After 23 Years and 21 Rounds of IVF, Tom Arnold Finally Becomes a Dad
Tom Arnold has waited 23 years to become a father. His journey started in 1990 when he first spoke publicly about his low sperm count — something he found out while in college and trying to donate sperm. At the time, he was married to Rosanne Barr and thought a child would soon come through IVF. The couple’s attempts to have a baby failed and they divorced in 1994. He tried to have kids with his next two wives as well, Julie Champnella from 1995 and 1999. In 2002, Arnold wed Shelby Roos but those attempts were also unsuccessful. When he began dating Ashley Groussman, he let her know upfront that he has not been able to have children, even with medical intervention. She stuck around and the couple married in 2009.
The couple discussed their options and while Tom was in favor of adoption, Ashley wanted him to try the one intervention he had not pursued, homeopathic medicine. The couple began seeing a Chinese fertility specialist and his sperm count went up. The couple was ecstatic, but the journey was not over. The first IVF round did not stick and the second and third rounds ended in a miscarriage. Groussman says, “We were both doing everything we were supposed to do. I had every psychic, healer, energy person and anyone that could pray and light a candle doing so all around us. The baby shrine that I started on day one in our bedroom was now spilling over with things that friends and family were sending us.” The couple began investigating adoption but Groussman wanted to try one last time to carry a baby herself. The last IVF procedure worked and the couple welcomed Jax Copeland earlier this month. In total, Arnold went through 21 cycles of IVF with four different women.
You really have to admire both Arnold’s tenacity to go through IVF 21 times and his wife’s undying want for a baby. While I struggled to become pregnant with my first child, I never had to pursue any medical intervention beyond seeing a fertility specialist. I know how heartbreaking my own struggle was, I could not imagine how hard it would have been to deal with the disappointment for 23 years. I am not sure I could have hung in there for that long.
If money and time were no object would you go through 21 cycles of fertility treatments to have a baby?