Danielle Milian didn't have much time with her newborn son, but she's grateful for every second they spent together before his death. Speaking with Us Weekly at the Get Lucky for Lupus Celebrity Poker Tournament in L.A. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, the 29-year-old reality star opened up about losing her baby boy to omphalocele just hours after his birth earlier this summer.
"Every moment we had with him was a blessing," she told Us of her son, whom she named Richie. "It's bittersweet, but it was sweet nonetheless."
As Us exclusively reported back in June, Richie was diagnosed with omphalocele — a life-threatening condition where organs form outside the body — during an ultrasound in March. Doctors advised Milian to terminate the pregnancy, but she and her husband, Richard Dickerson, refused to give up hope.
The couple — already parents to daughter Naomi, 15 months, and son Daniel, 8 — welcomed their little boy on Aug. 26, only to have to say goodbye later that same night. Still, they have no regrets about their choice to continue with the pregnancy.
"You have to figure out what's the best for you and then don't let anyone tell you any differently," she told Us. "There's going to be doctors, family, friends — literally everybody's gonna question what you're doing — but you know it's right for yourself and your body."
She continued: "You know, every woman has to make the right decision for herself, and we absolutely made the right decision for ourselves. I would not change a thing. I'm so happy I gave him a chance."
Milian — whose sister is newly single singer Christina Milian — said she and her loved ones had honored baby Richie with a lantern release. "We wanted to celebrate life," she explained. "That was really important for us."
Now they're focused on the future. "The family's healing. We're doing really well," she shared, noting that several relatives had flown in to be with her and Dickerson after Richie's passing. "Everyone's in full support right now."
As for her other kids, Milian said Naomi is too young to know what's going on, but Daniel was "working through it" in his own way. "We try to be as honest as possible," she told Us of how they broke the tragic news to their eldest. "And we kept his expectations realistic to begin with, as much as we could for an 8-year-old. We try to keep it age-appropriate and be sensitive to everyone's feelings."
Next up for the Christina Milian Turned Up star is a little much-needed R&R. She and Dickerson are hoping to get away for a bit — "I just want to lay on the beach," she said — but for the moment, at least, they're taking pleasure in the little things.
"Cooking is like therapy for us," she shared. "Richard and I love getting into the kitchen and kind of battling over new recipes. We were hosting a lot of people this week so it took our mind off of everything. I think we had a good time."
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