We love to celebrate celebrities over a certain age having babies. I’ve written about it a couple of times and we all pump our fists in the air over the triumph of age over statistics. Women hear about statistics all of the time because, in case you haven’t heard, your fertility is currently running away from you right this very moment.
Dr. David Adamson, the president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, is pretty blunt with the numbers. In “Fertility 101,” an article every woman should read, Dr. Adamson shares, “The average 39-year-old woman has half the fertility she had at 31, and between 39 and 42, the chances of conceiving drop by half again.”
This is why it’s confusing and emotionally challenging to see cover after cover of a glossy mag with a celeb over 35 years old cradling a new baby. You start to think, “Wait, how is this happening for them?” According to the most recent statistics at Resolve, the National Infertility Association, one in eight couples have problems getting or sustaining a pregnancy.
Earlier this week Jaime King, model and co-star of The CW’s Hart of Dixie, became the unofficial poster woman for those who battle infertility when she shared exactly what it took for her to become a mother. In an Instagram post (she accidentally deleted), she wrote:
“For all the struggling women & moms out there that think they are alone — This is the truth about conceiving my son and struggles after”
Within the comments of her original post she gave more details about her journey:
“9 doctors until Dr. Randy Harris diagnosed me & saved my life from a severe ectopic, 5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of IVF, 26 IUI’s, most with no outcome, 4½ years of trying to conceive, 26 hours of brutal labor, early delivery b/c of sudden preeclampsia, tearing and tearing after the stitches were in once I was home, milk supply issues, painful mastitis, uncontrollable crying while breast feeding, worked until the day before I [gave] birth and went back after 6 weeks after because I was afraid of letting others down”
When Jaime King disclosed her path to motherhood, she gave millions of women a person to point to and say, “Her! THAT is my story!” Within her original Instagram post, there were countless comments from women thanking King and then sharing their own struggles. Within a later post (where she explained what happened to her original post), there are also powerful comments.
Some women are in the middle of a trying cycle; others are at the end. Some women went through surgeries and years of treatments and trying and are thankful to be mothers at last. Some traveled the same road and have empty arms.
King shared her infertility story because she believes we can establish true connection with others by being honest. Her desire is to “keep an open dialogue going about these issues [and] spread awareness to young women in pain, families struggling privately [and] all women hurting in any way, shape or form in this area.”
When I read about a celebrity who is what the doctors deem “advanced maternal age” expecting a baby or expecting multiples, I wonder. I can’t help it. I wonder if the star endured the same awful journey so many of us did. I wonder if she was ashamed about talking about it publicly. I wonder if she thought people would judge her for seeking help.
A celebrity doesn’t have to disclose when they went through fertility treatments (or any kind of medical treatment), but look what happens when they do. So many people are helped with the simple message of “You are not alone!” Awareness is raised. An issue that is hard to talk about for many becomes the front page story. Suddenly, the topic becomes normalized and stigmas fade.
So thank you, Jaime, for opening up about your long and painful path to motherhood. You are not alone. Maybe your honesty will inspire others in Hollywood to open up about their own infertility battle and more stigma can fade.
Image Credit: Jaime King InstagramMore On