For a while now on this blog, we’ve followed Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burrus as she openly struggled with fertility and fibroids. Fibroids (which disproportionately affect African American women like Burruss) are non-cancerous tumors. But they can still make it difficult for women to become pregnant or carry a baby to term. And because Kandi has stayed honest and open about her family’s journey, helping other fibroid sufferers feel heard, she is—once again—our Woman Crush Wednesday honoree.
Real Housewife Expands Her Family Via Surrogate
Kandi and her husband, Todd Tucker, share a three-year-old son, Ace, who they welcomed through IVF. While Kandi was able to carry and deliver Ace, her pregnancy was high-risk because of her fibroids. She spent much of her pregnancy facing serious medical complications.
Still, the couple wanted to use the embryos they still had from that IVF cycle to further expand their family. But given Kandi’s health struggles, they realized it would be too risky for her to try and make it through another pregnancy. That’s when they decided to explore surrogacy—when another woman carries your fertilized embryo—with the help of OBGYN Dr. Jackie Walters, who stars on Bravo TV’s Married to Medicine.
In a recent interview with The Daily Dish, Dr. Walters said, “I am so excited that Kandi wants to keep expanding her family because she is my patient, whether it’s with her or a surrogate. So, keep having babies. I love it. Have more babies!”
Struggling with an Alternative Pregnancy Journey
Even with the joy of anticipating her new baby’s arrival, Kandi’s surrogacy experience wasn’t easy. In fact, Kandi recently revealed that her surrogate was initially carrying twins, but lost one of her embryos.
“We actually was supposed to be having twins, and then one of them didn’t continue,” she said, continuing, “I was sad at first, but then I just had to be grateful that the one made it.”
And even with her gratitude, Kandi acknowledged that it was difficult for her to allow another woman to carry her child. “I just feel like this whole situation is strange,” she said. “[You] don’t get to be excited about the first kick… [or] about, ‘Oh now my baby bump is showing…’ You have this guilt [and] sadness,” she said, concluding, “So it’s a joyous, yet interesting experience.” Kandi’s baby is due this month.
Fertility and Fibroids: a Joyous Yet Interesting Experience
As Houston fibroid specialists, we think that Kandi described it perfectly. When you have fibroids, starting or expanding your family will still be joyous. And yes, it will almost always still be possible.
What you have to keep in mind is that your journey to reaching your family goals may be, well, a bit more interesting than other people’s. And that’s ok. Just follow Kandi’s example, and look for the joy wherever you can. Thanks, #WCW, Kandi: you’re an inspiration to any woman struggling with fertility and fibroids!