Lucille Ball’s Mother-in-Law Told Her To Convert To Catholicism After Losing Two Babies–’Five Months Later I Was Pregnant’

I Love Lucy’s Lucille Ball had two children with her first husband, Desi Arnaz, Lucie and Desi. Most fans first met Lucie and Desi IV on the very show that made their parents so famous. 

In an interview Ball gave in 1980, she spoke about being worried she’d never be able to have children. But her mother-in-law suggested she try one last thing.

Lucille Ball with children
Lucille Ball with daughter Lucie Arnaz and son Desi Arnaz Jr. | Getty Images, Bettmann / Contributor

Lucille Ball said her children were the best thing to come out of her marriage to Desi Arnaz     

Ball was married to Arnaz for 19 years.

“The marriage wasn’t good, it was just long,” she told The Washington Star. “But it wasn’t disastrous. Because you can’t have two beautiful children and call it disastrous.”

Ball’s children were the light of her life.

“Just having a career, that would be very boring. The best part of my life is having children. They keep you young. They keep you worried longer,” she said.

Why Lucille Ball worried about her children

As a mother, Ball worried lots about her children. The Star reports she was particularly “terrified” of her son getting mixed up in “the drug scene.” At 11, young Desi started a music group with the children of other celebrities. He was the youngest by a long-shot.

“His peers were so much older,” she said, “There were a great many things I worried about constantly. I’ve never had a problem, but they were exposed to it.”

To make sure her children stayed out of trouble, Ball pulled her son and daughter out of school to be taught by a tutor at the studio with her.

“There were too many of their friends coming here stoned, just to go to a prom,” she said.

Ball didn’t worry as much about her daughter, though. From the ages of 15 to 19 she didn’t do much other than sit at home watching TV with her boyfriend.

“They used to sit over there,” said Ball pointing to a loveseat in her living room. “Fifteen to 19, right there. We couldn’t get her to go out on another date. Will you go out roller skating or something? Mu-tttther! Well, she married him on her 20th birthday. We had a wedding that went on for blocks. And one year to the day the marriage [ended].”

Ball on the ‘miracle’ of having her children ‘late in life’

Ball spoke about how she had her children “late in life.” For a while, she thought she’d never have any.

“I’d lost two and I thought, my God, I’ll be too old to have children,” she said.


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But then her mother-in-law made a suggestion.

“During my ninth year of marriage, my mother-in-law, who was one of the most beautiful South American ladies ever, said to me, ‘You become Catholic. You have baby.’ So I went and had instruction and five months later I was pregnant. For me, the birth of a child, it was a miracle. I couldn’t believe it.”