Kristen Wiig on 'Isolating' IVF Struggles & Quarantining With Her Kids
Kristen Wiig is speaking out about her long road to motherhood. In an interview with InStyle, the 46-year-old comedian reflects on her three-year IVF journey, eventual choice to use a surrogate and her happy life now that her kids have arrived. Wigg and her fiancé, Avi Rothman, welcomed twins in January.
Wiig and Rothman have been together for five years, but their attempts to have kids began three years ago, resulting in what Wiig calls “an IVF haze.”
“Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life. I wasn’t myself,” she says. “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. Occasionally there would be a good month, but then it was just more bad news. There was a lot of stress and heartache.”
Wiig notes that the IVF process lasted “a long f**king time” and eventually became a sore subject for her and Rothman.
“It got to the point where I just kind of stopped talking about it entirely, because I would get sad whenever someone asked,” she says. “It was just part of my life. I gave myself shots in airplane bathrooms and at restaurants — and those shots are no joke.”
All the negative results led to “so much self-deprecation” for Wiig, even making her question her relationship.
“You feel like your partner may be seeing you in a different way and all this other stuff we make up in our heads,” she says, before revealing just how determined she was to conceive.
“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 recalls. “I finally realized that I just needed help. And, thank God, we found the most amazing surrogate.”
Wiig calls the surrogacy process “bittersweet,” admitting that there were moments of sadness as a result of not carrying the babies herself.
“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?'” she shares. “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!”
Now, though, Wiig views the process as “a very beautiful thing.”
“Now that I’m on the other side, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 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,” she says. “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 OK and she wanted to make sure I was OK.”
“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,” Wiig continues. “Ultimately, I realized that I’m very fortunate. I’m grateful. I’m a different person now.”
After going down the “very long road” to conception largely in private, Wiig says she wished she “had talked about it more and asked for more help.”
“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. It’s like this underground community that’s talked about but not talked about,” she says. “There’s such a support system out there!”
While Wiig and Rothman tried their best to keep the surrogacy process private, they were eventually photographed with the twins. Now that the news is out there, Wiig is hoping to use her own experience to help others struggling with infertility.
“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,” she says. “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.”
“It’s not a conscious choice to be secretive,” Wiig adds. “I just want to exist in real life with my family, my friends, and my dogs.”
While most of the world shut down in March due to the coronavirus, Wiig and Rothman were largely quarantined at home two months earlier to spend 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.”
Though Hollywood is beginning the slow process of reopening amid the pandemic and Wiig has two movies due out in the next year — Wonder Woman 1984 and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar — 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.”
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