Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave's pregnancy announcement was a shock to her family and fans — and herself.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills mom underwent IVF in order to conceive her first two children with husband Edwin Arroyave and said she didn't think she could undergo the procedure again. Plus, she was happy being mom to daughter Slate, 6, and son Cruz, 5.
“My husband said, ‘I don’t want to see you going through IVF again — that was brutal,’” Teddi told Us Weekly. “It was so many rounds, but this time we really weren’t doing anything! I was on vacation! Just having fun with my family! It was a complete surprise. I didn’t even know I was because I didn’t have a regular cycle.”
Teddi also had a difficult birth with her son and dealt with him NICU after he was diagnosed with a heart condition.
"I had multiple miscarriages before Cruz and the IVF process was very hard for me and I am not sure I can go through it again," Teddi shared on Instagram in 2018. "I feel very blessed with the kiddos we have."
New York City-based therapist Tanya Koifman, LCSW, who has helped women deal with infertility issues in her practice, says surprise pregnancies really do exist.
Just like Teddi explained, “some people do not have routine periods (or have regular bleeding during their pregnancy), or do not see a doctor on a regular basis, or do not have sex with people who produce sperm on a regular basis” and these are all factors that can contribute to a surprise moment.
“Some people go through some or sometimes even all of their pregnancy without a lot of the typical symptoms like breast or chest growth or changes, visibly growing belly, or nausea,” she explains.
*I am using gender neutral language on purpose because it is not only women who can become pregnant; anyone with a uterus can potentially be a gestational parent,” Koifman adds.
She also explains that sometimes people experience some of these symptoms, but pass it off as something else like indigestion or just gaining weight for other reasons.
“They may not be thinking that it is due to pregnancy,” she says. “For some, the idea that the symptoms that they are experiencing might be due to pregnancy possibly comes to mind, and then it can get shrugged off, intentionally or non-intentionally, for a variety of personal reasons.”
Some people also say that their pregnancy was a surprise — when it may not have been — because they might not want judgment from others due to their life situation or experience.
“For example, if it is a very young parent, or a significantly older parent, or maybe someone who is not in a serious relationship or does not have the means to support their child, or perhaps someone who already has many children,” Koifman says. “Perhaps it is someone who has been struggling with fertility issues and had some medical interventions (IUI, IVF, etc) that they do not want others to know about, or prefer to only share it with a select few.
“When you just say ‘it was a surprise,’ the conversation usually ends there.”
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