Olympian Carly Patterson Caldwell Prepares for Motherhood
Entertainment She won Women's All-Around Gold at the 2004 Olympic Games, but getting pregnant proved a much more elusive goal.
Gymnast Carly Patterson Caldwell and her husband, Mark, tried for two years to have a baby. Frustrated and discouraged, they reached out to a fertility specialist. Their efforts eventually paid off.
“It's the most amazing feeling, knowing we are going to get to meet our baby in a few months,” says Caldwell, 29. “He/she has grown a lot in the last couple weeks, so I'm starting to feel kicks and movement pretty much every day.”
A difficult journey
Caldwell admits trying to become pregnant was extremely challenging. “The most emotional part was going through our miscarriage last year. To hear 'you're pregnant!' — the words we had been waiting to hear for so long — and have that taken away was the hardest thing my husband and I ever had to go through.”
Hard work served Caldwell well as an international competitor, but attempting to conceive was unfamiliar territory. “Everything was completely out of my control, and that was hard to understand. I really had to rely on my faith and know God had it all worked out.”
A surprising diagnosis
“I could have never imagined this was going to be our journey, but all the struggles, tears and bad days were absolutely worth it.”
From specialist Lowell Ku, M.D., of Dallas IVF, Caldwell learned she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common and treatable health issue often affecting women’s fertility. Symptoms can include irregular periods, unexplained weight gain and acne.
Following treatment for PCOS, the couple was able to conceive via intrauterine insemination (IUI). But it didn't happen immediately.
Hanging in there
“We were on our third round of IUI treatments when we finally conceived. If that hadn't worked, we had already planned to move to IVF. But the third time was a charm.”
Caldwell adds, “I could have never imagined this was going to be our journey, but all the struggles, tears and bad days were absolutely worth it. It makes being pregnant that much more of a special experience, and there will be lots of happy tears in the delivery room in October.”