‘Labor of Love’s Kristy Katzmann on Her Choice & If She and [Spoiler] Are Still Together
Over eight episodes, viewers followed along with Kristy Katzmann’s journey as she figured out how she would go about starting a family.
After starting off with 15 potential fathers, it was down to two in the finale: 38-year-old Kyle Klinger and 40-year-old Stewart Gill. (Kristy said goodbye to 39-year-old Marcus Lehman after seeing just how much he seemed to need someone to take care of him during the home visit.)
Then, after spending a day out in Chicago and introducing each to her family (and bringing in their families as surprise guests), Kristy chose the man she saw herself starting a family with: Kyle.
Here, Kristy, who was in Season 11 of The Bachelor, discusses her final choice, reveals if she and Kyle are still together, and updates us on her journey to motherhood.
Looking back at the season as a whole, how are you feeling about your journey and your decision to do this show now?
Kristy Katzmann: Honestly, I’m so happy we’re here. This whole journey has really been over two years in the making for me. I don’t know if anyone really realizes that, but it feels really good to get to this point, and I can honestly look back and people are already asking me this, if I’m happy I did it, and I really am, 1000 percent. Even though things didn’t really work out exactly as I had hoped, everything is really great. I feel really good about where things are at today.
And by things not working out, you’re referring to the fact that you and Kyle are no longer together. How are you feeling about your final 2 or even 3 looking back?
This has been really eye-opening for me. I’ve been watching the show along with everyone else—we wrapped filming a year ago—so I had my perspective, which is honestly about 10% of what we’re all seeing. I really had to base all my decisions on not only what I felt but [also] on the information I had, what the men chose to show me, the experiences I had with them. Particularly in the case of Marcus, I caught on at the end and that was really a tough blow for me, but watching it now, it’s given me a little piece of mind because I realized for sure what I felt was true. How he was actually behaving was actually true.
It’s interesting because this is a year in the past for me and I’m getting confirmation on things, now, a year later, when I’m on the other side and I’ve moved forward in my life and I’m in a good place, so there is a little bit of reliving the experience, for better and worse, but I still feel good about where things landed.
Including picking Kyle even though it didn’t work out?
Yeah, I really do. It’s so easy to second guess yourself, but what I know for sure is that I went into this with a completely open mind and heart, and I really put it all on the line. I did not hold back. The beauty of when you do something like that is you can really trust in the outcome even if it’s not the one you’d hoped for. At the time, I had to really trust how I was feeling based on the information I had, and I felt like Kyle and I had the most real, strongest connection.
Unfortunately, getting out on the other side, we weren’t compatible. Unfortunately, that’s just not uncommon in dating, and I said this all along, that I didn’t have time to waste. As much as I was really hoping to connect with the right person to start a family with, that was really always the point of this journey, to give me clarity on how I would pursue motherhood. Maybe it didn’t happen the way that I had hoped, but I definitely got the clarity that I needed, so in my mind, this is nothing but a success story.
That was clear from the beginning—that you weren’t looking to find a guy, but how you were going about this journey.
That’s right. I love that you’re saying that because that’s so true and I’ve been honest about it. I absolutely wanted to meet the right person and I think there’s a different stake in this for a woman, in this case it’s me. This really was my last chance to meet someone I would start a family with before I would pursue motherhood on my own. I don’t want to say I haven’t had my grief in all of this and feeling sad I didn’t get that, but at the end of the day, it’s just that. What I really needed more than anything was clarity on how I pursue motherhood and I definitely got that in spades. I’m happy with it. I’m on that other side now where I’m just feeling really excited about the journey I’m on and it feels good to know that really I’ve been pursuing motherhood since we wrapped the show.
That has also been a journey. … When I realized that relationship [with Kyle] wasn’t going to work out, I just kept moving forward, which is an interesting thing because you’re going through the grieving of a relationship but for me, there was even a bigger picture there of the loss of having that story I wanted. But as we all know because I’ve been very clear about it, I really didn’t have time to [wait] so I really had to keep moving forward.
That started for me in last October and it culminated with me getting to my first round of IVF with embryo transfer at the end of February. Unfortunately, that round was not successful, so I did immediately go into a second round, but unfortunately with COVID-19, that got canceled a few weeks into that. That was heartbreaking. … At this point now, given my age, given the limits to the number of embryos I have, we’re being very careful with when we restart that process. My plan is to restart that again in the next month or so. I’m getting excited about that because I feel like it’s getting real again. I’m so close I can taste it.
You had asked Kyle at the time of the finale if he’d be ready to start a family “this year,” so you had that timeline.
The truth is, there was a very different thing at stake for the men and for me. I think a lot of these men probably did want to meet the right person, they were ready to start a family, but they do not have the same [clock] that I do, so I really had to set that deadline for myself.
Looking back at the season, were there any challenges or dates that allowed you to really get to know the guys or helped you get to know yourself better?
They were really well-designed to not only allow us to get to know each other but to really understand how we would be as parents and who was really ready to be on the same timeline as me. Looking back, what I realize is that tested me too without really knowing it, and I can look back now a year later and realize how much I’ve grown. I felt really ready going into this, but it is no joke going through something like this, especially when you go all in, which I definitely did. That’s the great thing, to look back and feel how much stronger I am, how much more clarity I have, and just how much more ready I feel to embrace motherhood.
And we got to see your family. How have they been supporting you and how do they feel about your journey?
My family’s so great. We’re all close, we are very different, but the thing I really love about my family is they are just always 100% supportive of me, no matter what I’m doing and I’ve definitely done some things outside of the box. They just want me to be happy, and my family knows I will be a great mom. They loved this opportunity because they felt like it was an avenue for me to really get there.
They had their disappointment too that maybe it didn’t work out in the way I wanted it to, but they’re also really proud of me and really proud of how I navigated what was really an incredibly difficult situation and now, they’re just excited for me and supporting me as I continue this journey. It’s one thing that I’ve really learned on the other side of this: I’m super independent and I’ve done so much in my life on my own and even having gone through a lot of the fertility stuff already, I’ve really realized, regardless of if you have a partner or not, regardless of how independent you are, you really do need a team behind you.
So, as I go into this next cycle, I’ve really incorporated my family more. I’ve incorporated my friends more. That honestly has allowed me to get even more excited about the process. What I would say is whoever your team is, motherhood really does take a team and it really is important to get that in place, even as you’re going through the process to become a mom.
Kristin Davis guided you throughout the season.
With Kristin, whether you’re talking about Kristin herself or her most iconic character of Charlotte, she has navigated these waters. It was really important to have a female host at the helm of this. This story is very much about female empowerment, especially the way it turned out.
I’m really excited for people to see that maybe even though things didn’t turn out as I had hoped and how I thought they would, I have really continued on my journey to motherhood. That’s the message I really want other women in particular to hear and to see. You just have to keep moving forward and you have to play the cards you’ve been dealt. Kristin has been through this personally in her own way, so having her by my side, that’s invaluable because you’re leaning on someone who truly has been in your shoes.
Was there anything from your time on The Bachelor that you found helped you on here?
Yeah, honestly, it’s funny because sometimes you do something, you wonder, why did I do that? I never really did anything with that show after the show. I just went on with my life and developed a great career and had a great life, but looking back now, it really prepared me for this journey and I feel like I was meant to have this journey. Labor of Love was meant for me. I felt like that the minute it crossed my path. Against all odds, I did it, I got through it, I’m beyond happy with how everything went.
But being on The Bachelor first really prepared me to be totally present, be totally vulnerable, and to not hold anything back. I think that’s why I can be on the other side of it and have no regrets. I know that I did the best job I could. I know I stayed true to myself through the end. And I know that I never held anything back. I didn’t put walls up. I don’t know that I could have done that if I hadn’t kind of already been through the experience once and learned from it. I’m really grateful to have had that because I feel it set me up for the journey I was really meant to have.