The Heartbreaking Details About Tara Lipinski's Personal Life

Tara Lipinski has experienced a lot of success, and it started early on in her life. As a teenager, the figure skater was already collecting gold medals. In 1998, at just 15, she made history by becoming the youngest female skater to win an Olympic gold medal at that time, adding to her World Championships and Grand Prix wins. 

However, Lipinski's recent personal history hasn't been as smooth, though it started out on the right foot, though. Lipinski met her other half, sports producer Todd Kapostasy, in May 2015 when she presented his award at the Sports Emmys.

Two years into the relationship, Lipinski and Kapostasy tied the knot before loved ones (including Lipinski's best friend Johnny Weir). When they said "I do," the couple already had a vision of what they wanted their family to look like. Children were definitely in that picture, though they wanted to wait a little before trying. "We don't feel the pressure yet," she told Cosmopolitan in early 2018. "We're mindful, though, of when the Olympics are, for timing purposes!"

For years, all the littles in Lipinski and Kapostasy's household were four-legged. In mid-2021, the family became a little smaller, when the couple had to say goodbye to one of their two chocolate labs, Dublin, who had been undergoing treatment for two different types of cancer since the previous year. "He's brought me so much happiness and is one of the best things about this family," Lipinski opened up on Instagram. What many didn't know was that Lipinski had also been facing other deep personal losses. 

Tara Lipinski struggled with infertility in secret

After tying the knot, Tara Lipinski and Todd Kapostasy were eager to start their family. But it proved way more complicated than they had anticipated. They started their journey in 2018, though the couple didn't feel ready to share their struggles with infertility until August 2023. Lipinski and Kapostasy launched the podcast "Tara Lipinski: Unexpecting" to bring awareness by opening up about their own experience. "We go on the journey with our listeners and we take you through every single event that happened to us," she told People.

In the process of trying to conceive, Lipinski suffered seemingly every complication possible: four miscarriages, six failed IVF transfers, and eight retrievals. "It has been an excruciatingly painful journey that has been filled with loss & dealing with the grief that comes along with that," Lipinski shared in an August Instagram post. In the podcast trailer, Lipinski notes that one of the hardest parts was not knowing what the issue was. 

The former athlete and Kapostasy decided to start the podcast after embarking on "deep Google searches and Instagram black holes" in search of families with similar stories, she told People. In addition to bringing awareness and hope to those in a similar situation, Lipinski also hoped to get something else from the podcast. "Our conversations have brought up a lot of past emotions, but at the same [time], it's been healing to dive in and close some of these chapters together," she told her Instagram fans.

Tara Lipinski's D&C elicited mixed emotions

As if learning an embryo she had been carrying had no heartbeat wasn't painful enough, Tara Lipinski also had to have embryos surgically removed more than once via dilation and curettage, or simply D&C. The procedure was necessary because Lipinski's body was holding onto the pregnancy instead of naturally miscarrying. The process came with a host of contradictory emotions that caught her off-guard. "Waiting for that was just misery. I just wanted it done. I wanted closure," she said in Episode 4 of "Unexpecting." 

On the other hand, Lipinski dreaded the thought of not being pregnant anymore. "It just felt so confusing because I wanted this pregnancy so bad," she explained. "But at the same time, now I needed it out of me." To make matters harder, Lipinski experienced two consecutive miscarriages that made her hit rock bottom. "One miscarriage was heartbreaking but four made me feel like a shell of myself," he said in the People interview in August. Despite all the heartbreak, Lipinski keeps her pregnancies close to her heart.

In October, Lipinski shared a picture of her first positive pregnancy test, when she was still unaware of the difficult road that awaited her and Todd Kapostasy. "I'll always remember my innocent excitement and joy of seeing this result," she captioned the Instagram post. Lipinski also holds onto her fourth positive test. "For a few days, I thought this could actually be it. I'll always cherish this moment," she captioned another post.

Tara Lipinski was diagnosed with endometriosis

Three years before revealing her infertility journey, Tara Lipinski shared she had been diagnosed with endometriosis. As a result of the condition, characterized by the growth of tissue outside of the uterus, Lipinski had to undergo surgery in September 2020. She initially considered keeping her health update to herself. "I went in and out of this surgery pretending it wasn't happening and telling myself to feel no pain and get back to my normal routine immediately," he shared on Instagram.

But Lipinski ultimately changed her mind. The athlete wanted to help bring awareness to the condition that affects 190 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organization. "I'd never heard another woman mention 'endo' or the complications and pain that accompany it. And that definitely shows the lack of information that's out there," she explained. Lipinski went on to have a second surgery, showing the condition can be complicated to treat.

While endometriosis can be an impediment to pregnancy, Lipinski's diagnosis wasn't the main reason behind her struggles with infertility. In "Unexpecting," Lipinski addresses her long search for answers, citing her endometriosis as one of the barriers among others. Considering Lipinski's pregnancies ended the exact same way, the answer that made the most sense came from reproductive immunology. Basically, Lipinski's immune system overreacted to the pregnancies. "We just had all these other little mysteries — and we solved those," she said during Episode 12.

Tara Lipinski was unable to carry a pregnancy to term

Tara Lipinski and Todd Kapostasy did everything in their power to fix the issues preventing them from having a child. They ultimately couldn't make it work, but that didn't mean they wouldn't become parents. Despite the many barriers, Lipinski and Kapostasy were able to make genetically healthy embryos. That meant they had the option to use a surrogate to carry their baby for them. In October, Lipinski and Kapostasy welcomed a daughter, Georgie, thanks to the help of their surrogate Mikayla.

"It feels so surreal and I'm experiencing a feeling of happiness that I have never felt before. This little embryo that Todd and I made together has come to life!" Lipinski announced on Instagram. While surrogacy wasn't part of the initial plan, Lipinski couldn't be more grateful for Mikayla and what was possible because of her. "I loved the surrogacy journey, I really did ... Something just clicked where my outlook changed and it became less about me and my experience. It wasn't about the pregnancy anymore," she told People.

Lipinski and Kapostasy were finally able to have the family they had envisioned. The couple was in the delivery room, allowing them to experience the magical moment. "I never cried like that before — just all of those years of trauma came pouring out me, so much relief to FINALLY see a screaming little baby," Lipinski captioned an Instagram post that features hospital snapshots and videos from the day of Georgie's birth. 

Tara Lipinski suffers from PTSD

Tara Lipinski's experience with infertility had a deep impact on her mental health. Even though her surrogate's pregnancy was progressing beautifully, Lipinski's traumatic journey left her unable to fully enjoy it. "Even with 'positive news,' I'm still scared," Lipinski shared on Instagram. "The PTSD I have is still quite enormous — evidenced by the nightmares that jolt me out of bed most nights."  

Lipinski compared her state of mind during that time to a night of insomnia when a nagging thought keeps a person tossing and turning for hours — except in her case it was years. "Maybe [it was] irrational at times, or maybe not because we had a lot of trauma that built up and caused all this PTSD," she said during Episode 12 of "Unexpecting." Doctor appointment days were the absolute worst, she said. Because of her trauma around scans, Lipinski opted not to go to any of Mikayla's until halfway through the pregnancy.

"I had waited til the anatomy scan to hear the heartbeat for the first time," Lipinski captioned an Instagram post featuring her reaction caught on video by Mikayla. Before that, Mikayla would FaceTime with Lipinski after learning everything was OK. "It's sad to say these scans are never 'fun' for me; infertility took that away," she wrote on Instagram

However, Lipinski is grateful for how understanding Mikayla was of her fears. "She's been able to give me reassurance and make the journey as good as it can be," she said on Episode 13