Kelsey Nixon says she and her husband Robby Egan are still healing from the loss of their son, Leo, who died about a month after his birth last year due to complications.
On Thursday’s episode of the Rachael Ray Show, the Kelsey’s Essentials and Kelsey’s Homemade host, 32, opens up about the death of her little one, and her journey to parenthood using a gestational surrogate.
“After Leo passed we were just searching for anything to help heal our hearts. And one thing that we did know for sure was that we did want a sibling for Oliver,” the Cooking Channel star says.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
“After my two very complicated pregnancies, it was advised by doctors that we not pursue any further pregnancies. And so that is why we chose to pursue gestational surrogacy where it is my eggs, my husband’s sperm, and that baby is simply carried by another woman but is genetically ours.”
Nixon broke the baby news in a blog post on her website, writing that the family would welcome a little girl around Christmas time. She detailed the tragic death of Leo, noting that he was born at just 25 weeks and weighed less than a pound.
“He was perfect. But oh so teeny tiny. He was a spitting image of his big brother and had such a special presence. Brave little Leo put up a courageous fight for 30 days, but his tiny, underdeveloped body couldn’t keep up. He passed away in our arms in the middle of the night due to complications from prematurity. This event broke us in so many ways. We were devastated.”
But she and Egan were determined to grow their family. In the clip, Nixon says that her sister-in-law, Betsy, is carrying their new little one and “we couldn’t be more grateful that she’s doing this for us.”
However, although she and her husband are thankful for Betsy’s help and anxiously await the arrival of their daughter, Nixon’s past experience is keeping her emotions in check.
“I’m nervous to hope. I get nervous because I did that once and no baby came home. Until she’s in my arms, I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel a-okay,” she says.
— Char Adams