DWTS Lindsay Arnold Details the Emotional Rollercoaster of Pregnancy After a Fertility Struggle

Lindsay Arnold can remember the moment she finally let out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.

After months of trying for her second child with her husband of seven years, Sam Cusickand weeks of what she calls “cautious, cautious optimism,” following a positive test, the Utah-based pair turned up to that all-important first OB-GYN appointment feeling, admittedly, more than a bit nervous.

Then, “we got to do our first ultrasound and got to hear our baby’s heartbeat,” the pregnant woman Dancing With the Stars pro revealed in an exclusive interview with E! News. “And it’s honestly the best feeling in the world.”

She actually wasn’t sure if it would feel quite as magical as when she was expecting now-23-month-old daughter Sage“because it’s not the first time,” she explained of the baby she’ll welcome next May, “but, truly, there is nothing quite like the confirmation that you have life inside your body. That’s just the coolest thing that you could ever experience.”

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Particularly when you’ve already experienced one of the worst.

Because while the longtime ballroom dancer had vaguely heard about false-positive pregnancy tests, “you just don’t think it’s gonna happen to you,” she admitted. That is, until this past August, when she excitedly saw the stick change after months of trying, only to get her period just days later. Said Arnold, “It was awful and it was so hard.”

Lindsay Arnold

Lindsay Arnold

For the 28-year-old it was another crushing blow in what had become a fairly challenging journey to give her little Sagey a sibling.

And while she understood that people were coming from a place of excitement when asking about her having another, “the more that I’ve gone through struggles, the more I’ve understood why that question can be really triggering for some people,” she explained. “Because a lot of times it’s like, ‘You need baby no. 2’ and it’s like, ‘Well, yeah, I have wanted baby no. 2 for almost a year now.'”

So while she appreciates that people are eager for more little Cusicks (“We all love babies!”), the dancer noted, “At the same time, it’s like, ‘I am trying,’ and sometimes it does bring up wounds that maybe people don’t understand that they’re tapping into.”

She’s found support in her community, both the IRL variety and the one she’s built with her more than one million Instagram followers.

“I feel like for so long, we as women were told not to discuss the negatives and that if we couldn’t get pregnant it was because there was something wrong with us,” Arnold explained. “And I hate that narrative. I want to change that narrative. There are so many incredible women who have already started to change that.”

So she’s eager to join the chorus of voices. “You’re not alone, you really, really aren’t,” she stressed of what she’d tell people going through their own struggles. “Lean on the people around you. Don’t be afraid to feel your feelings and go through all of those emotions because they’re valid and it’s real.”

On her own personal emotional rollercoaster, she’s at the point where the excitement levels have climbed almost to a tipping point. Seeing another positive pregnancy test in September just a month after the false one, “was just the best feeling,” she said. “We’re so, so, so grateful.”

Having made the tough decision to step away from the ballroom for a beat even before learning she was pregnant, she’s channeling all her focus into helping grow her three babies: Sage, set to turn 2 on Nov. 2, Baby Cusick (yes, they will find out the sex, “I am always so impressed with people who can wait, I just don’t think I could”) and The Movement Club, the workout program she’s been dreaming about basically since she was a young dancer on the ballroom circuit.

Lindsay Arnold, Sam Cusick

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The idea was born from the early months of her pregnancy with Sage. “This was the beginning of COVID,” she explained. “I wasn’t able to go workout anywhere, I was home all day and my body was changing rapidly. I just found that there wasn’t a space for me that I felt I could trust what I was doing, that I was guided in a way that felt encouraging.”

And she realized if CEO felt this way after two-plus decades of dancing that led her to the top eight on So You Think You Can Dance in 2012 and then DWTS gig the following year, “I’m sure there are other people out there who feel the same way as I do.”

Her goal, she said of the online platform of five- to 30-minute equipment-free workouts, is to give women “of all ages, all stages of life a space where they can feel safe, they can feel encouraged, no matter if they’re at the top of their game or if they’re just starting out. Come as you are there’s something for everybody.”

Lindsay Arnold

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Including, of course, expectant and new mothers.

“Being pregnant is honestly one of the scariest things ever,” Arnold allowed. “You’re actively creating a human just by yourself, which is crazy. It’s scary.” When expecting Sage, “I remember feeling very scared, very unsure what I could do with my body,” she said. “And as a dancer, somebody who’s always moved my body, that was unsettling.”

Hard at work on getting her pre and postnatal certification, “I know there are women out there who feel the same who are going through their first or third or second or fourth pregnancy or in their postpartum stages and feel uneasy and unsure,” Arnold said . “And I want to be the person who can guide them, help them move their bodies in ways that are safe, that feel good.”

And creating content for the platform, soon to be launched as an app, has actually helped her battle the first trimester’s one-two punch of nausea and exhaustion.

Unable to indulge in the midday naps she enjoyed the first time around thanks to a very active toddler, “The Movement Club has been my saving grace,” she shared. “Having this program to keep me accountable to move my body every single day, to know that people are looking to me to give them something to move their body, it has helped so much.”

She knows it’s an approach that doesn’t work for everyone, “but for me pregnancy nausea, the best medication I can give that, is moving my body. Every time I do I feel like my tiredness goes away, my nausea is subdued. “

Her happiness, meanwhile, is through the roof.

Sage has already had some practice at that big sister life, spending her summer with cousins Brooks4 months, and Quincy, 2 months. “It’s been such a relief for me seeing her interact with them and actually really love them, because I feel like some kids just don’t like babies,” Arnold noted. “But she is definitely a baby lover. She wants to hold them. She wants to give them their blanket. She doesn’t get jealous of me holding the babies. So I’m like, ‘Okay, this is a good start. ‘”

Because of course Arnold—the oldest of four daughters—has been fantasizing about raising a troupe of tiny besties. “I daydream about the moment where Sage will get to meet her sibling for the first time,” she gushed. “It literally makes me emotional thinking about it. I mean, my siblings are my best friends. So knowing that we’re creating that for Sage is such a cool feeling.”

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While she can’t imagine how she can “possibly fit more love into this heart,” Arnold is more than ready for it. “I can’t wait to have more of that in our lives and to just have another member of our family that is ours,” she shared of what she’s most looking forward to. “It’s very cool that me and my husband get to create our little best friends that we get to raise.”