After Dylan Dreyer made the decision to open up about her struggle with miscarriage and secondary infertility, she’s getting candid about how, at one point, she considered keeping it a secret.
On the April 22 episode of the Today show’s Third Hour — the same day Jenna Bush Hager announced she’s expecting her third child, a boy — the show’s weather correspondent revealed she had suffered a miscarriage over the winter while pregnant with her and husband Brian Fichera‘s second child, following a struggle with trying to conceive for six months before being referred to a specialist.
Ahead of her coverage gig at the Kentucky Derby this past Saturday, Dreyer chatted with PEOPLE about her decision to come forward with her story, admitting she initially hesitated because she was afraid of the criticism she might receive due to the fact that she and Fichera already have one child: son Calvin Bradley, whom they welcomed in December 2016.
“Going into it, I thought I was going to get a little bit of negative pushback — kind of like, ‘Well, you already have a son, so be happy for what you have,’ ” Dreyer, 37, explained to PEOPLE. “So I went into it with those expectations to get a little bit of blowback.”
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Dylan Dreyer Tells Pregnant Jenna Bush “My Sadness Does Not Take Away from Your Joy” After Revealing Secondary Infertility
“But I still wanted to tell the story because I had known of people who were going through secondary infertility but they didn’t have a name to put on it. They were just having trouble having another child,” she continued.
Dreyer added, “I was so overwhelmed by the positive feedback and the overwhelming support and people just keeping me in their prayers, saying, ‘I’ve been through this too. Just keep your prayers going. It’ll happen for you.’ “
“It was so much more positive and it was women supporting women and it was the ultimate reflection of that, and it just makes me so happy that I came out to tell this story because it really did open up a conversation.”
Before coming forward about her journey, Dreyer fielded her fair share of questions about when she and Fichera were planning to expand their family and give Calvin a sibling.
“Of course, because life is life, everybody you run into [is like], ‘When’s Calvin having a sibling? When are you gonna give Calvin a brother or sister?’ ” she recounted. “It’s one of those things — ‘Oh, we’re trying! Wink wink’ — and you don’t really go into it with anybody.”
Dreyer ended up telling a few of her Today colleagues about her pregnancy before the miscarriage, like Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin. And her work “family” couldn’t have been more supportive throughout the difficult process.
“When I was having some reservations about telling my story, I had talked about it with Sheinelle [Jones] and she kind of gave me the nudge and [said], ‘No, this is good, people need to hear this,’ ” she recalled. ” ‘People need to know that you’re going through something because maybe they’re going through something too and it might make things a little bit easier.’ ”
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Speaking of her fellow Today women’s support, Dreyer herself truly couldn’t have been happier for Bush Hager, 37, when she learned the latter would be revealing her pregnancy on air the same day.
“Savannah pulled me aside and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I just heard about the story you’re doing today on your infertility. We’re going to announce Jenna’s pregnancy. I don’t know if you knew she was pregnant, but we’re going to announce it in the next block. Are you okay with that?’ ” Dreyer told PEOPLE. “And then sure enough, Jenna texted me the same thing: ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry that I’m coming out with this the same day.’ “
“The fact that Jenna for even a second was going to delay her announcement because of my infertility announcement … it was just so sweet to me on her part that she didn’t want to share her happiness because of the sadness I was feeling,” she continued. “And I mean, that’s what a family is. Good things and bad things all happen at the same time, and when you support each other, one doesn’t outweigh the other.”
“Sadness doesn’t beat joy, and joy doesn’t beat sadness. It all just kind of happens at the same time and we’re humans — we have the ability to feel multiple emotions at the same time.”
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