These days Padma Lakshmi is one proud mama. But there was a time when the Top Chef host wasn't sure she could have children at all.
In her thirties, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. Along with a number of symptoms, including severe abdominal pain, there was another side effect of being diagnosed with endometriosis. She was told it would be harder for her to conceive. Now, she's looking back on that painful struggle—and speaking out with the hopes that she can help others experiencing similar struggles.
"I was told I would never have children naturally, that I only had a 10 to 15 percent of having them in vitro," she told People. "When you're staring down the barrel of your 40th birthday and you hear that you can't have kids because this disease went unchecked and undiagnosed for so many years, it's devastating."
Given her past, she now called her 5-year-old daughter Krishna, 5 "a miracle...I'm so lucky to have her," she added. "Her middle name is Thea, which means 'gift from God.'"
These days, Padma works with the Endometriosis Foundation of America which recently launched the The ENPOWR Project, to help educate young women on the symptoms of endometriosis. "I wanted to raise awareness so that no young girl has to wonder what is wrong with her like I did for so many years," she said.
Like her mom, Krishna is already helping others who have the disease. "She was separating the coins from her piggybank and she said, 'Mommy, you can have my money for your charity,'" Padma said. "She knows that Mom has a charity for women with 'tummy aches.' She wants to help.'"