Designer Rosie Pope. Photo courtesy Getty Images.
London-born and raised design entrepreneur Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels” is the creative force behind her expansive clothing and accessories line, Rosie Pope Maternity. Pope, herself a mom to three, has become a trusted guru for stylish mothers everywhere — including Hollywood’s elite — and in 2010, she expanded her brand with MomPrep, a premier education center for moms and moms-to-be.
In 2008, after giving birth to her first son, Pope was flush from the excitement of motherhood and wanted to expand her family. But Pope also knows about the heartache of infertility.
“I have secondary infertility,” she says.
Pope says she actually began navigating infertility long before she even realized.
“I had some troubles getting pregnant with my first, but I didn’t think it was alarming. I had two miscarriages and then got pregnant eight months later. I thought it was bad luck,” says Pope. A healthy pregnancy and the delivery of a healthy baby boy followed.
Pope says she didn’t start ovulating after her first child, and worried time wasn’t on her side. “I didn’t want to wait 12 months and keep trying like so many women are told to do, so I sought out a reproductive endocrinologist.”
That’s when she learned her uterus was split in two, something Pope’s doctor told her was a complication of the miscarriages. Surgery corrected the physical condition, but Pope’s troubles conceiving lingered.
“That’s when I was told I had secondary infertility,” she says.
Secondary infertility is defined by the Mayo Clinic as the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term following the birth of one or more biological children. The cause may or may not be known.
It doesn’t discriminate. Approximately 40 percent of infertility is due to a female factor and 40 percent is due to a male factor. The balance of infertility cases results from problems in both partners, or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
Pope says that lack of explanation can be frustrating.
“No one had an answer for why I wasn’t ovulating,” she says.
Pope says her doctor prescribed Clomid, a drug that stimulates ovulation. “I ended up going through two rounds of in-vitro fertilization which were both unsuccessful. A third round resulted in an ectopic pregnancy and I had to have emergency surgery to have that fallopian tube removed.”
Post surgery, Pope says she was left wondering what to do next. And then she got a surprise.
“I got pregnant on my own,” she says. “Then I got pregnant very quickly with baby number three.”
Pope says she’s blessed to have three children, but acknowledges it’s still so easy to go back to the emotional pain she endured because of her fertility issues.
“I remember standing in the aisle at the pharmacy buying all those pregnancy tests I hoped would be positive. I would obsess about wanting to be pregnant by a certain month. And I would see friends getting pregnant and feel horrible thinking ‘why can’t you just can’t do it, too?’.”
Pope says she also lost perspective.
“At first, I was adopting lots of different diets and I really became obsessive. It wasn’t healthy.”
A distraction helped her find balance. Pope says she “dove into work.”
“I decided to become busier, and while there were times during the month when it was hard to not think about getting pregnant, I stopped counting the days and weeks and months. I surrendered to the process so I wouldn’t become too obsessed with medicines and injections and become overwhelmed.”
Pope says she tried to carry on as normal, too.
“My husband and I tried to not talk about it and to have a normal sex life and relationship. We didn’t want to make getting pregnant (or not) the huge focus of day,” she says.
Pope says despite having terrifically supportive friends and family, the overall lack of awareness about infertility was troubling.
Doctors say many couples dealing with secondary infertility receive less social support than those who have been unable to have a child. That leads to many feeling invisible or suffering the emotional pain in silence.
“I wish I had more awareness and the feeling there wasn’t something terribly nothing wrong with me,” she says. “Women need to know they don’t have to be alone or have the weight of the world on their shoulders.”
And to help women deal with fertility issues, Pope has signed on as a spokesperson for the support campaign Increase Your Chances.
“No woman should ever feel like she’s going through any sort of infertility alone,” says Pope.
Get the information you need to improve your health and wellness on Healthline.com.
How to Be More Manly...In Bed. Don't let bedroom problems be a source of stress for you.
Boost Your Libido with These Natural Tips. One or more of these 10 natural tips could help you and your partner become happier between the sheets.
5 Common Causes of Impotence. Erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing to think about, but the more you know, the better you can prevent it from happening and dealing with it when it does.
Erectile Dysfunction Causes & Treatments Learn about breaking the barriers between you and a healthy sex life.
10 Top Health Risks for Men. The 10 biggest health risks for men include heart disease, COPD, depression, liver disease, diabetes, skin cancer, and AIDS.