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What Heather Dubrow’s IVF journey can teach you.

July 24, 2018
Katie Visco

You’re most likely to know Heather Dubrow from her role on the Real Housewives of Orange County in addition to a smattering of other acting roles (Stark Raving Mad, anyone?) Though there’s a fair chance you’ve also heard of her and her husband, plastic surgeon Terry Dubrow, (himself a reality TV star with E network’s Botched,) through the couple’s fairly public struggles with fertility. Heather and Terry tried for over a year to get pregnant naturally and then went through 6 more months of trying various fertility treatments. They were finally able to conceive twins Nicholas and Maximillia through IVF in 2004 and have since welcomed a second daughter Katerina in 2007 through IVF, and a third daughter named Colette in 2010 completely naturally.

Since becoming a mother, Heather has spoken widely on her experiences with infertility and IVF. She even gave advice to fellow OC housewife Meghan King Edmonds when she was undergoing IVF treatments. We’ve decided to collect some of heather’s pearls of wisdom here, so you can take advice from someone who’s gone through it all and come out the other side a stronger, healthier person.

It's Different for Everyone

Billions of different bodies means billions of different body chemistries. Do the math.

girls working out

Speaking of Meghan King Edmonds, Dubrow’s advice to her Real Housewives’ co-star is a good jumping off point for our discussion. Edmonds’ IVF journey was a major plot point on the 10th season of the long-running reality franchise, and Dubrow obviously wanted to be there for her co-star however she could. The problem, as Dubrow told The Daily Dish, was that "It's hard to give people advice when they're going through IVF because the truth is everyone's journey is slightly different.” This is a truism that becomes truer the more you think about it. Life is a wondrous thing, we’ve been studying it in all its forms since the dawn of human organized scientific study and we still haven’t even begun to understand it. When you couple that with the various foibles in body chemistry and genetic makeup that are sure to emerge it suddenly it becomes obvious. Of course everyone’s fertility experience is going to be different! The important thing is to have patience and understanding and take ownership of your own treatment.

Don’t sleep on IVF

If you’ve been trying to no avail, in-vitro fertilization may be your answer.

pocket view

There are plenty of reasons people who are struggling with fertility chose not to choose IVF. There’s obvious monetary concerns for blue-collar couples, and a whole realm of spiritual reasons to avoid IVF for the faithful. But it must be said; statistically there is no more effective method of conception than in-vitro fertilization. Having a doctor surgically implant an embryo in your womb may not be your idea of romantic, but monitoring your ovulation cycles, dropping $60 a month on fertility kits, and generally turning baby-making into a second job probably isn’t either. IVF has been a lucky charm for Heather Dubrow and her husband, as 3 of their 4 children have been conceived that way. She says women going through IVF should simply “...try to relax because it only takes one embryo. So don't worry if you have 12, eight, four, two [embryos], as long as one takes, you're good!"

Don’t Feel bad About Making the Choices you’re Offered

It’s either your decision or the lab guy’s

girl contemplating

For couples who do choose IVF, you may be faced with the slightly jarring prospect of choosing the gender of the embryo implanted. Some people feel uncomfortable making this choice for wholly legitimate reasons. Some don’t want to play god, some would rather leave it up to chance, and still others would simply prefer not to choose for fear of revealing a bias one way or the other. Heather Dubrow found herself in this situation when she chose IVF again for conceiving her third child. As she explained on her podcast, “Heather Dubrow’s World:” "This is what's so strange about doing fertility because you have to make all of these decisions, and you don't want to play God, but you are already playing God because you're doing the surgeries and putting eggs and sperm together where it wasn't coming together inside of you naturally, so where do you draw the line?"

Dubrow later came to fellow celebrity IVF-user Chrissy Teigen’s defense when her admission that she’d chosen to have a female embryo implanted stirred controversy on Twitter. The message is clear; if you’re going to go through all the trouble of researching and paying for fertility treatments you may as well make whatever decisions you feel comfortable with. It’s your pregnancy, if your imagined dream baby is specifically a boy or a girl and you have the option to make that a reality, you may as well go for it. Assuming you’re comfortable with going for it of course.

Don’t get intimidated by the flashing lights

Celebrities are people just like us.

heather dubrow and family
‍(Image courtesy of Bravo!)

It may seem a little disingenuous to assume that the average reader of this site can learn something from someone like Heather Dubrow. After all, she’s rich, famous, on television, a celebrity. We assume money and fame insulate people from the petty struggles of being a regular human being. This simply isn’t true. Many celebrities have struggled in one form or another with fertility, and publically lived lives mean publically available fertility stories for you to learn from, or ignore, at your leisure. We hope you choose to try and learn something from Heather Dubrow’s IVF success story.

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