Good news for Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi!
The Shahs of Sunset star, 36, is pregnant with her first child, she exclusively tells PEOPLE.
“This is what I wanted my entire life,” Gharachedaghi raves. “When little girls were talking about their perfect husband and their perfect weddings, I was talking about the 10 kids I was going to have.”
“I just always knew I’d be a mom someday,” she adds. “I’m finally at this point where I’m ready to make this move. I can’t wait to give this child a life of unconditional love without judgment, the same way my mom has shown me my whole life. I just wish she could teach me how to cook! I still haven’t figured that out yet … “
Gharachedaghi, who lives in Los Angeles, is single and plans to raise her child on her own. She used a sperm donor, and successfully completed a round of in vitro fertilization in August.
Though she’s thrilled about her baby on the way, Gharachedaghi’s difficult journey to pregnancy means a bit of fear sadly looms over the reality star. She nearly lost her life after her first successful IVF transfer in the spring led to an ectopic pregnancy that required emergency surgery and the removal of both Fallopian tubes.
“What I went through a couple of months ago is so traumatizing,” Gharachedaghi recalls. “Right now, it’s still very scary for me.”
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The road to pregnancy for Gharachedaghi began back in October 2018, when — after a failed marriage — she decided to go the sperm-donor route to have a baby.
“I heard about a really good donor concierge company, who scavenges through the data from all the sperm banks in the nation and some neighboring countries to find you what you’re looking for,” Gharachedaghi remembers.
“It’s amazing how the process really works,” she says. “The profiles are about 47 to 50 pages each, and they’re filled with all this amazing information, like genetic background for the man and his entire family. I hate to joke about it, but you know the Build-A-Bear Workshop? It’s almost like that, but it’s a human. Build-A-Baby!”
Once the right candidate was chosen, the IVF process began. First came the egg retrieval, then the fertilization, development and testing of the embryos for upwards of 250 genetic disorders.
“It took a long time, but I walked through each step with this knowledge and excitement that I was going to be a mom someday,” Gharachedaghi tells PEOPLE.
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The embryo transfer finally happened in April. And while she was fine at first, Gharachedaghi could tell in the following weeks that something was wrong.
“I would have a bit of a cramp here and there, and I started spotting a bit,” she explains. “I would freak out and say, ‘Something doesn’t feel right to me,’ and my doctors would calm me down, like, ‘It’s normal. Your uterus is making space for the baby. Lots of pregnant women have spotting. You’ve never been pregnant before, this happens.’ “
Unfortunately, Gharachedaghi’s suspicions turned out to be true. At the five-week mark, for her first ultrasound, doctors couldn’t find the gestational sac. Experts were called in and eventually, it was found in her left Fallopian tube — a rare experience with IVF, seeing as the procedure is meant to bypass the Fallopian tubes.
“It was an ectopic pregnancy,” the Bravo star recounts. “The only option was to terminate it — in my case, through the distribution of a very strong drug called methotrexate.”
“That was probably the most traumatizing moment of my life,” Gharachedaghi admits. “Literally, just a couple of days before, I was celebrating. And now, I was mourning.”
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It only got worse from there. At a follow-up appointment three days later, Gharachedaghi learned the methotrexate hadn’t dissolved the sac at all. Two additional rounds of the powerful medication were given over the course of the next six days, until Gharachedaghi — doubled over in pain by that point — ended up in emergency surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where both of her Fallopian tubes were removed.
“The sac wasn’t dissolving and it was on the verge of rupturing, which would have killed me,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m lucky I got it in enough time.”
Doctors decided to remove her second tube when they noticed it, too, was dilated — something Gharachedaghi has been told is likely related to her autoimmune disease (she has long suffered from rheumatoid arthritis). The removals meant now that the only way she could get pregnant moving forward was through IVF.
All of this left Gharachedaghi feeling angry, depressed and lost.
“For weeks, [I was] playing the, ‘Who am I supposed to be mad at?’ game,” Gharachedaghi says. “I wanted to blame someone and I couldn’t. I kept blaming myself because no one had an answer. I checked back into therapy, to try to figure out how to work through this all.”
Eventually, Gharachedaghi decided to try again. “I knew if I sat around being sad and isolated, it wouldn’t be healthy,” she says. “I had to try it again.”
Her second IVF transfer round was on Aug. 29. “You think this is supposed to be such an exciting time, but this second time around, I was sort of numb,” Gharachedaghi says. “When I went in for the first ultrasound, I couldn’t breathe. I had anxiety for two days. I couldn’t sleep, thinking, ‘This is going to happen again.’ “
“Sure enough, I had the ultrasound, and we saw [the embryo]. A week later, we saw the heart vessel pumping,” she adds. “So I’ve slowly been feeling more and more relaxed about it.”
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Gharachedaghi has a strong support system around her, especially in her “amazing” parents.
“My mom is such a soldier for me,” she says. “She’s literally my punching bag. These hormones are no f–ing joke. I have to inject myself every morning in the butt with just pure hormones and I just rage. I cry for random reasons. And my mom’s just been there for it all.”
Ultimately, though, she says she’s ready to do this alone — and hasn’t even started dating since her divorce.
“I’m okay right now focusing on me and my baby,” the star tells PEOPLE. “We’re in a day and age that women are so much more independent, and we’re not necessarily relying on men in order to move forward in life. I can start a family and have my child without being in a relationship right now.”
“If I’m lucky to meet someone who I vibe with and it works, that’s great, but I’m not interested in getting married in the future and don’t necessarily see myself with a forever life partner,” Gharachedaghi explains, adding, “My forever will be my child.”
As for the sex of the baby? She’s keeping that secret for now. “My life is such an open book, I kind of want to keep one thing a little close,” she says, joking, “But knowing me, I’ll blurt it out at one point.”
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