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Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Fertility

Timothy White/E!

Did you see the season finale of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” two Sundays ago? A little background on my infatuation with the Kardashians... Right before season one started airing in 2007, I interviewed Kim Kardashian for Playboy. Kim was about to appear on the cover of the magazine when I interviewed her for Playboy.com; she happened to be in Chicago to make an appearance at a nightclub. I met her at her hotel (which I'd arranged with her momager Kris)—she was in town with younger sister Khloe—and when she answered the door, I hardly recognized her (I actually thought she was her sister Kourtney). She wasn’t wearing a stitch of makeup, and was wearing a velour Juicy sweatsuit (this was 2007). She was beautiful and lovely; down to earth and candid, as we spoke about the controversial things going on in her life at the time (the now-infamous sex tape; her Playboy spread; her crazy Kardashian-Jenner family we were about to meet on reality TV for the first time).

After the interview, she invited me to join her at the club she was hosting an appearance at that night, along which I brought my then-boyfriend (now husband)—we were already holed up in Couplesville by then and hardly going out, but when I told Jay that Kim had invited us he didn’t exactly hesitate.

So, I texted Kim when we got to the club, and she had one of her security guards bring us back to the VIP section they’d roped off for her. She hung out with us all night, and was gracious and sweet. I bumped into friends who were dying to meet her, and she couldn’t have been nicer as I introduced her to people, and happily took pictures with us. It should be noted, she didn’t drink a sip of alcohol all night, which shocked me. Her sister Khloe, on the other hand, 23 at the time, was having a blast—much more my speed back then. I remember thinking, Kim is not at all what she’s been made out to be, trashy and irresponsible. Quite the opposite actually. I remember her telling me she was the “boring one” in her family, and I didn’t really believe it.

So what does this have to do with fertility, you ask?

I’ve watched all eight seasons of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in awe, like most people, as the drama in their family keeps unfolding. But mostly I’ve watched in awe as the three leads—sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe—have evolved into mature, family-oriented women, wives and moms with extraordinary careers.

In particular I loved the season finale episode for a few reasons. 1) It documented, for the first time, Khloe Kardashian’s struggle with infertility (she’s 28), and I applaud her for going public with it. 2) It documented Kim Kardashian’s decision to freeze her eggs (she’s 31), and I applaud her for making that a public decision too. And, lastly: 3) It documented oldest sister Kourtney (32) going into labor with her second child, Penelope, and ultimately pulling her own baby out of her own vagina, without so much as an “ouch.” Most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, next to the birth of her son Mason, which happened the same way and also aired on the show a couple seasons ago. I just applaud her, period.

So here we have three sisters on three different paths to becoming moms, a pretty interesting anthropological study of fertility and motherhood.

Most surprising to me was that Khloe, who’s been married to Lamar Odom for three years, hadn’t seen a fertility specialist until Kim urged her to. I’d assumed, like every other tabloid-loving American, she’d been down that road already. She seemed genuinely surprised to learn she wasn’t ovulating, one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Why hasn't her OB encouraged her to see an RE or fertility specialist after almost three years of trying unsuccessfully? At least she’s seeing one now.

I was also very impressed by Kim’s decision to freeze her eggs—though we only see her starting to take stim shots and don’t know if she actually follows through with it, good for her for being proactive about her fertility health. Whether she actually does it or not isn’t the point: It sheds light on an issue a lot of unmarried 30-somethings grapple with. I happen to love the scene when mom Kris tries to help give her the shot in her stomach and isn’t wearing her glasses and stabs Kim’s finger instead. I’d probably kill my husband if he made that mistake, but it was priceless.

It made me think about my 31-year-old, unmarried self: If I’d been more informed seven years ago, would I have chosen to freeze my eggs? Would you? It’s hard to say, but there’s definitely a part of me that thinks, If only I’d known then what I know now… Let's discuss.

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