You may remember in September 2020 when News 6 anchor Kirstin O’Connor made her pregnancy announcement during the morning news.
While she smiled on camera, excited about the news, many of the staff at News 6 knew what was going on behind the scenes.
Kirstin had tried having kids for some time and dealt with infertility problems. She said a memorable moment she had with an interview on the subject recently inspired her to share her story publicly for the first time. She wants other hopeful parents to know they are not alone.
“This interview I did for Nemours Day of Giving was about worst-case scenario. It was about this couple fighting to have kids for 9 years and they were so resilient and so open and strong, and they were able to do an embryo adoption. I knew about it because I had looked into it at one point and they were shocked I knew what that even was and that’s when we first started connecting,” Kirstin said.
A special connection through very different experiences of infertility.
“That hit me when you said [doctors] called you mom and dad for the first time ... I will cry with you because I didn’t hear that until the day my daughter was born. And I really believed I would never hear that,” Kirstin shared with the couple during the interview.
It was that interview that inspired Kirstin to publicly share her experiences trying to conceive.
“It was this shared understanding even though we had such different experiences that we both wanted so desperately to be parents and we would’ve done anything,” Kirstin said.
Kirstin’s daughter, Gwyneth, is now a 1-year-old walking on her two little feet, something Kirstin and her husband Connor thought they’d never experience: parenthood.
“I have done, at News 6, so many stories on infertility before I even started to have children. Not that I ever expected it. Nobody ever expects it to happen to them. But I understood that sometimes this happens,” Kirstin said. “When we were ready, it just kept failing. What happened was we got pregnant really fast, we just kept losing babies and I say it like that because I was carrying them and was bonded at that point, you heard heartbeats.”
Kirstin said she experienced her first miscarriage in 2019, then lost a second pregnancy with twins.
“That was the hardest experience of my life. That’s when it set in that we had a problem,” Kirstin said. “We were diagnosed with a missed miscarriage which meant that my body was holding on to the baby, but the baby’s heartbeat had stopped. It was very traumatic to go through the steps that came next.”
Kirstin and her husband sought fertility care with a specialist and after several attempts, finally birthed their daughter, Gwyneth.
“That was the best feeling ever and it didn’t happen until the minute she was born. I didn’t feel safe and happy my entire pregnancy. It was a long nine months but the minute she was born at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, 21 inches, she was a big healthy happy girl and you wait for that moment and they cry, it was the best,” Kirstin said.
Kirstin’s message to those who dream of being parents is to have hope and accept support.
“Remembering that there are other people out there who want to help you and talk to you. I try as much as I can to be that person for other people because I had so many women there for me even though we all had different experiences,” Kirstin said. “The one thing that helped me then and still helps me now is remembering that fear isn’t permanent and hope is a much better feeling.”