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Priyanka Chopra Jonas says she 'didn't know' if her daughter would 'make it or not' during NICU stay

Priyanka Chopra talks about using a surrogate with her daughter Malti Marie. (Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival)
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Priyanka Chopra Jonas is talking about her early days of motherhood.

The Quantico alum and her husband Nick Jonas welcomed daughter Malti Marie via surrogate in January 2022. And the new mom spoke to British Vogue this week about parenthood, addressing why she did not give birth.

“I had medical complications,” the Bollywood star explained. “This was a necessary step, and I’m so grateful I was in a position where I could do this. Our surrogate was so generous, kind, lovely and funny, and she took care of this precious gift for us for six months.”

Regarding people who were speculating as to why she and her husband used a surrogate, she said, “You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve been through. And just because I don’t want to make my medical history, or my daughter’s, public doesn’t give you the right to make up whatever the reasons were.”

Malti Marie struggled after birth and spent more than 100 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — an experience that caused the new parents great stress.

“I was in the OR [operating room] when she came out. She was so small, smaller than my hand,” Chopra Jonas recalled. “I saw what the intensive-care nurses do. They do God’s work. Nick and I were both standing there as they intubated her. I don’t know how they even found what they needed [in her tiny body] to intubate her.”

The Isn’t It Romantic actress said that, at the time, “we spent every single day with her on my chest, on my husband’s chest … I didn’t know if she would make it or not.”

Chopra Jonas spoke about Malti Marie’s time in the NICU in a 2022 Mother’s Day Instagram post. Sharing a photo of herself and Jonas holding their little one, she wrote, “On this Mother’s Day we can’t help but reflect on these last few months and the rollercoaster we’ve been on, which we now know, so many people have also experienced. After 100 plus days in the NICU, our little girl is finally home.”

“Every family’s journey is unique and requires a certain level of faith, and while ours was a challenging few months, what becomes abundantly clear, in retrospect, is how precious and perfect every moment is,” she continued. “We are overjoyed that our little girl is finally home, and just want to thank every Doctor, nurse and specialist at Rady Children’s La Jolla and Cedar Sinai, Los Angeles, who were there selflessly every step of the way. Our next chapter begins now, and our baby is truly a badass. Let’s get it MM! Mommy and Daddy love you.”

In a June 2022 interview with People, Jonas explained why he and his wife decided to be open about Malti Marie’s struggles.

"I think that what we shared on social media was just kinda the feeling that we had, the gratitude obviously to have our baby home. But also for each and every person that was part of her journey while in the hospital,” he said. “It’s eye opening in a lot of ways. And I think it was really important for us to just share that. And make sure that people know that whatever their journey is, whether it’s something like we went through or diabetes or whatever challenges might come up, you’re not alone.”

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