Former Olympian Carly Patterson is expecting her first child with husband Mark Caldwell — but it hasn't been an easy journey for the gymnast. Patterson, who announced her pregnancy last week, revealed to People that for over two years, she and her husband struggled to conceive.
After a year of trying without getting pregnant, she told People, she and Caldwell were able to conceive after a round of infertility treatments.
“We were pregnant. I was like, ‘Well, that was easy,’ ” she shares. “But then we went in for our sonogram and realized we’d had a miscarriage. That was really difficult, and I ended up having to have a couple [dilation and curretage surgeries] after that.”
You will forever be my always♥️ pic.twitter.com/od86cripYO— Carly Patterson (@CarlyPatterson) April 13, 2017
Months later, she was healthy enough to try again, this time with intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which sperm is placed in the uterus. But in between treatments, Patterson was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine system disorder that comes with symptoms such as irregular periods and even infertility. The condition caused cysts to grow on Patterson's ovaries, causing the first two IUI attempts to be unsuccessful.
The emotionally taxing process, Patterson told People, was made all the more difficult by watching the couple's friends become pregnant.
"We started trying right around when our friends starting trying," she told People. "So we watched all of them get pregnant, no problem. Then we watched their kids be born. Now we’ve watched their kids turn 1, and we’re over here like, ‘We’re still trying.’"
However, Patterson and Caldwell agreed to undergo one last round of IUI in January — and received good news.
"We were gonna do this last IUI a third time, and if not, we were gonna go to in vitro fertilization," she told People. "But this last IUI in January worked."
Our sweet little babe❤️👶🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/A09WnXWv1L— Carly Patterson (@CarlyPatterson) April 19, 2017
Patterson told People that the baby is due in October, and while the couple is still waiting to find out the sex, they already have names in mind.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about a quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage — however, it's an issue that largely remains undiscussed, in part due to stigma.
Patterson, however, wanted to share her story in hopes that anyone else who may be struggling with conceiving can take heart in the fact that they aren't alone.
"I’m sharing my story so that anyone going through something similar can know there’s hope, and they’re not alone," she told People.
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