Motherhood is a journey many women desire to take despite realities like sleepless nights, milk-stained shirts, the terrible twos, and those hormonal teen years. Sydel Curry-Lee, a podcaster, mental health advocate, and sister to NBA star Steph Curry, can relate to that desire. The 27-year-old mommy-to-be is currently awaiting the arrival of her first child, a son.
“I have always said I wanted to be a mom since I was 16,” she says. “I just felt that’s always been one of my purposes in life.”
She married her husband, Warriors forward Damion Lee, in 2018. And while they initially thought they’d wait a year before attempting to have a baby, they decided to start trying for their first child after three months.
“We were like ok, ‘I love you, you love me, and we’ve spent a lot of time together even before we were married, so let’s just try and have a baby,’” she explains. But things didn’t go as planned. Curry-Lee has been open about her journey and the challenges she faced to conceive.
“My journey to motherhood was a bit of a long one or longer than I thought it would be,” she says. After six months of trying to get pregnant, the couple didn’t see the desired results but were advised by a doctor to keep trying for at least a year. So they did.
Infertility issues amongst women in America aren’t uncommon —around ten percent between ages 15-44 find it challenging to get or stay pregnant.
In Curry-Lee’s case, after about eight months of trying, there was a glimmer of hope. She found out she was pregnant while celebrating her one-year anniversary in Mexico. Unfortunately, the positive result didn’t last long.
“I would test multiple times a day every day, and when doing that, I noticed my positives kept getting lighter and lighter and just ended up disappearing, and so that was kind of heartbreaking,” she says. “My progesterone levels wouldn’t stay high enough to have viable pregnancies, so I ended up losing those embryos in the early stage. That’s what a chemical pregnancy is, like an early miscarriage.”
Because of this, the couple started fertility treatments — IVF specifically — in November 2020. After an unsuccessful first round, she went on progesterone for the second IVF round and it resulted in her “miracle second transfer baby.”
Curry-Lee says of getting the pregnancy news, “Finding out by myself and then surprising my husband was really really special to me. We were really excited, really proud of ourselves, and very thankful.”
She also admittedly felt a little nervous.
“A split second later I was like, oh my gosh, I actually have to raise a human!”
The former college volleyball star is preparing for that life-changing responsibility by making sure she goes into motherhood feeling her best, physically and mentally.
“I’ve been trying to allow myself time to rest and not feel guilty about it,” she says. Mentally, she’s living in the now instead of stressing over what will be.
“People tell you your life is about to change immensely, and instead of using that as a fear tactic, I’m trying to use it as a reminder that these days, I’m never going to have them back again and I can find joy and happiness in every day.”
She also has been leaning on her loved ones, sister-in-law Ayesha Curry included. When we asked her what advice she’s received from the mom of three, she says, “One thing about Ayesha is that she is willing to use her past experiences to tell me what she would do differently, and one thing that she keeps telling me is to trust my instincts and to not feel pressured into doing certain things a certain way.”
And in addition to that, she’s making sure she and baby Lee are getting the nutrients they need by using Olly prenatals. She’s an ambassador for the popular vitamin and supplement brand.
“It [has] good nutrients for pregnancy,” she says. “They have omega-3s, DHA, and it tastes really good so you don’t forget to take it and don’t dread taking it every day.”
She looks forward to giving the vitamins they make for kids to her son once he’s old enough. But as for what she’s looking forward to most, in addition to living the dream she’s had since 16, it’s seeing what kind of individual her son will grow to be.
“I’ll pat myself on the back for sure because I definitely married someone I want my kids to be like. I hope they get his humor,” she says of husband Damion. “I’m excited to see my son mimic certain things about his dad but also become his own person.”