On Monday’s episode of Today, Jenna Bush Hager shared news of her pregnancy before welcoming the show’s meteorologist, Dylan Dreyer, to the stage. In an honest, heartfelt conversation, Dreyer opened up about her recent miscarriage and ongoing struggles with secondary infertility.
Bush Hager announced earlier that morning that she was pregnant with her third child, and first son. The mother of two said she “couldn’t hold [the news] one minute longer,” but revealed she’d shared the news with her daughters the day before: apparently, “the Easter bunny brought them an egg with the big reveal.”
Sitting down to speak with Dreyer next, Bush Hager says her “heart sank for her,” not having known that Dreyer was coming on for this particular discussion. But Dreyer balked at the suggestion that Bush Hager’s announcement was ill-timed, and told the host as much on air: “Even if you knew I was doing this story today, I would never ever want to have that be the reason why you didn’t announce this today,” she told Bush Hager earnestly. “This is so amazing! My sadness does not take away from your joy.”
"My sadness doesn't take away from anyone else's happiness and my sadness isn't minimized because someone has a sadder situation." pic.twitter.com/o58pqyCvlR
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 22, 2019
Dreyer, mother to 2-year-old Calvin Bradley, says her first pregnancy came easily, after only a few attempts at conceiving. When trying for a second child, however, Dreyer struggled with irregular menstrual cycles and a low egg count, as well as severe uterine scarring from her emergency cesarean section with Calvin. After surgery to remove the scar tissue, Dreyer was finally able to get pregnant again — but suffered a miscarriage five weeks later.
Part of the reason Dreyer is telling her story now is to honor National Infertility Awareness Week, an issue about which the weather correspondent clearly has strong feelings. “[I] didn’t know secondary infertility was a thing,” Dreyer admits, before adding that there needs to be more awareness around the issue. “There’s this guilt that you have for wanting a second child when I have friends of my own who couldn’t have a single child,” she shares, “So here I am being ‘selfish’ that I want to have a second child, and it’s like, no, that is not the case.”
Dreyer wants other women to know they’re not alone — an important point in the world of pregnancy and conception, where ideas of what “should” happen are plentiful, but navigating the unexpected can be isolating, if not terrifying. She reveals that “a part of [her] feels a little mad at [her] body for not being able to do this naturally,” but she has faith that “God has a plan,” and she “[prays] every night, ‘Just let me stay out of your way.'”
For now, Dreyer and husband Brian Fichera are moving ahead with the IVF process. Dreyer stresses the importance of finding the right doctor, and making sure your needs are heard, while admitting that the couple doesn’t “really know what to expect:” they want another baby, and they’re figuring it out as they go. “I’m not even that sad right now,” she offers to Today hosts. “I’m just in a crappy situation, to be honest with you, and I’m hoping it all works out.”
As heartbreaking as the story is, it’s refreshing to hear such a candid discussion about her struggle with fertility. So many women suffer these same issues in silence, echoing Dreyer’s guilt, internalized blame and confusion navigating the world of IVF. The more women are candid about these struggles — and how common they are — the easier it is to create a culture that empowers women to seek out the support they need.