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Tara Lipinski is a mom!
The Olympic gold medal figure skater welcomed a daughter named Georgie Winter, with her husband Todd Kapostasy, Lipinski announced on TODAY.
"I have really incredible news to share!" Lipinski, 41, told TODAY contributing correspondent Kaylee Hartung. "Todd and I have a baby girl, Georgie Winter, that arrived into our arms by the most beautiful surrogate."
The baby girl’s full name is Georgie Winter Lipinski Kapostasy.
“I snuck in ‘Lipinski’ as a third middle name,” said the athlete. “‘Winter’ for the nod to figure skating and it seems like we’re calling her ‘Gigi as a little nickname.’”
Lipinski, who faced infertility for years, was in the delivery room when her daughter was born.
"My doctor had me playing my favorite song and I'm bawling because I think there was just so much relief of, 'Is this five-year journey over?'" said Lipinski. "And then immediately, the baby is out, screaming, and on my chest and we're doing skin-to-skin and it was one of those moments like, 'How did my life just change so quickly and is this a dream? Because it feels like it.'"
Lipinski and Kapostasy host a podcast titled "Tara Lipinski: Unexpecting" about their pregnancy battles, which they shoot in the basement of their home.
Their pregnancy history includes repeated rounds of IVF, four miscarriages and a diagnosis of endometriosis, when cells in the uterus grow elsewhere in the body, which can make getting pregnant hard.
Entering surrogacy wasn’t Lipinski’s initial plan.
“The five years were just so grueling and to be quite honest, in the beginning, surrogacy wasn’t something that I wanted,” Lipinski told TODAY, adding that she wanted to experience pregnancy. “We hit obstacle after obstacle. At a certain point, the fourth miscarriage was really traumatizing. And I think I finally gave in to the idea of surrogacy.”
It was all worth it — Lipinski describes her surrogate as “family” and the ability to hold her baby girl, as surreal.
Motherhood, she said, wasn’t unlike becoming a teen Olympian — Lipinski was only 15 when she won a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Japan.
“You just don’t see yourself as that person until it happens,” she told TODAY. “And from 10:59, I was the girl wanting to win an Olympic game and then at 11:00, they give you a medal and you’re just like, ‘No, how did that happen? That doesn’t feel real.’”
The athlete and NBC Sports Group figure skating analyst is nothing but grateful to have her first baby.
"I feel so much gratitude — it just didn't happen for so long — and we're just very, very lucky that this happened for us," Lipinski told TODAY through her tears.
Lipinski said she can't lose sight of other people battling infertility.
"I deal with this feeling of, a little guilt for all the people still in that wait, still hearing this news and thinking what I thought for those five years of, 'When is it going to be my time?' (and) 'Why me?'" she said.
Starting a video podcast about infertility brought her and Todd closer together, Lipinski said, and also introduced her to a new community.
"Not only do I feel more bonded to Todd and we've had these conversations that I think we would have never had," she told TODAY, "but I also have now connected with this entire community, which is by far the most meaningful thing I've ever been able to be a part of."
Mom has a message for little Georgie.
"I just want her to know that she was so wanted," said Lipinski. "That Todd and I thought about her for five years and that we can't wait to hopefully be the best parents to her and give her a beautiful life."
Of course, there is a pair of ice skates in the little girl’s future.
“I already have a gift of little knit ice skates which are the cutest thing ever,” said Lipinski. “We’ll go skating whenever she wants. There’s no pressure but I feel like at some point, I have to take her out there and show her what Mommy did for a very long time.”
This article was originally published on TODAY.com