Khloe Kardashian is officially having the best year of her life. Until next year, that is.
In 2018, the E! star and member of one of the most famous families around will be branching off to start a family of her own. Khloe has confirmed that she is pregnant with her and boyfriend Tristan Thompson‘s first child together, taking to Instagram to share a photo of her bare, till now just speculated-upon baby bump.
While the exciting news hasn’t exactly been kept under wraps—”Khloe is so happy, you have no idea,” a source told us in September—the usually more demonstrative fam has been noticeably quieter this year, particularly when it comes to any and all blessed events.
But now that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the Kardashians have been in a more giving mood.
One day at a time for almost three weeks now, the Kards have been rolling out a scene from their big holiday card photo shoot (which they skipped last year), timed to have the whole finished product on display by Christmas.
The card sort of serves as a metaphor for all of 2017—bit by bit, the family is coming back into clear focus after a most unusual year.
Though Khloe has talked extensively about intending to become a mother one day, her decision to not flaunt her expectant status or engage in the sisterly tradition of baring bumps in bikinis and posing for elaborate photo shoots (till now) makes sense as far as the timing goes.
For starters, why not keep a little something for herself? Khloe has lived the last 10 years of her life almost entirely in public, getting married, ending up separated, dating again, aiding ex Lamar Odom‘s recovery after he overdosed and ultimately getting divorced in full view of the cameras. Then of course inquiring minds wanted to know all about her romance with Thompson, which blossomed in the fall of 2016 after they were introduced on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
Thompson was fresh from winning his first NBA Championship ring with the Cleveland Cavaliers and, once the 2016-17 season got underway, Khloe started spending more time in The Land than she probably ever expected to spend in her life. But already knowing she wanted to make it work, Khloe adjusted, even when obstacles seemed to loom.
In addition to abiding by his usual grueling schedule of workouts, practices and games, Thompson also became a first-time dad last December when his ex Jordan Craig gave birth to their son, Prince Oliver Craig Thompson. Maybe all of the above would’ve been a stumbling block to some—the whole family knows how hard it is to date professional athletes—but Khloe and Tristan had fallen fast for each other.
Fast-forward to now and, with Khloe given carte blanche to decorate any Kardashian-Thompson abode as she sees fit, she’s in “the best relationship” she’s ever been in and the expectant couple are happily cohabitating in Cleveland and L.A.
“I do really love Cleveland,” she assured Steve Harveyduring an appearance on his talk show in September. “Everyone is like, ‘Oh, you don’t have to say that.’ I really enjoy it. It’s so different from L.A. and I love the seasons. I spend Christmas out there and I’ve never had a white Christmas. I’ve never gotten to experience that, so I enjoy it. The people are so nice…They’re so real.”
This momentous time in Khloe’s life also happens to have coincided, not just with momentous moments for sisters Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, but also with the wake of Kim’s traumatizing, entire-family-dynamic-altering experience being robbed at gunpoint in Paris in October 2016. Kim stayed off social media for three months, a lifetime in Kardashian years, and her husband, mom and sisters all had to rally to help her feel like her normal self again.
“It’s traumatizing and terrifying, but you genuinely…that’s when you get down on your knees and you pray and you thank the lord that nothing worse happened,” Khloe recalled hearing about the robbery during an interview on Today in January.
Snapchat / Tristan Thompson
Meanwhile, practically since she and Thompson started dating, they’ve been the subject of engagement and pregnancy rumors.
“There’s rumors I’ve been pregnant for I think eight years now,” Khloe said on Today. “Rumor after rumor after rumor…we’ve just learned not to address them.”
In a June episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Khloe sees a fertility specialist—at first because she and Kim were pondering the idea of Khloe being a surrogate for Kim and Kanye West. Her first visit left Khloe wondering whether she could even get pregnant and the doctor advised her to stop taking birth control pills so he could fully suss out her situation.
All looked promising in the end, and that apparently marked a turning point for Khloe and Tristan’s future together.
“Tristan and I definitely talk about starting a family,” she said. “He wants to have five or six kids with me and that’s lovely. We could start at one and we could grow from there. But now knowing I’m not on birth control is just like—it’s scary. It’s like a really big step.”
In an interview this summer with The Mail on Sunday‘s YOU magazine, she expanded upon the subject, saying, “Tristan is a great dad and he definitely wants more children, but we both feel that it will happen when the time is right. We’re still in a new relationship and I love us having time together. Once you have kids you can’t get back your non-kid years…You worry about your children for the rest of your life. The concern I have is raising little human beings in a world that’s filled with such hate and terror. That seems very scary.”
There is, indeed, also that.
But barely a month after the interview was published in August came word that Khloe and Tristan were indeed expecting a baby, and scary world aside, the mommy-to-be was thrilled.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Good American
As for the other ever-present rumor, Khloe told YOU, “I believe in marriage and I want to be married again one day but I don’t have a time frame. Why do people think that marriage equates to happiness? There are a lot of people in unhealthy marriages.”
And Khloe of course knows from experience. Though in the moment she was hoping at the time that she and Lamar Odom could fix their marriage, she revealed earlier this year that she had actually “fake tried” to get pregnant while she and Odom were still together—meaning, she told the former NBA star she was on board with their efforts to have kids, knowing deep down that it was not the right time to have a baby.
To the outside world, it had appeared that Khloe was 100-percent eager to have a baby.
“When I was doing my fertility treatments, they were more so for Lamar,” she admitted. “I had to stop because there was much deeper stuff that was happening in our marriage. I knew that it wasn’t the right situation to bring a child into, and I think I’ve done a lot of covering up for him, like even when it made me look like I was the problem. But I was fine taking on that burden on my shoulders because he had a lot of other deeper s–t to deal with.”
What a world away she is from those demoralizing times.
And though mum had been the word, Khloe and Tristan did seem to be having some fun keeping their “secret.”
For instance, on June 26, Khloe Snapchatted a picture of three Polaroids of her and Thompson, having written on one of them, “DAD + MOM.” And on Sept. 25, when word was first starting to get out, Khloe commented on a photo of Tristan in his Cavs uniform, writing, “Daddy looks GOOD,” along with the emoji with hearts for eyes.
Hey, hindsight is 20/20.
Contributing to the silence quotient was the fact that, all within days of each other in September, out came the news that Kylie Jenner was also pregnant, and then Kim Kardashian finally confirmed that she and Kanye West were indeed expecting their third child via surrogate.
While Khloe’s pregnancy is now Instagram-official, Kylie—who was the guest of honor at a baby shower thrown at her house last month—has yet to say a word or share any definitive bump picture.
So the Kardashian-Jenner family’s approach to sharing a major life event was noticeably different in 2017, and they were all in it together. On Ellen in November, Kim failed to cave to Ellen DeGeneres‘ good-natured pressure to spill the family secrets. “When there are lots of rumors, we have this family group chat and we threaten each other’s lives if we speak for the other one,” she explained, having already let it slip that she and Kanye are having another girl(!). “We threaten each others’ lives if we speak for the other one. We just decided there’s so much that goes on that we respect each other’s right to speak for themselves.”
Kim later sipped a sardine milkshake on the Late Late Show With James Corden, rather than say anything about her sisters’ reported pregnancies.
Jackson Lee / Splash News
And while blood relatives have largely closed ranks, Khloe’s BFF Malika Haqq told E! News this summer, “Tristan’s a very grounded, sound human being that comes from a great family…Sometimes you recognize other people come from similar backgrounds that might work a little more closely to the way you were raised or the way you do things. Morals and boundaries and all those things are really important and I think that they have a lot of the same morals and goals in life. I think that’s why their relationship is successful.”
Scott Disick called Thompson “unbelievable.” “He’s like the first nice, normal guy she’s ever brought home,” Disick told Steve Harvey. “Not that we’re nice and normal!”
But Thompson’s normalcy was a selling point for Khloe, too. “We both felt this strong energy,” she told London’s ES Magazine in April. “I was like, oh this is such a nice, normal man—the normalcy is what I was craving.” She said that, early on, the NBA star—who knows about commitment, having played in a league-leading 447 straight games until a thumb injury forced him to the bench last season—accepted her lifestyle, in which mass public attention is just built in.
“You could tell that was a big pill to swallow,” Khloe recalled. “But he accepts who I am. He likes to protect me, which I haven’t had before—someone looking out for me almost before himself.”
“He is a father, and I know for a fact that he would be an impeccable father [to their own kids],” she also said. “I definitely want to be a mom. But I don’t put the pressure on it. It’s not like, ‘the clock is ticking.’ I feel in my soul it will happen.”
“My greatest dream realized! We are having a baby! I had been waiting and wondering but God had a plan all along. He knew what He was doing. I simply had to trust in Him and be patient,” she captioned her photo, in which both her hands and Thompson’s are caressing her stomach together. “I still at times can’t believe that our love created life! Tristan, thank you for loving me the way that you do! Thank you for treating me like a Queen! Thank you for making me feel beautiful at all stages!”
Khloe continued, “Tristan, most of all, Thank you for making me a MOMMY!!! You have made this experience even more magical than I could have envisioned! I will never forget how wonderful you’ve been to me during this time! Thank you for making me so happy my love!”