Lauren Burnham on Trying for Baby No. 2 & How She and Arie Became a 'Really Strong Couple' (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Presley Ann/Getty Images
Lauren Burnham and Arie Luyendyk Jr. get "closer every day." Two and a half years after the race car driver's season of The Bachelor debuted on ABC, he and Burnham couldn't be happier. They have a beautiful home in Arizona, an adorable 1-year-old daughter and a "really strong" marriage, as Burnham tells ET's Lauren Zima.
"He's my best friend. And he has been through it all," she says of her husband. "We grow closer every day. And every hardship we go through brings us closer too."
The couple recently experienced a miscarriage, sharing with fans via a YouTube video in late May that they were planning their life as a family of four before Burnham suffered a missed miscarriage a couple months into her pregnancy. As Burnham's doctor explained to her, the embryo had died, but Burnham's body did not recognize the pregnancy loss.
"It was definitely hard for both of us, and with COVID, he wasn't able to come with me to any of my doctor's appointments. So, that was a tough thing for him too because I think he really wanted to be there for me. It was hard for him to have to sit in the parking lot and not be there," Burnham shares.
"Obviously I was going through it physically, so it was really difficult for me, but I had to take a step back and be like, 'You know, he's going through this too.' So, we learned a lot about working together and the give and take of going through something like that together," she adds.
Burnham is happy that sharing her miscarriage with fans helped others feel less alone. "I had so many people reach out to me and say that they had gone through something similar, or they were going through something at the time," she reveals. "It's so hard to go through it and I don't think anyone understands it till they go through it, but I just want everyone to know that if you are, or if you ever do, that it gets easier as time goes on."
Following Burnham's miscarriage, Luyendyk gifted her with an eternity band, symbolizing how they'll always support each other through their darkest times. The 28-year-old says her reaction to the thoughtful gift was simply "tears." "[I was] really emotional because that symbolized something that was a little heartbreaking for us to go through," she explains.
Though they've only been together for two and a half years, Burnham and Luyendyk have been through a lot. He was the second Bachelor to pull a switcheroo, realizing after his engagement to Becca Kufrin that his heart belonged to Burnham. He broke up with Kufrin and eventually won Burnham back, proposing on After the Final Rose in March 2018. Kufrin was named the Bachelorette, but Luyendyk was hit with scrutiny following the season. As his new fiancée, Burnham was roped into the drama.
Burnham agrees that facing so much backlash so early on in their relationship brought her and Luyendyk closer.
"At the times when we felt like the entire world was against us, we had each other. Sometimes it felt like that's all we had," she reflects. "We got close really quickly, and I feel like we're a really strong couple because of that."
Burnham and Luyendyk have stayed in touch with Jason and Molly Mesnick, the first Bachelor couple to experience a swap and all the media scrutiny that came with it. Burnham says she recognizes some of the similarities in their situations, like how Molly was also uncomfortable in front of the camera while filming their season.
"One of the things Arie told me after our season was that part of what threw him was that I was so shy on camera. Those were the only things that he got to see of me, because any time we were together we were on camera. So, I kind of withheld a lot of my feelings until the very last day when his whole plan was already set into motion," Burnham explains. "When he heard how I really felt about him, he was like, 'Oh crap. I'm making a mistake.' You know how all that turned out, but I think that definitely has a huge play in it."
Burnham hasn't kept in touch with Kufrin, but says by this point, there are no hard feelings. "Everything is fine. I think everyone's moved on by now," she speculates.
She's also not seeking out Luyendyk's season for The Bachelor -- but admits "if it were on," she might watch. "And just have, like, a bottle of wine handy," she laughs.
Burnham and Luyendyk are looking to the future, hoping to expand their family in the next year while also growing their businesses. Luyendyk is hard at work in real estate, and Burnham just launched her own clothing line, Shades of Rose.
"I'm trying to do both at the same time. This is my work baby, but we would love to have another real baby too," she says.
Burnham started working on the line two years ago, and while its launch was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it offered her a chance to get creative.
"I was being sensitive to the climate of what we're dealing with right now, so there's a lot of pieces that you can wear if you're working from home, or you can dress them up if you're going out to do something. And same with dressing them up or down for day-to-night transitions too," she says of the line, which has 12 different pieces, ranging from $40 to $150.
The name, Shades of Rose, offers just a "little bit of a nod" to The Bachelor, but has another meaning for Burnham, who is already working on four more collections. "The rose, for me, is a symbol of femininity," she shares. "It's the shade of a rose."
Shop Shades of Rose here, and see more on Burnham and Luyendyk in the video below.