LaLa Milan is preparing for her biggest role yet, motherhood, and despite being far along, she still can’t believe it.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m still in shock,” she tells ESSENCE. “I look down at my belly like, ‘That’s crazy!'” And while her growing bump still blows her mind, the biggest thing she feels is elation. LaLa’s about to me a MaMa.
“I feel amazing. I’m so excited,” she says. “I’m talking to all the moms. I’m so all about kids. I already was.”
The comedian, known for making millions laugh on YouTube and Instagram, is expecting her first child with boyfriend, model Tyler P., announcing the news through a gorgeous photo shoot of the couple, in love and beaming with joy as they love on their baby in her belly.
“It’s a way of showing people I’m not hiding my love, I’m not hiding my lover or anything like that,” she says. “My page won’t necessarily become a LaLa and Tyler P page, but at the same time, my man is present, we are a family and it’s a beautiful thing. I wanted to show the display of a healthy Black family dynamic in a maternity shoot.”
In a lively chat, we spoke with Milan about her partner, how she found out she was going to be a mother, dealing with joy and grief simultaneously following the death of her father, and why the reality of being a mother has her going harder than ever. Here’s what one of our favorite funny femmes had to say.
ESSENCE: Congratulations mama! So tell us, how did you find out that you were expecting?
I found out because I use a period tracker and according to it, my cycle was seven days late. Next thing you know, my boyfriend was coming in town and I was like, let me go ahead and take this test before he comes so I could know if I potentially have to tell him something. When I went and peed on that stick my heart was jumping and I didn’t even watch it. I said “I’m a go downstairs. When I come back up I’m going to face my fate.” Chile, my fate was facing me.
Do you mind sharing about who your partner is? The lucky father.
His name is Tyler P. We’ve been together about a year and change. But as far as knowing each other, it’s a long story. We were talking and then we stopped and then we picked back up.
How did he respond to the news?
He was shocked and I don’t know why. We were making magic [laughs].
Listen, I tried to get on birth control multiple times. Each time I went to the OBGYN they had the wrong birth control. It happened three times! And by the time they got it right, they called and said, “We have your birth control ready.” I said, “I’m pregnant.” They were like “Um, uh, uh…” I said, “It’s ok. I’m excited and I’m keeping it. Thank y’all.’ But the crazy thing is, the doctor’s office where I was trying to get the birth control from [in Los Angeles], she’s a Black woman. I ended up calling her later and asking her to refer me to a good prenatal care office, because the one I went to first, the guy was passive. He could have cared less. He was rushing me out of the office. I’ve heard so much about Black women’s struggles giving birth to the point where I was like, oh no, I don’t feel comfortable. I’m gone. So she referred me to an office with all women of color and I’m very excited about that. All the doctors come in and they know how to pronounce my name! Everybody has natural hair. Girl, it’s so beautiful.
Nice! So you’ve been educating yourself on the Black Maternal Health Crisis?
Absolutely girl. We’re the most likely to die during childbirth and also have issues so I had to make sure that I found a place that cared about Black women.
That’s right, girl. If you don’t mind me broaching this topic, we don’t have to. I know you recently lost your dad. They often say in a time of loss, new life comes about. With that in mind, how have you been feeling and handling these two strong emotions at the same time: grief and joy?
I’m happy that you asked because honestly when I found out I was pregnant I got nervous. I do know that with life comes death. At least, that’s the old tale. I also knew my dad was an addict. He was living with me for eight months and when I had him living with me he was clean. Everything was good. But my dad was very dependent so his sobriety depended on me. Ultimately it wasn’t helpful so I told him, we have to figure out how to make you more independent.
I ended up sending him to Pittsburgh where we’re from and I knew that once he went back he was going to go back to what he knew. So four months later is when I found out he had fentanyl in his system and ended up dying from that. When I got the call from my uncle, of course I cried, but at the same time, with me planning the funeral and everything, it was odd because I was so chill. I cried when I found out but through the whole process I didn’t cry at all because I had already accepted what it was. Before I sent him back I told him I loved him. I told him I wasn’t angry with him. “I don’t want you to think because I’m sending you home I’m angry. I love you so much and I want you to be able to stand on your own and you won’t be able to do that by living with me because you’re not making any progress.” My dad had been doing drugs since he was 16. I knew what came with the lifestyle he was living so I was just like, this time is here. The time is now. So I made peace with it and I’m glad he’s finally at peace.
When I found out I was pregnant and losing my dad so close in time, it was a mix of emotions. I was super excited on one hand, but on the other, I’m going through this. But he did get to find out that I was pregnant so that was a good thing. In my mind, he gets to meet my child before I do.
That’s a beautiful way to look at it. I know you were big on being active and packing on muscle weight prior to pregnancy. Are you embracing baby weight and your changing body?
It’s all in my stomach and my breasts. There’s no weight gain anywhere else quite frankly. I was hoping to have some extra weight so I could tone it and that could be my shortcut to having a little bit more weight. Everybody be like, “Wait til you have a baby.” Well guess what!? I’m having a baby and I ain’t put on no weight [laughs]. But I’m embracing everything that’s coming with it. It’s so cool to watch my body change with my little tenant who ain’t paying rent [laughs].
How has your pregnancy been? Any morning sickness or have things been smooth?
Everything has been chill. I haven’t had any issues whatsoever. What I’m experiencing right now is fake insomnia. I wake up in the middle of the night, every night. In between 12 to three, I’ll be up for an hour and some change and then go back to sleep. I’m like, what the heck is going on? I’ve tried to make myself go to sleep later. It doesn’t work. I’m constantly waking up in the middle of the night, every night, just looking around.
Are they kicking?
There’s the little flutters and everything like that. The other day when I had some turkey wings when we were in Miami they were like, “Oh! Raise the roof!” I was like oh you like turkey wings and greens huh!? They were very very active.
And how would you say pregnancy has inspired you or changed you thus far?
It has inspired me in so many ways. I was already a hard worker but now it’s making me to work even harder simply because there is in my mind the old-school stigma that once you get pregnant [your career], you’re ruined. So for me, I have to defy the odds to make sure that doesn’t happen. Sometimes people will slow down once a child is in the picture. That’s in my mind for whatever reason. But it’s inspired me to go even harder. If that’s what it takes for me to keep it pushing, so be it. Things haven’t necessarily changed just yet, but I feel like the things it is encouraging is amazing. I’m excited because I’m about to have mom friends! People gonna be inviting me to the events for the kids so I’m excited for that because it’s going to open up new doors. When people know that you’re a mom and a parent, they’re more prone to build with you because you have something in common. And most of all, I’m just looking forward to being a mom.
Photographer: Roo The Shooter
Hair: Lillian Michel
Makeup: Dontae Fletcher