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Maria Menounos and Her Surrogate Detail Their ‘Instant Connection’: We’re Like ‘Family’ (Exclusive)

Before welcoming their first baby, Maria Menounos and husband Keven Undergaro formed an unshakeable bond with their surrogate.

The couple exclusively opened up about their path to parenthood in the new issue of Us Weekly, detailing the “pure joy” they felt upon daughter Athena Alexandra’s arrival in June. “It was the most special moment of my life,” Menounos, 45, gushed as Undergaro, 55, likened the birth to “Christmas morning times a million.”

After 10 years of fertility challenges, Menounos announced in February that she and Undergaro — who tied the knot in 2017 — were expecting a baby. Menounos told Us she “almost” gave up on both IVF and surrogacy before being connected with Family Match.

“It was a magical experience,” Menounos said of finding a surrogate to carry her baby. “Throughout the pregnancy, I would send voice recordings for her to play for Athena.”

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Menounos developed a deep connection with the woman — and they’ve kept in touch after Athena’s birth. “We love her and her family so much,” she added. “They gave us the greatest gift ever. We still talk all the time and consider them family.”

Maria Menounos and Athena Menounos and Keven Undergaro john_chapple_071223a022
Photography by John Chapple/MEGA

The surrogate, already a mother of two, had equally glowing words for Menounos and Undergaro, telling Us that she “felt and instant connection” with the couple. “I was thrilled to be able to support them and make [their dream] a reality,” she said.

After learning of Menounos’ struggles to conceive, the surrogate wanted to help her achieve “the joy of completing her family.” She told Us she felt “honored” to be part of the twosome’s journey.

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“Immediately after I gave birth, the baby was in Maria’s arms and Keven held Maria, both had a look of wonderment in their eyes,” the surrogate recalled. “It was an instant family. All I could think at that moment was ‘I did that! I created a family.’ I felt a little superhuman. My husband and I feel blessed to have played a role in creating their family.”

Maria-Menounos-and-Her-Surrogate-Detail-Their-Instant-Connection-We-re-Like-Family-302 Bugged
Photography by John Chapple/MEGA

While it’s a “common misconception” that surrogacy is “an impersonal experience” for those involved, the gestational carrier emphasized the special bond she created with Menounos and Undergaro. “For me, this has been beautiful and enriching,” she told Us.

Before Athena’s arrival, the surrogate and her husband visited Menounos and Undergaro in Los Angeles. In turn, the TV personalities traveled to Wisconsin to solidify their connection with their surrogate.

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“We spent time together and our families were able to meet and get to know each other as we prepared for delivery,” the surrogate recalled. “Keven and Maria played with our kids and our kids got to know them as real people. We shared meals, conversation, walks and life for those two weeks.”

Menounos previously gushed over her surrogacy journey — and pals Zoe Saldaña and Kim Kardashian, who shared advice from their own experiences — on Live With Kelly and Ryan in February.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” she said at the time. “I’m so grateful that we’re gonna have this extended family our baby will be part of, and we’re just so grateful to everybody who’s helped us along the way.”

For more on Menounos and Undergaro’s next chapter as parents, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly — on stands now.

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