Hope Solo has revealed she almost died after suffering a devastating miscarriage last year, right before she flew to Florida to deliver an eviscerating speech at the US Soccer election.
The 37-year-old former goalkeeper of the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team told Elle that she was trying to start a family for a long time before she got pregnant and then miscarried.
A week after the loss, Hope was still in a lot of pain and learned she had been pregnant with twins. One was ectopic, meaning the fetus developed outside the uterus.
Devastating: Hope Solo, 37, has revealed that she miscarried twins last year after suffering an ectopic pregnancy, meaning the fetus developed outside the uterus
Struggle: The athlete, who has since started IVF, said she was just ‘hours from dying’ when doctors removed her fallopian tube
‘The doctor said I was hours from dying. They ended up having to remove my fallopian tube,’ said Hope, who has since started IVF.
The soccer star was running for president of the USSF at the time and flew to Orlando, Florida, just days after the procedure to give her election speech.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Champion explained that she didn’t expect to win the position, which is unpaid. ‘But I knew my voice was important.’
Mission: A few days after having surgery, she flew to Orlando, Florida to deliver an eviscerating speech at the US Soccer election to replace the outgoing president Sunil Gulati
She used her platform during the election to replace the outgoing president Sunil Gulati to air her grievances with the establishment and slam USSF vice-president Carlos Cordeiro, who went on to win the election.
‘A vote for [the establishment candidates] is a vote for the status quo: disunity, discord, and more failure,’ she said.
Hope is a controversial figure in US soccer, and she admitted that she thinks she is ‘pretty polarizing.’
She has twice been suspended by the US team for angry outbursts, most recently after they lost to the Swedish team in the quarterfinals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The athlete started a social media firestorm when she said the Swedish team played like ‘a bunch of cowards.’
Although she went on to elaborate that she meant they had played defensively, she was suspended for six months and her contract was terminated.
Hope’s private life has also been a source of controversy. Her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, was arrested for domestic violence the night before their wedding in 2012.
Candid: Hope also opened up about her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, being arrested for domestic violence the night before their wedding in 2012
The couple met in college, but their relationship really blossomed when Jerremy played for the Seattle Seahawks and later the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the fall of 2011, when he was no longer in the NFL, he professed his love for her over sushi in Los Angeles.
‘I didn’t know what to say,’ she said. ‘So I said, “F**k you,” and we didn’t talk for a year.’
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical emergency that can be life-threatening.
In about one in 200 pregnancies, the fertilized egg implants outside the womb and starts to grow.
Instead of travelling along one of the two fallopian tubes into the womb, the egg lodges within it or, more rarely, within the abdominal cavity.
As the egg grows, it causes lower abdominal pain and bleeding. These symptoms usually occur within the first two months of pregnancy.
The condition is very serious because the tube can burst and cause severe internal bleeding which can in turn make the woman go into shock and collapse.
The pregnancy has to be removed and often the fallopian tube with it, depending on the damage that has been done.
If the ectopic has already burst through the wall of the tube and there has been considerable bleeding, the tube will need to be removed under a general anaesthetic via an incision about two inches across the lower abdomen.
Many patients feel well enough to get out of bed next day and leave hospital within a couple of days, returning to have stitches or clips removed.
The psychological pain takes much longer to heal, and often the biggest fear for women is that suffering an ectopic pregnancy will end her chances of ever having a child.
However, if the other tube is normal, the chances should still be good – although conception may take longer because only eggs from the ovary next to the remaining tube are likely to be fertilized.
If the other tube is damaged, then the woman would not be able to conceive normally, but fertility treatment can help.
The most common reason for an ectopic pregnancy is because the fallopian tubes have been damaged, possibly by an infection such as pelvic inflammatory disease. This can be triggered by sexually-transmitted bacteria such as chlamydia.
When they finally reunited, they decided to get married just two months later. Hope said that the night before their wedding a small group came over to her home in Washington.
‘We thought everyone could just be happy for us,’ she recalled. ‘It was dumb.’
She explained that around 4 a.m., ‘our two a*****e brothers, basically, get into this argument.’
After cops arrived on the scene and saw that she had a bloody elbow, they arrested Jerramy, who was later released without charges.
Hope and Jerramy married hours later, and she called it ‘the most triumphant day.’
A few years later, she was arrested for allegedly attacking her half-sister and nephew, although the charges were later dropped.
Despite her many controversies, she said has few regrets aside from wishing she had cut people out of her life sooner. According to Elle, she refers to her half-sister as being like Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones.
Shortly after her tenure with the national team ended, she and her husband left Washington, where she played for the Seattle Reign. They moved to North Carolina and lived in an RV while they built a compound on their 50-acre property.
Hope said she hasn’t played soccer or even really touched a ball since her career came to a halt following the 2016 Rio Olympics, though she is still in a legal battle with the USSF.
She was among five star national team players who filed a complaint in 2016 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by US Soccer.
A few years later, despite no longer being on the team, she filed a lawsuit against the federation last August, alleging discrimination under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act.
Players for the US women’s team filed a similar suit in March that accuses US Soccer of ‘institutionalized gender discrimination’ that includes unequal pay with their counterparts on the men’s national team.
Earlier this month, a three-woman panel of independent arbitrators ruled that the USSF was in violation of Federal law under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which provides legal protection for individual athletes.
‘This is a massive first step in holding US Soccer accountable and protecting athletes’ rights,’ Hope wrote on Instagram.
‘It’s crazy that we even have to wage legal battles in order to force our national governing body to simply abide by the law. But we do. And it’s a long road.
‘Nothing happens overnight and there are times you question whether anything will ever really change,’ she added. ‘Then you get news like this and you know it’s worth it, know change is possible, and know more than ever, that you need to stay the course.’
Celebration: The former goalkeeper is pictured with her teammates after defeating Japan to win the Women’s World Cup in 2015
Opinion: Hope made headlines this week for criticizing US national team coach Jill Ellis, saying she ‘cracks under the pressure’ – however she was unhappy about coverage of her comments
It was announced last April that Hope will be the subject of an upcoming biopic after Argent Pictures had acquired the rights to her life story. She admitted that she is a bit nervous about how she will be portrayed.
‘It’s scary. You know, I look at the, bless her heart, Tonya Harding movie, I, Tonya. At the end of the day, you don’t get editing rights,’ she told Elle.
Hope traveled to France this week for the World Cup, where she is serving as a commentator for the BBC.
Viewers criticized the BBC’s decision to employ the controversial American goalkeeper as a pundit for the tournament. However, the network stood by its decision.
‘We are very pleased with the expert analysis that Hope has brought to our World Cup coverage this weekend,’ a BBC spokesman said.
Hope’s has already made headlines for criticizing US national team coach Jill Ellis on a podcast, saying she’s ‘not the leader I wish her to be.’
‘She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit,’ she added. ‘But often that doesn’t matter because the quality of the players on the US team is superb. It doesn’t matter who is coaching us because we will find a way to win. The United States knows how to find a way to win in spite of who the coach is.’
The athlete made it clear on Twitter that she was displeased with the coverage of her comments, writing: ‘It’s fascinating to me that some in the US media are so eager to report about comments I made about a former coach, yet ignored a groundbreaking ruling in my case against #USSF where 3 independent arbitrators ruled @USSoccer was in violation of federal law.’