"Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life."
Kristen Wiig is speaking a truth that so many mothers know: IVF can be such a long and difficult road.
In a super candid interview for the September issue of InStyle, Wiig opened up to Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown about how she became a mom of twins, and how it took so much to get there. Like fellow celebrity moms Gabrielle Union and Amy Smart, Wiig describes the IVF process as "a lot of stress and heartache". And like both Union and Smart, Wiig's path to motherhood eventually included a surrogate.
As Wiig tells Brown, basically three years of her five-year relationship with fiancé Avi Rothman "were spent in an IVF haze."
She continues: "Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life. I wasn't myself. There are so many emotions that go with it—you're always waiting by the phone and getting test results, and it was just bad news after bad news. Occasionally there would be a good month, but then it was just more bad news."
It eventually got to the point where Wiig stopped talking to people about the process because she would feel so sad when someone asked (a feeling many parents who are trying to conceive can relate to).
What got Wiig through the loneliness and sadness were the fellow IVF mamas who supported her.
"But when I did talk about it, every time I said that I was going through IVF, I would meet someone who was either going through it, about to go through it, or had a friend who just did it. It's like this underground community that's talked about but not talked about," she explains.
Wiig says she was initially very resistant when her doctor suggested considering other routes to parenthood, telling them, "Nope. Don't ever bring that up again. I'm getting pregnant. I'm doing this."
But eventually, she decided to seek out surrogacy, an experience she calls "bittersweet" but also beautiful.
Wiig tells Brown: "I became really close with our surrogate, and it was her first time doing it so we kind of went through everything together. When the children were born, I wanted to make sure she was OK and she wanted to make sure I was OK. It was a lot of navigating through emotions and respecting that she had a connection with them and trying to be really honest about how I was feeling. Ultimately, I realized that I'm very fortunate. I'm grateful. I'm a different person now."
The twins are now 9 months old and Wiig says that while she was initially hoping to keep the details of their births private, being photographed in public with the twins opened her family up to scrutiny as people wanted to know where the babies came from.
"As private as I am and as sacred as this all is, what helped me was reading about other women who went through it and talking to those who have gone through IVF and fertility stuff," she explains. "It can be the most isolating experience. But I'm trying to find that space where I can keep my privacy and also be there for someone else who may be going through it."
Thank you, Kristen. By talking about your journey you are helping some other mother who is still on the hardest part of her road.