On this episode of Katie’s Crib, Katie Lowes and her guest Michelle Buteau (The Circle, First Wives Club, Always Be My Maybe) bring the laughs as they dive into Michelle’s harrowing IVF journey, her surrogacy story, what it’s like raising twins in quarantine, and her best parenting advice. Michelle had a five-year-long journey to parenthood, with four miscarriages, hormones and fertility drugs, "countless needles," and a lot of heartbreak before she and her Dutch husband Gijs van der Most turned to surrogacy as a solution – which was illegal in New York until June of last year, after Michelle, along with Bravo’s Andy Cohen and others, lobbied the state legislature to change the rules. “You have to have this elevator pitch for your trauma,” she says. “It was so hard not to cry every damn minute, but I was like, ‘Where were you people when I was going through this?’ Because I had no one to talk to!” But that’s why Katie loves having these conversations: “Women suffer in silence,” she says; we have to talk about these things so we don’t feel so alone.
She describes her IVF experience: Three days a week at the clinic for various tests, sonograms, medicines and more – but after her fourth miscarriage, “my body was so tired,” she says. She felt like she couldn’t “make anymore decisions,” so when her doctors suggested a surrogacy agency, she called and made an appointment. She spoke to her surrogate everyday, because she was so worried something would go wrong. And of course she wasn’t expecting to get twins out of the process, either. “It’s a very weird, wild, emotional experience going through surrogacy without knowing anyone who’s done it. It’s like you’re on a roller coaster ride in the dark,” she says. “It’s a huge miracle, the fact that anyone is born! Remember that the next time you have road rage!”
They talk about trying to get their kids socialized after a year inside, especially since Katie’s kid was alone for the quarantine – at least Michelle’s twins had each other, she jokes. “My kid became a nightmare – the sun, moon and stars set on this f**king kid!” Katie jokes. She asks if Michelle fell in love with the twins at first sight or if it took awhile to adjust; Michelle says, “It’s a weird combination of, ‘I love you, you’re mine’ and ‘I don’t know you, who are you?’ I feel like no one can do it better than me, and I don’t know what I'm doing, all at the same time.” Katie couldn’t agree more. They talk about her outgoing daughter and her more retiring son, about diaper duty with Gijs, discipline, raising the kids to be bilingual, and much more before Katie asks her to finish the sentence, “Parenting is….” Michelle takes a moment, then answers, “F**ing crazy.” Katie bursts out laughing: “That’s the Michelle Buteau quote I wanted! Put it on a T-shirt!” Hear this entire hilarious and refreshingly real conversation on this episode of Katie’s Crib.
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