Iman Dishes on 'The Miracle of Conception'

05/19/2009 at 04:00 PM ET

The age difference between her two daughters — 30-year-old Zulekha and 8-year-old Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Zahra Jones — is stark, and former supermodel Iman, 53, doesn’t like reporters to do the math! “God, you’re making me sound even older than I am,” she tells PARADE. “People talk about the miracle of birth. No. There’s the miracle of conception.” She elaborates,

“I did IVF, but nothing happened. So I began to think of adoption and then I got pregnant. It was definitely a miracle.”

Motherhood the second time around has been a different experience entirely, and Iman says that she’s far more patient as a result. “I was at the height of my career when I had my first child, and I took her with me around the world,” she notes. “Then I had to root her in school; It was difficult to leave her behind.”

“Now this one thinks she has it tough because both her old parents are at home with her all the time. When Lexi was about four, she first saw a picture of [her dad] David [Bowie] as Ziggy Stardust. ‘Why is his hair orange?’ she wanted to know. The makeup didn’t faze her.”

With the glitz and glamour of her own career largely behind her, Iman says that she’s content to tackle more mundane pursuits. “Lexi’s class has built a kind of diorama of a Native American village for all us moms to admire,” she laughs. “Ah, my glamorous life.”

Zulekha is Iman’s daughter with ex-husband Spencer Haywood.

Source: PARADE

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 31 comments

M on

yeahhhh right. why won’t celebs admit that their children were conceived by fertility treatments (hello, JLo)? i think it would really help out all those normal women out there who are hoping and praying for a child. if you are not ashamed of fertility treatments, why not celebrate the miracle it gave you?

meghan on

Women can become pregnant naturally later in life, it is just rare. Don’t immediately assume someone is lying. Why would she go to the trouble of saying she had IVF and became pregnant naturally after it failed, eight years later? What would be the point of lying now?

Mia on

Sometimes those things do happen. Both people are more relaxed, and the body isn’t stressed out from all of the treatments, and dr. appointemtns..etc, which I’m sure are both physically and emotionally draining. Important thing, the children are happy and healthy, and David Bowie and Iman have been together for a very long time.

Alice on

M, she openly said she used IVF. Then it didn’t work but she got pregnant naturally. Why would she lie if she admits to using it? Sometimes during fertility treatments people put too much pressure on themselves and are obsessing about it, about how something might be wrong with them etc and it just does not work.
It happened to my parents, they went through three years of tests and medication and whatnot and nothing happened. Then they stopped everything and were “distracted” by other family circumstances and they got pregnant. My mother was just a few years younger than Iman was. It happens sometimes, even to “normal women”.

Hazel on

I agree Alice. My mother had me and my twin brother at the age of 47 the natural, old fashion way. It happens.

danda_lion on

She’s so beautiful. I bet both her daughters are too.

stedine on

Older women can have children naturally without any IVF. My mom had my brother at 41 and she did not use any meds to get pregnant or deliver. Iman also states that she tried IVF, so if she is willing to admit that, why would she lie about how her child was conceived in the end?

Sammy-xx on

A lot of woman who have had IVF and it has failed do fall pregnent afterwords after all the stress has been lifted.
Iman is so beautiful, I love her and David as a couple. I have seen pictures of Lexi from when she was born and another one about 1-2 years ago, she is a stunning little girl. Not surprising really.

M on

i think you people are missing the point. yes, pregnancies do happen after failed ivf. yes, people do conceive in their forties. are these things likely? no. possible, yes; likely, no. i am very skeptical that JLo and Marc were so unsuccessful for so many years and then suddenly got pregnant with twins without help. and that rebecca romijn had twins spontaneously after failed fertility treatment. and that so many other celebs fail with fertility treatment only to sudden become spontaneously pregnant. coincidence every time? i think not. it’s just like how they always lose the baby weight by chasing after their two-year-olds and need nose jobs solely to correct deviated septums. possible, yes; likely, no.

M on

on a related note, do all you true believers think that the hollywood twin boom is spontaneous? hellooooo secret fertility treatments! oh yeah, and mariah carey and nick cannon claim to be “seeing what happens [naturally]” but have been spotted at fertility clinics. watch her get pregnant and say it was spontaneous!

simms on

Alexandria is so beautiful 🙂

felice on

I personally know of several women who conceived children naturally, well into their 40s. Most recently, a client of mine had a baby at 45. No IVF, no fertility treatments…

So yes. It definitely happens. Sometimes, when you least expect it! Never underestimate the capabilities your bodies behold, ladies.

Cynthia on

yes Sammy Even at 53 …the woman is stunning!

Sandra on

M, I don’t think she is lying.
It really can happen naturally.

My cousin and his wife had tried for ten years (all treatments), but nothing worked – and then they sort of gave up. And thereby the stress they used to have didn’t exist anymore and they relaxed, which apparently helped, because they conceived naturally. And now have a baby boy.

jaja on

My grandmother had my father around 47 or 48, and there was definitely no IVF back then!

meghan on

M Says:
May 20th, 2009 at 12:13 am
on a related note, do all you true believers think that the hollywood twin boom is spontaneous? hellooooo secret fertility treatments! oh yeah, and mariah carey and nick cannon claim to be “seeing what happens [naturally]” but have been spotted at fertility clinics. watch her get pregnant and say it was spontaneous!

If someone doesn’t want to tell the world they had fertility treatments that is their right. We don’t have the right to know everything about celebrities.

Lis on

M, I COMPLETELY agree with you! I really wish some of the celebs would just admit to fertility treatments (there’s nothing shameful about them!)! Especially with this twin boom!!! I mean, with all the twins running around in hollywood these days, does no one find it odd that almost NONE are identical??? And you know why? Because identical twins are conceived naturally…

And, yes, I am well aware that years of fertility treatments can fail and then you can conceive naturally in your 40’s. Trust me, I believe in miracles. But like M said, is it likely? No.

brannon on

agreed. not our business (though i personally believe her and everyone else)

plS on

“it’s just like how they always lose the baby weight by chasing after their two-year-olds and need nose jobs solely to correct deviated septums.”

I’ve always thought the deviated septum thing was odd. Correcting a deviated septum does NOT change the outward appearance of your nose.

Josie on

M and Lis, I think the issue of conception is a deeply personal issue. I don’t think we have the right to knock celebrities for trying to keep things like this private. If you think about it, if your neighbors or co workers, or some random stranger on the street ask you how your children were conceived wouldn’t you be grossly offended? We know celebrities but they don’t know US. Why should they share such personal info with a bunch of strangers?

Paula on

I think we should consider the fact that celebrity parents might prefer to tell their children about how they were conceived in their own time and in their own way without the children hearing about it from strangers.

Debra on

I don’t think she is lying. My one and only child was born just four months shy of my 46th birthday. She was conceived the old fashioned way, arrived five weeks early, and is just fine–a smart, beautiful now nine year old girl.

Anon on

They don’t have to admit anything to you. Entitled much? There private lives are their private lives and if they don’t want to admit to fertility issues they don’t have to.

Aimer on

#10: I agree. ALL of those celebrity twins are fertility treatments and they probably all use the same doctor. Lisa Marie Presley, Marcia Cross, J. Lo, Julia Roberts, Rebecca Romijn, Patrick Dempsey’s wife, , CNN’s Nancy Grace (no way are those her eggs) and on and on. I’m waiting for Katie Holmes to have twins since she was seen at a fertility clinic.

Anon on

All those women are also over the age of 35 which way increases the rate of twins. You guys act as if a baby after 35 or in early 40s is impossible. It may be difficult but it isn’t impossible and I doubt that every celebrity woman who has had twins over the past few years has definitely used fertility treatments. My grandma had my mom at 38(she had TWINS) and my mom had be at 34 nearly 35.

SweetDiva on

I happen to know of 3 “menopause babies.” Meaning the moms were in their mid 40s and thought menopause was setting in, and lo and behold, they were pregnant! No twins in the bunch and not a single couple had IVF or were even trying to get pregnant. All children are thriving.
Why do we bother to read the articles if we’re just going to make up our own details? She said she tried IVF and it didn’t take. In the end she conceived naturally. Nuff said.

Alice on

M, of course some se fertility treatments and don’t admit it. I’m not saying otherwise.
But this is a post about Iman not about JLo, and she didn’t have twins and probably didn’t lie either. She had her baby before the ‘Hollywood twin baby boom’. She was only asked about her daughters’ age difference and talked spontaneously about trying IVF. So you can rant about celebs not admitting to fertility treatments but it’s better if it is actually relevant.

And yes conception is a personal issue and we don’t have a right to know however they should not lie. If they don’t want to tell they shoul say it’s none of our business but not ‘it happened naturally’ if it didn’t.

Kate on

WHO CARES??? Does it really have anything to do with your life?? No! Sometimes people’s comments on this site drive me insane! How about saying “Yeah for them! Glad they’re happy”!

Sabrina on

i was so happy to see this article in parade over the weekend. i just love david and iman!

CelebBabyLover on

Aimer- I doubt Katie Holmes was seen at a fertily clinic. I have not seen that in any reliable news source, nor have I seen any pictures of it. Also, just because a woman is seen at a fertility clinic doesn’t automatically mean she’s having fertility treatments. Women also, for example, go to fertility clinics to try to find out what’s causing their infertiltly. And sometimes the problem can’t be spotted in just one visit, so multiple check-ups are needed. This very well could be the case with Mariah Carey.

Alice- I agree! Of course SOME of the twins in Hollywood have been concieved using IVF (Marcia Cross, Geena Davis, and some others have even been open about the fact that their twins were concieved via IVF. Similarly, Rebecca Romijin has been very open about the fact that she tried Clomid, but didn’t like how it “messed with” her hormones. Since she was honest about that, I don’t know why she’d lie about concieving the twins naturally…well, with a little help from acupuncture! :)). However, does that mean ALL of them are? Absolutly not!

I’m guessing about half of the twins in Hollywood are concieved using fertility treatments, and the other half are concieved due to one or more of these factors:

1. Being older than 35 (when women near menopause, their bodies start to produce more of a certain hormone, which stimulates the eggs to release ovaries. The extra amount can cause the eggs to release more than one egg at a time).

2. Having twins in the family (Angelina Jolie, for example, has a set of twin cousins or uncles or something on her mother’s side. And speaking of Angie…Considering that she’s almost as famous for being extremely candid and open as she is for being an actress, I believe her about Knox and Viv being concieved naturally. Plus, she really wouldn’t have had the time for fertilty treatments, as she’s confirmed that she was in the middle of filming “Changeling” when the twins were concieved…which, if you do the Math, sounds right. I highly doubt she’d be doing fertility treatments, which are physically tasking, during a physically demanding move like Changeling.).

3. Simply getting lucky and concieving twins naturally.

4. Possibly there literally being something in the water. From what I’ve read, some studies have been done, and naturally concieved twins ARE becoming more common. Doctors speculate it’s partly due to increasing amounts of hormones in such in our food and water.

All of that said, I must ask…Do those you of saying that ALL the twins in Hollywood are concieved with fertility treatments honestly think that NONE of those twins were naturally concieved?

Sammy-xx- I agree! I have also heard of that happening. In fact, I know of a couple who attempted to have kids but failed…so they decided to turn to adoption. Well, lo and behold, with the stress of trying for a baby lifted, they concieved during the adoption process!

SweetDiva- One of my great-uncles and one of my cousins were/are (my great-uncle passed away several years ago, but my cousin is still very much alive!) both “change of life” babies (my aunt and uncle were definently not expecting to get pregnant again. I’m not sure about my great-grandparents.). Trust me, it DOES happen!

rIj on

a very close friend of mine was told that she could never have children without medical help. she had twins through IVF but not without some obstacles and delivering them 2 months early. miraculously, she became pregnant with her third child naturally. these things just happen. it is a true miracle and it should just be embraced. why be bitter about it?