“I mean, every day I wake up and I kind of, have to think, you know, ‘This is my life.’ It's a really interesting ride,” Bischoff, 29, told ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis in an interview that aired on “Good Morning America” today.
Bischoff is a fertility nurse in Chicago, but she and Soules, 33, have taken what she describes as “a temporary residence” in Los Angeles because he is a competitor on season 20 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
Bischoff is happy to be able to bring the relationship out into the open after months of secrecy while the show was airing.
“It was hard for me to keep the secret. You know, to finally, you know, be in love and get engaged,” she said. “I just wanted to tell everyone … it's nice to finally make it to this point to where we can be out in public with our relationship.”
Bischoff is also going public about something very personal: She froze her eggs when she was 27, and calls the move “an insurance policy.”
“Well, I mean, the hope is that you don't have to use them. You know?” she said. “I mean, that's the whole point of an insurance policy. You don't ever want to have to use it. But if you need it, that's when, it’s there.”
Bischoff, who works at aParent IVF, an independent fertility lab near Chicago, underwent vitrification, a process in which fertile eggs are collected and frozen rapidly and stored for future use.
Dr. Brian Kaplan, a fertility specialist at aParent IVF, and Colleen Coughlin, the clinic's founder and director, said vitrification, which can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000 plus yearly fees, provides a woman with valuable options.
“Every woman should have the option and the education of what the scenario is and what the options are with regard to egg freezing,” Kaplan said. “I think it's applicable to any woman in her 20s or 30s who's thinking forward about her fertility potential and that wants to sustain her reproductive age, because there's such a drop-off in pregnancy rates as women get older.”
As women age, their eggs get older, Coughlin said.
“And the problem with age, and what we're talking about with quality is that as we're born and -- as we have all of those eggs, the chromosomes are already there. And as we're aging, the chance of those chromosomes having an abnormality occur when they're recruited and forming an embryo, the chances of an abnormality are what goes up,” she said. “So there are many advanced-age women that can get pregnant. But they keep having miscarriages. So by freezing the egg while that woman is younger, we increased the chance of finding a healthy egg, health meaning that the overall quality is good, and the chromosomes within it are stable and they're normal.”
Bischoff described having seen patients who were trying hard to have a child. Some were successful, and others were not. “I was working every day, learning about this and teaching patents and hearing, you know, when patients say to you, ‘I just wish I would've known. I wish that someone would've told me that I had these options. I wish that, you know, ten years ago I would've had -- been afforded this opportunity,’” she said.
Bischoff said she felt as though she needed to “walk the talk, and I felt like I, you know, was taking control of my career and taking control of other aspects in my life. So why would I not allow myself the ability to do this? And, for me, it just was giving me options for my future,” she said.
As for when and where her wedding would likely take place, Bischoff said she and Soules, a farmer from Iowa, were “just taking it step by step.”
She added: “We've had a lot of changes, you know, coming public with our relationship and then ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ So right now, we're just trying to enjoy each other. And we'll get there.”
Bischoff said she was impressed by Soules’ dancing ability and is optimistic about his prospects on the show. “I feel very confident [he] will make it to at least top three,” she said.
The biggest adjustment she has had to make, she said, is to her new-found fame.
“I think that's, you know, strange,” Bischoff said. “I just think about six months ago as just this normal girl, walking around Chicago. Nobody knew who I was.”
Now, they definitely do.
“People are like, ‘Whitney,’ you know?” she said. “And everyone is so nice. And it is very humbling.”
A longtime fan of the show, Bischoff said she was “intrigued” by Soules since he appeared on “The Bachelorette” on the season that starred Andi Dorfman. He made it to the top three before Dorfman sent him home.
“I just was smitten over him,” Bischoff said. “I mean, I think that he just was a very genuine, sweet guy that America fell in love with. And then I did too. I'm a lucky lady.”