Erin Andrews says she got 'fed up' not sharing IVF and surrogacy journey: 'This is so stupid to be so quiet about it'

Sportscaster Erin Andrews. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images)
Sportscaster Erin Andrews. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images) (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life’s parenting series on the joys and challenges of child-rearing.

This past summer, Erin Andrews and husband Jared Stoll welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Mack born via surrogate. The thrilling news had been a long time coming for the Fox Sports veteran reporter after nearly a decade of going through IVF.

Though she didn’t initially share the details of her grueling experience with the public, Andrews ultimately became passionate about opening up. “I feel like I was fed up with [not talking about it by] my ninth round,” she tells Yahoo Life. “I was just like, ‘Oh, this is so stupid to be so quiet about it.’ Every time you turn on your Instagram or social media, so-and-so is pregnant again, or so-and-so just had another baby. And it was like, ‘Are you serious? Like, how are they on three, and I can't even get one?’ It's not like you would be mad at those people. But it started to feel like you were a failure.”

It was important to Andrews to be real about the challenges she was facing. “I just decided to be like, ‘This sucks, and I feel like crap, and my body is full of drugs and hormones, and my relationship is suffering. My body has changed, and it just sucks,’” she shares.

After “so much work and so much money put towards it and so much heartbreak,” the couple's fertility journey finally resulted in a happy, healthy baby. That’s when Andrews, who recently partnered with supplement and home health test company Thorne, says she decided to “look at the things that were right” about her experience. One example: Trying to become pregnant led to her taking supplements, like Thorne’s Basic Prenatal.

“When you are so desperate in the fertility journey to make it work, to have some positive news, you'll try anything,” she says. “I had doctors, I had acupuncturists, I had everybody that was involved in my fertility journey preaching about Thorne to me. So, I just started making [my vitamins] a habit."

And that routine is something the sideline reporter still swears by. “[These supplements were] something that kept me healthy and helped me try to produce eggs,” she says. “It just became part of my life for nine, 10 years through the IVF process that now, it's still a part of my life.”

Looking back, Andrews is also grateful for how much she was able to lean on her friends. “[It helped] just being really open with my friends about how much it sucked,” shares the sportscaster, who says she also coped by working out and throwing herself into her job.

Eventually, Andrews and Stoll opted to pursue surrogacy. “It took us forever to decide to do it,” she says. “And then, we did it, but we dealt with loss and failure. We dealt with several years of trying to find the right one, going through the legal process. We went into it very blind. And we went into it the first time thinking, ‘Oh, this is gonna work. It's fine.’ And it didn't. We lost two [embryos]. So, that was a really big deal, especially for someone who didn't make a lot of eggs, and we didn't have a lot of embryos to spare. So that was something that wasn't as easy as we thought, too. Yeah, we got the end result that we wanted, but it's a lot.”

Now, as a new mom, Andrews is basking in the joy from quality time with Mack. “The thing I’m most excited about is coming home, jumping in the shower, getting the airplane off of me and grabbing him,” she says.

She’s also mesmerized by her baby boy’s latest milestones. “He reaches for us, which is pretty cool,” says Andrews. “He's using his hands. He's grabbing a lot of stuff.”

And the pair are already bonding through music. “I’m very much a Disney girl,” explains Andrews. “So I sing him all the Lion King tunes, we sing Little Mermaid, all that kind of stuff. I like to take his little hands, and he started cooing and laughing. So, things like that are really fun.”

As for learning the ropes of motherhood, Andrews jokes that she feels like she’s “back in college.” “I have a lot of room for growth,” she admits.

But just as she had been so forthcoming about what it was like to go through a decade of fertility treatments, Andrews is now championing being vocal about the learning curve that comes with new parenthood. “I don't know what I'm doing,” she says. “It's OK to be candid about that. It's OK to say out loud, ‘This car seat is really hard, and I don't know how to do it and getting him in the stroller is really hard.’ And it really tests your patience with yourself and your partner. It completely changes your life.”