
“Good News Mama!”
My pregnancy with my first daughter was blessedly uneventful; this one, however, was indeed an event. It took two families, three states, four doctors, and five attorneys to get this little girl here. And while our gestational carrier has no genetic tie to our little one, she is now our family. She gave our daughter love, safety, and nourishment for nine months. On Valentine’s Day, she gave her life and placed her in our arms. Her immediate and extended families have supported all of us along the way. They crowded the hospital room this weekend and shared in our joy. We are all bonded for life and our daughter has a bevy of grandparents, aunties, and siblings tied to her by blood and love.
We are sharing this experience, but our gestational carrier and her family do not wish to share it publicly. It is our sincerest hope to protect their privacy as she has protected our daughter.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Perrys have shared numerous photos of their new baby on Twitter. Melissa also showed the world her natural hair sans usual micro-braids:
One of my fave parts of maternity leave? No TV means no extensions. Getting to chill with my natural. pic.twitter.com/NS8NewFpnO
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) March 6, 2014
“I made the decision to wear the extensions for three reasons: One, I haven’t had a natural head of hair since I was a teenager so I really didn’t know what it would do. Two, I was not prepared to go back to a relaxer,” Harris-Perry wrote in the foreword of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. “I go running every single day, and a relaxer is almost impossible for me to cope with. And three, for consistency, my lifestyle, and my travel schedule, what made the most sense was braid extensions and twists.”
Below are a few other baby photos shared by the Perrys.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) March 9, 2014
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 27, 2014