Carly Patterson opens up about her difficult journey to pregnancy

Following her exciting pregnancy announcement, Olympian Carly Patterson shares her experience of over two years of heartache and disappointment.

Tommy’s news, 02/05/2017

We want to wish a congratulations to 2004 Olympics champion Carly Patterson and her husband Mark Caldwell on their recent pregnancy news from everyone at Tommy's.

Following her announcement on Instagram, Carly has opened up about her experience of trying to get pregnant.

Becoming parents is not easy for everybody. For Carly and Mark, this exciting news comes after over two years of difficulties.

They went to a fertility specialist in Dallas after struggling to conceive naturally.


Carly fell pregnant after the first round of treatments but sadly had a miscarriage.

Carly told People,

‘We were pregnant. I was like, ‘Well, that was easy.’ But then we went in for our sonogram and realized we’d had a miscarriage. That was really difficult.’

She had to have dilation and curettage surgeries and it was months before she has recovered enough to able to try again.

Carly was also diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, which causes cysts on her ovaries.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common causes of female infertility.

While the exact cause is currently unknown, it is thought to be related to abnormal hormone levels.

It can mean that women often fail to ovulate or ovulate infrequently, causing irregular or absent periods and difficulties in falling pregnant.

This was particularly hard for Carly and Mark as a missed period would give them false hope.

‘It would kind of play tricks on us and we would think we were pregnant because I would think I was late and we’d get our hopes us. Then I would take pregnancy test after pregnancy test and get negative after negative. We started thinking, ‘Ok, maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as we thought.’”

Carly had her ovarian cysts removed, a procedure which corrects your hormone imbalance and can restore the normal function of your ovaries. 


After her third round of intaurine insemination (IUI), a fertility treatment where the sperm is placed in the woman’s uterus, Carly found out she was pregnant.

Carly and Mark were initially anxious to tell their families the news, but following their first sonogram they couldn’t help but share.

Difficult journeys to parenthood can be difficult, particularly when others around you are not experiencing the same struggles.

Carly said her pregnancy journey has been ‘emotionally draining’, but that miscarriage has made she and Mark even stronger.

Sharing their story

They have also found that opening up about their experience has been a relief.

Mark said;

‘The funny thing is that once you [Carly] opened up and started sharing that we got pregnant, it’s 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.’

It is so important that more people share their tricky paths to pregnancy like Carly and Mark so that other families going through similar know they’re not the only ones.

Carly told People,

‘I’m sharing my story so that anyone going through something similar can know there’s hope, and they’re not alone.’

We’re so pleased for Carly and Mark and wish the am all the best for the remainder of their journey.

More information

If you’ve been comforted or encouraged by Carly’s story and want to read more, take a look at our Book of #misCOURAGE where brave mums and dads have shared their pregnancy hardships.

Miscarriage can be extremely difficult and sometimes you may need a little extra support. The miscarriage section on our website is dedicated to giving you the most to date advice and information about miscarriage.

With thanks to People where this story was originally published.

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