Back in 2021, Israeli-American realtor Maya Vander, famous for being the most lovable and level-headed person featured in Netflix’s “Selling Sunset,” shared she was pregnant with her third child. That pregnancy, heartbreakingly, ended with the loss of her son, Mason, at 38 weeks during a routine checkup that turned into “a nightmare.” She wrote on Instagram that it was “the hardest day of my life.”
Since Vander, 41, shared the pregnancy on social media, she knew she had to share the loss there, too. “I knew I’ll have to post about this and avoid the ‘when is your due date’ question,” she shared with her followers then.
That impossibly painful experience impacted the way Vander, also mom to Aiden, 4, and Elle, 3, chose to share the news of her subsequent pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of her daughter Emma this past May. She recently opened up about her decision to not announce that pregnancy on social media in an exclusive interview with People.
“I didn’t know how this pregnancy would go,” she said. “I decided to just keep it quiet mostly… I wanted to just make sure everything is going well and the baby’s healthy and the delivery is healthy and everything is fine before going public about it all.”
While Vander, as we’ve seen in the show, is a pretty relaxed person, she said the pregnancy had her uncharacteristically stressed, for very understandable reasons. “I was just a little more cautious and worried because I learned that you can lose a baby, no matter how far along you are, even if things are going the way they should be.”
While Vander chose not to publicly share about this pregnancy, she has always been very open about her experiences with pregnancy loss. Six months after Mason’s stillbirth, she shared on social media that she had a miscarriage.
On “Selling Sunset,” she opened up about how, before the birth of her son Aiden, she suffered from two back-to-back miscarriages. “I’m just worried it’s gonna happen again, it’s just out of my control,” she says as she takes a pregnancy test in season one of the show, a concern so familiar for those who have dealt with pregnancy loss.
After losing Mason, Vander kept trying to get pregnant, despite the fact that some people urged her to just be happy with the beautiful family she already had. “When I lost my son Mason I was mentally prepared to have three kids, and it was very difficult for me to just let go of that,” she told People. “Something was really missing.”
Vander says that Mason’s loss left a “big hole in my heart,” and while the hole is still there, her experience giving birth to Emma was better when it came to prenatal care, and it was, in its own way, a reparative experience.
She also shared that after Emma’s birth on May 11, she feels her family of five is finally complete. “I really feel like she’s my miracle baby.”
Vander, who decided to quit being a full-time part of “Selling Sunset,” which follows the lives and careers of real estate agents at the Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles, does say her profession is the best for mothers of young children, explaining, “I’m my own boss and set my own schedule.”
Vander has agreed to FaceTime into the show’s next season, but also added, “They’ve got to tone down this drama for me to do another [season].”
Her presence is missed on the show — she really was the chutzpadik voice of reason and a breath of fresh air. Still, we wish her and her husband Dave Miller a hearty mazel tov on Emma’s birth. We’re so grateful for her candor around pregnancy loss and so much more, and hope to see her on our TVs in some form again soon.