Bittersweet

Former ESPN anchor reveals she suffered a miscarriage on-set during a live broadcast

Former ESPN anchor Sara Walsh on the set of 'SportsCenter.' (Twitter)

Earlier this month, Sara Walsh was among the dozens of ESPN on-air personalities laid off as the failing sports network slashed its costs. Walsh revealed the news in a post on Twitter. The job loss was particularly painful for her given that she had been on maternity leave and was scheduled to return to work the next day. It also meant that, for the first time in years, Walsh wouldn’t be on the air on Mother’s Day. For Walsh, broadcasting on Mother’s Day was always a bittersweet experience due to her personal difficulties with trying to have a baby, a topic she explored in an emotional Instagram post on Sunday — Mother’s Day.

In the post, Walsh opened up about suffering a miscarriage live on the air while she was anchoring a remote episode of SportsCenter in Alabama. Walsh said she was three months pregnant at the time, and struggled on the air to conceal the pain she was suffering, as her husband, baseball pitcher Matt Buschmann, sat at home watching helplessly and texting the locations of nearby hospitals to her during commercial breaks. “The juxtaposition of college kids going nuts behind our set, while I was losing a baby on it, was surreal,” she wrote. “I was scared, nobody knew I was pregnant, so I did the show while having a miscarriage.”

Walsh goes on in the post to discuss the difficulties she had getting pregnant following the miscarriage — two more “failed pregnancies” —  and the silence she lived in, afraid of letting co-workers know about the ordeal she was going through. Even when, after an in-vitro fertilization, she successfully got pregnant again, she avoided informing co-workers fearing another miscarriage might occur. Happily, in January, Walsh gave birth to twins — a boy and a girl. The photo the post accompanied showed Walsh lying on a lounge chair with each of them at her side, wearing onesies given to them by her mother that read “good egg.”

“Finding a good egg didn’t come easy for me,” Walsh wrote. “And I suspect there are many people out there facing the same struggle.”

My mother bought them these onesies because she thought they were funny. For us, they're especially poignant. Finding a good egg didn't come easy for me, and I suspect there are many people out there facing the same struggle. The road down a dark path began while hosting Sportscenter on the road from Alabama. I arrived in Tuscaloosa almost three months pregnant. I wouldn't return the same way. The juxtaposition of college kids going nuts behind our set, while I was losing a baby on it, was surreal. I was scared, nobody knew I was pregnant, so I did the show while having a miscarriage. On television. My husband had to watch this unfold from more than a thousand miles away, texting me hospital options during commercial breaks. It would get worse. Two more failed pregnancies. More than once, I'd have surgery one day and be on SportsCenter the next so as not to draw attention to my situation. We then went down the IVF road of endless shots and procedures. After several rounds, we could only salvage two eggs. I refused to even use them for a long time, because I couldn't bear the idea of all hope being gone. I blew off pregnancy tests, scared to know if it worked. It had. Times two. It was exciting news, but we knew better than to celebrate. So I spent a third straight football season pregnant, strategically picking out clothes and standing at certain angles, using scripts to hide my stomach. There would be no baby announcement, no shower, we didn't buy a single thing in preparation for the babies, because I wasn't sure they'd show up. We told very few people we were pregnant, and almost no one there were two. For those that thought I was weirdly quiet about my pregnancy, now you know why. For as long as I can remember I hosted Sportscenter on Mother's Day, and the last couple years doing that have been personally brutal. An hours-long reminder of everything that had gone wrong. I wasn't on tv today, and I'm not sure when I will be again, but instead I got to hang with these two good eggs. My ONLY good eggs. And I know how lucky I really am. #twins #ivf #2goodeggs

A post shared by Sara Walsh (@sarawalsh10) on

 

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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