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Katrina Scott made history in the days leading up to Mother’s Day as the first visibly pregnant woman to appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
The 2021 Rookie of the Year and co-founder of fitness app Tone It Up posed for the magazine while wearing a white swimsuit with her baby bump on full display. The 38-year-old, who is already mum to a 3-year-old daughter named Isabella with husband Brian, has shared her second pregnancy after experiencing fertility issues and two miscarriages.
The star recently became an ambassador for Baby Quest, a foundation that gave grants to couples or people looking to start a family through advanced fertility treatments.
Scott spoke to Fox News Digital about dealing with the loss, how Sports Illustrated Swimsuit encouraged her along the way, and how becoming a rookie changed her life forever.
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FoxNews: What was your reaction after learning that you were expecting a second baby?
Katrina Scott: I think pregnancy after loss is so different. The first experience was very happy. We told everyone right away. But [the second time around], I was not yet living in a place where I said to myself “We are pregnant”. I said, “If it works.” I think it was probably a protective mechanism… You wait a long time to share. It took me maybe 15-17 weeks after many tests to start documenting our pregnancy and taking pictures. On my phone I have so many reminders of past pregnancies that we lost. And I think I was avoiding all of that.
I was excited, but I kept saying to myself, “If this works, that’s really great. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try again. You don’t want to get too attached. You don’t want to get too excited. During our first pregnancy, we had a gender reveal party, we told our parents and all our friends. We did this with the second and third pregnancies. But the second and third pregnancies did not go to term. So we tried not to make a big deal initially. So it robs you of that blissful joy. You move forward cautiously each week.
I am 35 weeks now. I know she’s coming, and I finally bought a crib. It took me a while to commit. During the second and third pregnancies, we were so excited. We immediately cleared a room of the house for the baby. When that didn’t work, it became my office. But every time I worked there, I was reminded that this room was supposed to be a nativity scene. Sure, we’re overjoyed now, but we’re also cautious.
FoxNews: What kept you going throughout your career?
Scott: Maintain hope. Looking for signs. I think we all need something to hold on to. I kept a journal and did my best to connect with this pregnancy. Often you become very numb to your pregnancy because you don’t want to get too attached. But keeping a journal and talking to her made me feel really connected. As scared as I was, it was just as important to talk about it with my friends and family when I needed to.
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FoxNews: How supportive was your spouse?
Scott: He is incredible. It’s something we don’t talk about enough. While I’m holding these babies in my body, it’s still 50% of him. In fact, it’s more like 90% because these babies come out looking like him. I had an ultrasound this morning, and sure enough, she looks just like her dad.
He was strong for me. But I also have to make sure I watch him. I think a lot of times the partner can feel helpless because it’s not in their body. They feel like they have to be the strongest because they don’t suffer the miscarriage. But they are still going through the trauma and the loss. But he was wonderful. And our friends are not only watching me, but also him. We are there for each other and we communicate our feelings to each other.
FoxNews: You became Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year. How has this title changed your life?
Scott: I love Sports Illustrated. They have been on this journey with me from the very beginning. They have been there for me through my two miscarriages and my chemical pregnancy. And then, throughout my IVF journey, they asked me to walk the runway while I went through my treatments. And I did. I wanted to portray women who maybe didn’t feel ready to be in a bikini. I wanted them to feel encouraged to celebrate their body as it is in all the different journeys it goes through.
I’m truly honored to be a part of Sports Illustrated. They want to make sure they represent women, whoever they are. I’m so happy that at 38 I can show that it’s not too late. You can be going through a really tough time in your life, but also celebrating your body and who you are at this very moment. It’s a wonderful way to say you’re beautiful.
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FoxNews: How important was it for you to represent women who want to be mothers but are struggling?
Scott: I guess I didn’t realize growing up that family meant so many different things. It’s very unique to anyone. Or that a family can be chosen. What I have learned through the IVF process is that…there are many forms of family, and family can be very different for different people. I think honoring and celebrating and acknowledging that for others is extremely important.
I wanted to raise awareness about IVF and the fact that it is not accessible to everyone. It is truly a privilege that our family has access to fertility treatments. Often it’s out of pocket. Often it is very hard on the body. I realized how blessed we were to be able to do this. I wanted to publicize Baby Quest. I started working as an ambassador for their nonprofit because they fund grants for families who don’t have access to fertility treatments like my husband and I. I wanted to raise awareness of the message of hope.
FoxNews: Some women feel pressure to get back into shape after giving birth. Did you have a similar experience the first time around?
Scott: I knew that as the co-founder of a fitness brand, I would have eyes on me. I knew people would expect me to bounce back right after birth, be fit and be like, “Do what I did.” But I wanted to do things at my own pace. I made a very conscious decision when I got my [firstborn] share my experience as it was… I wanted to get to know my baby at home. There have been many sleepless nights. There were very, very long days. The last thing I wanted to do was put pressure on myself or any woman at home. We are not backing down.
I really wanted to change the narrative. I wanted to think about moving forward and finding new strength with my new body without looking back and trying to fit into an old pair of jeans. In fact, I emptied my closet and gave away all my jeans. I didn’t want that pressure on myself and I certainly didn’t want to put that pressure on anyone else. So I was open about my journey. The first time I did cardio was six months ago. I waited a long time. But I wanted time to take care of myself and my mental health. I wanted to listen to my body and understand what was good for me.
FoxNews: How does it feel to have Sports Illustrated in your corner and supporting you?
Scott: It’s really nice to be part of a community of uplifting women. They gave me a reason to jump out of bed in the morning. When I was at my lowest and when I had no answers, when I was going through trauma and loss, I had a group of women who were there for me in ways I never expected. . We have all created a special bond. It was truly a brotherhood. Everyone is so nice. They are so supportive and we encourage each other. It’s a beautiful network of women and we all want to see each other succeed.
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FoxNews: What do you hope people will take away from your story?
Scott: I hope whoever reads this doesn’t feel alone. There were so many times where even as an entrepreneur, as a mother, I sometimes felt alone. I hope that by sharing my story and the very vulnerable chapters of my life, whoever reads this will not feel alone. There is always hope. There is always a way. You deserve to be happy and to live a free and fulfilled life.
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