After years of infertility, Erin Andrews recalls moment in the delivery room when her son was born

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After a nine-year struggle with infertility, Erin Andrews was more than ready to meet her baby boy. But she wasn't sure she should be in the delivery room when her surrogate gave birth.

“I’m not going to lie, I get really queasy, and I’ve been known to pass out,” Andrews, 45, tells TODAY.com in an interview before her TODAY Show appearance on July 14.

But on June 28, the NFL sideline reporter found herself sprinting through hospital corridors to witness the birth of her first child.

After years of waiting and hoping, Andrews and her husband, retired NHL player Jarret Stoll, were minutes away from becoming parents.

“She dilated really, really fast. And it was like, this is actually happening,” Andrews says. The sportscaster, who was still nervous about fainting and "causing a commotion," says she decided to stand off to the side with Stoll. But the surrogate had other ideas.

"The nurse said, ‘She wants to hold your hand,’” Andrews recalls. "So I went and I grabbed her hand — and she had this tear coming out of her eye.”

Stoll, 41, joined his wife of six years at the surrogate’s bedside.

“We’re so into sports in our family and we were cheering for her like she was our quarterback,” Andrews says. They weren't cheering for long.

“She pushed once and he came out!" Andrews says.

Andrews can’t stop looking at a photo that was taken moments after her son Mack was born.

“I’m kissing (the surrogate’s) head, and Jarret is looking like he just won the Stanley Cup again,” she says. “It’s the perfect picture of surrogacy.”

Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)
Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)

Erin Andrews' road to parenthood

Years ago, after several rounds of failed IVF, Andrews says she developed a routine. Instead of telling Stoll that they weren't pregnant, she'd just tell him where she was and what she was eating.

“I’d call him and be like, ‘I’m in the drive-thru of McDonald’s again, having a sausage biscuit breakfast sandwich because we just got bad news,” she says.

"It was 10 years of hell," she adds.

After Andrews was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016, her oncologist recommended that she and Stoll freeze embryos. Andrews underwent two surgeries and was declared cancer-free, but she and Stoll decided to move ahead with IVF in the event that the cancer returned.

In 2021, as Andrews was about to undergo her seventh round of IVF, she opened up about the physical and emotional toll of infertility treatments.

“You feel like s---. You feel bloated and hormonal for a week and a half. You could go through this whole experience and get absolutely nothing out of it — that’s the crazy part,” she wrote in an essay for Facebook. “It’s a ton of money, it’s a ton of time, it’s a ton of mental and physical anguish. And more times than not, they’re unsuccessful.”

Andrews and Stoll would later experience a devastating pregnancy loss.

“We lost twins via surrogacy and that was really hard,” she says. “I really struggled mentally. I didn’t handle it very well ... I kind of tried to push it aside and act like everything was OK."

Everything wasn’t OK. Andrews remembers breaking down on an airplane tarmac shortly after her final IVF transfer.

“I just could not stop crying,” she says. “(Mack) was our golden embryo. He was our last hope.”

Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)
Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)

First weeks of motherhood with baby Mack

When asked about her first two weeks of motherhood, Andrews says that she's still finding her footing.

“I want the connection with him. I can’t wait for the chemistry. You know, I’m so far from being maternal in my life because I’m on a football field and I’m working with men,” she explains.

“I keep staring at him. I want to study everything about him,” she says. “I want to make up for lost time.”

Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)
Erin Andrews (Courtesy Erin Andrews)

Andrews says she is grateful for women, including NBC’s Kristen Welker, who have spoken out about infertility and their own path to surrogacy. Welker and her husband, John Hughes, welcomed daughter Margot with the help of a surrogate in 2021.

“There are so many things about Kristen’s story that really resonated with me. Her always having to be 'on,' and meanwhile, she’s getting bad news about another unsuccessful try,” Andrews says, recalling times she'd have to put on a brave face for television while breaking down inside. “I’ve had that multiple times.”

Andrews says she is “paying it forward” by sharing her story about her own struggles. Talking to others who had been through infertility, IVF and surrogacy, she says, really helped her and Stoll in their darkest moments.

“Going through this whole journey, you think you’re alone,” she says. "You're not alone."

This article was originally published on TODAY.com