From lavish parties to crazy catfights, Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi of Shah's of Sunset did a 180-degree turn after being a mom to 14-month-old Elijah.
Gharachedaghi, who first announced that she was pregnant in October after successfully completing an IVF with a donor sperm, shares how being a single mother changed her life.
"Having a baby has been a wonderful change in my life," she told PhilSTAR L!fe in an exclusive email interview. "And I’m fine being in pain if it means I can watch him smile a couple of seconds or if half of my body is numb because I don’t want to move because he’s just so perfectly rested. It’s just right now, it’s a difficult phase where I need some help throughout the night," continued Gharachedaghi, who had to explain why she needed help from family and her son's nanny because of her autoimmune disease.
The 39-year-old reality star shared how her pregnancy "was a difficult journey" but "worth it" in the end.
"As a woman, the process was lengthy and little more difficult because I had to grow the eggs and then have them extracted. After that, I had to pick a sperm donor and then the fertilized embryos were put into my uterus to grow. And I hate to sound cliché, but when you see this child, you realize that it’s so worth it," she shared.
If she had one piece of advice to women, it's to "start at a young age and freeze your eggs or donate your eggs." "There are so many people out there that are facing fertility issues and are in desperate, dire need to get help through IVF. I really support the IVF process," she said.
Below, Gharachedaghi tells us more about what she's been up to lately.
What’s your favourite bonding activity with Elijah?
I’m very much into nature and I would like him to be into nature too. My house is covered in a lot of greenery and kind of looks like it’s in the wilderness, so we always go on adventures in the garden, barefoot, and I bond with him that way – through nature. I love that we can just explore and look at ants and bees, and flowers. I also have a lot of citrus trees, so we pick some fruit and eat it. It’s just perfect.
You’re once again reunited with your friends. What were you looking forward to prior to seeing them?
Our last season ended and when it was time for our reunion, we were in the middle of a pandemic, so we had to do our reunion virtually through Zoom, and that was difficult. I felt a little robbed. For people who aren’t in our position, they don’t really understand, but for the reunions, there’s a lot of adrenalin pumping through our bodies. We were watching the episodes of the show along with the whole world at the same time, but we were taking notes and getting ready to address things at the reunion. But I didn’t feel like I had that opportunity to vent at our last reunion because it was virtual and because there was so much attention around MJ and Reza as well. Coming into this new season, I wasn’t exactly a ticking timebomb, but I was ready to let people know how I had been feeling. So, it was a little hard, but I was ready for it.
What does it feel like to be part of a show such as Shahs of Sunset?
You know what? Honestly, the four of us really are Shahs of Sunset! It’s a phenomenal feeling! I wake up every day and I give thanks to every single god out there. I give thanks, but I also get scared because it’s such a good feeling and I never want it to go away. I’m forever grateful for this experience and I just want to hold on to it for as long as I possibly can.
Any learnings and key takeaways so far that you’ve learned from the show that you want to share to the viewers?
I don’t know what the percentage of people who have this opportunity to watch their whole life on TV is, but I feel like I’ve grown so much from the experience. Like for example, each of us tells a story the way we remember it. Some people will tell the same story three different ways. However, when you get to sit there and watch the story unfold on TV, you get to see things as they really happened and it teaches you to be a little bit more open to the possibility that maybe you were wrong in that situation. Or maybe, things happened as a result of a miscommunication you were not aware of. So, I’ve learned from that and I’ve learned to be more patient.
What can we expect in Season 9?
I think our characters are beginning to be well-defined for viewers, so I think it’s safe to say that viewers can start trusting their intuitions regarding who they see us as. We have been showing our lives on TV for so many years—everything is out there. You’ll see some drama between a few of us this season and all I’ll say is that I’ve had fans come up to me saying, “I knew you weren’t that person…I knew it wasn’t you GG.” So, it’s just an awesome feeling and I want everyone to believe me when I say it wasn’t me!
How is this season going to be different from the previous seasons?
Well for starters, it will be a lot different because we were in a middle of a pandemic and filming in a pandemic is very difficult. I now have such a great respect for the production crews, for the network, for all these people – the way they handle the medical challenges of COVID, it’s just amazing. It was a lot of standing around and waiting when we’d normally just get out of our car and walk into the scene—just go. But during the pandemic, it was: check your temperature to make sure you’re ok, people asking if you’ve been tested, people asking if you’ve tested negative and then showing proof that you’re negative. So, this season was hard in that sense, but on the flip side, it was great to show the viewers we were going through the same things as them. We are not saying we are exactly the same (we might have a more bougie way of suffering, you know what I mean?) but it was cool to let people see that.
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Tell us about your new podcast, Genuinely GG, what is it all about?
I love Genuinely GG because I feel like unlike a lot of other celebrity podcasts, I’m not really here to gossip and spill the tea. I’m just trying to have conversations about controversial topics that a lot of people feel are taboo or have been afraid to address. I, myself, am a living, walking controversy, but I’m not afraid to show who I really am. I’m not afraid to be the black sheep. So, my podcast Genuinely GG is based on that. It’s meant for that small percentage of people who don’t exactly fit into what society expects them to be, so, I love it. I hope people find it educational and informative and are able to take something away from it.
Stream Shahs of Sunset on hayu, with new episodes every Monday.
Photo from GG's Instagram (@gg_golnesa).