Carly Patterson’s pregnancy story will make you cry. And smile. And cheer for the Olympic gold medalist who wanted nothing more than to have a baby.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, no matter how hard you try. After months of infertility, Carly asked Dr. Lowell Ku and our DFW fertility center to find out what was holding her back. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes hormonal imbalances and infertility in some women. She began a course of treatment that included IUI (intrauterine insemination).The results were positive, but sadly that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.
“We were just very naive in thinking that we were going to get pregnant right away when we first started.”
Carly: I wouldn’t change our journey for anything. [laughs] I don’t know if I can do this.
Mark: We met at a mutual friend’s wedding. I was living in DC at the time, came down here for a wedding and then we dated long distance for about a year until I moved back to Dallas and then we continued dating, got engaged and got married November of 2012.
Carly: Yep! He forgot the best part, at the wedding we met in the buffet line. He kind of came up behind me and then I just turned around … and the rest is history after that.
We didn’t want to start trying to have babies right away, we wanted to be able to just travel and be married. And it’d just be the two of us because we knew once we had kids we were never going to be like that again, right?
So we just wanted to, like I said, get as many trips in as we could and just be married and do us for a while.
Starting a family was supposed to be easy
Carly: But we were just very naive in thinking that we were going to get pregnant right away when we first started. Actually all of my family (my aunts, my mom) they all got pregnant as soon as they got off birth control. [It’s like] they just thought about it and they’re pregnant.
So I was [thinking], We’re going to be like that too, no problem.
Mark: We were trying to plan it out to the month, which was fine. This December we’ll start trying after these vacations and things like that.
Carly: Yeah, things that fertility and getting pregnant do not care about.
I didn’t notice at the time but I had PCOS. So nothing I guess kind of ever like really was right and it would kind of play tricks on us. We would think we were pregnant because I would think I was late. We’d get our hopes up and then I take pregnancy test after pregnancy test and get negative after negative. We started thinking like, Okay maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as we thought.
Finding hope with IVF and Dr. Ku
Carly: Our friends and his sister actually had come to Dallas IVF and worked with Dr. Ku and so they just said, “You know what, it’s not going to hurt to make an appointment, go in, just maybe see what’s going on and talk about your options and what you know they could do for you.”
I remember just going into that meeting and him being so nice.
I think that hope in his voice just really, you know, made me feel comfortable and made me feel hopeful like, Okay we’re going to make this happen for you. We’re going to find out what’s going on, we’re going to find out the best route and best treatment for you and we’re going to make it happen.
Dr. Ku: Carly’s evaluation began with pelvic sonogram, semen analysis and tubal testing. From our workup we realize that she has polycystic ovary. And when we sat down and looked at the results, we decided to come up with a nice game plan, and we began conservatively with insemination.
Sharing the burden after stressful miscarriage
With Carly’s first IUI she conceived but unfortunately she had a miscarriage and after several IUI’s afterwards I’m happy to report she got pregnant and now she’s pregnant with her first baby.
Mark: The funny thing is once you opened up and started sharing, that’s when we got pregnant. It was almost like that burden was released and being able to talk about it kind of relieved the stress that was on us to get pregnant.
Carly: So exciting and we were just like, Oh my gosh this is for real, this is actually happening. And so it was just really awesome.
People have to go through this type of stuff every single day and it just makes us very thankful that we are going to get to experience this now in kind of a whole new light. I think every day you know we’ll wake up and we will see that baby and remember what we had to go through to get it.
It’ll just be that much more special for us I think.