Alexis Stewart: Baby at Last


Born March 8, 2011 6 lbs. 13 oz.

For a first-time mom, Alexis Stewart is hardly the sentimental sort. “I don’t cry a lot,” the daughter of entertaining guru Martha Stewart says in the same brusque, no-nonsense manner her mother made famous. “I’m not a bubbly person.”

Still, the 45-year-old cohost of the Sirius radio show Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer reluctantly cops to one “annoying” behavior: speaking to her 2-month-old daughter Jude in baby talk. “I call her, like, ‘little crab cake,'” she admits with a sheepish smile. “It’s horrible! It’s got to stop.”

And yet-finally-it feels right. For the past five years, Stewart, who welcomed Jude March 8 via a gestational surrogate, has been indefatigable in her quest for a baby, at one point spending up to $27,000 each month for in vitro fertilization procedures and an additional $6,000 for drugs that stimulated egg production.

“Most people want [a biological] baby first,” says Stewart of eschewing adoption. “I think that’s natural.”

After more than a year of treatments that yielded no results, Stewart enlisted the help of Dr. John Zhang, a specialist at the New Hope Fertility Center in Manhattan, where she lives. The routine, which Stewart still follows in hopes of further expanding her family, costs an average of $5,000 each month and involves blood work, ultrasounds and occasionally medications. “Hopefully,” says Stewart, who always uses the same sperm donor, “they’ll get a [viable] embryo and freeze it,” so that it can later be implanted in a surrogate.

Fearful time was running out, Stewart opted for surrogacy but learned that hurdles still remained. Before Jude’s successful birth, Stewart’s surrogates had miscarried four times. For that reason, “I refused to get excited about [the baby],” she says, though she grew close to the surrogate who carried Jude. In an earlier pregnancy with a different surrogate, “we went for the second test and there was no heartbeat,” Stewart explains. “So every time we went to get a sonogram with Jude, I would have that ‘I can’t stand up’ feeling. I related the sonogram to something horrible.”

After Jude arrived, Stewart was able to put aside her worries and focus on the baby-as did Martha. (Don’t count on Grandma: Alexis has previously said she’ll just be called Martha.) “It’s so annoying-she won’t leave!” Stewart groans, chafing at her mother’s affinity for the prim and proper. “I can’t stand girlie, [but] she sneaked in a onesie with itchy bows. She plays dress up with Jude every day.” Such doting was a shock to Stewart, who quips, “She treats her dogs a little bit the same way, [but] she didn’t do it with me!”

As a single mom, Stewart is unfazed by the thought of raising Jude without a dad-a subject on which she is typically blunt. “[Jude] could have a father like mine, or she could have one that’s not there. What’s the difference?” she asks. (Stewart does not have a relationship with her father, Andy Stewart, who was divorced from Martha in 1990.)

Now the new mom is bracing herself for a similarly strong-willed little girl-though she expects defiance will take a frilly form. “She’ll probably rebel and get a pink tutu,” Stewart jokes. Until then, she’ll keep counting her blessings. “Just getting Jude,” she says, “was lucky.”

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