After trying for four years and losing 14 embryos over several IVF cycles, when she finally conceived, Gretchen Rossi thought it was “surreal.” The Real Housewives of Orange County star and her fiancé Slade Smiley brought their daughter into this world on July 10, 2019. They named her Skylar Gray Smiley. Gretchen Rossi’s IVF journey has been discussed in detail earlier.

Gretchen Rossi IVF baby Skylar

While the couple were grateful for the guidance they received along the way, they are also sharing some of their own wisdom now.

Below are some IVF lessons and tips from Rossi.

The process of IVF is not pleasant

The TV star shared that at the beginning of her cycle she did not mind the discomfort and the pain that came with the hormonal shots, as her main focus was on having a baby but the sudden weight gain and the emotional upheaval was not something she expected.

“Within three weeks, you’re growing all these eggs and like you feel pregnant, look pregnant and you gained 10 pounds within three weeks,” she told Parade. “It’s kind of crazy how quickly your body changes.”

Often, you don’t conceive after a single IVF cycle, and going back to start a new cycle can get difficult after you see the impact that IVF has had on your body, with no real outcome to show for it.

Public judgment can get hurtful

Try not to let the public opinion get to you. Complaining about Gretchen Rossi’s IVF, many people on social media complained about the need to try for a biological baby instead of adopting when there are so many kids that need a home. 

The whole period is extremely sensitive when you want to have a biological pregnancy and people often do not understand your p0oint of view. She said, “It was a difficult period. I really wanted a family, but I wasn’t in the mindset to talk about adoption yet. I just wasn’t there.”

Gretchen Slade and their daughter

Importance of the doctor and clinic

Selecting the right IVF clinic and a skilled, experienced doctor, are the most important considerations in IVF.

You need to find someone you are comfortable with as the IVF process is extensive, invasive, and expensive. “People need to really know who they’re with as an IVF doctor, and they really need to know the embryologist that they’re working with too,” Rossi said.

Don’t plan too much

It is difficult to accept the fact that you cannot conceive naturally and before you begin your IVF journey you will need to keep an open mind.

Everything you may have planned including the experiences that come with getting pregnant the natural way will be replaced with scientific precision and clinical procedures.  A lot of the moments you look forward to will now be completely technology driven which will make you mourn the loss of a normal experience.

She explained, “It’s a really interesting thing because when you go in and you sit down with the doctor and they’re like, ‘OK, so what month do you want to have a baby?’ And you’re like, ‘Huh?’ Like everything that you imagined as a little girl—your partner and you finding out you’re pregnant through a pregnancy test, or you’re not feeling well and you’re like, ‘OMG, I wonder if I’m pregnant.’ All of the special moments have been kind of taken from you.”

Rossi and Smiley have one more frozen embryo, which they hope to implant in future. Having learnt from the uncertainties of the IVF procedure, she’s careful to not plan too much as she says, “I always thought I was going to have four kids, but they say, ‘Tell God your plans and he laughs at you.’ I hope we are blessed to have another one, but we just don’t know.”

Consider other options and let things run their course

At some point in your journey, you really have to let it go. She thinks that you need to set your priorities right and see if it is motherhood that you want or having a biological child.

Motherhood can be adopted in any way it comes to you. There is no strict path that you follow, you will need to let things go eventually to start accepting new changes and what is meant for you will not change.

She read ‘The Tao of Fertility’ and there was a statement that stuck, she said: “Do you want to be a mother or do you want to have your own biological child?

“They were just saying, look, whatever way motherhood comes to you, whatever that journey and that path is, you have to decide what’s more important to you. I remember embracing that statement full force. And I just let it go, and then the universe started bringing us all these things, including our miracle Skylar.”

Gretchen Rossi with daughter Skylar

Do your bit for others

The main problem with infertility treatments is that they aren’t accessible to most couples due to financial inadequacy. The major portion of stress is caused by exorbitant amounts per cycle. While insurance companies cover Viagra, they do not cover infertility treatments. Infertility Aide is committed to bringing you affordable IVF and other ART solutions to help complete your parenthood dreams.

Gretchen Rossi’s IVF journey circled back to the singular moment of the night she first felt Skylar’s kick. “It was 2:00 a.m. and it woke me up. I literally burst into tears and woke Slade up—it was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever felt in my life. And it went from this pure joy, pure happiness, to recognize at that moment that there were so many couples and so many women that would never get to feel this feeling because they financially we’re not able to do this, so I want to fight for a change.”

She talked to Corey Booker, the senator from New Jersey, who was trying to get the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care bill passed into legislation so that health insurance may be expanded to cover treatments for infertility.

You are not the problem

Despite all our evolution and open opinions, the idea of infertility is not easily acceptable. It is still a taboo. In part, it is because of our conditioning, which remains fixed and rather restrictive to how our life should be and doesn’t prepare us for the unexpected.

Rossi believes that infertility deviates from the original idea of how your life is supposed to go, which is what makes it difficult to accept.

We are fed a certain idea of how our lives would be, when we grow up—get married, have a baby, live happily with your family—but “when your road deviates from that blueprint, it’s a really hard thing to swallow.

However, she insists, no one should find themselves alone in this.  “The more we share our stories and the more we have a community around our struggles and the more we can speak openly about it, the more we’re going to be able to help each other.”

Infertility Aide is a testament to that very sentiment—you are not alone in infertility, and help is available. Gretchen Rossi’s IVF story is moving and inspiring; more power to celebrities like her for sharing about their struggle and bringing attention to such a common, but under-discussed problem.


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