“Pure joy”: Maria Menounos and husband Keven Undergaro welcome baby via surrogate

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After weathering battles with both brain and pancreatic cancer and struggles with fertility, Maria Menounos is a mom.

The entertainment journalist tells Us Weekly in a new interview that little Athena was born on June 23 via surrogate, saying, “It was the most special moment of my life.”

She recalled, “I sat with her on my chest, and Keven and I kept looking at each other like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was just pure joy.”

Maria added, “For so long, I’ve felt something’s been missing…And now I feel so grounded, like I finally know where I belong.”

The 45-year-old revealed in February that she and Undergaro, 55, were expecting a baby, having tapped fellow moms through surrogacy Zoe Saldaña and Kim Kardashian about their journeys.

Menounos recalled to Live with Kelly and Ryan that she and Undergaro had been trying everything to start a family.

“We’ve done literally everything. They tried to, you know, get me pregnant, that didn’t work. Had a surgery, that didn’t work,” she said at the time. “We did everything but we got so lucky.”

Menounos called Zoe and Kim “so helpful to me in this journey and they both gave me all their advice and people. And Kim especially gave me this wonderful lawyer named Andy, and he found me this woman, Stephanie, who helped me find my surrogate.”

Maria called her surrogate and her family “literal angels.”

Menounous was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor in January, calling the news a “nightmare” for the expectant couple. She underwent successful surgery to remove it. “The fibroid was the size of a baby,” she tells Us. “I have a C-section scar, basically, even though I never had a baby — I gave birth in a different way!”

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