Reality TV’s Rancics open up to Us about keeping her cancer at day and feeling connected to their “miracle baby” due via surrogate….
Giuliana Rancic couldn’t stop crying. For once, though, these were tears of joy. Last December, after four years of battling infertility and a frightening cancer ordeal, she and her husband, Bill, got a call from their doctor with incredible news: The embryo implanted in their surrogate had taken, and the woman was pregnant with the couple’s child, due in late summer. “We are so blessed!” the E! News anchor and Fashion Police co host tells Us. “This truly is a miracle baby.”
The two never doubted this moment would come. After their 2007 vows, Giuliana, 37, and Bill, 40-a motivational speaker and author – had struggled to have a baby. Giuliana underwent emotionally draining IVF treatments and, in 2010, the pair finally had success. Alas, Giuliana miscarried at eight weeks. Devastated but still determined, they continued with fertility treatments. Then, in 2011, a doctor advised Giuliana to have a mammogram, as pregnancy hormones can exacerbate certain kinds of cancer. The socking finding: early-stage breast cancer. When a lumpectomy failed to remove all the cancerous cells, Giuliana made the painful decision to have a double mastectomy in December. “Those were scary months,” she recalls. But trying for a baby ultimately saved her life: “It wasn’t for my infertility, I never would have found the cancer when I did.”
The disease was eradicated, but Giuliana’s oncologist warned pregnancy would have to wait three to five years. So the Rancics – who have shared their journey on the Style Network’s Giuliana & Bill (Tuesdays, 8 P.M.) – turned to a gestational carrier. “This was one of the few options we had left, so we decided to dive in,” says Bill. They tell their story to Us senior reporter Ingrid She after.
BR Thank you! It’s been a really exciting time for us. To be able to share the news has been spectacular!
GR Everyone’s been coming up to us and congratulating us. The outpouring of love is very humble.
- Take Us back to that call from your doctor.
GR I was expecting to be jumping up and down, but it is so much more meaningful. You feel the excitement and joy from so deep within, you can’t verbalize it. Someone tweeted me a quote: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” It’s such a great way to describe what we’ve been through. It’s one thing to deal with infertility, but then the breast cancer diagnosis and the surgeries and the pain.. It got to a dark point. Now this next stage is the greatest. It’s the highest of highs.
- Why surrogacy?
GR To be honest, I wanted to keep trying to get pregnant myself. I was really excited about the experience of carrying a child, so I kept exhausting our options. But when the doctor said, “We looked at your results, and we don’t want you getting pregnant for up to five years,” that was it.
BR We’ve been going through this for several years, and as time goes on, options start to jettison off, slowly but surely.
GR We had a real heart-to-heart about it.
BR And this baby is genetically 100 percent ours. our surrogate is basically a vessel carrying our baby to term. There’s no donor egg.
- How did you find your surrogate?
GR Our amazing doctor, William School-craft, connected us with some agencies, We chose on near his office in Denver so he could oversee everything. The agency had a surrogate who was going to work with another family, but then the woman got pregnant herself, so the surrogate was free to help us.
- What was that first meeting like?
GR In a way, it’s like a first date! You within a minute, Are we going to have desert or not? [Laughs.] And she was great right off the bat. Before we met, I had this crazy list of questions: “Do you drink soda?” “Do you eat cookies? Are they processed?” “Do your coworkers smoke?” But when we met her, I never looked at my notes. Things came up naturally in conversation. The truth is, you just want someone who has a wonderful character and great morals.
BR You have to surrender at a certain point, because you can’t be there and live with them. You have to go with a gut instinct.
GR She knew for nine months it would be a sacrifice. And she has been pregnant with her own children, who are healthy. We trust her.
- Giuliana, do you feel like you’re missing out on anything?
GR If this happened at the beginning of my troubles getting pregnant, I think I would have felt like, Gosh, I wish I could carry this baby myself. But after years of struggling, I’ll take what I can get! [Laughs.] There are bigger things to worry about in the world. I’ve been given this amazing gift, and you won’t hear me whine about it.
- When did you finally transfer the embryo?
BR It was the middle of December. Giuliana was recovering from her mastectomy. We didn’t tell anyone what we were doing, so she told her parents I was going skiing in Vail for the day, which I didn’t appreciate. They must have thought I am the worst husband ever!
BR I as lucky enough to be in the room when they did the transfer. I had Giuliana on the phone and I was sending videos. I tried to make her feel like she was there with us.
- How involved are you with your carrier?
BR We talk to her and her husband on the phone. We are always sending gift baskets. And we fly to her city and go to most of her doctor’s appointments.
GR We hear the baby’s heartbeat and see the baby growing and moving, even sucking its thumb. they give us these amazing images. I keep one with me and we have one by the bed. Everyday we look at the pictures and connect with the baby that way.
BR The last time we were there, we got to see the baby’s legs move. It was like, Wow, that’s our kid!
- Will you be in the delivery room?
GR Oh, yeah! It will be the best moment of our lives.
Br Absolutely. One hundred percent!
GR We’re not sure about cameras, though. I like seeing it on other shows, but we want our carrier to be totally relaxed. If anything, we might flip cam, but we may even keep that for ourselves.
- So, boy or girl?
BR We’re keeping that tight to the vest. We haven’t told our families or friends. No one knows.
- And will you stay in touch with your carrier?
BR We will be forever grateful and would love to maintain a relationship. Ultimately, it will be up to her.
- Which of your spouse’s qualities would you like to see passed along?
GR Bill’s incredibly nurturing. He’s the one who took charge of my health. I was too emotional; he’s so good at being able to calm everything down. I hope my child is caring like him.
BR Two things come to mind. Giuliana’s authenticity: She never tries to pretend she’s someone she’s not. And her zest for life. Even on the worst day, she finds humor.
- You shuttle between Chicago and L.A. Any plans to choose one?
GR We’ll be in L.A. for a while. [They'll host the NBC dating show Ready for Love this summer.] We won’t feel like gypsies wandering around the country!
BR We’re looking for a new house because our current one can’t accommodate a larger family. We’ll have a place in Chicago too.
GR He has to find the home, and I’ll decorate the nurseries. They have to be fabulous! I’m on fashion Police. I can’t have Joan rivers say that my nurseries aren’t stylist enough.
- How is your health now, Giuliana?
GR everything is OK now. I’m taking an oral medication for the next five years. I don’t even take medicine for a headache, so it’s not what I would have chosen…
BR… but that’s life!
GR Exactly. It’ll make me a strong person and probably a better mother. Everyday I get stronger both physically and mentally.
- Nervous about anything?
GR Little things, like holding the baby. I’m always a little awkward, but I get paranoid because I’m worries I’ll drop someone else’s baby. i think instinct will kick in with my own child.
- Have you thought about baby No.2?
GR One at a time! We can only think about this baby right now.
- Has this experiences brought you closer?
GR Absolutely. We’ve never been more in love. No matter what, we stuck together, stayed positive and in the end we received the greatest gift of all. So our future is looking bright.
Though surrogate is a blanket term used to describe any third party carrying a child, the Rancics used a gestational carrier-meaning, Giuliana’s egg was fertilized by Bill’s sperm, then implanted in another woman (as opposed to using the surrogate’s own egg). Though increasingly popular, gestational carriers account for less than 1 percent of in vitro cases. Part of that can be attributed to the high cost: “Between lawyers, agency fees and insurance,” he tells Us, “the price could be up to $100,000.”