Best of This is Infertility Season 2: Episode 35

"I'm smiling on TV and on Instagram, but I felt I had this personal secret that I needed to tell." - Jamie Stelter

During our break between season 2 and season 3, we’re re-playing our most popular episodes.

Our most popular episode for season 2 is episode 35 featuring NY1 Traffic Anchor and co-host of Mornings on 1, Jamie Stelter. She shared her experience with IVF, recurrent pregnancy loss, and what it was like to go through all of this while keeping a happy face on the morning news.

This episode originally aired on April 2, 2019. Find details of the episode, here.

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page

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See you next season! 


Here are some of the highlights from this episode:

10:47 – 12:34: Being on TV While Experiencing Personal Trauma

Julie Hunt: Pregnancy loss is far more common than people realize. But that doesn’t make it any less traumatic. I can’t imagine how Jamie must have felt that week while waiting for her D&C. Can you imagine having to smile on camera while knowing what was to come?

Jamie Stelter: In a way, it’s a performance. It’s not fake. I like to think that I’m very much the same person on TV as I am off. But it’s like, if this whole pregnancy fertility stuff is going so wrong, I can’t also derail my career right now.

Like, I need something to be working. My job provided a way for me to still feel good about myself because it was something that I’m good at. And it’s something that I go in every day and there’s like a set of tasks. And I do them and I complete them, and I do them well. It gives a feeling of accomplishing something when you’re in a place where you feel like you can’t get anything right now.

I’m lucky I work with people like Pat (Pat Kiernan is Jamie’s co-host on Mornings on 1) who had to hear more about my uterus than he has ever wanted to know in his life. I was lucky I had a really good support system of people who I slowly started telling; a boss or two, mainly because, you know, I had to leave to run to an ultrasound or leave to get blood work or take a day off or a D&C. So, I slowly started letting some people in. It was still a small group, but having that support helped.

20:06 – 21:54: IVF, Being Pregnant, and meeting her baby, Sunny

Jamie Stelter: And so, we sort of dove in. We had a great retrieval cycle, did the transfer, and it worked.

Julie Hunt: Now remember, when a woman suffers from multiple pregnancy losses, pregnancy can be a very frightening time.

Jamie Stelter: You could not talk to me or come near me on the days of an appointment until I got in there and I saw the ultrasound and saw that there was still a heartbeat. I was convinced every time no matter how I felt, I was like, “This is the end. It’s not going to keep going.” It took months before I like, calm down and was like, “Okay, this baby’s gonna stick around.”

Julie Hunt: Fortunately for Jamie and Brian, this pregnancy attempt resulted in their beautiful daughter, Sunny.

Jamie Stelter: I mean, she’s the greatest joy of my life… it’s so crazy. I tell her all the time, and she has no idea, but I’m going to make sure that she knows. If she makes me angry, I’ll let her, “Do you know what I did to have you?”

She made it all worth it. I will never forget the pain, the trauma, the shots, the bullshit, the tears, the things I have said to Brian, at Brian, with Brian, in like heats of emotion and hormones and things. But the edge of that gets taken off when you have a baby. Because you see the fruits of all the labor.

22:02 – 24:56: Why She Speaks Out About Her Story

Jamie Stelter: I was thinking about how I share everything, so why wouldn’t I share this? Plus, every time we went to the doctor the waiting room was packed. Brian and I would always say to each other like, “This is one office for one hour of one day in one city,” like I’m imagining how many people are going through these doctor offices, it’s crazy.

And so, once I announced my pregnancy with Sunny, I felt comfortable enough to tell everyone what I had been through. Here I am on Instagram, I show you everything. I’m smiling on TV, I show you these great meals that I cook, I show you all that we went to the park this weekend and that we went to the beach. We have this seemingly great life and we do have a great life but I started to feel like I had this really deep, dark personal, secret or thing happening. And I was like, “Why am I not telling people this one thing? When this is actually the one thing that I want support for? What I need are people rallying around me and being like, I’ve had a miscarriage, or I’ve done a fertility treatment.”

I wanted to hear other people’s stories because I felt like it would help me make sense of it. It would help me look forward and hear what other people did to get through some of the post-trauma stuff. I had no idea of the response I was going to get. I was flooded with people. I mean, across the spectrum, whether it was women who had seven miscarriages, did four years of IVF, have done seven retrieval cycles and gotten only one embryo, have cancer or were sent into early menopause. I mean, you name it and I’ve read it in my Instagram message box or in one of the comments. I had no idea how many women it was affecting, how many men it was affecting, and how awesome supportive and engaged the community was. I had people who wanted to root for each other but also helped each other and exchange doctor information, talk about the different medications they took, different acupuncturists, different diets they tried. I mean, like it’s a world of people. It’s like a message board that you Google, except you and these people actually have some human connection.

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