Khloe Kardashian's baby story is complex. But it's so important she shared it.
(You probably already know this, but) Khloe Kardashian had a baby.
The 33-year-old reality star — arguably the most relatable of America's first TV family — gave birth to a baby girl on April 12. And, like me, the internet couldn't be any happier.
💕 @khloekardashian I’m so happy for you! Your baby girl is so beautiful! You are so strong, you made that look so e… https://t.co/7JuG617f6i— Kim Kardashian West (@Kim Kardashian West) 1523626569
Good morning to Khloé Kardashian, her baby, and nobody else.— Hannah Orenstein (@Hannah Orenstein) 1523624407
Congratulations @khloekardashian 💕 As a Stan I have waited for this moment for a long time xx Welcome to motherhood… https://t.co/IPhgg1SUcy— ❤️Kasey❤️️ (@❤️Kasey❤️️) 1523568814
@khloekardashian Congratulations on the birth of your angel baby Khloe! I’ve always related to you the most. You’re… https://t.co/GdJVYG2ZGf— Vivienne (@Vivienne) 1523644575
OK, maybe not everyone.
Kardashian's pregnancy seems to have resonated with so many people because she's been so open about her struggles.
In 2013, she revealed that she'd been trying to get pregnant, but that conception wasn't coming easily due to hormonal imbalances that required a strict regimen of injections.
In 2017, she got really real when she visited a specialist with her sister. Their visit was ostensibly planned so Khloe could talk about being Kim's potential surrogate, but Khloe opened up about the fact that she'd stopped her fertility treatment because she knew that her relationship with Lamar Odom needed a lot of work before they'd be able to raise a child together.
Later in the episode, Kardashian is told that she may not have enough healthy follicles to have a baby.
"Shut the fuck up!" she says in a moment that was too emotional to have been scripted. "This is definitely not at all how I thought this appointment was going to go. What if I can't get pregnant?"
My greatest dream realized! We are having a baby! I had been waiting and wondering but God had a plan all along. He knew what He was doing. I simply had to trust in Him and be patient. I still at times can't believe that our love created life! Tristan, thank you for loving me the way that you do! Thank you for treating me like a Queen! Thank you for making me feel beautiful at all stages! Tristan, most of all, Thank you for making me a MOMMY!!! You have made this experience even more magical than I could have envisioned! I will never forget how wonderful you've been to me during this time! Thank you for making me so happy my love! Thank you to everyone for the love and positive vibes! I know we've been keeping this quiet but we wanted to enjoy this between our family and close friends as long as we could privately. To enjoy our first precious moments just us ❤️ Thank you all for understanding. I am so thankful, excited, nervous, eager, overjoyed and scared all in one! But it's the best bundle of feelings I've ever felt in my life! ❤️❤️❤️
A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on
When she officially announced her pregnancy in December 2017, the news was met with unprecedented fanfare. Sure, she's a Kardashian, but the truth is that her story was more than that: By being open about her journey she inspired hope and helped pave the way for other people to talk about their own fertility problems.
Many stay silent about fertility and reproductive issues because of the stigma that can surround it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 12% of cisgender women in the U.S. will experience trouble conceiving during their lifetime; 6.7% of married cis women will experience infertility; and between the years of 2011 and 2015, more than 7 million sought fertility treatment.
Why aren't more people talking about it?
For many, infertility can feel embarrassing or shameful. Teresa Taylor, the former chief operating officer of Qwest Communications, told CNN in 2015 that her struggles made her feel like she wasn't good enough:
"I felt like I was a failure. I felt like I was alone. I felt like it was just me. It's supposed to be a natural thing that you conceive and give birth as a human being. You see bugs do it and animals do it and birds do it and so you're like, 'Why can't I?'"
Feelings of grief and loss keep many from talking about it and lead them to believe that others won't understand or will ask inappropriate questions.
Taylor said that friends and family, not knowing that she was having fertility problems, would constantly ask her about why she wasn't starting a family. In a society where womanhood and motherhood are so often conflated, not being able to conceive — especially when one is desperate to do so — can feel humiliating.
Bringing these kinds of issues out into the open is good for everyone.
That's why Kardashian's candidness is so important. When celebrities speak out about their difficulties, they encourage others to be more open as well.
"I do think my difficulty getting pregnant has helped a lot of women," Kardashian said in 2013. "Do I wish people would quit asking me about it 24/7? Yes, but I don’t regret it."
If, as critics says, the Kardashians are synonymous with overexposure in our culture, Khloe's forthcomingness about her pregnancy proves there's good in all of it.
This kind of frank discussion is one worth keeping up.