Jaclyn Schultz and Jon Misch were contestants on Survivor: San Juan del Sur, which was the second “Blood vs Water” season. Schultz and Misch were dating when they went on the show, which aired in the fall of 2014. They got married in August 2015, with several fellow castaways in attendance.
But now they have some huge news to share — they are expecting their first child via IVF, which is a big deal because of a condition Schultz has where she does not have a uterus or a cervix.
Schultz Has Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) Syndrome
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🧡National Infertility Awareness Week🧡We are 1 in 8 couples in the United States that struggle with infertility. I also found out at 16yrs old that I am 1 in 5,000 women worldwide born without a womb.🌏#MRKH @resolveorg #niaw2020 . But Infertility is not just about babies. Everyone’s story is a valuable part of the larger narrative. This week unites millions who want to remove the stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of building families. ✨Did you know…?✨ . . 🧡7.4 MILLION women have received infertility treatments in their lifetime. 🧡Only 16 states have some sort of insurance to help cover infertility treatments. 🧡There are 4 states that still do not recognize gestational surrogacy and contracts are ILLEGAL (Michigan being one🙄). . . Crazy, right!?🤯 I’ve spent (15!) years reflecting and learning to accept, and my biggest takeaway is that we don’t heal in isolation, we heal in community – and for that I am so grateful for the infertility and MRKH families I’ve found both in person and here on Instagram.💫I’m with you and I feel you if your treatments or transfers have been postponed… but I still think 2020 is our year!😊🤞🏼🙏🏼🧡💛 #wearorange #honoryourstory #NIAW @beautifulyoumrkh #infertility #ttccommunity #ttctribe #roadtobabymisch
This condition, which affects roughly 1 in every 5000 women, causes a woman’s reproductive system to not fully develop. In most cases, a woman is born without a uterus, cervix, or vaginal canal. They often cannot conceive children naturally, but they can usually provide eggs for a surrogate.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Schultz opened up about her condition and how scared she was to tell Misch — and she felt like she needed to tell him very early on in their dating relationship because she didn’t want them to get serious and then drop a bombshell like this on him.
“I remember we had been dating about a month, and I’m like, ‘OK, we’re about to tell each other we love each other, and I can’t have kids, so I need to tell him.’ So of course, I was emotional and I’m like [wailing], ‘Don’t date me anymore, I can’t have kids,’ and being so dramatic about it, and he was just like, ‘Shut up. It’s fine, it’s fine.’ He was great about it! I was so nervous to tell him; I think a lot of girls with MRKH are very nervous about telling their significant others,” said Schultz. “But it’s a good way to weed out the bad ones — that’s what I say to all the girls. I’d dated a few guys who I had told and they completely shut off; they didn’t want to talk about it at all. Those relationships never work out because it’s like, if you can’t talk about the most intimate part of it that is such a big part of my life, then how can I date you?”
After her time on Survivor, in which she finished runner-up to Natalie Anderson, Schultz used some of her winnings to freeze her eggs for when they were ready to start a family. She also said that show helped shed light on having MRKH and after it aired, she started receiving a ton of messages and letters from women who also have it or from mothers who don’t know how to help their daughters who have it.
Schultz and Misch Finally Got Pregnant Via IVF and Surrogacy
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Sooo… we’re officially pregnant! WHATTTT!? DID I REALLY JUST TYPE THAT!?🤩😱🙏🏼😭The most surreal few days of my LIFE!!!! Our lives, the bears lives, our families lives!🌈✨😭🙏🏼 It’s still SUPER early – we’re 5 weeks on Sunday!!!😍🐣But wanted to share our joy and the journey with everyone!💛 💛I will never be able to thank our family carrier enough for offering us this selfless gift. For working so hard to make this happen – the daily shots/medications and doctors appointments. It’s a huge sacrifice from her and her family, and I just can’t even put into words how incredibly grateful we are.😭🙏🏼💛🌈✨An MRKH diagnosis, 2 rounds of IVF, 2 gestational carriers, 4 embryo transfers later… we’re here! I still can’t believe it. . . On Tuesday, the doctor wanted her hCG (the pregnancy hormone) beta numbers to be at LEAST between 100-200… and they were 335!🙌🏼🙏🏼Today, at the next blood test – that number needed to double to show normal growth … and we MORE than doubled at 751!🥳🙏🏼😱🤩😭😭We’ve never made it this far, and the journey is far from over – but were literally freaking out. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR GOOD VIBES, PRAYERS, MESSAGES AND COMMENTS!😭🙏🏼God willing, It’s working! It’s literally all working! First ultrasound Sept 17th!! Keep sticking with us baby Misch! (YouTube of all the behind the scenes coming soon!) #surrogacy #mrkh #ivf #pregnancyannouncement #mrkhsyndrome #ttccommunity #roadtobabymisch #infertilityawareness #embryotransfer #ollieannouncement
In an emotional Instagram post on September 3, Schultz revealed that they have been through “2 rounds of IVF, 2 gestational carriers, 4 embryo transfers” and they are finally here. They have an unidentified “family carrier” who has worked “so hard” to bring them this “selfless gift.”
“It’s a huge sacrifice from her and her family and I just can’t even put into words how incredibly grateful we are,” wrote Schultz.
For the first ultrasound, Schultz and Misch had to watch via Facetime because of COVID-19 safety precautions, but Schultz said she’s still “extremely grateful” because after being diagnosed with MRKH, she never thought she would have a moment like this.
Then on October 2, Schultz shared the first ultrasound picture. The baby was eight weeks, four days old. She also wrote, “As always, THANK YOU for your continued prayers and support! So incredibly thankful for this community in our little corner of the Internet” and uploaded a video of their Facetime session from the parking lot of the doctor’s office.
Survivor hopes to film season 41 in the spring of 2021 for a fall 2021 premiere.