From supermodel to supermommy, Niki Taylor says life is “amazing” with her family-of-six. Debuting her 55-pound weight loss after welcoming her son in November, the model mom attended the Nexcare give Campaign and World Blood Donor Day at the American Red Cross Ball in New York City. “It’s my mission to get the word out about how important it is to give blood,” she says.
The mom-of-four opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her kids – 17-year-old twin sons Jake and Hunter, 3-year-old daughter Ciel, and son Rex, 7 months – and her euphoric experiences with natural childbirth. She also talks about feeling “truly blessed” after her accident in 2001 where she needed over 100 units of blood. “It’s like I got a second chance at life,” she shares. Read on about Niki’s inspirational story.
CBS: Tell us about partnering with the Nexcare give Campaign and World Blood Donor Day.
NT: “I’m an ambassador for the American Red Cross and it’s my mission to get the word out about how important it is to give blood. I was a recipient back in 2001. I needed over 100 units of blood, so I owe my life to blood donors.
I love that I get to be a spokesperson for Nexcare bandages because it’s a way to thank donors and inspire others to give. We need blood all the time. Not just for World Blood Donor Day, we need it all the time and it’s just such an honor to help get the word out there.
I love when things come full circle – I love being a spokesperson after needing blood after my accident. And I love fashion. I’ve been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, and this collection was inspired by iconic trends from past decades. So the Nexcare bandages have polka dots from the ’60s, tie dyed from the ’70s, Rubik’s cube for the ’80s, and grunge-plaid for the ’90s.”
CBS: You debuted your 55-pound weight loss at the event! How did you lose the weight?
NT: “I enjoyed my pregnancy – I craved junk food this pregnancy, and gained 55 pounds. As soon as I had him, I was like, ‘Alright, time to get to work.’ I walk and I’m a jogger so I slowly built-up to jogging. And I’ve been eating right.”
CBS: Are you breastfeeding?
NT: “I did not breastfeed. I breastfed Jake and Hunter, and Jake was the only one that latched on. So I pumped and it was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done. And Jake has all these allergies, where Hunter doesn’t have any allergies. So I decided not to breastfeed, but my babies do amazing on formula.”
CBS: How is baby Rex doing?
NT: “He’s doing amazing! He’s the happiest baby ever. He’s always laughing and smiling and he just loves his big sister who’s now 3. And she’s so cute with him! They’re the best of friends already. She’s like a little tornado – just into everything and a little tomboy. And he gets such a kick out of it and is always wondering, ‘Where’s sissy at?’ ”
CBS: Has Ciel adjusted well to having a new baby in the house?
NT: “The first couple weeks were a little bit hard. I was like, ‘You can’t put that in his crib,’ and, ‘Don’t put that thing around his face,’ and, ‘Don’t swing things around him.’ And she’d go up to his bassinet and wake him up, but we got her over that and now he loves it. It seems the rougher she is with him, he just loves it.
It’s funny because my husband and I were talking about how they came from the same place and they like the same things, they love the same food, the same cartoons, the same toys. It’s really cute.”
CBS: How was the experience of a natural birth with no epidural for your 2 younger kids?
NT: “Amazing! You have to put into your head that you have a job to do. And I say this because I did have an epidural with Jake and Hunter, and I felt terrible afterwards. I really feel like because it’s in the spinal cord, it took so much out of me. I felt so depressed.
So, I encourage women to try drug-free births. If the baby’s head is down and you’re able to have a natural birth, you feel so good after having your baby.”
CBS: Did you use a midwife and/or doula?
NT: “No, I knew what to expect. With the internet now, you can go to BabyCenter where they have all these amazing videos on preparing you for what to expect. But the best thing to do is to talk to a mom who has been through a natural birth. Or go to a midwife.
I had to be induced, so it was a little more intense. But I think my pain tolerance from everything with my accident is maybe a little higher. I think if you get into that zone in active labor – yes, it hurts – but afterwards you feel amazing.
And your body does release natural endorphins afterward as well, so I was floating on cloud nine after giving birth. And I was able to walk around and go to the nursery with Ciel. With Rex, they don’t take him to the nursery, they do everything in the room. And then I was home by 2 o’clock the next day.”
CBS: You’ve been through so much! How is your life now?
NT: “My life is amazing! I feel truly blessed. It’s like I got a second chance at life, especially after my accident. I feel incredibly blessed by all the donors that came out and gave blood so that I could be sitting here talking to you. And I met an incredible man and married him. Then to have two more healthy babies is truly amazing.
And we just moved into a new house this past month. We’re in a beautiful place where we get to see deer every day and swing our kids outside. When I’m not working, I’m a house mom. I get to cook every night and take my kids to school. It’s great.”
CBS: Are you feeling 4 kids is enough?
NT: “Yes! It’s very, very busy! And everybody’s at a different stage. I think 4 is good….But then again, you never know!”
CBS: How do you manage the 4 kids and everyone’s schedules?
NT: “I always ask friends who have 6, and they say, ‘After the third, it’s no problem.’ Or, ‘After four, they all help.’
But I think you just don’t think about it. You’re just busy and you make everybody’s schedules work. That’s what’s so great about my husband and I – when he’s working, I’m not working. So I’ll be home and will do everything. And when I’m not home, he’ll do it or I’ll make sure somebody is here to help out. You just make it work. I don’t think there’s the perfect solution or thing that you can do.”
CBS: Are you continuing to model?
NT: “My modeling gigs now are lending my name to charities that are important to me, like the American Red Cross or Nexcare. If I get a modeling gig, I love doing catalogues or commercials. But I’m also doing a show on WE show called, Having it All. It’s a half-hour informational program. We often showcase products that make a woman’s life easier.”
CBS: Are you open to a reality TV show with your family?
NT: “No! I’m a private person although my life has been in the public eye. I want to keep that privacy. My husband is my husband and he’s all mine! I want to keep that to myself.”
CBS: Are you hoping to host more shows in the future?
NT: “I would love to host more shows, for sure. My dream is to own my own lifestyle brand. Right now, I’m working on shoes called Taylor’d by Niki Taylor. I love accessories and bags. And I think price points are very important because everybody is on a budget. I would love to have my collection at a T.J.Maxx or a Marshalls or a Walmart.”
CBS: How are Jake and Hunter doing?
NT: “They’re 17 and so grown up now! They’re driving now. We waited a year for them to get their license. To have that responsibility is such a big thing. I got my restricted license when I was 15 and I think, ‘Omigosh, I can’t believe they let me get my license at that young age!’
So they’re driving. They’re also going into the 12th grade. They love, love, love music. Jake plays the drums and the guitar, Hunter plays every kind of instrument. They’ve very talented. And this summer, they’re been to Bonnaroo.”
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