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Infertile Naomi Interviews Trista Sutter

Trista Sutter photo.jpg

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Know that stress will work against you and your body. You have to be stronger than the fear. Just fight to keep up hope!
  3. 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. ☺

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Comments (15)

Come on people, give Trista a break. She is on YOUR side and just trying to be helpful and give people hope. Don't beat her up because it took you longer or because she now has kids. I think the point is that infertility is common and that the situation isn't impossible - it can happen. I get it - 100% of my friends have babies, most are working on or have #2.. I get it. But don't attack her for trying to put it out there - most people make infertility a "dirty secret" and she's saying it's okay to talk about. I applaud you, Trista. My hubby and I have been TTC for 3 years and have had IUIs as she has. We just got the OV watch and will start next cycle. Here's hoping this is the method for us!! Good luck to all of you too!

"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. "

I get so frustrated when people say this! It sure does seem "POSSIBLE" for 90% of the population to get pregnant. (And 100% of my real-life friends.) Doesn't seem to be such an impossible task for them!

I hate to say that I became envious upon reading this. I know that it isn't productive to compare struggles and heartache, but she really went through a LOT less than so many other couples.

Personally my DH and I have been pursuing ART for 4 1/2 years. I can't even count the number of egg retreivals and embryo transfers I've had. And then I abandoned my genetics and pursued donor eggs, not once, but twice. Today I have 2 frozen embryos remaining from my second donor and I can only hope that tomorrow's transfer will result in a preganancy and the family I've been longing for.

Best wishes to everyone who has commented, and to you, Naomi!

I know its hard to feel compassion when someone hasn't been trying as long you have, or has more options than you, or even already has a child or two, and is struggling with conceiving another child. The fact is we are all going through our own struggles that are very personal. We can probably all find ways in which "my situation is worse than yours - i would be so grateful if i had what you had". Lets try to be compassionate and supportive of each other, despite what each of us are going through - its really about perception anyway. One persons trash is another's treasure. that is all.

" Know that when it’s time, it will happen. "

This is possibly the worst thing you can say to an infertile.

Not saying that infertility is a competition on who is more infertile than the other, but I honestly don't see how she is considered "infertile." Most of us have to wait 2 years to see if we are eligible for IUI or IVF or any other type of treatment. Each treatment takes time for our body and mind to heal. I have no negative thoughts on Trista, just saying I wish that it only took me 2 years to conceive and to have a lovely family like herself.

I'm always honest here, so this time's no different. I loved Trista and Ryan and I'm so glad they are together and happily married, and she finally has a family.

But of course, I got really jealous reading this. It's been almost 2 years for us with 4 IUI's and most recently an IVF....each and every one failed!!! It has been just 6 days since finding out our IVF didn't work so I'm pretty depressed about it all, so that doesn't help my mood right now.

I'd never wish this on anyone, so it's great that T & R never had to do treatments. I'm sure it was still painful to wait those 2 years for her baby but I just can't help being jealous. I had previously heard that she and Ryan suffered infertility, but I thought that they must've done treatment (ie. IUI or IVF) I'm just surprised I guess.

She did a couple of IUIs it says in the story. THat just isn't what worked for them. I'm sorry to hear of your struggles, I am there too. Every day is a struggle, especially when it seems like everyone you know gets pregnant the day after they decided to try! Ugg! It'll happen... I still have faith... whatever that means. I will have a kid whether or not it comes right out of me, though that is, of course, the desired outcome!! Best of luck!

I don't think infertility is a competition. Trista said it took her two years to get pregnant which is a very long time. I think it's great that she didn't have to do fertility treatments. Trista is just great!!

Current medical advice says it takes about a year on average, but I've spoken to enough women who believed that they were having fertility issues who actually conceived within a two year period and then fell pregnant again quickly after having their first baby. These women rushed in for fertility treatment after 12 months, believing that they had "issues" when they probably didn't!

Two years is not a long time. I've been TTC for over 5 years now and with 4 miscarriages to my name, I'd beg anyone to differ with me.

My husband and I have "only" been trying for 20 months, but during this time frame I have only had 9 cycles (one was 5 months long). Of those 9 cycles, only 4 were ovulatory cycles (opks, temping, and u/s to confirm). 20 months may not seem long to you, but any amount of time trying when you know you aren't ovulating or unsure if you're even going to ovulate this cycle is heartbreaking. Also, any amount of time over 12 months of trying is considered infertility. Many of those people you know who fell pregnant within a two year period may have been undergoing fertility treatments. Not everyone is going to divulge these issues to you. And you never know how many have had miscarriages they didn't want to share with you. I, for one, am happy for Trista and Ryan (they actually did go through IUI, which did not work for them).

Uhmm she really didn't have a "struggle" per say no tube issues no surgeries? I only read this because she is promoting the brand essure, thought that she maybe had it done? A little sadder now

OV Watch is how she fell preg? Gosh I thought she was infertile? Not sure if she can be classified as a "spokesperson for infertility"?

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