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Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough and his wife Leigh, a real estate broker, are expecting their first child in June, they tell PEOPLE exclusively.
“I know she’s going to be a great mother,” Howie said regarding his wife. “If she can take care of me, the biggest baby in the entire world, I think she’s going to be okay with the little one coming along.”
Adds Leigh: “I think he’s going to be more hands-on than anyone expects. He’s someone who will get up in the night and change diapers. He’s such a partner of mine.”
The couple married in October 2007, and traveled a bit before settling down to start a family.
“We’ve been together going on eight years, but we wanted to enjoy and adjust to living married life first,” Howie tells the magazine. “So for the first eight months we traveled all over the world on an extended honeymoon.”
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Sadly, Howie’s father Hoke was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer and passed away just three months later in June 2008.
“That kind of put things into perspective – passing on and bringing new life into the world,” says Howie. “At that point we started focusing in on having a child. The baby is due the same month that my dad passed away last year, so it’s almost like realizing life is a circle.”
Leigh, who is craving blueberry muffins, devised an ingenious plan to break the news to her husband.
“Leigh surprised me with breakfast in bed. [I knew] something was up,” Howie recalls. “I looked down and saw the pregnancy test strip [on the tray]. The look on my face was like something from America’s Funniest Home Videos. I thought, ‘Oh my god! Here we go! This is it!’ “
Says Leigh of conceiving so quickly: “We were really blessed and lucky.”
The couple don’t plan to learn the baby’s sex before it’s born, and are planning a gender-neutral nursery. “We have a home in L.A. that’s modern, a lot of wood,” says Howie. “We want to do earth tones [for the nursery]. We’ve been talking about a jungle or safari theme.”
Howie admits, though, that his side of the family is thinking blue, as Howie has only nieces.
“So I think everybody would love a boy,” he says. “We’re just hoping for a healthy baby.”
The new little one will join two other Backstreet babies, both boys – Brian Littrell’s 6-year-old son Baylee and Kevin Richardson’s 18-month-old son Mason. On how his bandmates reacted, Howie says they “surprised but very, very enthusiastic.” The group, minus Kevin, is recording in L.A. before they head to South America in February to complete their world tour.
Jade Goody, who was forced to undergo an emergency hysterectomy due to cervical cancer, talked to The Mirror about not being able to give her two sons, 5-year-old Bobby and 3-year-old Freddie, a little sister.
“Knowing I’ll never have another baby is heartbreaking,” Jade, whose mother became addicted to crack when she was five and left Jade to fend for herself, told the Mirror. “I’m a young woman and I’ve got two boys who I idolize but I would have loved a little girl. I’d always felt there was a girl inside me desperately wanting to live because I never got the chance to be a child myself. I desperately wanted to give birth to that little girl and give her the childhood I never had. I would make sure her hair was brushed at night and I would rip up old sheets to make rag tails. Then we’d go shopping and play with dolls. But that little girl will never live now and that really hurts. It means even if I get better, the effects of this cancer will be with me forever.”
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Jade is also upset that she will never be able to give boyfriend Jack Tweed biological children, either.
“Jack says he isn’t bothered and that Freddie and Bobby are like sons to him. But he is still only 21 and I worry that when he is older he will want that experience of being a real Dad.”
And, Jade says, she doesn’t feel she’s emotionally ready to adopt, either.
“At the moment I haven’t got any more love to give anyone other than my boys, Jack and my mum,” said Jade. “And because I don’t know how long I’ve got to live it would be unfair and selfish of me to bring another child into our family just because I might be dying and I want a girl.”
Jade added that she knew things were serious when her doctor told her to write out her will. But she has refused to consider funeral arrangements or last wishes.
“Why would I want to think about a funeral? It’s not going to happen until I’m old and grey and I’ve seen my children go up the aisle and had their own children. I worry about where they might go to school and what they will look like. I’m thinking, ‘Oh God, if I die, will their dad make sure they have a clean shirt every morning?’”
And if the worst happens? She wants her boys to be looked after by their father, Jeff Brazier.
“If I felt I was getting really ill I’d make a DVD with instructions about how to look after the boys. And on it I would let my kids know how much I love them. What if they never found out how much I loved them and how I’ve grafted every second of every day to give them the best? What if they couldn’t remember the holidays we’ve been on and all the laughs we’ve had together? And how on Christmas morning I put fake snow all over the carpet to make everything special? It breaks my heart just thinking about it. I get in a sleeping bag and lay on their bedroom floor just to be close to them.”
The mom is also determined to keep the full extent of her illness from the boys, saying that they “know I’m poorly” but they “don’t know it’s cancer.”
“At their ages they don’t even know what the word means and I don’t think they should. I’ve told them I have tadpoles in my belly, but as my hair falls out the tadpoles are disappearing. My boys are what have got me through this far. There are days when the minute I open my eyes I’m in pain but I have to think, ‘Pull yourself together Jade’. So I get up, get their uniforms on and do the school run. In front of my kids, I’m totally normal. Then I drive home and go straight back to bed.”
And she explained how she’s trying to protect them from her illness, saying,
“I do get teary in front of them, but I try to hide it. The worst time is when they are playing up. It hurts me to tell them off because I might not have much time left with them. Then that thought upsets me and I can feel tears welling up in my eyes. But I don’t want them to think they’ve upset me. I will never be a burden to my sons. I never want them thinking, ‘I wonder if Mum is going to be being sick when we get in?’ I’d come home thinking, ‘Is Mum going to be on crack?’ I don’t want my kids to ever worry like that. My children are everything to me – I’ve idolized them from the moment they were born. But when some-one says you have only a 40 per cent chance of staying alive then you have never ever appreciated your kids, your home, your family, your life, quite as much as you do at that moment. The only person in the world who is good enough for my kids is me, so I have to stick around for them. I’ve seen for myself how tough life can be. And I’m not going to leave them here on their own to deal with that.”
Jessica Alba was seen with her 7-month-old daughter Honor running some errands on Tuesday.
Jessica’s new movie, An Invisible Sign of My Own, is due out in theaters this year.
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The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney has welcomed her second child, daughter Megan Hope. At 12 minutes to midnight on Monday, Megan arrived, weighing in at 6 lb.- 7 oz.
“Both mommy and baby – and daddy, too – are doing well,” says her rep, Carrie Simons.
Alison and husband Dave Sanov also have a 3-year-old son Ben. Alison continued working as host of The Biggest Loser until the very end. “She’s still in hair and makeup from her day on the set!” her rep reports. “It was a very easy delivery, and everybody is great.”
A new episode of The Biggest Loser airs Tuesday night on NBC.