Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik welcomed their baby girl, Khai, in September 2020. And like many new mothers throughout the pandemic, Hadid needed to get creative — turning to Zoom to get instructions from her doula during the natural home birthing experience.
In a new cover interview with Vogue, Hadid opens up about delivering Khai safely into the world. “What I really wanted from my experience was to feel like, Okay, this is a natural thing that women are meant to do,” said Hadid. To that end, she declined to deliver the baby in a hospital; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are limited and Hadid wanted her loved ones at her side. After watching the documentary The Business of Being Born with Malik, the couple decided to try a natural home birth at the Hadids’ Pennsylvania farm.
During labor and delivery, Hadid surrounded herself with sister Bella Hadid, momma Yolanda Hadid, Malik, her assistant, a midwife, and her doula Carson Meyer, who was set up on Zoom. Her border collie and three cats were also poking around until the midwife indicated that their claws probably weren’t the safest thing around the inflatable birthing pool.
Hadid also skipped the epidural. “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, with Meyer, her mother, and the midwife supporting her through the labor contractions. Still, childbirth is extremely painful. She describes how her family was worried: “I know my mom and Zayn and Bella were proud of me, but at certain points I saw each of them in terror,” said Hadid, also recalling how Zayn felt “so helpless to see the person you love in pain.”
At least Hadid had some entertainment to cut the tension. She spent the early parts of labor watching ’90s kids movie classic The Indian in the Cupboard. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision by both Hadid and Malik. “That’s something we’d never talked about but in that moment we discovered we both loved,” she told the magazine.
Luckily, Khai was born without incident, landing in the arms of her father. Hadid didn’t even realize that Khai was out, telling Vogue that “I was so exhausted, and I looked up and he’s holding her. It was so cute.”