After a years-long dream of becoming a mother, Maria Menounos’s baby girl has finally arrived. On July 19, the TV host, 45, announced that she and husband Keven Undergaro, 55, welcomed their first child via surrogate on June 23. The news was revealed on Instagram, where Menounos shared photos of their daughter, named Athena Alexandra, from her Us Weekly cover.
Speaking to the publication about the birth of their daughter, Menounos said holding her for the first time “was the most special moment of my life.” “The doctor literally grabbed her and hiked her onto me,” she explained. “I sat with her on my chest, and Keven and I kept looking at each other like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was just pure joy.” Undergaro echoed his wife’s sentiment, adding, “It was like Christmas morning times a million.”
Back in February when Menounos announced that she and Undergaro were expecting their daughter, the former E! News anchor opened up about her 10-year fertility journey to People, detailing numerous IVF treatments she’s tried through the years. Those came to a halt after Menounos was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017. She was also diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer back in January. She had almost given up hope of having a child until she and her husband found a surrogate to carry their baby girl. “Athena is our miracle baby,” Menounos told Us Weekly. “I’m so grateful for her.”
The host explained how she and Undergaro landed on the name Athena: “We knew we wanted a Greek name. . . . Athena is the goddess of war and wisdom, and Keven loved the power of that name, so that was it!”
Menounos also shared that motherhood so far is “better than I could’ve ever imagined.” She added: “It’s euphoric. For so long, I’ve felt something’s been missing. I’d go to kids’ birthday parties, and I’d be a little sad because I wanted my own family. And now I feel so grounded, like I finally know where I belong.”