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Tara Lipinski on Infertility and Daughter Georgie's First Olympics

The Olympic figure skater and popular broadcaster shares her best advice for infertility warriors and what she's most excited to share with Georgie at this year's Olympics.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published June 21, 2024
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Image: Tara Lipinski/Instagram, Courtesy Dandi Fertility

From conquering the ice rink to bring home Olympic gold to navigating a five-year infertility journey, Tara Lipinski’s story is one of grace, resilience, and triumph. Today, she channels the same determination that made her a champion into her roles as a mother and an advocate for those facing infertility.

We recently caught up with Lipinski as she prepares to take her now 7-month-old daughter, Georgie, to her first Olympics alongside “Uncle Johnny.” Ahead of the event, we chatted with her about her new position as Head of Community for Dandi, a fertility resource. Join us as we dive into the exclusive interview, where she shares how her athletic career impacted her experience with infertility, offers her best advice for those struggling on their path to parenthood and reveals what she’s most looking forward to sharing with Georgie at the Olympics.

The Bump: How did your time as an athlete and Olympian impact your infertility journey?

Tara Lipinski: It definitely helped me at times to rely on my athlete mindset. I learned very early on as a figure skater and as an athlete that you are going to fall and you’re going to lose as many times as you win and land a jump. You have to accept that that is going to be your reality. Skating is such a perfect metaphor for that: when you fall, you have to get back up.

But I think it’s also interesting to think about being an athlete. I always relied on my body. My body always worked for me until it didn’t. It was an adjustment to realize that this was different. This isn’t, ‘You work harder, you stay on the ice an hour longer, and you reach success.’ This is a medical diagnosis, and there are going to be ups and downs. You’re not at fault for what’s happening right now and you still have to be grateful to your body.

I’m grateful, even though I had so many struggles throughout my fertility journey, I’m grateful that my body was there for me every step of the way. It handled all these shots. It went through 24 surgeries and four pregnancies. Unfortunately, they ended in miscarriage. But I’m proud of what my body was able to do. It just was in a completely different way than how my body served me as an athlete.

Image: Jamie Squire/Allsport | Getty Images

TB: You waited for over six years before finally welcoming your daughter, Georgie, via surrogate. While you didn’t share your journey at first, over the past few years, you’ve become a powerful advocate for those going through infertility. How did your journey inspire you to embark on your latest initiative as Dandi’s Head of Community?

TL: My infertility journey was incredibly isolating, especially early on. That’s why I’m so proud of my role with Dandi. This is a resource I wish I had. I wish that I could’ve connected so easily with other people in the infertility community and been able to find that support. Infertility is a very lonely process and support is key. When you look at Dandi, support is central, whether it’s the product that can help support you through fears of medication or their WhatsApp community.

What I think is so cool, and I would’ve been first in line for this, is the live nurse consults. Whether you are starting fertility or managing medication, they do live injections with you where they can help you through the process. That was something that gave me a lot of anxiety because I was always so worried that I wasn’t going to do it right. It wasn’t going to be the right spot, or I wasn’t going to mix the medicine correctly.

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For me, it just comes down to support and having not only your family and friends but resources like this to rely on. There’s so much that you’re having to do through the IVF process, including the shots and the appointments. It’s nice to have this ritual almost every night where you’re like, ‘Okay, this is for me. This is going to feel good. I’m going to have my cooling pad on. I’m going to have my heating pad on. I’m going to spend a few moments with my massage.’ There is just something about finding anything that you can give back to yourself that I think is really crucial when you’re going through IVF.

TB: What’s your best piece of advice for people going through infertility right now?

TL: Take a moment and just reflect on how strong you are and give yourself a little grace. When I was going through it, I didn’t always do that. And it’s hard sometimes not to blame yourself or wonder, ‘Did I do something wrong this retrieval for this result to happen?’ Or ‘Did I have this miscarriage because I did this or that?’ There’s so much pressure that you’re under, just take a moment to realize how strong you are and resilient you are.

I think it’s hard to give advice because every experience is so different and personal. The way people cope with emotions is so different. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong or some recipe for success in this. Sometimes just grounding yourself and knowing what you need. If you need to cry it, then fine, cry it out. If you need to be really positive, then be positive. Try to get in touch with yourself about what you need and how you think you can show up the most emotionally and mentally healthy in a process that’s really taxing.

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I think back to my journey and how often I was just Googling, searching for connection and validation. That’s why I’m passionate about my work with Dandi and the fertility community. Whether through my partnership with Dandi, helping people access fertility grants or providing support, I want to amplify the resources available. Knowing you have a nurse to help with injections or a community to connect with can alleviate so much stress.

TB: The Olympics are right around the corner, and you’ll be taking Georgie with you this year. Are there any particular moments you’re looking forward to?

TL: Georgie is quite the traveler. I’ve enjoyed taking her to my skating events that I broadcast with Johnny Weir during the year. She’s been to Canada for the World Championship. She’s been to Ohio for the National Championships this year, and now she’ll go to her very first Olympics. She won’t even become a year old. How cool is that?

I definitely love showing her my world, and I love sharing her with friends and family. And Johnny is exactly that. He is Uncle Johnny. And it will just be so fun to go on this trip together. Johnny and I have had so many Olympic adventures in our adjoining rooms, and now having Georgie along for this trip is just going to feel extra special. I’ve already gotten her a cute little beret that has her initials on it, and I’m just excited for the memories that we’ll be able to make. I’m sure Johnny and I will be taking her all around Paris to show her the sights.

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