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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 rookie of the year for 2021 and co-founder of the fitness app Tone It Up posed for the magazine while rocking a white swimsuit with her baby bump on full display. The 38-year-old, who is already a mom to a 3-year-old daughter named Isabella with husband Brian, shared her second pregnancy after experiencing fertility struggles and two miscarriages.
The star recently became an ambassador to Baby Quest, a foundation that provided grants to couples or individuals looking to build a family through advanced fertility treatments.
Scott spoke to Fox News Digital about coping with loss, how Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cheered her on along the way and how becoming a rookie forever changed her life.
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Fox News: What was your reaction after you learned that you were expecting a second baby?
Katrina Scott: I think pregnancy after loss is so different. The first experience was very blissful. We told everyone right away. But [the second time around], I didn’t live in a place yet where I was like, “We’re pregnant.” I said, “If this works out.” I think that was probably a protection mechanism… You wait a long time to share. It took me maybe 15 to 17 weeks after a lot of tests for me 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 also kept telling myself, “If this works out, that’s really great. If it doesn’t, 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 of our friends. We did that with the second and third pregnancies. But the second and third pregnancies didn’t go to full term. So we tried not to make a big deal initially. So it does rob you of that blissful joy. You’re just cautiously making your way through every week.
I’m 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 out a room in the house for the baby. When it didn’t work out, it became my office. But every time I worked there, I was reminded of how this room was supposed to be a nursery. Of course, we’re overjoyed now, but we’re also cautious.
Fox News: What kept you going throughout your journey?
Scott: Holding onto hope. Looking for signs. I think we all need something to hold onto. I was journaling and trying my best to connect with this pregnancy. A lot of times you become very numb with your pregnancy because you don’t want to get too attached. But journaling and speaking to her made me feel really connected. As scared as I was, it was also just as important to talk about it with my friends and family when I needed to.
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Fox News: How supportive has your spouse been?
Scott: He’s amazing. That’s something we don’t talk about enough. While I’m holding these babies in my body, it’s still 50% him. Actually, it’s more like 90% because these babies come out looking just like him. I had an ultrasound this morning, and of course, she looks just like her daddy.
He’s been strong for me. But I also have to make sure that I check in on him. I think a lot of times the partner may feel helpless because it’s not in their body. They feel like they need to be the strong ones because they’re not experiencing the actual miscarriage. But they’re still experiencing the trauma and the loss. But he’s been wonderful. And our friends not only check in on me but also on him, too. We’re there for each other and we communicate our feelings with one another.
Fox News: You became Sports Illustrated’s rookie of the year. How did that title change your life?
Scott: I love Sports Illustrated. They have been on this journey with me from the very beginning. They were there for me during my two miscarriages and my chemical pregnancy. And then through my IVF journey, they asked me to walk the runway while I was going through my treatments. And I did. I wanted to represent women that 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 that it goes through.
I’m really honored to be part of Sports Illustrated. They want to make sure that they represent women, whoever she is. I’m so happy that at 38, I can show that it’s not too late. You can go through a really challenging time in your life, but also celebrate your body and who you are at that very moment in time. It’s a wonderful way to say you are beautiful.
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Fox News: How important was it for you to represent women who want to be mothers but are struggling?
Scott: I think I didn’t realize growing up that family means so many different things. It’s very unique to whoever it is. Or that a family can be chosen. What I’ve learned through the IVF process is that… there are many forms of family, and family can be a lot of different things for different people. I think honoring, celebrating and recognizing that for others is extremely important.
I wanted to raise awareness of IVF and how it’s not accessible to all people. It’s very much a privilege that our family has access to fertility treatments. A lot of times, it’s out of pocket. A lot of times, it’s really hard on the body. I’ve realized how blessed we were that we could do that. I wanted to raise awareness of Baby Quest. I started working as an ambassador for their nonprofit because they provide funding for grants aimed at families that don’t have access to fertility treatments like my husband and I did. I wanted to raise awareness of the message of hope.
Fox News: Some women experience pressure in getting 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, there would be eyes on me. I knew people would expect me to bounce back right away post-baby, be in shape, and go, “Do this like I did.” But I wanted to take things at my own pace. I made a really conscious decision when I had my [firstborn] to share my experience exactly as it was… I wanted to get to know my baby at home. There were many sleepless nights. There were really, really long days. The last thing I ever wanted to do was put pressure on myself or any woman at home. We’re not going backward.
I really wanted to change the narrative. I wanted to think about moving forward and finding a new strength with my new body without looking back and trying to fit into an old pair of jeans. I actually cleared out my closet and donated 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. I waited a long time. But I wanted the time to take care of myself and my mental health. I wanted to listen to my body and understand what was right for me.
Fox News: What’s it been like having Sports Illustrated be in your corner and support you?
Scott: It’s really nice to be part of a community of uplifting women. They gave me a reason to spring out of bed in the morning. When I was at my lowest points and when I didn’t have answers, when I was going through trauma and loss, I had a group of women who were there for me in a way that I never expected. We’ve all created a special bond. It was really a sisterhood. Everyone is so kind. They’re so supportive and we cheer for each other. It’s a beautiful network of women and we all want to see each other succeed.
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Fox News: What do you hope people will get from your story?
Scott: I hope whoever is reading this doesn’t feel alone. There have been so many times where even as an entrepreneur, as a mom — I have felt alone at times. I hope that in sharing my story and the very vulnerable chapters of my life, whoever is reading this won’t feel alone. There is always hope. There is always a way. You deserve to be happy and live a life free and fulfilled.