On one among their first dates, Dr. Deidre Downs — who’s the primary brazenly gay Miss America and a fertility specialist — made a daring proclamation to her now-wife, Abbott Jones.
Downs “sort of joked that she was the only woman in Alabama who could get me pregnant,” Jones, 37, instructed The Post. “Because of what [she] does for a living.”
Downs, Miss America 2005, adopted by together with her promise. In late December, Jones realized she was pregnant with the couple’s first youngster, a lady who’s due, appropriately, on Labor Day.
The Alabama native went to the University of Virginia on a full volleyball scholarship, however she give up the workforce to concentrate on her research. Without her athletic funding, she entered the Miss Alabama pageant in hopes of incomes scholarship cash. She received in 2004, and unexpectedly discovered herself within the nationwide highlight when she was topped Miss America that September.
The former magnificence queen, now 40, recounted their profitable IVF journey on this week’s episode of the “Pregnantish” podcast with Andrea Syrtash, revealing how they determined which ones would carry their first youngster and why she determined to return out publicly in 2018.
“If you went back and asked people who knew me as a child, I think they would have been shocked if you told them I was going to be Miss America,” Downs instructed The Post. “I wasn’t into the girly pageant stuff.”
But life had a number of surprises in retailer for Downs, who married her faculty sweetheart, a person, with whom she has an 11-year-old son. During her OB-GYN residency, she began to really feel distant from her partner and went to counseling, the place she realized she’s gay. The pair divorced and stay associates.
“It took a while for me to come to that realization of who I am and have the courage to be that person,” mentioned Downs.
She described popping out to her household, associates and colleagues as “overwhelmingly positive,” and that her brother’s response was significantly humorous.
Over dinner one night time, she mentioned she needed to inform him one thing. “He was like, ‘You’re being all serious. What are you going to tell me? Are you a lesbian or something?’ I was like, ‘Well, actually yes.’ And he was like ‘OK, cool.’ He’s quite dry, so it was classic.”
Downs met Jones, an lawyer, on Match.com, however she wasn’t out publicly but, so she created a profile with out pictures beneath an alias. Jones, who was an online-dating novice on a seven-day free trial, was intrigued by their shared pursuits of music, eating places and journey. She messaged Downs.
The couple, primarily based in Birmingham, Ala., chatted on-line, after which Downs texted her future spouse, coming clear about her actual identify and identification.
Jones didn’t reply straight away. “I was freaking out with my girlfriends and couldn’t believe my luck, and neither could my friends, especially the ones who were online dating,” Jones recalled. “They were like, ‘I can’t believe you went on for seven days and met Miss America.’”
The pair instantly bonded over their love of Harry Potter and the Oxford comma. A 12 months later, Downs proposed, and so they have been married in 2018, which served as Downs’ public popping out, with a story in People magazine.
“I was very nervous … But I got a lot of messages of encouragement and people saying ‘Thank you for doing this.’ It was really cool,” mentioned Downs, including that the Miss America group was additionally supportive.
She and Jones additionally wished a household. Initially they checked out reciprocal IVF, which suggests each companions undergo egg retrieval. However, testing confirmed that Downs’ eggs weren’t in nice form. “Fortunately, Abbott’s were, so I have been on the sidelines,” she mentioned.
Choosing a sperm donor took a number of months.
“It becomes overwhelming, but it is entertaining. Some of the banks will give you a [donor who’s a] celebrity look-alike, which was amusing,” mentioned Downs.
But Jones was after just one doppelganger: her spouse.
“I will say when we were looking at donors,” Jones mentioned, “my goal was to find someone as close to Deidre as possible. But when you marry Miss America who is a doctor, there’s not really anyone like her. So it was tough.”
Eventually, they discovered the proper particular person. As an obstetrician and reproductive endocrinologist, Downs often performs the entire IVF course of from begin to end. But her medical accomplice stepped in for Jones’ egg retrieval, as a result of performing such an invasive process on a liked one isn’t thought of applicable within the medical neighborhood.
Downs, nevertheless, did switch the embryo into Jones’ uterus, which is much less invasive, on Dec. 18. And it seems she had the magic contact.
“We got our first, very faint, pink line on the at-home pregnancy test on Dec. 23,” mentioned Jones. The couple instructed their households the excellent news on Christmas morning over Zoom. “Everyone was just jumping up and down and excited,” added Jones.
“I feel very fortunate. [Abbott] was fully prepared that it might take several tries,” mentioned Downs, who added that it’s been unusual to be on the affected person aspect of IVF.
Now their households are awaiting the identify reveal.
“Southern grandmothers need to monogram,” mentioned Jones.
Downs added that her son may be very excited to be a giant brother.
Will she encourage her daughter to do pageants? “Since I was totally not into it [as a young girl], she will probably be so into it and everything will be pink. I will be fine if she wants to do it. It was a great experience for me.”
She hopes that sharing their pregnancy journey resonates simply as a lot as her popping out.
“I hope people see there are many ways to build a family — if you are gay, straight, in a relationship or not in one,” mentioned Downs. “There are many ways to make that happen.”