The Real Reason Padma Lakshmi Thought She'd Never Have Kids

Padma Lakshmi — TV host, cookbook author, and children's book author — is super-busy these days. With the book writing and two acclaimed shows, "Top Chef" and "Taste the Nation," Lakshmi told Drew Barrymore recently that she doesn't even have time to date (via YouTube). But if you follow Lakshmi on Instagram, you know she always makes time for her 11-year-old daughter Krishna. Barrymore had never met Lakshmi until the former model came on "The Drew Barrymore Show" on an episode that aired September 29. Watching the show, however, it was obvious that Barrymore is a huge Padma Lakshmi fan. Among the many nice things Barrymore had to say, she made a point of praising Lakshmi's parenting. "I love your relationship with your daughter," Barrymore fairly gushed. "I think you're such a good mom."

You can be sure Lakshmi doesn't take that relationship for granted. Barrymore's compliment immediately brought to Lakshmi's mind something doctors had told her a long time ago: She would never be able to have children. Lakshmi's endometriosis, which had gone undiagnosed for years, had badly damaged her reproductive organs. "I had five surgeries," Lakshmi told Barrymore. "I had a fallopian tube removed. I had part of my right ovary removed. So there was just basically rabbit ears and tin foil connecting everything," Lakshmi joked. About her daughter, she said, "I don't even know how she came into this Earth because she's such a miracle."

Padma Lakshmi's foundation raises awareness about endometriosis

Padma Lakshmi has gone public about her endometriosis before. The disease occurs when "tissue similar to that which lines the uterus begins growing on the outside of it," according to Women's Health. It also causes extremely painful periods. Lakshmi told Women's Health that after her relief over getting treated for the disease had subsided, she fell into anger. She hadn't received her diagnosis until she was 36. "Wait a minute," she remembered thinking, "I lost a week of my life every month of every year since I was 13 because of this s***, and I could have had this operation at 20?"

Lakshmi, who turned 51 on September 1, converted that initial anger into action. She decided to do something to help other women who have the same illness. "People don't really understand what endometriosis is, how prevalent it is, or how much long-term damage it does to a woman over the course of her life," Lakshmi told NBC News in 2018, adding that endometriosis is one of the leading causes of female infertility.

Lakshmi co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America with her doctor, to educate and advocate for women, and to lessen the disease's impact. She doesn't want to see other women end up in a position she only avoided through "a miracle," as she put it to Drew Barrymore on her show (via YouTube). As Lakshmi told NBC News, "Everybody should have the option to be a parent."