Ashley Cain is preparing to become a father again after losing his baby girl to cancer.
The retired soccer star, who competed on MTV's The Challenge in 2019, has revealed that a longtime female friend he had been seeing romantically told him she is pregnant. The baby, a boy, will be his second child and is due to arrive in January. The news comes more than two years after Ashley and ex-girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee's daughter Azaylia Diamond Cain died at age 8 months after battling leukemia.
"My journey now is about navigating how to be the best daddy to my daughter in Heaven," he wrote on Instagram Dec. 2, "whilst also trying to be the best father to my son on Earth."
Ashley detailed the journey to baby No. 2 after navigating loss in an emotional on-camera interview with The Sun, posted Dec. 2. "I believe after having Azaylia that I was put on this earth to be a father," he said, "And then the thought of potentially having another child after losing one was very difficult to understand for me."
In addition, Ashley revealed that a 20-week ultrasound showed that the baby may have a heart defect that would require treatment after birth.
"They couldn't find the connection between one of the valves in the heart," the 33-year-old said. "It was another very difficult time for me because I'd already been through a really tough journey with Azaylia. I'd already lost a child and I was worried and I was scared that it could happen again."
The reality star said that after a final checkup, doctors "think that everything would be OK." However, he added, his baby has to "go for a scan as soon as he's born to make sure and double check."
"So I'm just saying my prayers," he said, "believing positive things."
The Challenge alum also said he wanted to find out the sex of their baby ahead of his due date. "It could have been heartbreak all over again," he said. "So when I found out I was having a little boy, not only did I think Azaylia would love a little brother, but it was probably slightly easier news to hear straight away."
Ashley said he has spoken about the pregnancy news with his ex, with whom he split in 2022, a year after Azaylia's death.
"I know that Safiyya would always support me and I will always be there to support Saffiya and so will my family," he said. "As you can imagine, it wasn't an easy conversation. It wasn't so much a conversation that was filled with smiles but it was a conversation that had a lot of truth, a lot of respect, and I believe couldn't have gone any better than I could have hoped or wished for."
The athlete also said that after he learned he would become a father again, he went to Azaylia's final resting place to tell her.
"I just had a feeling in my heart and in my soul that she was happy for me and she was happy that she had a little brother," he said, "and it's just someone else for her to watch over now and protect in this world."
Ashley continued, "I want to be a hero to my son, for the hero that I've got in the sky. I look up to her every single day that my eyes open and I want my son to be able to look up to me the same."