Kristen Wiig talks about surrogacy & being in an ‘IVF haze’ for three years

Kanye West makes a quick trip to his office

Kristen Wiig is one of the “cover girls” for InStyle’s September issue. It’s a subdued beach photoshoot in LA, pandemic-style, and I feel like Wiig is serving up some Kristen Stewart Realness, especially with her current hair. Wiig talks about a lot of different things in this piece, like working on Wonder Woman: 1984, and how she welcomed twins with her fiance in January. Remember that? We only found out about the fiance and the babies in June. Kristen is engaged to Avi Rothman, and they welcomed their twins via surrogacy. You can read the full InStyle piece here. Some highlights:

Being a quiet, private person: “It’s not a conscious choice to be secretive. I just want to exist in real life with my family, my friends, and my dogs. Work is work…. The longer I’m in this business, the less I care what people think.

Quarantined in LA: “We’ve sort of been quarantining since January because of the babies. We’re nesting, and we’re tired. 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. It’s overwhelming to think about everyone else who’s struggling, and it’s hard to be good knowing that.

The surrogacy process: “It was a very long road…We tried to keep the [surrogacy] process private for as long as possible, because it is a very private thing. Unfortunately, we were photographed with them — and, well, it’s out there! 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. 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.

When she & Avi started the process: “We’ve been together for about five years, and three of them were spent in an IVF haze. 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. 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–king time. 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 shots in airplane bathrooms and at restaurants — and those shots are no joke.

Talking about fertility with other people: “It’s hard not to personalize it when you get a negative result. 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 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. It’s like this underground community that’s talked about but not talked about.

Deciding to use a surrogate: “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.” I finally realized that I just needed help. And, thank God, we found the most amazing surrogate.

The feelings about surrogacy: “So many things were bittersweet. 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! Overall it was a very beautiful thing, and 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. 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. Ultimately, I realized that I’m very fortunate. I’m grateful. I’m a different person now.

[From InStyle]

I found this very real, everything she said about her mixed emotions, feeling like she was in a haze because of the IVF, still believing she could get pregnant, and then a different set of emotions when she chose surrogacy. I appreciate that she’s talking about it in real terms, what she was going through and the toll it took on her. But now she has two babies and no job and she just sounded pretty blissed out.

Kristen Wiig at arrivals for The 92nd Ac...

Photos courtesy of WENN, InStyle.

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39 Responses to “Kristen Wiig talks about surrogacy & being in an ‘IVF haze’ for three years”

  1. Laalaa says:

    This just shows you really can not know what somebody is going through. To me it seemed like she doesn’t even see kids in her life picture.
    I’m glad it worked out.
    It’s really not the same, but I remember Charlotte in SATC, how she struggled. She had everything, but she couldn’t have this. That was the first time I saw someone go through it.

  2. Betsy says:

    What a graciously worded statement that is about treading a line between her privacy and helping someone in the same situation.

  3. lana86 says:

    I know it’s none of my business, but I’m thinking to freeze my eggs soon, and very curious about everyone’s experience…- so I wonder, does she mean it’s her own eggs that were used, or those of the donor? And if it’s hers, were they freezed earlier? Or did she actually only started with the thing after 40….
    Anyway , happy for her! Even though I’m not rich to ever afford surrogate , still any good news gives hope to all women! Science is great))

    • LolaB says:

      You can either use your own eggs with a surrogate or use donated eggs. It sounds like they were from a recent transfer. I don’t think she’d had them frozen in years past.

    • Trufflefries says:

      It sounds like they started trying to have a baby at a stage where statistically a woman’s egg reserve is very diminished. There could also be several medically related reasons as to why she would not be able to carry her own embryos or those of a donor.

      I’m going through IVF now and have read stories of women going through 4 or more retrieval cycles which boggles my mind but I get it. I went in saying one and done and am now considering a second cycle. I know that I’m fortunate to be in a position to even have this option but we want a sibling for our son and this is the route we plan follow for now. Adoption is also on the table but we’re not ready to explore that as fully just yet.

    • Ennie says:

      My eggs seemed fine, And after the fertilization too, but They didn’t work in implantation. If you are going to take your time, I suggest freezing. You can always donate the eggs that you don’t use to another struggling couple.

      • Kh says:

        Just want to chime in, if you are considering freezing oocytes (eggs) vs embryos and donating them to someone else if you don’t end up using them, talk to your doctor ahead of time! Fda rules for donor qualification of gametes (oocytes and sperm) are much stricter… There’s a slew of addition infectious disease testing and medical history tests that have to be done at the time of retrieval. The fda still requires qualify embryos, but it easier to donate your embryos than your eggs if you didn’t do the qualifications ahead of time.

    • Sisi says:

      I started the process when I was 41 1/2. I went through 10 rounds and got three good embryos. I gave birth to my first son at almost age 44 and am now pregnant with my second son. It was harrowing and tough but so worth it. I think Wiig is purposefully ambiguous about whether she used her own genetic material (eggs) or not to preserve her family’s privacy. And really it doesn’t matter.

    • Hannah says:

      Hi Lana86, due to health problems (hypERthyroidism – unable to ovulate), my family and I decided to harvest my eggs when I was 21, and healthy, and freeze them. I got married nearly 5 years ago at 24 and we’ve been trying IVF (twice) and the old fashioned way since then. IVF treatments in the UK were cancelled this year and financially we can’t afford another round for at least another year. This means my next window of opportunity will be when I’m +- 32 / 33. Surrogacy is possibly my only other lifeline

      • lana86 says:

        Thank you for sharing and best of luck to you! I have endometriosis and dont have a husband, so Im hanging in the air as well for now…

    • Fig says:

      I’m going through my IVF right now! (So we will see what happens!) I froze my eggs when I was 39 (starting to date at the time who is now my husband), and now I’m 42. I fertilized eggs from both cycles. From both I got a total of 8 good, healthy embryos.

      Note that after 40, the pregnancy rate drops dramatically, like by a lot. When you get closer to 44, some clinics will advise you to consider donor eggs.

      Ok, so I had to make a decision to try to get pregnant naturally, but my age (past 40), being on IUD (which changes your hormones and can take up to a year to get back to normal) and the fact that I was a smoker decreased my chances (so you have to stop smoking if you want to get pregnant even doing IVF).

      Note that it takes 3 months to prepare your body to be at its optimal shape – take prenatal vitamins (I didn’t start IVF until after 3 months of quitting smoking) – I added a lot of other vitamins as well (seriously looked like a pharmacy but maybe would run it by your doctor) and changed my diet (green smoothies, water based, not juice based), no processed foods, went gluten-free (and decreased intake of rice products as well). Be conscientious about toxic materials around you – cosmetics that have parabens, household cleaners that are not green, tupperware and water bottles that aren’t bpa-free (I would even switch to glassware) , etc.

      Also, I borrowed money from my mom when I froze my eggs the first time and just recently paid her back! The total for IVF is about $20K.

      Do your research and make sure you find a solid clinic with a strong reputation. You will need a good team of nurses, navigator/counselor, and of course the doctor. Your hormones are going to go crazy with the IVF medication so you need a lot of support from the team and the people around you.

      Good luck!

      • lana86 says:

        Dear Fig, thank you for the details, and best of luck to you!

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        I turned 40 in June. My doctor talked about my freezing my eggs when I was 37 but financially it just wasn’t possible for me. I honestly feel like if it’s meant to be for me then it will happen. If not then it won’t. But my happiness isn’t bound to it either way.

    • Alexc89 says:

      Weird thing to chime in with, I know, but I’m pretty sure they used her genetic material for the babies; I used to know one of her good friends a few years ago and she spoke about kw freezing her eggs (inspired me to do it too). Also her twins seriously look just like her so, if not, they got a very look-a-like donor!

  4. Gina says:

    I really really feel for women who are looking to get pregnant and are struggling with it. You know they are getting constant questions “when are you going to Start a family”etc. etc. I’ve seen it firsthand with friends. How hard it is, They are personally struggling and having to put on pleasant smiles but inside they are a mess.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that people just need to stop with the questions when others about starting families. it’s really rude and insensitive.

  5. Suz says:

    I’m in the middle of the haze too. Currently waiting for my cycle to restart so I can try again – luckily we had embryos frozen. The first one, I got pregnant and started out well only to miscarry at 10 weeks. No explanation other than “it might be your age.” Feeling very hopeless right now.
    Hearing the heartbeat and seeing the baby grow in the early weeks provided so much hope. With previous, naturally conceived pregnancies, I hadn’t ever had good scans before. At the scan when I learned the baby had died, they didn’t want to show me the screen but I could still see the shape of the baby. To all my other ladies struggling, I see you and I’m giving you a thousand virtual hugs. This sucks.

    • Trufflefries says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m waiting for genetic testing results for the one embryo that may give us a baby after all we went through to retrieve and create embryos during our cycle. Having gone through previous miscarriages I think understand the heartbreak that comes with losing a baby and the hopelessness that comes with it. Wishing you the best on your journey.

    • MJM says:

      That is such a difficult loss that takes huge mental toll. I am so sorry.

  6. Mouki's wife says:

    Mouki and I tried to have a baby for 7 years. It never happened. I can’t carry successfully and there is no medical reason. That was the saddest part. At least if there had been a reason…but we have come to terms with it. We are our own family and we are okay. He process will either make or break a couple. And while I’ll always yearn to be a mom, I still feel those pangs, I’m also a great aunt, friend, wife, human.

  7. Kimberly says:

    Marjorie, you really should take a breath and choose kindness before you comment.

  8. Nev says:

    I hope you can find some hope. We all need it.

  9. L says:

    to folks struggling – you are loved, and eff anyone who would say its not in your fate to have children if you can’t pull it off physically, that is ridiculous. IVF and surrogacy is just as awesome and important, and if you can afford it and it is available to you, there is no shame in opting for it. I feel for those who cannot opt for either, and you too are loved. and no matter who you are, give no heed to cruel people who think they know whats up. they do not. <3

  10. pookie says:

    as a side note, a woman i used to be friends with dated her partner, avi, a while back. he was so nice and handsome we nicknamed him JEWDONIS. i’m so happy for them, they both rule. (and the woman i knew was a mess so glad avi got out of there!)

    • Lizzie Anne says:

      Love this kind of tea spilling! Celebs often behave so poorly, I love when commenters have personal and positive experiences to share!

  11. ChillyWilly says:

    “It’s not all just lying around and smiling at babies, though.”
    Word! If it was, I would have like 20 babies! I love me some babies but they always grow up.
    I’m so happy for Kristen. She seems like a good egg.

  12. Lunasf17 says:

    I know so many people that have or are having fertility problems. I also never ask women about kids or starting a family because it’s none of my business and it’s the worst thing to ask to someone who is struggling. It’s just not fair how fertility treatments are so expensive and many people can’t afford them or have to go so deep in debt to try and have a family. I’m glad Kristen got her happy ending and I hope all families struggling find some peace.

  13. Ennie says:

    All my fertility treatment years are like a haze. I can’t remember clearly when something happened or how many times I did what. All focus was in treatments.
    My life restarted after we decided to put a stop to it. We did not have so much money and I saw that it was doing a number to my body, and IWould’ve probably have a terrible pregnancy as my body Was not cooperating, and both my parents passed away, so I suspect depression played a part. No physical reason either, but with time, my age got in the way.
    Surrogacy was out of the question as we did not have many options and un my country there are no clear legal boundaries. We adopted, but were not actively seeking it.

  14. Gracie says:

    Currently 32 weeks along with an IVF baby and so happy to hear their great news! Parenting is a wonderful journey for those who want/choose it, but fertility treatments are so exhausting physically and emotionally.

    I’d like to add to the list of things that can be (unintentionally) harmful to say when speaking to someone going through this: 1) “I know so many people who got pregnant right when they stopped trying,” 2) “what’s wrong with adoption?” and 3) “you already have a child.”

    I understand all statements usually fall out of the mouths of typically supportive people, but for those going through the dark days of infertility, deciding to stop trying is incredibly complicated and I certainly wouldn’t have just to see if I could magically get pregnant. With regard to adoption, I felt a lot of guilt working in the social services field and not choosing this option. I felt the guilt deeply but also know that adoption was not the right choice for my partner and I at this time. It’s personal and I would never want to place a child with adoptive parents who weren’t 100% sure. Finally, secondary infertility is painful. I struggled with my first but didn’t have to choose IVF until my second. It’s all painful. My heart goes out completely to all posters experiencing any of this mess!

    • H says:

      Congratulations on your baby, may it be happy and healthy.

      As for adoption, I never understand why some (not you) don’t look into that option. I’m adopted. I was in foster care as a baby until I got adopted. If my parents hadn’t decided to adopt me, I would have more than likely grown up in foster care, which because of my job, I know is less than ideal. I love my mom, she’s my mom, blood doesn’t matter. She raised me and loved me. I hope more couples think about adopting. I’m currently in classes to adopt out of foster care when I finish. (Its a big step and I want to make sure I’m ready for it).

  15. Jay says:

    It is so heartening to hear fertility struggles talked about openly. When I was going through it, I felt so hopeless and alone. Perfect strangers and family members asking “So, when are you going to start a family? How come you don’t want it kids?” would send me spiralling. Now it’s “Why did you wait so long to have a baby? And when are you going to give (miracle child) a little sister or brother?”

    The first time I’ve ever cried in public (like, gulping, snotfaced crying) was listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on audiobook and hearing her talk about not being able to concieve and feeling like a “failure”. I’m so grateful she, and Kristen, are putting their stories out there, and to those of you who are in that haze right now – you are not lost, and you are not alone.

  16. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Wow. I actually got a little emotional reading about her relationship with her surrogate. I love how open she was about her experience. Anytime women can share their experiences and maybe make other women feel less alone in theirs is a good thing.

    And I respect her feelings about guarding her privacy. As a pretty private person myself I really get that.

  17. Lady D says:

    Bitter disappointments can harm the soul. Patience is needed.

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