Why Ice T and Coco Waited Over a Decade to Welcome Their First Baby

04/14/2016 at 03:00 PM ET

They said ‘I do’ more than a decade ago, but Ice T and Nicole “Coco” Austin made the decision to wait to expand their family.

“There were a lot of things I wanted to complete before having a baby,” Austin tells PEOPLE.

From starring in the Las Vegas striptease spectacular Peepshow to getting her own E! reality series, Ice Loves Coco, the former fitness model turned entrepreneur says 35 was always the magic number for her.

Coco Austin Ice T daughter Chanel
Spencer Heyfron

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It was a decision her husband, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Ice T, fully supported.

“I am 20 years older than her,” he explains. “I didn’t have a clock ticking. I said to Coco, ‘When you are ready, let me know.’ ”

“Just because I was finished with the clubbing and the partying doesn’t mean she was,” he adds. “It’s like Disneyland. I can’t say, ‘You don’t want to go, all the rides suck.’ You gotta go for the rides.”

The couple welcomed their daughter Chanel Nicole in November.

“I’m 100 percent all-in,” says Austin. “I think motherhood was always my calling. I wish I had let it happen earlier, but this is perfect. I’m dedicating my whole life to molding this little nugget into a fabulous person.”

For more from Ice T and Coco, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Emily Strohm

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Dajoka on

Things I want to do before having a baby:
Become a Vegas stripper-check
Marry much older but rich has been rapper-check
Get ridiculous breast and butt implants-check.
Have a boring reality TV show no one watches-check
Ok, baby time!!

Amy on

I’m 100% in, except when I’m taking selfies.

London on

Didn’t she cheat on him three years ago? Was that something to check off the to-do list?

CR on

People are making fun of her, but that was a responsible thing to do. You see all these chicks with several kids at home with grandma or older sibling while their moms/dads are clubbing. CoCo decided to get it out of her system sort of speak (every once in awhile going dancing with friends is fun) before she had children. Do you can call her stripper (which she never was) or say she has implants (her butt is real and admitted she got breast implants) You can say her show that she makes $$$$$ more than you is boring. Or even marry a man who is older , that happened to be a rapper and is now a successful actor on one of the post popular shows on TV. So instead of being a hater be proud that she waited until she could give her undivided attention to her daughter. If you follow her on IG (which you probably do, cause haters love to watch) you see she takes Chanel everywhere with her. That baby is her life! CoCo and Ice were smart to wait.

Tina on

Why’d they take that picture in the closet?

Wandare on

I have yet to see a photo where this poor child looks like something other than a fashion accessory

Anonymous on

You people are just jealous ,Coco
Is a wonderful wife and new mommy!
I enjoy seeing all the cutest pics of their
baby girl in her awesome outfits!😍

Anonymous on

Wait . . . she’s 35???

Nofool on

She’s been 35 for the past decade

Nicole on

It’s a good thing they waited so the child’s father will be 73 when she graduates from high school…

Lori on

Ice T and Coco: Chanel is beautiful. Raise her well, not like The Kartrashians.

Lori on

They seem like decent people. I don’t know their life stories, but I get the sense they may have had a rough past.. So what? I think it’s really inspiring to see people change and evolve to get to a good place in their life. Good for them. I find them quite likeable.

WeAreStars on

Losers – Stop criticizing because you are jealous. ALL that matters is that the baby has loving parents who love her. Obviously she does, so shut your pie holes. Your comments are irrelevant.

nuckle on

he’s wrong, his clock was ticking. Older sperm is more likely to create babies with problems. And older dads, duh! are more likely to DIE DIE DIE…..DUH!!!!!!!! And this woman is such a zero!!!! Could she BE more insubstantial? The planet is so huge, and she is doing nothing to make it better in any possible way! And Channel, er, Chunnel, er Chimpnel doesn’t count. She made a facebook page for that tyke…when will it not be “Baby Chanel” any more? Poor kid is a decoration. And sorry but those mammaries are ridiculously outsized and hideous, and the bleached hair and glued-on nails, yeah right, perfect for mommying! As for Stacy/Tracy/Spacy the husband, telling her she has all the time she wants, no, pregnancy is harder to attain after age 30 and 35.

Kathy on

WTH has that “woman” done to her body? Can you breast fed with fake breasts that large?

Guest on

The baby is having her picture made in the closet with rows and rows of high heels! Oh, yeah cause mama is a stripper! Makes sense…..

Shay on

I love this couple. She’s a smart business woman. I laughed when she had a doctor examine her ar se to confirm it was all hard work, not surgically enhanced. He’s matured as he’s aged, and he’s actually a better actor than rapper. I hope this couple lasts.

Far Kew on

Coco freaking rocks. Motherhood is HARD and more people should respect that and either wait or not do it at all.
Enjoy you gorgeous guys! Cutest family ever.

Tee on

I have to admit that I LOVE looking at pictures of little Chanel. She is such a doll and her parents really seem so happy and proud! But am I the only person that has wondered at the fact that she doesn’t seem to be growing much? She still seems so tiny. Does anyone know if she was premature?

anonymous on

wow she is such an adorable kid.