Back in 2009 we got to know publicist-to-the-stars Kita Williams very well on The T.O. Show. She was fierce, fun and free-spirited no matter what the industry threw her way. And, when it came to her clients, she always meant business.
When the cameras stopped rolling in 2011, her life as a passionate, no-nonsense businesswoman in Hollywood continued, but a lot changed too. In 2012, Williams got engaged to fiancé Joe Hardy, who she met while filming the show, and this summer she added a new title to her resume—first time mom. After struggling to conceive and facing a medical emergency that threatened her ability to carry a child, on September 1st Williams welcomed son Greysun Ervin Hardy into the world. “This is the biggest accomplishment of my life,” she tells us. “I've also given birth to a new me!”
ESSENCE caught up with the proud (and exhausted!) new mom to find out how becoming a mother changed her for the better.
ESSENCE: This was the end of a long and emotional journey for you, correct?
KITA WILLIAMS: Yes, it was beyond emotional for me, because I've had challenges with becoming a mother and with fertility. I had reached a point in my life where I was finally getting to that “hallelujah” moment. [My son] gave me that moment.
ESSENCE: What type of challenges did you face?
WILLIAMS: When I realized that I was having issues getting pregnant, I thought maybe it had a lot to do with my diet or being stressed out. A friend recommended that I see a fertility doctor. I went and had a pelvic ultrasound done and it came back showing that I had ovarian aging.
ESSENCE: Say what now?
WILLIAMS: It means your eggs are older than you are. This can happen to women in their 20s. That's what they thought the test showed, but then I got more results back and found out that the reason my blood count showed I had ovarian aging was because I had a fibroid in my uterus the size of an orange. My fibroid had started to attach to my uterine wall, which wasn’t good. My doctor said if I didn’t have the fibroid surgery my fertility options were "slim to none." I had the surgery, but if it wasn’t for my friend recommending the pelvic ultrasound to me, and if I had waited another year, I don’t know if I would have been able to become a mother.
ESSENCE: Wow. Was Greysun conceived after the operation?
WILLIAMS: No. My body was adjusting and recovering. After having the surgery my chances of getting pregnant still weren’t as great because my uterus had been compromised. I had miscarriages because my uterus wasn’t able to hold the egg when it implanted. It has been a scary journey and it took a couple tries to get to our baby, but we got him.
ESSENCE: That must have been tough to ordeal.
WILLIAMS: Yes! My mother has five kids. She had her first child at 17 and her last child when she was in her forties. For me, I never thought infertility would be something that I would experience. I always thought I’d be good. But, when you get closer to 40, it's a different scenario.
ESSENCE: So what was the pregnancy like?
WILLIAMS: Everything that was going on in my body was almost as if I had to deliver myself before I could deliver this baby. It gave me a lot of time to reflect, to journal, and to really see that, wow, all this time I'm thinking I'm giving birth to a baby, when I realized I was also giving birth to a new me along the way. That was the beauty of it. Along with me giving life to my child I was actually giving life to myself because I didn’t know who I was before. Working in a celebrity space, people think all the time how glamorous it is, but being a celebrity can be one of the loneliest titles to have to take on because you really have to be careful of the people you have around you. I realized that being in that celebrity environment, at times, can be toxic. It's just the environment and the atmosphere and constantly having to measure up to the standards of what that world entails. It's a difficult place to be. I had to remove myself altogether.
ESSENCE: Was the experience all that you hoped it would be?
WILLIAMS: Bringing life into the world was so surreal. There was a part of me that I really wanted to be connected to, and it wasn't just through having a belly or looking at my body changing, it was more so really being in the moment. It was almost as if I could feel life come through me in a different way. It's amazing because you know, when you give birth to a child, to a baby, to a human being that tiny, it's the closest thing to God because they’ve come from the other side. That's how I see it. I was looking at this human being that was handed to me from God. This was my moment of feeling like I had accomplished one of the biggest goals of my life. It was beyond emotional.
ESSENCE: And, what about Greysun’s daddy?
WILLIAMS: My fiancé was emotional too. He was a mess. Trust me. But it was a beautiful mess!
ESSENCE: How has becoming a mother changed your perspective on your own life?
WILLIAMS: I’m not looking at it as a milestone, but really looking at it as a “me stone,” because so much of my existence has been based on my professional career and being successful and checking off those milestones in life that this was one of those “me stones” that I looked at and was like, "Wow, thank you, Lord. Thank you for allowing me to be a mother but, more importantly, choosing me to be the mother of this child.”
ESSENCE.com: How did you choose the name Greysun?
WILLIAMS: We loved the name but more importantly we wanted something that meant light. Even though you think of grey, the color, but we spell it G-R-E-Y-S-U-N for sun. The reason we spelled it S-U-N was to give his name meaning. Remember in The Bible, the first thing it says is, "Let there be light.” We loved that because he is the light of our world and he, of course, is the reason that we now have new light in our lives.
Check out super cute photos of Kita, Joe and Greysun and her pregnancy journey in the gallery.