Giuliana Rancic has become something of a folk hero to women with infertility. Here's a successful celebrity brave enough to say "hey, life isn't perfect." That honesty has been a compassionate reminder from Hollywood that we regular women are not alone even while the magazine covers practically scream the whole of Hollywood is making babies!
So it's bittersweet to hear the E! News host is calling it quits on infertility. She doesn't have a baby. But she and husband Bill Rancic are done with IVF. She's done with ultrasounds. She's done with the tests. She's just plain done.
In a touching interview on That's Fit with my one-time colleague Kristen Green-Seymour, the host admitted she had to give up lest she give up on herself:
We're taking a break. It's a good time to get back to who I am ... for the first time in a couple years, I felt like I was in control of my body again. I felt like for so long, my body had been turned over to medical labs and doctors and ultrasound machines. It was hideous. I felt like a lab rat.
It took me six months to get pregnant, but that was nothing compared to what Rancic or other women with infertility issues struggle with. I simply can't compare, nor would I try. But I can attest to feeling helpless even in those six months. Each time I saw one line on that pee stick, my heart sank.
Now multiply that pee stick by dozens, add in doctors between your legs every month and so on, and it's no wonder infertility has been linked to depression and stress. It's hard to remember where the path to pregnancy stops and you begin.
I'm saddened to hear Rancic has stopped her treatments before baby only because she so clearly wanted to be a mother. She's always come across in interviews as a genuinely nice person, and nice people deserve a bit of happiness. But in opening up once again about her decision to stop, talking so frankly about where she's drawn the line in the sand, Rancic has done an even greater service to women.
She's shown that it's not just OK to fight for your right to be a mom if you want it. She's also shown it's OK to decide you come first, that you're still important, that you still have worth whether you're a mother or not. Does her speaking out make you feel less alone?
Image via David_Shankbone/Flickr