Kristen Wiig recently opened up about what an ‘isolating experience’ dealing with fertility struggles can be.
In the September issue of InStyle, the extremely private actress opened up about the physical and emotional hoops she and fiancé, Avi Rothman had to jump through before eventually welcoming their 9-month-old twins via surrogate. The actress called the three years of her IVF treatment “a very long road” on which “I wasn’t myself” for years.
“Emotionally, spiritually and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life. I wasn’t myself”
It was a long journey for the couple, who began trying for a family years ago. “We’ve been together for about five years, and three of them were spent in an [in vitro fertilization] haze,” the 46 year old actress said. “Emotionally, spiritually and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life. I wasn’t myself.”
“There are so many emotions that go with it. You’re always waiting by the phone and getting test results. And it was just bad news after bad news,” adds the SNL star. “Occasionally there would be a good month, but then it was just more bad news. There was a lot of stress and heartache.”
“It was a long f—ing time.” She continued, “It got to the point where I just kind of stopped talking about it entirely, because I would get sad whenever someone asked. It was just part of my life. I gave myself [hormone] shots in airplane bathrooms and at restaurants. And those shots are no joke.”
“It’s like this underground community that’s talked about but not talked about.”
Wiig says it was “hard not to personalize” her experiences when she got a “negative result.” Kristen recalled having a difficult time not blaming herself for their fertility hurdles, something that was particularly isolating. “You go through so much self-deprecation. And you feel like your partner may be seeing you in a different way and all this other stuff we make up in our heads.”
But Kristen realized she wasn’t alone when she started broaching the topic with other women. “But when I did talk about it, every time I said that I was going through IVF. I would meet someone who was either going through it, about to go through it or had a friend who just did it,” the actress said. “It’s like this underground community that’s talked about but not talked about.”
“I finally realized that I just needed help”
At first, Wiig wasn’t open to having another woman carry her child. “I remember when our doctor mentioned going other routes and I was just like, ‘Nope. Don’t ever bring that up again. I’m getting pregnant. I’m doing this,’ ” she revealed. However, the Bridesmaids actress soon realized it was okay to admit it was time for help. “I finally realized that I just needed help. And, thank God, we found the most amazing surrogate.”
And during the pregnancy, it was still difficult. But she found the silver lining by understanding that the end result was exactly what she had been searching for.
“So many things were bittersweet,” Wiig says. “I was over the moon feeling them kick for the first time, but then I would get in my head and ask myself all these questions. Like, ‘Why couldn’t I do this?’ At the same time I would tell myself it didn’t matter. She was giving us the greatest gift, and I just wanted them to get here!” Once they came around to the idea of surrogacy after the initial reservations, Wiig and Rothman, a filmmaker, “tried to keep the process private for as long as possible, because it is a very private thing.”
“What helped me was reading about other women who went through it and talking to them”
“As private as I am and as sacred as this all is, what helped me was reading about other women who went through it and talking to those who have gone through IVF and fertility stuff,” the actress revealed. “It can be the most isolating experience. But I’m trying to find that space where I can keep my privacy and also be there for someone else who may be going through it.”
And even though she wishes she “had talked about it more and asked for more help,” as there is “such a support system out there” for hopeful parents going through similar experiences, she notes that “overall it was a very beautiful thing” to welcome her children via surrogacy.
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way”
“Now that I’m on the other side, I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Wiig says. “I’ve always believed that things happen the way they’re supposed to happen, and this is how [our babies] were supposed to get here. I became really close with our surrogate, and it was her first time doing it so we kind of went through everything together. When the children were born, I wanted to make sure she was okay and she wanted to make sure I was okay.”
Wiig talked about how grateful she felt about everything now. “It was a lot of navigating through emotions and respecting that she had a connection with them and trying to be really honest about how I was feeling. Ultimately, I realized that I’m very fortunate,” she adds. “I’m grateful. I’m a different person now.”
Quarantining with the twins
Wiig and Rothman have been quarantined at home two months earlier than when the world shut down in march due to Coronavirus. Since they were spending time with their newborns.
“We’ve sort of been quarantining since January because of the babies. We’re nesting, and we’re tired,” she says. “Having two 9-month-olds is a lot! But they’re growing, and I can’t wait to see them every morning. “
“It’s not all just lying around and smiling at babies, though,” Wiig continues. “It’s overwhelming to think about everyone else who’s struggling, and it’s hard to be good knowing that.”
Wiig has two movies out in the next year. Wonder Woman 1984 and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. And apparently, work is the last thing on her mind.
“Now that I have these two little ones, my mind is just not on work. Even if this global pandemic weren’t going on, I would want to be with my kids,” she says. “Obviously, some days I get more sleep than others, but it is what it is. And it’s frickin’ awesome.”