Gretchen Rossi Recalls Her 'Devastating' Experience of Losing 14 Embryos During First IVF Round
The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 39, and Smiley, 44, sat down for a chat on Monday’s episode of SirusXM’s Jeff Lewis Live, where Rossi revealed the couple started the in vitro fertilization process four years ago.
“Sadly, we lost 14 embryos six hours before they were going to implant in me, so that was beyond devastating,” she said of their first IVF round (they have since had three rounds total). “Took about a year and a half for me to get through that and the depression.”
“It wasn’t even the term, ‘You lost them.’ It was that everything arrested. So basically, everything just died,” Smiley explained. “It wasn’t like [they] thawed — it was a fresh transfer. She had just recently had the eggs withdrawn, so it was just basically growing at that point.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
“I don’t really know exactly what happened but it was very devastating,” Rossi admitted of her lost embryos. “I think I was in bed for days crying. It was just really, really hard.”
Since Smiley, who has two children from a previous marriage, had previously undergone a vasectomy, Rossi shared that her beau went “through two major surgeries” for the couple to try to have children — the first of which involved taking tissue from his testicle.
“He went through that first major surgery, and we [had] six vials of his sperm. And then we went back and we did a [vasectomy] reversal for us, to see if we can just try to get pregnant naturally,” she said. “And he did that. And we tried for 18 months and that didn’t work, sadly.”
RELATED VIDEO: RHOC Alum Gretchen Rossi Details “Struggles” with IVF: We’re Currently “Awaiting the Outcome”
The latest leg of their IVF journey began this past January. And while the couple still have five vials of sperm remaining and no plans of giving up, they are honest about the difficulties they have endured.
“I am bloated, I am tired, I am 10 lbs. overweight,” Rossi said. “You get a lot of cellulite. I have cellulite — on the back of my arms, on my stomach, on the back of my legs — that I’ve never had before. But you’re pumping yourself with a ton of hormones. And it’s just been a very arduous process.”
Jeff Lewis Live airs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (at 11 a.m. ET) on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy (Ch. 102).
- With DAVE QUINN