Elle King is expecting a "Baby Outlaw."
In the new issue of PEOPLE, the Grammy-nominated rocker reveals that she is pregnant and expecting a baby with her fiancé Dan Tooker.
"This is something that I have not only wanted since I could remember, but it's something that I have struggled with for a really long time," says King, 31, who is in her second trimester. "Every single day of this pregnancy is such a miracle."
Indeed, the "Ex's & Oh's" singer has struggled with infertility and previously suffered two pregnancy losses due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes a hormonal imbalance.
"It's such a major thing that so many people go through, but it's so secretive — like you have to go through it alone," King says of pregnancy loss. "Nobody talks about it. It's like you're supposed to feel shame; like you're not supposed to tell people before 12 weeks, because if you lose it, it's going to be embarrassing for you and you don't want other people to get their hopes up. Like, holy s—."
She adds, "When I got pregnant, I told my mom, I told my dad, I told my sister, I told my brother, I told my closest friends. Because God forbid I go through that again, I'm going to need my support team. I'm going to need my family and the people that love me to say, 'It's okay.' "
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"I've experienced loss and to go through that pain of losing two pregnancies, it just feels like life is over, life is done. You have to go through this intense and really just unbelievably draining and shocking grieving period. You feel like such a failure," King continues. "Then when [you get pregnant again], you're so afraid to enjoy it and be happy because you're so scared that it's going to be taken away. Just because I'm having a pregnancy that's going well now it doesn't mean that I'm over losing any pregnancy."
This time, though, "I'm learning to be happy for myself," King says. "There's a lot of anxiety around it, but it's also very exciting."
King and Tooker, a 31-year-old tattoo artist with whom she got engaged last October, found out their happy news on Dec. 25.
"We found out on Christmas. I couldn't imagine a greater Christmas gift than a positive pregnancy test," King says.
As for the sex of the baby, King and Tooker followed her father Rob Schneider's advice and will find out when they welcome him or her.
"My dad says you get two real surprises in life: what you have as a baby and when you die," she says.
When the day comes, though, King will have some extra-special support from her mom, former model London King, who now works as a doula.
"My mother in a natural world would never take me on as a client. I'm very high maintenance. My needs are very high. But my mom is so wonderful," she says. "I mean, with every little thing I feel, whether I think it's movement or something, I'm like, 'Mom, is this normal?' And she just takes all of it. She's so helpful, and she's so knowledgeable."
King believes some of her recent lifestyle changes helped her get pregnant. Soon after the coronavirus crisis hit the U.S. last year, she listed her home in Los Angeles and relocated to a ranch near Santa Fe. She then began to see a fertility specialist in Albuquerque for her PCOS, which affected King's weight and also caused irregular periods.
"I've struggled with this my whole life, of weight gain and being unable to lose weight and irregular periods. My hormones are so off I ovulate crazy. We happened to catch my ovulation, so my doctor was like, 'Go home and do it.' It worked, and we actually got pregnant with natural ovulation, which I never in a million years thought would have happened," King says. "It was just some weird, beautiful miracle."
Now King is sharing her story in hopes of helping others.
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"I'm nervous about having this interview because I have a high-risk pregnancy and I'm just like, what if this comes out and something happens to the baby? Then it's like I have egg on my face. But it's like, why is there shame around that? Why can't you celebrate the beginning of life in this stage?" she says. "I just have the opportunity to share parts of my life with people out there. Whatever my platform is, I know that I have one. If you're going to share your f—ing life, share f—ing all of it."
And so King — who has been open about her past divorce and struggles with substance abuse and PTSD — is as candid as ever.
"I've gained weight. I'm large and in charge. At first I was like, 'Oh my God,' then, I'll say, 'Your body's beautiful. Your body is creating a life.' It's so important to say that out loud," King says of embracing her body. "And my partner's so good: He'll come up to me and hug me and just say, 'You're so beautiful. I love you so much. You're so strong. You're growing our baby.' "
King is also real about cravings she won't be able to sate until after her due date.
"You think something clicks and you get pregnant and you change, but nothing about me has changed — except that I'm pregnant. I still crave all the bad stuff," she says. "I quit smoking a month before I got pregnant. But I'll see somebody smoking on TV and it's like, 'Damn, I didn't even really smoke cigarettes, but I would like one.' And I'm not even a big beer drinker, but it's like, 'Oh, a beer sounds good. How many more months do I have?' And you can't have bologna. I'm not even a big bologna eater, but I went home to Ohio and I was like, 'Damn it. I want a piece of that fricking bologna.' You can't have sushi. It's like, 'Whoa, this is hard. This is hard.' "
Speaking of vices, the irony is not lost on King that her rollicking, party-starter of a new single — "Drunk (And I Don't Want to Go Home)" with pal Miranda Lambert — was released at a time that she cannot drink.
"It's funny that I'm putting out a song and I'm going to be singing it all over the place pregnant as hell," she admits with a laugh. "It would be me! Would you expect any less?"
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