US Paralympian swimmer Mallory Weggeman and her husband Jay are expecting their first child via IVF
The couple, who married in 2016, revealed the news in an exclusive interview with People magazine.
The pair told the magazine they had always wanted to have a family but knew it might be difficult due to Jay’s infertility.
Mallory, 33, said: “There’s a lot of isolation going through IVF. There’s a stigma attached to it. There are misconceptions and assumptions. And then you add that one of us is not like the other, which brings a whole new layer to the conversation.”
The couple started the IVF process about ten months ago and have been charting their journey on social media ever since.
They had two transfers before being successful and are delighted that they are finally going to be parents.
Mallory said: “We had our second transfer in July and found out ten days later the little one had stuck.”
The couple said they were particularly grateful after the unsuccessful transfer in April.
She said: “Our loss was in April, and then in May and June you have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and we would see kids everywhere. It rocks you to your core.”
The couple said they did not have time to dwell as they had to make the decision on their next steps.
Mallory had to pull out of the Para World Swimming Championships to complete the second transfer in July, admitting some tough decisions had to be made.
She said: “We had to make some tough decisions. It was really hard.”
Mallory told the magazine she plans to stay as active as she can throughout the pregnancy and is even hoping to compete in the Paris Paralympics in 2024.
She also hopes to break down some of the stigmas and taboos about competing while pregnant and being a woman of disability.
She said: “Jay and I are passionate about being a part of that conversation and changing that stigma, changing perception of what’s possible as an athlete, a pregnant woman, and as a mother.
“And then you have the double-edged sword of a woman with a disability in a society where we won’t celebrate parents with disabilities as being capable parents. So I think that’s the whole next level of worry, the next mountain we have to climb.”
They also plan to create more embryos following Jay’s next sperm extraction surgery in December.
Mallory said: “We want to try to get a couple more embryos, so that in a few years when we are ready to talk about another child, we have that option.”
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