“We’re so grateful and thankful to announce we’re expecting a baby,” Strijd, 24, said in an emotional YouTube video in which she discussed overcoming the hormonal condition Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). “I actually cannot believe I’m saying this because my thoughts have made me feel this would never be possible for us. But here we are.”
Sharing the video and an Instagram post in which she held her hand on her baby bump, Strijd detailed the difficult journey to the giddy announcement. Her dreams of starting a family were delayed due complications she believes were brought on by her intense modeling traveling schedule, high-intensity exercise regimen and a restrictive diet.
“I think I pressured my body (too) much,” she wrote on Instagram.
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“I worked out very often, and my period stopped for about six years,” she said in the video. Two years ago, after a visit to a gynecologist, Strijd was diagnosed with PCOS, a leading cause of female infertility marked by irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating.
“He told me it was going to be hard to make babies in a natural way,” said Strijd, choking up as Leeuwen, 29, kissed her cheek. “My world collapsed because my biggest dream was always to start a family with Lawrence.”
“I was devastated because being a mom and starting a family with (Leeuwen) is my biggest dream,” she wrote on Instagram. “I was so scared.”
But Strijd changed her lifestyle, which included moving back to her native Netherlands and taking down the intensity of her workouts. “I think I pressured my body (too) much, and honestly every body is so different but I think my weight was not good for my body to function properly and couldn’t handle the constant traveling,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I came to the conclusion that I should do way less high intensity training, don’t restrict foods, be nice to myself.”
Last November, her periods began again and the pregnancy followed.
“We can’t wait for this new chapter,” Strijd said in the video, which featured her showing off a sonogram of the unborn child.
In January, the couple posted a 10-year anniversary photograph on Instagram donning the same outfits and expressions from a decade earlier.
Now, the couple eagerly await their little one.
“WE’RE SOON A FAMILY OF THREE,” Strijd wrote on Instagram, adding a supportive note to others experiencing difficulty conceiving. “Believe in yourself and be nice for yourself and your body and don’t let those thoughts get to you to much.”