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Infertile Naomi Interviews Trista Sutter
a blog by Infertile Naomi, October 1, 2010
Trista Sutter is best known as The Bachelorette who met and married her (incredibly handsome) firefighter husband Ryan on national television. In the reality television world, Trista was supposed to find love (check), get married (check) and have a baby (pregnant pause).
But when the cameras stopped rolling (and there were no more roses to hand out), a very common reality set in for this reality television couple — infertility. (We can guess that Trista and Ryan never discussed infertility on any of their fantasy dates).
Trista and Ryan are now the proud parents to Max and Blakesley. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Trista about her experiences with infertility and waiting to be a mom for two long years.
Infertile Naomi: First of all, I am a huge Bachelorette fan and an even bigger Trista and Ryan fan. What have you been doing since the show?
Trista: How much space do you have? ☺ Honestly … A LOT. The range … traveling, becoming and being a mommy, blogging, tweeting (@tristasutter), appearing on Dancing with the Stars, working with brands like Abdominal Cuts, Princess Cruises, Essure, Purina, Hyatt, T-Mobile, Sketchers; and most recently joining forces with a company called My Vintage Baby to design a line of baby clothes.
Naomi: How old are your children Max and Blakesley now?
Trista: Max turned 3 on July 26 and Blakesley is 17 months old.
Naomi: What are your favorite things about being a mom?
Trista: Oh wow … so many. Blakesley’s hugs (she LOVES giving hugs), Max’s Eskimo kisses, seeing the purity of life through their eyes, the unconditional love I can and will always provide, being able to be the person they run to when they need a little nurturing (although it’s pretty cool to see them run to Ryan as well), deepening the bond with my husband … and the list goes on …
Naomi: Before you became a mom, when did you and Ryan realize you were having issues with infertility?
Trista: Probably after trying for a year. I think we both thought, or at least hoped, it would happen right away, and once you hit that year mark, people start telling you you may need to make a few doctors appointments.
Naomi: You’ve said before that it took you two years to conceive your first baby, Max. Did you feel pressure from the media to get pregnant right away?
Trista: Not in the slightest. I knew that the media would be interested in the story once it was a story, because of the constant questions and reporters showing up on our doorstep, but the only pressure I felt was from myself and my lifelong desire to be a mother.
Naomi: On The Bachelorette, your love story and very personal moments were publicly documented. Infertility is often a very personal and taboo subject. Did you feel comfortable openly discussing your issues because of your experience on The Bachelorette?
Trista: I feel comfortable talking about just about everything. I wouldn’t say that The Bachelorette helped me be an open person. I’ve always been that way. Do I think some topics are sacred enough to [not] share in this age of social media … yes. I will never mention fights I have with my husband, nor relationship issues that we deal with … nor will I share personal information about my children. There is a line … although I know people may find that hard to believe with me.
Naomi: Infertility can be difficult on a marriage. How did infertility affect you and Ryan?
Trista: I am not going to lie … it is stressful. It’s also incredibly uncomfortable and oh-so-unromantic to ask your husband to you-know-what into a cup so that a doctor can inject his sperm inside of you. But we both wanted to create little tiny Ryan and Trista and looked past the lack of romance during ovulation and all the other stressors because we knew the end result would be WELL worth it. The key … keep the lines of communication open and don’t make sex JUST about making a baby.
Naomi: You have been very open about your fertility issues, and you have been involved in the infertility community. Why do you feel it’s important to share your story, and how have you been involved in this community?
Trista: I truly feel that anyone who lives life in the public eye should use their experiences (within reason of course!) to help others. We live in a day and age that connects anyone and everyone, and with knowledge, there is power. Infertility is a very difficult thing to go through … especially when you are a young, healthy person. I want anyone who may hear my story to know that they aren’t alone, and hopefully that can ease their stress. I also want to share any and all information I gained in my experience so that even one person doesn’t have to learn it the hard way.
Naomi: You have said before that you worked with OV Watch to help you get pregnant. How did this product work for you?
Trista: I LOVE OV Watch and will always recommend it to any woman who is trying to get pregnant or even wants to just learn about their bodies. I had done acupuncture, taken my temperature, and even had a couple of intrauterine inseminations performed. Nothing worked. When I met the people with OV Watch (who I still consider good friends to this day … such good people!), they basically said just to try it. Wearing a watch every night couldn’t hurt, right? It was easy, painless (which is REALLY good for my low pain tolerance), and super informative. I finally learned when I was actually ovulating and when the best times to “try” were, and that’s probably more than half the battle!!
Naomi: If the OV Watch didn’t work for you and Ryan, were you open to trying different fertility treatments.
Trista: As a matter of fact, we actually had JUST had our first visit with fertility specialists in Denver. We went through the first round of basic assessments, and then we got pregnant!!
Naomi: Were you concerned about secondary infertility, or did you feel more relaxed the second time around?
Trista: Actually, we weren’t even trying with Blakesley, so I didn’t have time to be worried. Thank goodness!!!
Naomi: You once said in an interview with People Magazine that you wanted to help other couples struggling with infertility. How did you remain hopeful when you were trying to get pregnant?
Trista: It’s really hard to be hopeful when something you have dreamt about your entire life is slipping away, but you have to work even harder to keep that hope alive! I am a pretty positive person, so it’s in my nature to be hopeful, but I definitely relied on my faith in God. I knew in my heart of hearts that I would be a mother, whether it took me five months or five years. I also knew that the technology out there these days could be at my fingertips if I ever needed to access it, so that gave me hope as well.
Naomi: What do you wish people knew about infertility?
Trista: That it is incredibly common, and you are not alone.
Naomi: What advice do you have for someone struggling with infertility and losing hope of ever getting pregnant?
Trista: Remember a few things:
- It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get pregnant. Honestly. If you look at everything that has to happen for one egg to be fertilized, it is amazing that unplanned pregnancies happen at all.
- Know that stress will work against you and your body. You have to be stronger than the fear. Just fight to keep up hope!
- Know that when it’s time, it will happen.
Naomi: If you could give any fertility advice for Ali Fedotowsky, The Bachelorette, (who is now happily engaged to Roberto) what would it be?
Trista: Take your time!!! Enjoy your engagement and the newlywed years of your marriage before it even crosses your mind. I assume she’s not seriously thinking about getting pregnant just yet, and she shouldn’t. It'll just work against her in the long run.
Naomi: You gave away a lot of roses during the Bachelorette. Does Ryan ever buy you roses now?
Trista: Not really roses. He does bring me flowers every now and then and bought me the most beautiful orchid for mother’s day. ☺