Longtime Dancing With the Stars pros Edyta Sliwinska and Anna Trebunskaya both recently welcomed babies, and Season 13 pro champ Karina Smirnoff would like to add her name to the Mom list, too — someday.
“It's natural for a woman to want to be a mother,” Karina told ABC News. So she made the decision to freeze her eggs for use when the time is right. It’s not exactly an easy process, especially since Karina has an extreme fear of needles. "I've actually passed out," she admitted, saying it literally took her an hour to inject the first needle. When you keep going, even after that, you know you’re serious!
ABC’s video (watch it below) takes us through Karina's process, following her after 12 days of estrogen injections to the egg retrieval. Her doctor said the procedure went well and gave them a total of 21 eggs. He added that they like to do that procedure ideally before a woman is 35. (Karina's listed age in the interview is 35 but she reportedly turned 36 in early January.)
Why is she doing all of this now? "My profession is dancing,” Karina said. “I've been concentrating on my career for a long time and I love what I do, but I know I want to be a mother."
Karina started on DWTS back on Season 3 in 2006, and she’s only been absent for one season (Season 10) since then. Karina has been engaged twice — first to DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy and then to baseball player Brad Penny — but she still hasn’t found the right guy to start a family with, and she’s currently single. A woman’s body isn’t always patient enough to wait for the perfect time, so she’s preparing now — and she told ABC the egg freezing process was “100 percent” worth it.
“It’s not easy,” Karina said. "It’s scary, but it’s something that — you know you’re doing it for yourself. You feel empowered by the fact that you were able to give yourself an opportunity to not have to worry about your biological clock.”
Good for her — and good luck when the right time comes, whenever that may be!
DWTS Season 18 premieres Monday, March 17 on ABC.