Alexis Stewart's Struggle With Infertility

Alexis Stewart

Alexis Stewart
Even though her eggs are “dry and crusty” (as she called them), Martha Stewart’s daughter is determined to get pregnant – so determined, she spends $28,000 a month on fertility treatments. The single Alexis, 42, started the difficult process last year, and opened up to People magazine in July about how lucky she is to be able to afford the high-tech procedures and special treatments. On Tuesday, she talked to Oprah about the emotionally and financially draining process. Having a baby wasn’t always a priority for Alexis, and now that she’s ready to be a mom, she told Oprah it’s almost too late. “We get distracted because now we have jobs, and now we have other things to do. Medicine seems miraculous – you can do anything you want,” she says. “Movie stars have babies late. It seems all possible, but you don’t hear the stories of the people who can’t have a baby.” Alexis told People magazine that she’ll do whatever it takes to make Martha Stewart, her mom, a grandmother. “Twice, I’ve given myself shots on the street. I’m much more interested in taking my medication than in what anyone might think about me,” she said. Alexis has since had three failed egg implantations. “Last month, I had no eggs that were viable, so I’m sort of back to square one at the moment,” she told Oprah, adding that she tries not to get too emotional about it. “When I have to think about my other options, then I will do that,” she says. “But at the moment, I can only think about this option.” Alexis also says financial and emotional backing from her mother helps. “She’s very supportive. She tells me it will happen all the time,” she says. “Because she wants grandchildren?” Oprah asks. Alexis, who is an only-child, responded: “Desperately.”

Her current course of monthly fertility treatments is very time consuming. In fact, Alexis brought her arsenal of drugs and a hypodermic to share the process with Oprah. (Yikes!) The day after she gets her period Alexis heads to the doctor for blood tests and an ultrasound. “They look at my ovaries to make sure there are no cysts. They check the lining of my uterus, and then that night, I begin my medication,” she shared on the show. About ten days later – after twice daily injections – Alexis explains that the doctor will say, ” ‘You’re ready. In two days we’re going to harvest your eggs.’ ” Because of her age, doctors implant the sperm bank sperm into her eggs directly. “They don’t just wait for it to fertilize,” she explains, “Because your egg is hard and old and crusty. It doesn’t want to make a baby.” Alexis stays focused by looking at it the process as “sort of a chore. … Not about having a baby, but what I have to go through to get there.”

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Comments

  1. says

    i just hope she will get what she wants sooner or later! Every girl deserves a chance to become a mother! Go for it, Alexis, no matter how much it’s going to cost! You deserve it and you can afford it!

    I’m just wondering why many would try to make abortion legal and here is one woman who values life so much! Shame on you, ungrateful mothers of abortion! oh, sorry, you’re not mothers, you abortion freaks, you are all murderers! Alexis should be the person to be looked up as a role model for this!

  2. Charlie says

    Yes, infetility is a serious problem facing couples today. We should not wait to reproduce. Women are most fertile when they are young. In their 20s. But the problem is woman want to wait because of carreers, TV, and more bs. The fact is they are mislead by seeing woman pregnant at 47 years old. Therefore, if your a young women in your 20s reading this u should not wait to have children. Go out and make a baby. If your not ready, dont be scared. just do it. You will be glad you did when you see your friends are having problems because they waited. Good luck and god bless u.

  3. christy says

    Kim’s comments are outrageous and foolish. I sincerely hope infertility doesn’t bite her in the ass! She will truely be eating her words.

  4. lisa says

    Some people like kim’s comment on Karma just make me so sick. I could never imagine somebody use such cold words on somebody else’s pain. If it is ture, then similar Karma will be back on that exact person who laugh at Alexis’s pain. Wait to see what karma this bad comments you made will bring to you, I’m sure it will not be a good thing.

  5. Cece says

    Of course infertilty is connected with age. The majority of women are infertile by 42. Not all, but the majority. That’s not prejudice (I had my own children late and conceived my last at 40) but scientific fact. While women (and men) of any age can struggle to conceive, fertility declines sharply with age. IVF success rates in women over 40 are pitifully low.
    Women who may well have been fertile at 20 or 30 or even 38 can and often are infertile by 42.
    And yes, of course much older mothers use donor eggs. It’s not a coincidence that so many miracle over 40 births are twins.
    I wish women were better informed about how age affects fertility, and there might be less heartbreak about.

  6. Analise says

    Well we know who the idiots are on this thread. kim–original kim, Melissa, claire (who does not deserve thatname) and a couple others.

  7. jodi says

    I have been trying to conceive now for 9 years. I am now 34 years old and have been trying to conceive since my marriage at the age of 25. I have had no success.

    Infertility is definitely an emotional roller coaster and I do think that unless you have experienced yourself you really would not understand the emotions involved.

    I don’t think it is selfish to have children as God gave women the ability to have children in order to further the human race. One of the main reasons of having sexual intercourse is to procreate, thus the physical make up of men and women. Men’s bodies are made to give sperm and impregnate while women’s bodies are made to receive sperm and be fertilized. It is the way God intended.

    I look at the comments made about not messing with “mother nature” and I do wonder if God intends or intended for me to be a mother would I struggle with infertility. I often wonder if I would be a bad mother and that is why I am not able to conceive – maybe sparing me and my child from harm.

    Either way, I do understand the pains, depression, heartache and the likes associated with infertility and all those ladies out there who are struggling – no that you are not alone in your struggle and please don’t allow this experience to change who you are as a person.

  8. oriana says

    I definately need to read up on this subject! I really thought age was the main factor in being hard to conceive, especially if someone has had healthy babies and had no previous problems getting pregnant. I am very interested in this now, especially since Sandra is wanting a baby.

    Sandra, my sister tried for 12 years before she got pregnant, she had given up, and then Bam, and she couldn’t afford any kind of treatment at all. Then 13 years later, pregnant again, and it was a shock to her! So my Dear, do not give up hope!

  9. kim--original kim says

    Liza, I find no humor in someone else’s problems, of any kind, I assure you. I don’t know why Alexis is where she’s at, nor can I explain anyone else’s karma, either. All I know is, everything happens for a reason, and what goes around comes back around. For us all. And, if it’s God’s plan for Alexis to be a mommy, then she will be one.

  10. oriana says

    I don’t think Alexis should be held accountable for anything her mother may or may not have done. I do wonder, what Karma, same as Liza asked?

    I am not a big Martha Stewart fan but I know of others that have been a lot worse than her, and I am referring to being mean and nasty disposition to people.

  11. oriana says

    Sandra My Dear, I am so sorry to know you are sick! This time of the year is just the beginning of colds, flus, etc. Just try to rest as much as possible, and drink lots of liquids. I am thinking of you tonight! Big pink hugs your way!

    You are young, 27! Try not to stress if possible, you have plenty of time and God always has a plan, of course his timetable is not the same as ours and we get frustrated, fearful and yes, even angry. Your heart is in the right place and just enjoy your life and don’t give up hope, or trying!

    I feel for Alexis, with all the money in the world and she has this pressure and turmoil within her. I wonder what would happen if she put away the needle and went out and had a good ole one night of “loving”? NO, I am not saying go out to Joe’s Bar and Grill and pick up Mr. Goodbar! Sometimes I really do think pressure has a lot to do with it.

    I hope you have a rested and peaceful weekend. Don’t be sad honey, just be patient and GET WELL SOON!

  12. Liza says

    If not catty, then distasteful, and obviously from someone who finds humor in someone else’s struggle with infertility.

    And yes, I have heard of karma, but what do you suppose Alexis has done? You imply that her mother’s actions have caused this, but that doesn’t make sense.

    So do people who are stricken with other conditions deserve their fates because of karma? Just curious.

  13. Miapocca says

    Infetertily occurs at any age…there are more and more women finding out at a younger age they are infertile..for those who wish for that one thing, its can be very very depressing. I know severla people from developing countried who have children till they are 50..they couldnt afford IVF it just happened…and there are a lot more mother starting at above 30 and in their late 30’s..Its a personal choice..ITs also misleading to translate your personal choice into sicentific facts. People do gt pregnant quite easily at 40 and those who have issues at 40 probably would had those same issues if they had attempted to have kids at 25.

    Donor egg, yeah right…Cross is not old or infertile to be heading the Donor egg way…she has a few more that can be stimulated to produce twins..so for those stuck in the mentality of thinking only 20 yrs old can have kids, look around you , the average age for shild birth in most industraliszed nations are climbing way up and in the society in which I operate I know no mother who is below 30 when she had her first kid..also correlates with their level of education in that most of the older women were probably striving for other things while waiting for the right father to pop along….

    I wish Alexis luck and many blessing in her ventures

  14. kim--original kim says

    Hey Liza, my comment about karma was NOT a catty remark, I assure you. It’s simply the truth. You are familiar with karma, right?? It’s a fact of life for 100% of the human population.

  15. Zbella says

    My sister and her husband chose to adopt when they were unable to get pregnant after 2 years of ttc. They never sought medical intervention. But to each their own. I respect the desire to carry a child – it is a special experience – just as adopting is special in it’s way. She is brave to speak up, because you can see not 1 out of 10 people has the same opinion on the subject – and some have very strong opinions!

  16. Liza says

    Also I would like to remind everyone, that although this has nothing to do with Alexis, 50% of infertility is due to MALE FACTOR infertility

  17. Liza says

    To who said that age was the biggest factor? Not true, do some research. More women receive a diagnosis of infertility due to conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, and premature ovarian failure than they do to age.

    There is no way to know that any older woman trying to conceive wouldn’t have had problems had she attempted to do so earlier. Like I said, many conditions that affect fertility aren’t even found until someone attempts to conceive. Alexis Stewart is describing what sounds like nearly complete ovarian failure. More likely than not, her egg quality started to decrease at a much younger age than they should have. Pregnancy after 35 and 40 is rare, yes, but such severe ovarian failure is not common.

    And she was asked about adoption. Her response was that she is focused on this path to motherhood right now, and that maybe in the future she will consider adoption. Adoption is not an easy answer, and is just as emotional and time-consuming as going through fertility treatments. Unless you are fully invested in the emotional journey that adoption entails, you shouldn’t do it. Sounds like Alexis knows herself well enough to know she isn’t ready for adoption.

    I hope the people making comments about karma, or other catty remakrs, never have to live through the loneliness, the grief and ,so often, the sense of shame and failure that come with infertility.

    It’s also so easy to say you wouldn’t do any of it or you don’t agree when you haven’t lived through it. Not saying that there aren’t people who have lived through infertility but still are against these kinds of treatments, but most people have not.

  18. dori says

    JOJO why in the stomach? aren’t you on pergonal? It can go in the hip. That sounds painful. You poor thing.
    I wish you the best and glad to hear you will consider adopting. There are plenty of children who need parents.

  19. JOJO says

    I am going through almost the same thing as she is except I am only 25. My husband gives me the shots in my stomach. I know that if I can’t have a child of my own then my husband and I will be adopting next year and I am so excited about that!

  20. Melissa says

    I think its Karma…If I were a child, I’d be frightened to have Martha for a grandma and a snob like Alexis for a mom.

  21. dori says

    Why not adopt there are so many children who need homes Why do all this over and over again? At some point you have to realize there are other alternatives. My kids are adopted and I raised and loved them as much, if not more, than any natural children I would have had.

  22. kim--original kim says

    Karma is a funny thing…. as much as Martha wants to be a grandmother….she is a VERY nasty person and has been for a long time (a close friend used to work for her). Alexis has now found herself in the middle of some serious karma.

  23. pumpkin says

    I guess there are some things money can’t buy. Biology determines the survival of the fittest and maybe the stewart clan is simply going to end with Alexis.

  24. Elsa says

    I do agree that people need to get beyond a “biological child” being the end all. I have always said (and I love children and I love being a parent…but I stick by this) that choosing to have a child is one of the most SELFISH not SELFLESS things we do. Yes, parenting requires a lot of selfless acts (if you do it right) but HAVING a baby is selfish… face it, the kids are 100% right…THEY DONT ASK TO BE BORN. People want to have kids for many different reasons, some I consider good, some I consider bad…. but whatever the reason, theya re doing it because they WANT too.

  25. Kamineko says

    RockStarMomma, I hope our “opposite opinions” match up! I thought I was alone on this subject.

  26. Anzhelika says

    I believe the best age for a women to make a baby from 22 maybe till 33 (my opinion).
    First of all,when you are young you are full of energy and can play with your child,also it is easier to get back in shape.
    It is pity that nowadays women get pregnant so late….
    It is nice to walk with your daughter and people think maybe you are sisters! Rather than walking with your daughter and people think that you are her granny!

  27. says

    Beginning at age 27(I am now 32), I did 5 IVF’s resulting in three miscarriages and adoption was not an adoption for me in the beginning. Let me tell you all something. My hubby and I have since adopted a beautiful baby girl and then a year later her bio brother. I’m so glad that I opened up to adoption.

    This may sound weird but IF is the best thing that ever happened to me and I am so glad that I went through everything that I went through. Because if things didn’t happen exactly the way they did, I wouldn’t have my two gorgeous children. They are absolutely the most gorgeous kids on the planet(yeah, I know we all say that). They are the light of my life. These kids were meant to be mine. I definitely consider them “my own”.

  28. K says

    “Because your egg is hard and old and crusty. It doesn’t want to make a baby.”

    Um, maybe your body is trying to tell you something. You shouldn’t fool with Mother Nature. She knows best, and if you try to mess with her, not so good things are bound to happen.

  29. kim--original kim says

    I’m not so sure about Marcia not using donor eggs…those babies look nothing like her. But whatever it takes, we do what has to be done when we want to be mommies! And when it’s God’s plan, then we are mommies!

  30. mary says

    Generally speaking age is the biggest road block when it comes to fertility. Sure there are 43 people who have gotten pregnant or 27 year old women who are having trouble however AGE is the BIGGEST factor. Sure there are always exceptions – we all know that. And yes donor eggs are common with stars over 40 – but they don’t want to admit it.

  31. Sandra says

    Junie- You said everything completely on how I have been feeling. Not very many people get it, there is still a lot more inside that I don’t say so I won’t be looked at funny. Congrats on your lil bundle, it makes all the fertility treatments worth it when you have that little bundle in your arms!

  32. Miapocca says

    BRAVE GIRL..its not about age, she infertile and would have been 10yr ago anyway…goodluck to her

  33. Junie says

    Melissa, Claire — Struggling through infertility can sometimes make you detached around children and babies. Alexis may seem cold — and that may be her personality, but from my experience, years of infertility treatment can leave you depressed and detached about the experience. I spent almost seven years trying to conceive. When I first started ttc, I’d be excited and hopeful whenever I saw a baby. By the time I finally conceived my son, born January 2007, I could barely stand to be around children or talk about what I was going through. It was HARD. Going the through the two-week-waiting cycle makes you crazy and sometimes the only way to make it through is to dissociate from it emotionally.

  34. in my opinion says

    I’ve never wanted children of my own – not even as a child growing up I did not imagine myself wanting children. I have never really felt that maternal instinct with children. I do however, enjoy spending time and playing with children but not babies – babies for me are too high maintenance and boring.
    I know about many women who want to eventually have children but have put it off indefinitely because the timing is all wrong – i.e. they haven’t met Mr. Right, they’re trying to save money for the house or for the future, they’re focused on their careers, etc…That is why I think it is great that women today are able to experiment with new ways of fertility. I firmly support IVF and other forms of artificial insemination. I also am an avid supporter of adoption. If I decide later that I want a child in my life, I will skip the infancy stage and go right for a toddler via adoption. I’m just tickled thinking about it!!! I don’t need to have a biological child in order to feel fulfilled or complete. Most woman want their own child because they want a part of themselves to live on. It’s quite a vain / egotistical mentality….in my opinion.

  35. Sandra says

    Liza…Thank You!

    I haven’t been sure what to say, partly because I am sick and I am not thinking clearly and partly because I am clogged with emotions of trying for baby #2 for 5 years 4 months and 2 weeks. I watched the show today crying, because I knew what those people on Oprah are feeling. I hope that they get the healthy pregnancy they deserve. I could never imagine waiting age wise as long as others do but they did what they thought was best for them. I am 27 and still have the problems they do. To me it doesn’t matter if your age is perfect and if you are 100% healthy, infertility hits and there is not much you can do to overcome it. At least for my husband and me we choose not to do IVF because of the cost and we certainly can’t adopt either because of the cost. I can raise a baby, but I cannot conceive one, sad.

    I wish more celebrities that are waiting until later in age wouldn’t sugar coat it. I wish they would just come out with their infertility issues and what they had to deal with to get there, that makes them look more real to me than anything.

    Anyways I am babbling Oriana how are you doing?? I have been sick since Saturday so my typing might be messed up! I have been in and out of the hospital with tonsillitis. I have had fevers up to 102.4 and tonsils so swollen I could feel them touching and cutting off my airway. Now I am doped up on steroids and feeling a little bit better! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! Hope your doing well!!

  36. Mellynn says

    I sat through my first infertility consult the other day. It was surreal, just being there after easily getting pregnant and carrying my two sons with no problems.

    I wish Alexis all the luck and support in the world. Until you have been there, you have no idea what it is like to want a child and not be able to have one.

  37. Liza says

    Marcia Cross didn’t use donor eggs. She has specifically said that they didn’t have to although they were prepared to. Halle Berry got pregnant the “old fashioned” way.

    Anyway, yes, many women are waiting longer to have children and finding that it isn’t so easy, but there is nothing to say that it is because of their age or only because of their age. Infertility in younger women is quite common and often problems are not found until a woman is trying to conceive.

    We also age at different rates and are born with different quantities of eggs and quality as well. I know a 43 year old who got pregnant her first month trying, and a 27 who struggled to get pregnant and then lost the pregnancy to miscarriage.

    To some of the posters; until you’ve gone through the emotional trials and failures of treatment for infertility, it would be best to keep your shallow and catty comments to yourself.

  38. 2teens3beans says

    Ever since I was a little girl playing with dolls I knew I wanted a baby of my own someday… I thank God that I had no problems in that dept. even though I started late (31).
    I can feel Alexis’ desperation in the above article, I didn’t see the show because I can’t stand Oprah (or Dr. Phil), but I sure do wish her success with the IVF. If not, I hope she will consider looking into the other options out there… so many needy kids.

  39. s says

    A women has a certain amount of eggs. When you have a limited amount left the quality decreases greatly. For some women it happens at 30 some at 35 and some up to 40. Yes that is true that Marcia Cross and many other stars have had kids in their 40’s but that is because donor eggs are used. Unfortunately there is only a 1-3% chance of pregnancy with Invitro after 40. So some people wonder how all those stars are getting pregnant at that age. Well many are going to donor eggs. Insurance doesn’t cover that. Its a combination of money and personal choice for others not going that route.

  40. Melissa says

    I agree with Claire..something about this woman just rubs me the wrong way. She didn’t seem sincere in wanting children, it seems like more of a fixation than anything else. She just seemed so cold, maybe thats why her eggs crusted up..lol

  41. Zbella says

    OK, claire, that was shallow.

    I agree as a society we lead women to believe they have 45 years to think about having babies. Nope. The best time (biologically speaking) is in your 20’s. Things drop off around 28 and then take a nose-dive at 35 (on average – all women are different).

    I think it’s admirable that she is talking and sharing her struggle. I have known MANY women who did IV (including my sister in law) but no-one ever shared the details. I did read about them in Brook Shield’s book too.

    She sounds like a strong and determined person and I wish her the best. I respect that she is focused on this method for now – but I also hope she will open her heart to motherhood in any form!

  42. claire says

    she is 42 i believe. i was watching yesterday and something about her just rubbed me the wrong way. i think it was her ears.

  43. Elsa says

    You know, it’s sobering to see. Women have to understand (men too, but we have the ‘biological timeclock’) that there is only so long you have… you can’t just assume that some grandmother gave birth at 60, so it will happen for me – that’s the exception not the rule.

    I’m glad she realizes how lucky she is to have the money and the TIME to do these things. Most people have neither.

    I know adoption is not for everyone (I dno’t think parenting is for everyone, and I wish more of those who shouldn’t have kids wouldn’t…) but it is a wonderful option. The best part (imo) of being a parent is the love, the nurturing, watching a baby grow into a human… that does not need to be biological.

  44. Lauren says

    Wow, that sounds disappointing. I wonder why NOW she suddenly has to have a child. But if Marcia Cross can have healthy twins at 45 so can Alexis.

  45. Tia :) says

    I do hope she gets pregnant. There is nothing more special or wonderful than carrying your child. If not, I hope she adopts! My husband and I always said if we couldnt have another child we would adpot for sure! Although, im sure if we do have another child we are still going to look into adopting!

    Good Luck Alexis!

  46. letibe says

    I wish her luck. When I read stories like this it makes me greatful of my 29 month old & my 16 month old.

  47. essie says

    It’s a shame some women wait so long to try for babies and then are disappointed. At least Alexis has the resources to continue trying. Maybe she’ll get lucky like JLo and Halle. I hope so.

    For some people adoption is not an option. Not everybody wants to raise a child that isn’t biological to them. For those who do, great, but not everybody wants to do that.

  48. Andrea says

    I wonder how old she is. Well, Alexis, you can adopt also… but don’t know how crazy Mom Martha will be about that.

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