Erin Andrews’ Journey to Motherhood After Cervical Cancer: ‘It Was a Beautiful Process’
The 45-year-old sideline reporter and new mom opens up about the relatable pain of fertility struggles: "You never want to think maybe you're not able to do it on your own."
Erin Andrews, NFL correspondent and former Dancing with the Stars co-host, is basking in new motherhood—which means, like most moms, she’s in the middle of a big tired wild mess of trying to figure it all out. What’s maybe a little different in Andrews’ case is that she’s also in the middle of NFL season.
Erin Andrews and her husband Jarret Stoll, who started dating in 2012 and got married in 2017, recently welcomed their first child after a long and challenging journey that started with Erin’s 2016 cervical cancer diagnosis when she was 37. Meanwhile, she underwent the process of cryopreservation, or egg freezing, which was followed by multiple IVF attempts. Finally, after several years of trying, in July 2023 Andrews and Stoll welcomed their son Mack via surrogacy.
Fertility is a rising issue in the US, where it’s estimated that one in five people who are attempting to become pregnant have difficulty doing so after a year of trying. CDC data released in January 2023 suggested that first-time parenthood on average is occurring later in the US than ever before, due in part to young adulthood trends that focus on career and financial stability, as well as waiting longer to meet a compatible partner. That’s in addition to environmental factors like exposure to chemicals, which recent research reveals are impacting hormone balance and in some cases leading to reproductive health complications.
Many individuals who have experienced pregnancy loss and infertility find healing in connecting with others who have gone through the same. Erin Andrews has teamed up with wellness supplements company Thorne to share what helped her through…including how she cared for her body when emotionally, times were tough. (She’s still taking Thorne’s prenatals!)
The Healthy @Readers Digest: First of all, congratulations on becoming a mom. How have the first few months been?
Erin Andrews: It’s been really hard and I am not great at it, and I’m trying to keep it all together, and yeah. It’s nuts. But that’s what everybody says it’s supposed to be, right?
The Healthy: The first few months is the crazy time! Have you made any shifts to your reporting schedule now that you’re a mom? How has it been with work and getting support?
Erin Andrews: Now more than ever I have to rely on other people. I don’t have much time with him because of the traveling and being here to do certain things with press and podcasts and team apparel lines and stuff like that, so when I am home I want to be present and I want to be with him and not worry about anything else. Someone said to me the other day, “You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to figure out how to handle it all.” I’m trying to be patient with myself. I made a joke to somebody the other day, I’m like, “I don’t even know if I’m wearing underwear at this point.”
The Healthy: You went through quite the journey to be a mother, and you’ve talked about it to help others. You had cervical cancer, and then freezing your eggs, IVF, then surrogacy. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
Erin Andrews: It was a lot, on top of just having cervical cancer—but then, now I have to try to store some eggs, and we have to make embryos and that’s not working out, and none of this is going as planned and it’s a lot physically, it’s a lot mentally, it’s a lot on your bank account, it’s a lot on your marriage. Your friends don’t know what to say to you. I don’t think anything really could have prepared me for what this was like. It tests you in so many ways.
The Healthy: I think a lot of people who haven’t gone through it don’t know the progression of all the steps people take. And now so many later find themselves experiencing parts of all this when it’s their turn to try to have a baby.
Erin Andrews: Absolutely.
The Healthy: How did you work and manage your life while you were dealing with something so mentally and physically exhausting?
Erin Andrews: I tried to act like I had it all together in the beginning, and then I think by the eighth or ninth time [of IVF], I’m like, This is so hard. I was doing it while I was on the road, trying to travel with needles and run to the bathroom in the third quarter of a game and not having any time. You’re like, “Sh*t, they just scored!” Stab yourself, give yourself the drug and then run out onto the field.
The Healthy: That’s crazy.
Erin Andrews: It’s so hard on people and they don’t really have the answers, and they don’t know what that next phone call is going to be. It’s awful. That’s why I decided to be really honest about it all.
The Healthy: I had two high-risk pregnancies, and my doctors always recommended Thorne as the trusted brand. I took their iron when I was anemic. Tell me a little bit about the products you like.
Erin Andrews: I remember the first fertility visit I took and they gave you a sheet of all these vitamins you should take and you’re like, “What are you talking about?” I decided to check Thorne out because my doctor, my specialists and my acupuncturists, were really pushing it. I was taking all of these supplements throughout my journey, so that was like nine years and I trusted them. I trusted them because I knew so many doctors and specialists were using them, and I just decided: I have to stay healthy on the road when I’m traveling for football, I’m around so many people, I’m on planes, I’m in the airports, and then I have to come home and be healthy for him.
The Healthy: Absolutely.
Erin Andrews: I carried over everything I was using on my fertility journey in my everyday life. Now I’m still on the prenatal. Omega is great for you in terms of so many things: Heart health, brain health, inflammation, magnesium is such a hot supplement to take right now for your immune system, for your brain. It’s got calcium in it, too. Vitamin C is massive right now for cold and flu season. I pound three of those a day. I love their collagen. I throw it in my coffee every morning. They’ve got a sleep powder, which is great to put in your water before bed. There’s one you can take for your pre-workout if you need an extra little burst. I swear by them.
The Healthy: How did it help you while you were doing IVF?
Erin Andrews: We all feel pretty crappy when we’re going through IVF. How could you not, when you’re pumping all that stuff into you? But for somebody that wasn’t able to produce eggs—and even when you are producing eggs, it’s getting the viable ones and the ones that are going to make the embryos and so forth—it wasn’t easy for my body to do it. And I mean, I am so sure and think in my mind the ones that we got was because I had a strong base with all the Thorne supplements I was taking.
The Healthy: You were diagnosed with cervical cancer at what’s considered a young age. Were there any symptoms that you had, or anything that you would tell young women?
Erin Andrews: You should be going to the doctor once a year to go get checked out, and if cervical cancer is caught early, it is treatable. I was shocked to learn when I was diagnosed with it that so many people were like, “Oh my God, I haven’t been to the doctor in years.” It was just a yearly exam, and that’s why we obviously were able to deal with it because I caught it early enough.
How Often Should You Get a Pap Smear?
The Healthy: You’re very disciplined about your fitness, nutrition, wellness—what was the surrogacy process like for you, kind of relinquishing that control to someone else to care for your baby?
Erin Andrews: It was hard because you never want to think maybe you’re not able to do it on your own. It took us being in 2020, we were all in isolation and we were away from our friends and it was Easter, and we normally go to our friend’s house who has kids, and instead we were alone and we were like, “What are we doing? Are we going to do this forever?”
We also suffered loss. In the beginning we were with a group and we lost two embryos, and that was really, really difficult. I think we went into it very blind and we thought it was just going to work because … there was all this science behind it. I didn’t really deal with that [loss] very well. I took that very, very hard.
But then loss led us to our gain. I went through [surrogacy] candidates. You go through legal, you go through doctor’s appointments with them, you go through testing. When we finally found our girl she was amazing, and once we were there in that spot with her, it was exactly how it was supposed to be. It was a beautiful process.
The Healthy: That’s wonderful. How are you caring for yourself in the throes of new motherhood?
Erin Andrews: I haven’t worked out in two days, and I’m stressed out about it. I’m very much into working out like 30 to 45 minutes a day—I have to have it for my mental health. Today’s going to be a hard day. I know I can’t do it. I’m hoping to get the new Taylor Swift ride in on Peloton later tonight. It’s supposed to be the 1989 ride on Peloton. But yeah, that’s my biggest thing is trying to stay healthy, mentally and physically.
The Healthy: Taylor has been wearing your apparel line to Chiefs games, right?
Erin Andrews: She wore it once. I would love her to wear it multiple times, but hey, beggars aren’t going to be choosers. I hope she’ll wear one of our sweaters. We were grateful that she showed up to a game in our windbreaker.
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