Maria Menounos Says Daughter Athena Brings 'A Lot of Light' Into Her Home (Exclusive)

Maria Menounos opens up to PopCulture about welcoming her first child, daughter Athena, with husband Keven Undergaro.

Maria Menounos is soaking in every second of life with daughter Athena after welcoming her firstborn with husband Keven Undergaro via surrogate in June following a decade-long fertility journey. The TV personality and podcast host opened up to about how her little girl has brought "a lot of light" into her home following her recent battle with pancreatic cancer, calling Athena "the greatest gift in life."

Becoming a mother after years of fertility treatments and IVF has been "amazing," Menounos told PopCulture during a recent interview. "It's even more amazing than I ever expected. I want all of my friends to have babies now. I'm like, it's so great, it's amazing!" she gushed of motherhood. "[Athena] has been the greatest gift in life. She's the greatest thing that ever happened to me. She's smiley and happy and has lit this entire house up." Menounos added that she and her husband are "over the moon" to have Athena home, sharing, "Everyone's just glowing and happy and smiling, and so she's brought a lot of light."

From changing Athena's "poopy diapers" to seeing her "so happy and bright-eyed" as they soak up the sunlight at sunrise together, Menounos said she loves "everything" about life as a new mom. Undergaro has been thriving as a father as well. "He's been amazing," the Heal Squad host said of her husband. "I know I look at him sometimes. I'm like, 'Honey, we're a family. I'm a mom. You're a dad. This is so crazy.'" 

Manifesting has always been a "big part" of Menounos' life, even back before the term entered the mainstream. "I believe I've manifested everything in my life, and Athena is just another example of it," the presenter shared. It's that passion for manifestation that led her to a "really cool" partnership with RXBAR ManifX bars, her limited-edition collaboration with the brand that leaves space for people to write down their own manifestations as an "accountability partner" for each day. 

With manifestation, Menounos notes it's important to "walk the walk" after writing down your goals. "I want to be present for my family. So this reminds me that when I'm with Athena, I don't want to be on the phone at the same time," she explained. "I really want to be present with her. I want to make sure I'm resting and meditating. So I wrote that on [the wrapper] as well."

As for what she's manifesting for Athena? "After brain surgery, I looked at my husband and I said, 'I really wish that I could just hug people and bring light into their day every day as a job. I just want to go hug people,'" she recalled of her 2017 brain tumor removal surgery. "But that's not realistic. So for me, I want to make the unrealistic realistic for her. Whatever that is is what I want for her."