Marissa Jaret Winokur on Her Miracle Baby, Zev Isaac

10/02/2008 at 04:00 PM ET
Elizabeth Messina for use on CBB

"My friends don’t want to come over anymore because all I do is cry," laments Marissa Jaret Winokur to a PEOPLE reporter as she introduces the writer to her 10-week-old son Zev Isaac. But really, who can blame her? Being a mom is a miracle in itself, a fact that is not lost on the Broadway star and Dancing alum.

After battling cancer seven years ago, Marissa won her fight — but lost her uterus and part of her cervix. Unable to carry a child, but able to create one with her preserved ovaries, Marissa and writer husband Judah Miller made the decision to search for a surrogate early last year. In November 2007, an embryo from Marissa’s egg and Judah’s sperm was successfully transferred into their surrogate’s womb. Shares Marissa,

"I was as involved as I could be with the baby. I went to all the doctor’s appointments and I talked to my surrogate every day. [We were in the delivery room] breathing together during the 12-hour labor. It was a real family event. We will be friends forever."

Click ‘More’ for the rest of the interview and three additional photos!

Elizabeth Messina for use on CBB

Marissa, 35, describes her son as "perfect. He’s like Judah. He’s a thinker. He’s confident and serious." Like any new mom, Marissa isn’t above a little bragging! "He was sleeping through the night at three weeks," she shares proudly. Of course, Zev — whose name means ‘wolf’ in Hebrew — isn’t always calm. When he’s crying, Marissa takes her baby out to the cabana, where he loves to look at the overhead fans as they whir. The Hairspray star explains,

"I have a saying: ‘When in doubt, take him out.’ He loves the water. I love giving him a bath in the sink. I can’t wait until I can take him in the pool."

Elizabeth Messina for use on CBB

As Marissa and Judah, 34, settle into parenthood, the former King of the Hill writer reveals that Zev has tempered some of mom’s famously boisterous personality. "I love watching Marissa with him," Judah says. "He makes her more calm than I’ve ever seen her in my life." However, she’s still excitable — just focused on all things baby. "I ask people, ‘Will I ever stop worrying?’ And they go, ‘No,’ and that’s not what I want to hear!"

The couple recently went on a post-baby movie date, their first since Zev’s July birth. It was a disaster, Marissa admits, and her own fault. "I kept texting the babysitter, ‘Does he miss us? Is he okay?’"

Elizabeth Messina for use on CBB

As Zev takes a nibble out of mom’s nose during the photoshoot, Marissa describes what she feels is her life’s good fortune — despite the cancer battle which robbed her of the ability to experience a pregnancy herself. She muses,

"If I didn’t have cancer, I might have been able to carry a baby myself. But then, I wouldn’t have this baby. So how can I ever feel bad about having cancer? Because of that, I now have Zev."

Source: PEOPLE, October 13th issue

In the second picture, Zev wears a Boon DNA Bodysuit ($25 for 2).

In the first and fourth photos, Zev is wrapped in aden + anais Muslin Blanket Zoo Animals 4-Pack in elephant ($44 for 4).

Click here for yesterday’s cutie!

FILED UNDER: Celeb Style , News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 36 comments

Casey on

Such a cute family!!

Julie on

Aww, he is adorable!
Congrats to Marissa and her husband! She is an awesome person and I loved her on Dancing with the Stars.

alex on has those swaddle wraps (aden + anais) for 60% off with their coupon LUXE60…i bought the mod set, super cute!

Lily on

What a wonderful story with an even greater outcome! It’s wonderful to see her and her husband get the child they longed for. He is a beautiful little boy. I espcially love the third picture. So sweet!

morgan on

he is beautiful

Jess on

What a great family. They couldn’t look any more proud & happy if they tried!

Rebecca on

I love these photos!

nicic on

he looks so perfect 🙂

Erica on

What a beautiful outlook on how such a seemingly ugly ordeal (the loss of her uterus) resulted in her precious son. I think Marissa’s a prime example of how so much happiness can come from positivity.

CTBmom on

Congrats to them! I agree that Marissa and her husband look beyond proud and in love their little guy! Zev is beautiful, and I think their story is inspiring.

Allison on

I absolutely love this story and, especially, the first picture of Zev with Marissa and Judah. You can just tell from their faces how ecstatic they are to have this baby! Zev is one lucky boy – he is most surely loved. Mazel Tov!

Pamela on

What a beautiful little baby!
Best wishes to all!

Rosa on

congratulations to Marissa and Judah! what a beautiful family and beautiful baby boy. i wish nothing but happiness for them.

Julie Tremblay on

I am happy for her. Marissa says she will be friends forever with the surrogate mother. Does that mean that Zev Isaac will have a relationship with the woman who carried him for 9 months ? I think that would be great for him to get to know her.

Brandi on

Beautiful baby! Julie, the surrogate is Zev’s godmother, so I assume so.

Stephany on

I love Marissa! Her personality is so fun and bubbly! Zev is a little cutie-pie and their story is so inspiring and beautiful. I love it!

ekaterina on

WOW what a great story-
thank you for posting this as I know there are many others in her shoes who will be inspired.It is a reminder to all of us who have kids what a blessing they truly are ( even today when mine are killing each other!)
I got goosebumps reading it-
congrats to her and what a wonderful gift that surrogate gave them
kudos to her!

Mystie on

Aww what a beautiful family. Marissa especially looks blissfully happy. Zev is adorable:)

Ryan on

Hi Guys!!

If you want more of Marissa & Judah and baby Zev then catch them all IN ACTION on today’s episode of “The Ryan O’Connor Show”


Brianne on

Congratulations to Marissa and Judah! Zev is absolutely adorable, and they’re truly blessed to have him in their lives! I wish them all the happiness in the world! Mazel tov!!!

Kellie on

He is a beautiful baby! She looks to be so in love with him. Congrats to both!

Ms.B on

I don’t understand how Surrogate mother’s can just hand over the baby after carrying it for 9 months. Money can make people do anything………….

Ms.B on

I wonder why she chose to name her son after the word Wolf? That’s wierddddddd!

Elisabeth on

Wow I am so happy for Marissa and Judah. My husband and I have tried to have children for 4 years now. We’ve turned to adoption which failed 9 months into it, and it completely broke our hearts. We are starting more agressive treatments so I have faith they’ll work. My only sadness is that my husband’s mom won’t get to enjoy being a grandmother as she passed away in May. Her name was Mary. Because of so many Mary’s in our family we’ve decided on Marissa Lauren for our second daughter the first girl’s name we are keeping to ourselves). A while ago (before precious little Zev was conceived) I remember seeing her story in people, I was given that inspiration. I can’t thank Marissa enough for having such great strength and courage to tell her story. Precious little Zev is beautiful!


I’m so happy for Marissa.Zev is a gorgeous baby boy.I also love his name:short but it sounds great

Gigi on

i love happy endings, although its just the sweet beginning, for such a wonderful family.

Julie on

This story brought tears to my eyes. Literally: I’m sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my face. It warms my heart to see such goodness and happiness in the world. Congratulations!

liza on

I love the choice of Isaac for his middle name, it seems so fitting. Basically it means “laughter” or “he will laugh” and it comes from the story of Isaac in the bible because his parents laughed when they were told they were pregnant with him at such and old age. I think it summarizes his story beautifully, because he is a miracle. Plus, I love the name anyways, its my husbands first name, and he lives up to it 🙂

brooke on

Aww congrats to her, he is adorable.

Mia on

beautiful baby. Great name. He looks like his daddy I think 🙂

What a positive way to look at the cancer situation. Def. an example of how everything happens for a reason.

Congrats to them.

cindy on

Ahh I just can’t get enough of Marissa .. love her! I’m so happy for this great couple! Zev is precious, what can I say, a true miracle baby! Just thought I’d mention, I found a video of baby Zev posted at pregnancy pit stop blog: .. Of him in his swing & his mama & uncle playing with him! It’s a must-see! 🙂

Phyllis on

Mazel Tov to both of you!! Enjoy that bundle of joy!

Maddie on

I wish Marissa and Judah good luck with the baby. Zev is very cute

FC on

Zev is so sweet, and I’m just happy for Marissa and her husband. She’s finally gotten one gift she’s always wanted.

Christina on

What a beautiful family! I’ve been a fan of Marissa’s for a long time, and it’s lovely to see her so joyous. She just radiates joy in these photos, don’t you think?

Christina on

PS – Marissa is such a wonderful example that a woman in show business doesn’t need to be a size 00 to be beautiful, successful, respected, and happy!!