Ellen Pompeo is making some big career choices in her life, as she recently announced she will be stepping back from the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy. The move, which will have her reportedly appear in only 8 of the 23 episodes, allows Ellen to film a limited series for Hulu as star and producer. “I’m so excited,” Ellen EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife at the D23 Expo, where she was named a Disney Legend along with her former co-star Patrick Dempsey. “I feel really happy and grateful that the company gave me an opportunity to do something different with my new limited series,” she added.
While Ellen is branching out artistically, she may also find some extra time to spend with her family, including her three children whom she shares with husband Chris Ivery, 54, a record producer and sometimes writer. Ellen met Chris in 2003, before she rose to stardom on Grey’s Anatomy. The couple eventually tied the knot in 2007 after quietly dating for three years. Over the course of their marriage, they welcomed daughters Stella Luna and Sienna May and son Eli Christopher.
Ever the busy actress, Ellen noted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017 that she’d be “nowhere” without the help of her baby nurse, considering her “long days” on set. Although the mother-of-three remains devoted to her craft, she’s also devoted to her family, hilariously — and sweetly — describing herself as the “Professional Asst to Stella Luna, Sienna May and Eli Ivery” in her Twitter bio.
Find out more about Ellen and Chris’ kids, from the oldest to youngest below.
Stella Luna Pompeo Ivery
The oldest of Ellen and Chris’ children, Stella, was born in 2009. Ellen initially hid her pregnancy under her scrubs for as long as she could while playing Meredith Grey, finally taking time off after the birth of Stella (her character was written to be donating a kidney during season 6). Although Ellen went on maternity leave to be with new baby Stella, the youngster eventually began visiting the set and even developed a love for the medical profession. Could she follow in her mother’s footsteps, or Meredith Grey’s footsteps, that is?
“Yesterday I went in to find her [and] she was with Linda with a bone drill, drilling a fake femur bone with a real bone drill. She was supervised, but they have her doing advanced procedures!” Ellen told Ellen DeGeneres in 2020, per People. She remains proud of her eldest daughter’s career aspirations but joked that it was time for her to make a decision about her future. “She needs to decide whether she wants to be an orthopedic surgeon or an emergency room doctor,” she says. “She needs to nail it down. I mean, seriously, she’s confusing me.”
Sienna May Pompeo Ivery
Ellen and Chris’ second daughter, Sienna, was born in 2014, “via surrogate,” as the TV star noted in a past tweet. Ellen also shared in the tweet that she wanted to enjoy her first few weeks “privately” with Sienna, although the now 7-year-old loves making an appearance on her movie star mom’s Instagram account. “Someone send help,” Ellen joked in a recent photo with Sienna, who was dressed in a spunky, Hollywood-ready outfit. “I’ve created a monster….a very cute one but still.”
Although Sienna’s big sister, Stella, welcomed her sibling at first, things started to get a little heated between the two, as mom Ellen noted on that 2020 Ellen appearance. “After three months, she was like, ‘Is she leaving? I was like, ‘No, no, she’s going to live here.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, okay.’”
Eli Christopher Pompeo Ivery
While Ellen and Chris loved their darling girls, they couldn’t help but want to bring a third child into the mix. Welcome Eli, a baby boy, who arrived in 2016. This summer, Ellen shared an adorable video of the now 4-year-old Eli singing along to the late Biz Markie‘s hit track, “Just a Friend,” commemorating the rapper, who died in July.
“I make a lot of mistakes. You just learn,” Ellen told InStyle in 2018, reflecting on motherhood. “Kids are just so open and honest, and you could get down on yourself a lot as a parent, like ‘Oh I’m not there enough.’ It’s easier to beat yourself up and feel guilty. But you can’t adopt a sort of victim’s attitude, you have to adopt an optimistic, can do, ‘how do I fix it?’ attitude with kids.”
She went on, “You can’t sort of wallow in your own self-pity. ‘I should have done this, I should have done that,’ there’s no time to do that if someone’s life is in your hands.”