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Jeannie Mai opens up about why she chose to become a mom after past trauma: 'I didn't trust myself to actually to protect somebody else'

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Jeannie Mai feels ready for motherhood — but it wasn't always that way.

The pregnant co-host of The Real took to her YouTube channel Hello Hunnay with Jeannie Mai to share what made her feel comfortable starting a family, despite her initial reluctance due to the traumas she suffered in her childhood.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 10: 2019 E! PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS -- Pictured: Jeannie Mai arrives to the 2019 E! People's Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar on November 10, 2019. -- NUP_188994  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Jeannie Mai shares why she decided to have kids with her husband Jeezy. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Mai announced she was expecting a baby in September. She opened up to her YouTube audience about how her relationship with her husband Jeezy — who has two children of his own from a previous relationship — made her feel safe enough to explore the possibility of parenthood.

The anti-trafficking advocate spoke about a dream she had in which she was reliving a past childhood memory connected to her sexual abuse, and felt Jeezy's hand tapping her to wake up.

"When I woke up, I saw I was holding my belly, and the baby was kicking underneath," she explained. "I actually woke up to the beating of this baby waking me up out of this dream."

Mai has spoken candidly about her past experiences with abuse by an older cousin. She recently healed her relationship with her mother after the two had a falling out over her not believing that Mai had really experienced sexual abuse. Now, however, Mai is in a much better, more stable environment — and is ready to bring a child into it.

"I have never felt safe in my life. I never felt that the people I thought I could trust, I could actually trust... As a child, when you are taken from things that feel good and whole and safe, it's hard to see anything being trustworthy moving forward," she said. "I realized that the reason why I didn't want to have kids was because that feeling when I was a kid was so real and so damaging, to the point where I'm 42 still dealing with trust issues and confidence. The ability to trust that I'm going to stop something if something happens to me, that I'm going to stand up for myself...I think the reason why I've always said I don't want to have kids was because I didn't trust myself to actually to protect somebody else."

She added, "What I've determined to do is face my fears, and do everything I can to understand where it comes from so that I know it's not real. There are bad people in the world who could harm your child. But I also know that I am a mighty woman today and that my child is not going to have the same relationship with their parents that I had with mine."

She shared that her husband Jeezy, who also experienced a challenging childhood, was just as onboard to make sure they brought their child up in a healthier environment, noting, "It's important to both of us that through this child, we build a new type of childhood that we never had."

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