Gigi Hadid, 25, and partner Zayn Malik, 28, have purposely kept information about their baby girl born in September pretty sparse. The child was born at her home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, over a 14-hour labor overseen by a local midwife, as well as the former One Direction singer, mother Yolanda and sister Bella after what the model says was a very intense process.
“I was an animal woman,” Hadid told Vogue magazine in a new cover story, which reveals that Malik was right there to catch the baby and that they played the audio of her favorite children’s novel, The Indian in the Cupboard, during the early hours of labor.
“Afterward, Z and I looked at each other and were like, We can have some time before we do that again,” she said of the home birth of baby Khai, whose name in Arabic means “the chosen one.”
And when you are the chosen one, chances are you’re going to get some pretty special gifts, which, of course, Khai has received from Gigi’s inner circle. “It’s misshapen, and she called it Ugly Bear,” Hadid said of the handmade teddy bear sent by Taylor Swift, which the singer sewed from one of her old dresses. “She had one when she was little,” she explained. Other presents included a micro handbag from French fashion designer Porte Jacquemus and a tiny Versace-logo sweatshirt from “Auntie Donatella.” (Swift and Versace also gifted Hadid a blanket back in September.)
Malik is also spoiling Khai rotten, buying his daughter a retro pink VHS player with all the Disney cartoons she could ever watch, as well as his favorite Bollywood movies to go in a room that also includes a poem Zayn wrote for his little girl in a frame painted by Gigi.
The model and her press-shy beau agreed from the start to stay private about their family life, something they agreed on after witnessing how some other famous friends have navigated the tricky waters of bringing up baby in the spotlight. “I have friends who are public figures and that’s how they’ve gone about it, and I see their kids really blossom in a different way,” she said, giving pals Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds as examples. “I told her you have to do what works for you,” said Lively — who met Hadid through mutual friend Swift — describing her early conversations about motherhood with the model. “Gigi has a really special relationship with her fans, and I love how open she is on social media. I love seeing into her world… I’m grateful for what she shares but also understand whatever boundaries she chooses to set.”
The profile also notes that Malik’s mother cooked their Thanksgiving turkey last year and that the couple decorated their Christmas tree with ornaments that she and the singer have exchanged over the years, subtly mentioning that Malik is working on his next album in a home recording studio in the house he owns nearby.
“You have a kid and you’re lying in bed together and you look over and you’re like, ‘Okay, what now?’ And you ask all of your friends the same questions, and everyone has a different answer. And that’s when you kind of realize that everyone figures it out for themselves,” said Hadid about figuring out how to share a bed with the baby. “And you do it in your own way, and you can take bits and pieces from people, but you’re always going to end up doing it a little bit differently. This is our way.”
Observant viewers of the video of the interview also noticed that Hadid has some new ink: a red tattoo with Khai’s name written in Arabic on her left bicep; Malik has the same tat on his right wrist.