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Hadid, 25, planned on giving birth to her daughter Khai at a New York City hospital but ended up welcoming her child at home on their Pennsylvania farm after 14 hours of labor, surrounded by Malik, her mom Yolanda, her sister Bella, a midwife and Hadid's assistant, she told Vogue for a cover story published Thursday.
The new parents decided on a home birthing experience after watching documentary "The Business of Being Born" and realizing the COVID-19 pandemic would limit the number of people allowed by her side at the hospital.
"What I really wanted from my experience was to feel like, Okay, this is a natural thing that women are meant to do,” Hadid told Vogue about giving birth in a blow up tub set up at home. “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."
The pain was enough to have Hadid contemplating an epidural, but she said her mom and the midwife helped her through it and let her know she's "past the point of the epidural anyway, so you’d be pushing exactly the same way in a hospital bed."
Hadid said she was so exhausted, she didn't even realize Khai was born.
"It didn’t even click that she was out," Hadid said. "I was so exhausted, and I looked up and (Malik) is holding her. It was so cute."
After Khai was born, Hadid said the couple decided they "can have some time before we do that again.”
Hadid is also in no rush to get back to the city or start jet-setting for work again, noting she prefers a stable lifestyle and is thinking about "definitely" raising Khai in Pennsylvania.
At 10 weeks postpartum, Hadid said she understands her body is not the same as it was, but that didn't deter her from shooting the Vogue cover.
"I know that I’m not as small as I was before, but I also am a very realistic thinker. I straight up was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll shoot a Vogue cover, but I’m obviously not going to be a size 0,’ nor do I, at this point, feel like I need to be back to that,” she said. “I also think it’s a blessing of this time in fashion that anyone who says that I have to be that can suck it.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gigi Hadid covers Vogue, talks home birth and 14 hours in labor