Experiencing fertility issues can feel like a lonely place, which is why it’s always admirable when public figures open up about their struggles to have children.
Olympian Laura Kenny has recently opened up about going through a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, saying she nearly turned her back on her cycling career because of the pressure of it all.
Speaking The Times, Laura revealed the agony she’s been through since winning her fifth Olympic gold at Toyko last year. In November, she suffered a miscarriage. Then in January, Laura had an ectopic pregnancy – where a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb – leading to surgery to remove one of her fallopian tubes.
‘I felt like nothing was going our way at all,’ she said, citing her husband, cyclist Jason Kenny, as the one who pulled her through. ‘January was a tipping point, I was at breaking point. Without Jason, I think I’d have just canned everything, just gone, “You know what, I can’t even cope with doing any of this [cycling]”.
‘But I grabbed for my safety blanket and decided I needed to ride my bike again. For me, that’s what I’ve done for the past 13 years. It just started to come back again and once I started, I got back into the rhythm of things.’
Speaking previously to OK!, Laura said the experience had made her fearful of another pregnancy. ‘I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’m not scared to go through it again – because I am’ she said. ‘I don’t want to put myself through it and I don’t want Jase to go through anything like that again.
Speaking of her surgery, she said: ‘I’ve never seen him so concerned about his wife. I’ve never seen him that stressed and it scares me.’
The couple have a son, Albie, who turns five next month. According to The Times, he will be sharing a bed with his mother in the London apartment they’ll stay in during the Commonwealth Games next month. Although the Games are centred in Birmingham, some events will be taking place elsewhere, including the London velodrome where Laura is competing in the team pursuit, the scratch and the points race for England.
‘It’s funny because I’m staying in an Airbnb away from the village, just because I’ve got my little boy with me,’ Laura said. ‘I walked in and had serious déjà vu as though I’d been in this flat before. And then I thought, “Of course I have, [it’s] the Olympic flats.”’
She described how ‘even the smell’ of the velodrome brings back memories, adding that it is her ‘favourite track’.