Nichole Holmes was reluctant to reveal her past fertility struggles on television. However, the Nashville real estate agent couldn’t let other women feel alone.
“So many women go through this. If I can just help one person not to feel so alone or like they are defective, then it’s worth it,” Holmes, 46, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive conversation about their trip, now To be mother to 5 year old daughter Arya.
On Marriage or mortgageHolmes, the new Netflix reality show she co-hosts with wedding planner Sarah Miller, seeks to get couples to invest in their dream home instead of spending their savings on their fantasy wedding.
In episode three, Holmes briefly mentions her history of infertility when a client, Precious Styles Bullard, bursts into tears as they open up about her own troubles. “I just want you to know that you are not alone in all of this,” Precious comforts her in the emotional scene.
Nichole Holmes / Instagram
“I was a little hesitant,” Holmes tells PEOPLE, “but I’m sitting across from a real couple, she is in tears – I could just feel so much empathy for her. I could feel that she really believed she was less . ” of a person and she felt like she was abandoning her future husband. It breaks your heart. “
“The person in me just wanted to reach out to them and let them know that regardless of what life is like on the outside … everyone has their problems and problems,” she says. “I just felt this was the right time to discuss something. I could see that she was hurt.”
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Courtesy of NETFLIX
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During their first marriage, Holmes, a former beauty queen (she was Miss Illinois in 1995), miscarried after about 12 weeks. It was afterwards, she recalls, when they discovered she had a reproductive “abnormality”. Through various tests and appointments, the doctors found that she had a functioning ovary and a misshapen uterus that needed an operation.
After this “arduous process,” Holmes said she was given permission to seek another pregnancy. However, their marriage soon ended.
“At that point, I was 36 years old and I was grappling with the fact that I might not have biological children of my own, and I have to be okay with that,” she says. “I knew that if I wanted to be a mother, I could definitely do it by adoption. I’ve dealt with it and I was fine.”
But when she turned 40, Holmes met a man who would become her second husband – and her daughter’s father. “He made it clear that he wanted kids and he wanted kids fast,” she recalls. “So we jumped in with both feet.”
Holmes then consulted a specialist who administered her fertility drugs. “That was the path we took and that was successful for us, thank God,” she says. “It went a lot faster than we expected.”
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The pregnancy was not without complications, she emphasizes. “It wasn’t a smooth sailing,” as Holmes puts it, recalling how she was put on bed rest after 30 weeks and how Arya was born two months early.
Now Holmes and her second husband are divorced, and she says they have become experts on parenting, with both giving their daughter priority over everything else.
“He’s a great father, we just shouldn’t live in the same household!” she says with a laugh. “I think we’re doing a hell of a job, I’m not going to lie. We can only agree on how incredibly amazing our daughter is.”
Holmes is currently single and adds that she would consider taking in more children if she met the right partner, whether through adoption or with stepchildren. Right now, she values the time with her daughter, who enjoys watching Mom on Netflix.
What would she tell Arya in the future if she were a guest? Marriage of the mortgage? To make the “healthy and wise investment” of choosing a home, of course.
“Especially considering my background and my history, I learned this lesson. I had a big wedding the first time and see how well it turned out,” she jokes, adding, “If she has to choose, I will obviously do. ” Say choose mortgage, come on! Do what I say, not like me. “
Marriage or mortgage Season 1 is now streamed on Netflix.