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Sara Walsh, a former ESPN anchor, recently shared a photo on Instagram of herself enjoying Mother's Day with her twin babies.

It's all sunshine, smiles, and cute onesies as the trio snuggles together in a hammock. In the photo's caption, however, Walsh reveals that her journey to motherhood was anything but a walk in the park.

In her emotional message, Walsh explains that she suffered a miscarriage years ago while hosting a live, televised "SportsCenter" segment.

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


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"I arrived in Tuscaloosa almost three months pregnant," she wrote. "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."

This was only the beginning of Walsh's journey to motherhood.

From there, she and her husband endured multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF). "After several rounds, we could only salvage two eggs," she explained. "I refused to even use them for a long time, because I couldn't bear the idea of all hope being gone."

Despite the odds, it worked. Twice. Walsh was pregnant with twins. But she struggled to shake the pain from the pregnancy-that-wasn't.

"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. "

In sharing her story, Walsh contributed to a much-needed dialogue about the unseen pain many women and families carry with them.

Miscarriage and infertility can be great sources of shame and isolation, even though as many as 1 in 5 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.

The responses to Walsh's post say as much, with thousands of Instagram users from around the world sending support and sharing their own heartbreaking stories of infertility and miscarriages.

While not every person who goes through something like this should have to talk about it — different people cope in different ways, after all — the simple and incredibly important message of Walsh's post is this: You are not alone.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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