Nia Sanchez
Reuters/ Andrew Innerarity
  • Former Miss USA Nia Sanchez recently opened up about her infertility now that she's pregnant.
  • "I wanted to share in the moment, but it was too painful, too vulnerable," she said on Pregnantish.
  • Sanchez had "unexplained infertility" for nearly 2 years and tried IUI before conceiving naturally.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former Miss USA Nia Sanchez struggled to get pregnant for almost two years – a shock to the healthy now-31-year-old who comes from a big family with fertile genes.

She and her husband, actor Daniel Booko, also did everything "right," they thought: They drank out of glass wear instead of plastic, practiced infertility yoga and meditation together, and visited specialists who could only diagnose them with "unexplained infertility."

But Sanchez, who also has a black belt in Taekwondo, kept the pain of her experience private, even refraining from publicly engaging with infertility accounts on Instagram, where she has 211,000 followers.

"There were many times where I wanted to comment on a post or wanted to engage in a live but I felt like, 'Oh, I don't want anyone to know that this is my journey at this moment,'" Sanchez told Andrea Syrtash on a recent Pregnantish podcast.

Now 32 weeks pregnant, Sanchez continues to open up about her infertility, which she first revealed on Instagram in late June.

A post shared by Nia Sanchez • Mama • Miss USA (@realniasanchez)

"I've tried my best to share about my fertility journey after the fact of getting pregnant," she told Syrtash. "I wanted to share in the moment, but it was too painful, too vulnerable."

'The unknown is quite frustrating'

A few years after getting married, Sanchez and Booko started trying to conceive. They figured they'd follow the same formula that led to success in other areas of their lives: "A plus B equals C, and then you do it," she said.

Being Latina, too, gave Sanchez false reassurance. "In my background and culture, it's like, 'You're Mexican, you can pop out babies like crazy.'"

But after about four months without a positive pregnancy test, Sanchez became concerned. Tests on both her and Booko looked good, but she began thyroid medication to get her thyroid levels in a "sweet spot."

After about seven months, her doctor told her it didn't seem like she'd been ovulating, but didn't know why. "The unknown is quite frustrating," Sanchez said.

Even on a long trip to the Maldives, she didn't conceive. "Everybody says, 'Oh, just relax. It'll happen when you relax,'" Sanchez said. "I'm like, 'We are very relaxed, we are having champagne, we are getting it on every single day ... we're just in paradise having a great time.'"

Sanchez kept quiet until they were 5 months along: 'What if it doesn't work out?'

After a year, the pair settled on intrauterine insemination, a fertility treatment in which the sperm is placed in the uterus near the fallopian tubes. Sanchez said she thought: "All I need is a teensy bit of medical help, a little sprinkle, and then I'm going to get pregnant for sure."

Three attempts later, she wasn't. "We were just kind of mind-blown," she said. "We both just didn't get it."

They decided to take a break from treatments, but Sanchez continued acupuncture. Two months later, she was pregnant - and mind-blown again. "I literally didn't think it was possible at that point," she said.

Sanchez didn't go public with her pregnancy until she was close to five months because she kept thinking: "What if it doesn't work out?"

Now, she and Booko are counting the weeks until they meet their boy, who they've just announced is named Asher Daniel. Being open about their challenges on her big platform has been an honor, Sanchez told Syrtash.

"I realize how special it is to be a part of that community and be there for people ... because it's definitely a hard journey," she said. "I think the community makes it a little bit easier - not easier - but more able to navigate through."

Read the original article on Insider