US sports presenter Erin Andrews and her husband, retired hockey player, Jarret Stoll, have admitted it’s taken nearly ten years for them to become parents, with the 43 year old undergoing fertility treatment since she was 35.
The couple recently welcomed their son into the world via a surrogate at a healthy seven pounds, seven ounces. But the journey to get to their miracle has been a long one with several unsuccessful cycles of IVF before Erin was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2016.
In 2017, she was declared cancer free after two surgeries, but the couple continued to freeze her embryos and move ahead with IVF in case the cancer returned.
They suffered the devastating loss of twins via a surrogate two years ago, something they struggled to deal with:
“For so long, I just wanted to be quiet about it, but then you look around, and these places (IVF clinics) are packed. You’re not the only one going through this. And I felt like I could be a voice, maybe just somebody people could look at – she’s going through it too – it would help the whole process for all of us.”
And after all those years of heartbreak with 8 rounds of IVF, she now has her son, Mack: “The way you think totally changes. You’re not just doing something for yourself, but for this whole group, this whole family.”
She admits it’s been tough juggling her fertility journey along with her hectic work schedule:
“When I heard this was the best time to go through another treatment, I had to figure it all out again. How am I going to juggle this treatment on top of my work schedule? I got so stressed out. When this happens it really makes you question: Is it the future of my family or is it my job?”
She added: “I work in an industry where I think women feel the need to keep things like this quiet”. But added: “My bosses had been hugely supportive and even encouraged me to be open about my journey.
She said: “I am not ashamed, and I want to be vocal and honest about this.”
Talking about the actual birth on the Today Show, she described the emotional moment her son arrived in the world:
“My whole journey with our surrogate and her family was incredible. Just right before he came, she asked to hold my hand. So I grabbed her hand and I saw the tear coming down her face”.
“And we have this picture where I was just kissing my surrogates head and my husband was hugging the nurse like he just won the Stanley cup. And it’s like the perfect picture of surrogacy and what we’ve been through”.
When asked about the first few weeks of motherhood, she said:
“I keep staring at him. I want to study everything about him, and make up for lost time”.