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Family Wellness

How Tara Lipinski Became a Mother While Managing Endometriosis

tara lipinski-ivf-surrogacy-infertility
tara lipinski-ivf-surrogacy-infertility
Tara Lipinski | Photo by Virgil Bunao

Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater and NBC Sports broadcaster Tara Lipinski has long been vocal about her experience living with endometriosis and the challenges she and her husband, director and producer Todd Kapostasy, have had with infertility. The couple were overjoyed to welcome their daughter, Georgie, into the world via surrogacy last year.

We spoke with Lipinski about her journey to parenthood and what she’s learned as a new mother while balancing her broadcasting career.

What was your initial reaction to your endometriosis diagnosis?

I was shocked that it took almost a decade to get the diagnosis. I felt relief that I finally had answers for all of these symptoms I had dealt with for so long, and hope that a surgery and treatment could improve my day-to-day pain. But most of all, I felt validated that my pain finally had an answer. 

When you were diagnosed with endometriosis, did you think you would be able to have children?

I was going through IVF at the time of my diagnosis and I had just recently had a miscarriage. My doctor believed my endometriosis played a part in my loss, which led us to pursuing a laparoscopic endometriosis surgery. There was definitely a fear that endometriosis could cause us to go on a much longer journey to motherhood with many unknowns and without any guarantees. 

Did you attempt any other fertility procedures before your diagnosis?

I had just started IVF for the purpose of insuring and securing embryos on ice for future plans, and upon my initial exam, my doctor suspected I had endometriosis. My diagnosis did not come until after three egg retrievals and a non-IVF pregnancy and miscarriage. 

How has your experience as a first-time mom been? 

It’s been surreal. And so beautiful. Parenting is hard work, but I do not take even one second for granted. It’s a privilege to be her mother.

For so long, with so many losses, I truly started to believe that maybe it wasn’t going to be in the cards for me to have my own biological child. The fact that she is here still blows my mind. I wake up with butterflies and excitement just knowing she’s here with us. 

How have you juggled motherhood and your career?

It’s a balance I’m still trying to work on. I want my daughter to grow up watching her mom pursue her dreams and enjoy the work she is passionate about so she knows her future dreams also have no limits. But of course, time is now limited and quality time with Georgie will always be the priority for me. So, I balance, balance, balance the best I can! 

What inspired you to share your story about your diagnosis?

To help women understand the symptoms they are experiencing have a source. I personally was lucky not to be completely debilitated by this disease, but so many women have their quality of life impacted greatly on a daily basis, and they are either misdiagnosed or dismissed. To me, that is unacceptable, and I wanted women to know they are not alone in their pain. 

What advice do you have for other women living with endometriosis, especially those who want to become parents?

The sooner you can address endometriosis, the better. And not only for the pain you experience, but also for improved fertility outcomes.

The great news is that there are proactive steps you can take. Surgery can have a major positive impact on your fertility journey — it was a gamechanger for me as I was able to bank viable embryos because of my successful surgery.

Sometimes endometriosis is silent and many women may struggle with getting pregnant or staying pregnant because of endometriosis, so awareness and information regarding treatment of this disease can be life-changing in so many ways. 

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