Maria Taylor is becoming a mom!
The NBC Sports journalist, 36, has given birth to her first child with husband John Hemphill, a boy named Roman Ryan Taylor Hemphill, a source exclusively revealed.
Roman was born Dec. 24 at 7:26 p.m., weighing 8 pounds. and 13 oz. The newborn baby was 21 inches long.
“My journey to motherhood hasn’t been a straight line,” Taylor tells PEOPLE, “It’s been long and hard, and there were times when I thought I’d never be a mother again. But… “When my son was placed on my chest, our hearts were filled with love and gratitude.”
The sportscaster, who previously worked for ESPN and the SEC Network, added, “I knew right away that I had given birth to my soulmate.”
Never miss a news. Sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up to date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to human interest stories.
Taylor first revealed the exciting pregnancy news in a post she shared on Instagram in July. At the time, she shared images from a photo shoot with Hemphill in which she posed while undergoing an ultrasound exam outdoors.
“The last three years have been some of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging years of my life,” Taylor began in the caption of her post, explaining that her path to motherhood had “ended with surgery. It was redirected,” he said. Multiple egg retrievals and failed IVF cycles. ”
“There were times when I felt like my body was betraying me. Maybe God didn’t want me to be a mother, maybe I wasn’t worthy of being a mother after all. “There were times when all I could do was cry and ask, ‘Why?'” she continued. “There were times when I felt like giving up, but I decided to never give up on my dream of becoming a mother and keep trying.”
“My husband was there for me through every setback, reminding me to keep my faith. Friends and family held my hand and supported me as I traveled cross-country for appointments.” added Taylor. “I still can’t believe that just one year ago, I entered the NFL season with the news that my embryo transfer had failed. Once again, my hopes were dashed. And this fall, I was born with the greatest gift of all, a new It’s time for the season, our sweet prince” will be here soon and I can’t wait to be his mom! 💙”
In the months that followed, Taylor shared various photos and videos on Instagram that highlighted her growing baby bump.
“Baby’s first renaissance🐝,” she captioned an image of herself cradling her belly while attending Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour in Atlanta, Georgia in August.
“Celebrating NFL Kickoff with my own franchise players 😊,” Taylor wrote a month later alongside a photo of himself on an NFL field.
In a second image, the then-mom-to-be documented how her baby had grown to the size of a soccer ball at 23 weeks old.
The day before she gave birth, Taylor shared a celebratory post in which she posed with her family in matching white ensembles. “Happy Holidays from our family to you all ❤️✨,” she wrote in the caption.