Khloé Kardashian's journey to motherhood

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle

Following Tuesday’s news that Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are expecting a child, fans are thrilled for the reality star. Those who keep up with Khloé know that the 33-year-old television personality has always wanted a family. However, the road to pregnancy has been quite a journey.

Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson. (Photo: BACKGRID)

It’s been eight years (to the day) that the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star wed Lamar Odom. The couple tied the knot on Sept. 27, 2009, after a whirlwind, monthlong courtship. The nuptials were televised on E! and it didn’t take long before their spinoff show, Khloé & Lamar, hit the air.

During the show’s two seasons, one of the main plot lines was all about the couple wanting to have a child. Yet tabloid rumors constantly swirled regarding Khloé’s fertility struggles, including one report that alleged she had a miscarriage.

“I typically don’t address a lot of the tabloids because 90 percent of what they write is false. But when you talk about someone having a miscarriage, that’s so personal and so hurtful, and I personally,” Khloé said on The Talk in 2012. “Lamar and I do want kids, and it will happen when it’s in God’s plan to happen. With the trade moving back and forth, there’s a reason why we don’t have a newborn baby right now.”

That same year, the couple abruptly pulled the plug on their hit reality show. Reports of marital strife first surfaced as Lamar’s struggles in the NBA became their own, real-life storyline.

“I’m a modern girl, but you should put your husband first,” Kardashian said at the time. “I like to think divorce is not an option.”

After Odom’s infidelity and substance and alcohol abuse issues came to light, divorce was the only option. Khloé filed (for the first time) in December 2013.

“I’ve always wanted to have kids; I do think I would be a great mom,” she reflected in 2015. “I wanted the whole story. I didn’t just want a baby. I wanted Lamar, my babies, I wanted to have their names, what they’re going to do. I wanted the whole thing. And we tried. There’s a reason why it didn’t work and that’s fine. God always has a bigger plan, and we don’t know why.”

Khloé continued, “I was married for five years, and I definitely had that baby fever, which I think you should. I don’t think about kids like that now. Do I love kids? Yeah, and I want to be with my nieces and nephews as much as I can, but I don’t have that baby fever now; I take birth control every day at 5 p.m. It has to be a whole story for me. I wanted it all. And I will get it all one day.”

As Lamar’s private struggles played out publicly, it was clear why Khloé had been in no rush to get pregnant during her marriage. This year, she even admitted that she had “fake-tried” to conceive during the Khloé & Lamar years.

Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom, on Sept. 9, 2009. (Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)

“I was married, but I knew the circumstances weren’t the healthiest, so I just kept pretending I was doing it,” she said on last season’s finale of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “When I was doing my fertility treatments, they were more so for Lamar. I had to stop because there was much deeper stuff that was happening in our marriage.”

After splitting with Lamar, Khloé moved on with French Montana; however, their romance fizzled out at the end of 2014. “I jumped into something because I was just, like, lonely and destructive. But now I’m like, I just want to be alone,” Khloé reflected on KUWTK. “I gotta grieve … I’m still married.”

While Khloé worked on finalizing her divorce from Lamar, she began dating another NBA star: James Harden. They were together when Odom relapsed in October 2015 — and when Khloé rushed to be by her ex-husband’s bedside after his nearly fatal overdose.

During her relationship with Harden, Khloé never wavered in her desire to have a family.

“I want a family, which means like husband, wife, kids,” she told E! in January 2016. “It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to birth the kids. I could have either a surrogate if I can’t. I can adopt or say the man I married had kids. That’s still my family. I don’t think your children are only yours if you birthed them.”

Still, it was clear that she didn’t see Harden as the father of her kids. “But do I want kids right now at this interview? I don’t care to just have a child, because I have so many,” she said, referring to her nieces and nephews.

Boy oh boy did Khloé’s tone change when she met 26-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers star Tristan Thompson. After being set up by friends, the couple began dating in September 2016.

“I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in, and it doesn’t take a ring for me to feel that way. I believe in marriage and I want to be married again one day, but I don’t have a time frame. Why do people think that marriage equates to happiness? There are a lot of people in unhealthy marriages,” Khloé exclaimed in an interview with the Daily Mail on Sunday‘s You magazine.

She added, “I definitely want a family, but I don’t feel any pressure. Tristan is a great dad [he has an 8-month-old son with his previous partner], and he definitely wants more children, but we both feel that it will happen when the time is right. We’re still in a new relationship and I love us having time together. Once you have kids, you can’t get back your non-kid years. My sisters and I bother my [mom] all the time, so I know it’s not, like, ‘When they’re 18, you don’t worry about them again.’ You worry about your children for the rest of your life. The concern I have is raising little human beings in a world that’s filled with such hate and terror. That seems very scary.”

Khloé is reportedly around three to four months pregnant.

“This is something Khloé has wanted for years and years, and yet it’s more than that: She didn’t want it unless she was in the right relationship for it,” a source tells People. “She never let it happen with Lamar, intentionally, and she never considered it with James or French or anyone else she has seen. But this is such a wonderful moment for her: Not only is she going to be a mother; she is going to be raising a child with a man she truly loves. Everyone is over the moon for them both.”

The reality star’s journey to motherhood might have been a bumpy one, but it seems that it’s all been worth it.

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