When Katrina Scott and her husband, Brian, decided to have another child after welcoming their daughter, Isabelle, now 2, they never expected to be where they are today.
The co-founder of the fitness website Tone It Up, who was diagnosed with secondary infertility, has suffered two miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy.
“It gave me perspective of what I have,” Scott told TODAY Health. “It made me realize how much a miracle our daughter is. Ignorance is bliss. As soon as you have any type of fertility issues, it robs you of any joy. It never feels fun anymore.”
On Christmas Day 2019, Scott found out she was pregnant with her second child. With no previous infertility issues or experience, the family was excited to welcome baby two and had announcement photos taken. Scott shared she miscarried at home at three months.
“Now we just don’t even want to be reminded of that,” she said. “It’s hard to do something special again in the future, because you just don’t know. That joy is kind of taken away, because you’re always wondering what if.”
In May 2020, Scott began opening up about her journey on social media, hoping to help other women who might be suffering or grieving.
“I hope by sharing my story... it helps someone out there,” she wrote alongside a video detailing their first loss. “It goes without saying too...you never know what someone is going through. “
Scott found out she was pregnant again in the summer of 2020, but miscarried at almost eleven weeks.
“With our first loss, I walked around for a week waiting to miscarry at home,” Scott explained, adding that the trauma forced her into a spiral of illogical thoughts. “I did not schedule a D&C thinking maybe I could bring it back to life. I still avoided sushi, wine and all the things you’re not supposed to have. I was still acting like I was pregnant. Every time I woke up, I had to relive the loss. It was waking up from a really bad dream ... I didn’t want to go through that week again.”
Knowing what she had experienced the first time, Scott wanted answers. She underwent a dilation and curettage (D&C), a procedure that removes tissue from inside the uterus, so that the tissue could be tested.
“As women we always want to take responsibility. Things that crossed my mind were, 'It was because I was stressed — I need to relax. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself," Scott said. "But that false narrative comes from 'maybe you just need to relax and take it easy.' People tend to think, because we are so stressed about getting pregnant that ultimately the miscarriage could be our doing, but really it's out of our control."
In the meantime, Scott was chosen as a 2021 Sports Illustrated rookie for the annual Swimsuit Issue, which she said helped her cope.
“You don’t feel sexy anymore,” she said of battling infertility. “I’m so happy that that happened for me at 37, because it was the only time in my life where I didn’t even feel like a whole woman and they made me feel so accepted and beautiful.”
Scott told TODAY that representation matters now more than ever and she is hopeful that her role with S.I. can represent women who might feel like they’ve lost a little bit of themselves in their struggle to conceive.
After a chemical pregnancy in late 2020, Scott made the decision to seek help from a fertility clinic.
"It took me over a year to say 'I might need help with this,'" she said. "I think a lot of times it goes back to being nurturing as women and we want to take responsibility 100%. It’s a lot to ask for help, whether it's fertility, helps with kids or work. Walking into that fertility clinic was one of the hardest days of the entire journey and I looked around and I saw a lot of women going through the same thing as me and I realized we are not alone."
Following that appointment, Scott began her journey with in vitro fertilization, which included daily shots leading to an egg retrieval procedure in late April 2021, something she said actually gave her reassurance.
"Going in for the egg retrieval, I was really nervous and anxious, but (I had) a sense of relief that I was finally getting the help that I needed," she said. "The doctors and nurses are incredible and I just felt like, OK, we’re going to do this together now."
As for next steps, Scott and her husband are waiting to hear from the fertility clinic on the health of the embryos.
"We are going to do genetic testing, which will help decide the best embryo and they will class them by how healthy and viable they are," she told TODAY.
The fitness professional said she feels a sense of responsibility as a community leader with Tone It Up and for all the women who follow her on her podcast, "Live Beautifully," to share her life in a way that feels genuine.
"Living beautifully is the goal, but I don’t want to paint this rosy picture and perfectly curated life, because I would be doing an injustice," Scott said. "It wouldn’t be fair to say that life is perfect and we don’t have struggles. That's not the way it is for anybody. Women feel so much shame and we are told to be a certain way, look a certain way...I just want everyone to know, you are perfect as you are, even with some of the mess. We can do the messy stuff and hard things together."