Persevering with Camille Guaty
Persevering with Camille Guaty
Actress Camille Guaty has been working professionally in film and television for most of her adult life. She is most known for her roles on Netflix’s A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Cake with Jennifer Aniston, Prison Break, and Disney’s Gotta Kick It Up… to name just a few. Determined to use her platform and voice in a positive way, Camille has raised money and awareness for underprivileged foster-children since 2016. Her interest in the foster care system became personal when, after years of battling infertility, Camille and her husband turned their support to the thousands of children in Los Angeles who are in need of love and care.
She is now the co-founder of Foster a Dream, a non-profit dedicated to giving new opportunities to foster youth so that they can achieve a rewarding future.
You’ve been open about your difficult journey to motherhood. What does it mean to you to finally hold your adorable baby boy?
It’s an intangible feeling, one that is so hard to put into words. I remember dreaming of what this would feel like… to rock my baby to sleep, and now that he’s here it still feels surreal! I gush when I look at him. Sometimes he catches me staring at him and he just starts laughing… his energy is infectious.
What unexpected lessons has the first year of motherhood taught you?
Patience and presence in every way possible: in the waiting to get pregnant, the duration of the pregnancy, and most importantly, with your little one. To be present means the world to him and is such a gift for me. For those moments when things aren’t going their way, patience is of the utmost importance. Staying calm and letting them have their feelings is part of their growing… but can be very challenging at times.
What do you know now that you want other women to understand when it comes to fertility struggles?
You are not alone! Find people who have gone through it before you. There, you will gain comfort, understanding, and advice on what to do next. Sometimes family or friends who haven’t experienced infertility just don’t know what to say, and often end up saying the wrong thing. They don’t understand how your world is filled with daily triggers and that stifling that sadness is more than challenging — so don’t be afraid to find your community or a therapist to speak to.
You’ve said, “I honestly had a difficult time wrapping my mind around this choice. Just a couple of years ago, the idea of another woman’s egg in my body was unfathomable.” What was the decision making process like to eventually go with an egg donor?
The decision took months. All the signs kept pointing to egg donation but I just wasn’t ready. I like to say I allowed the idea to trickle in. I spoke with my husband on numerous occasions. We sometimes would go out to restaurants and joke if we should ask the waitress for her eggs! I would look on donor agency sites, in my spare time, searching for my doppelgänger, and slowly the idea became more real. I began to shift the lens. I stopped allowing my genetics to define my motherhood and started to see the beautiful gift that a stranger was willing to give me. How amazing is that? Something that I couldn’t do on my own a perfect stranger was willing to offer me. By making the choice to use a donor egg, I was choosing to be a mother in a way that I never could have imagined. But sometimes the road isn’t perfectly straight. Life has many twists and turns and now, sitting here with my little miracle baby, it’s a choice I would make 1000 times over.
What advice would you give to women who are struggling to get pregnant using IVF?
IVF is a mental, emotional, physical, and financial struggle. While sometimes it may take a few times to take, you can’t lose hope because all it takes is one. If you think you are at the end of your rope with IVF and you still want to be a mother… you can be! You have options. Like I said before, it takes time to mourn the loss of your genetics, but I can guarantee that you will not regret your decision to be a mother.
In what ways did you care for yourself during this difficult time to ensure you had the energy to keep trying?
I just think it’s who I am; I’m not the type of person to sit in fear and sadness. I allowed myself to grieve every time and then after a bottle of wine, some good friends, and a lot of cry sessions I would get back on the horse with faith and optimism, only to be struck down again. I remember thinking, I would rather experience IVF with the utmost conviction that it was going to work, than live in fear and anxiety of what might be.
In what ways has your journey to motherhood changed you?
It’s as if I climbed a mountain and fell down to the bottom over and over… but never gave up. Now, standing at the top, taking in the awesome view with my baby in my arms, I feel like I can handle anything.