Celebrity chef and Food Network star Katie Lee revealed her heartbreaking infertility struggles on Instagram as a way to open the conversation for those who are struggling with issues in having their own children.
The Kitchen star, who trades recipes and tips alongside Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, revealed her story on her social media page, hoping to inspire and educate others. Lee revealed that the genesis of this post came after well-meaning people kept asking her when she and husband Ryan Biegel would be starting their own family.
The couple has been married since 2018. She was previously married to singer and songwriter Billy Joel from 2004-2010. Lee and Joel had no children during their marriage.
“I get multiple messages a day asking me if I’m pregnant or why I am not pregnant yet,” said Lee on Instagram.
She noted that well-wishers ask the slim star if she “gained weight” hoping for some happy news. Lee then revealed that while she realizes that people mean well, their comments can be “hurtful” since she and Biegel have been trying to conceive since their marriage.
“When Ryan and I got married, our plan was to start a family right away. I couldn’t wait to get pregnant I naively thought it would be easy. I’m a healthy woman, I eat a balanced diet, exercise, I don’t smoke. Ryan is the same,” she explained.
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I get multiple messages a day asking me if I’m pregnant or why I am not pregnant yet. I get comments saying I look like I’ve gained weight, so I must be pregnant. After one said that I looked “thick in the waist” I finally responded that it’s not ok to comment on a woman’s body and you never know what someone is going through. There is so much pressure on women to look a certain way and while most mean well with baby questions, it can be hurtful. Many of you sent me messages sharing your personal stories of fertility issues. You helped me, so now I want to share my story with you. When Ryan and I got married, our plan was to start a family right away. I couldn’t wait to get pregnant! I naively thought it would be easy. I’m a healthy woman, I eat a balanced diet, exercise, I don’t smoke. Ryan is the same. But reproductive health is an entirely different ballgame. We were trying, I had to have surgery to correct a problem, got an infection, then I was so run down I got shingles. My doctor advised us to try iVF. We just finished the intense process only to get zero healthy embryos. Not only is iVF physically exhausting, the emotional toll is unparalleled. We were filled with hope and excitement only to be crushed. It is really hard to put on a happy face. Fertility issues are supposed to be private so many of us are silently in pain. I hesitated to share this but I feel comfort when I hear others’ stories and I hope any of you in a similar situation know you are not alone. When people ask me when I’m getting pregnant, it hurts. It’s just a reminder that I’m not. When they say I look like I’ve gained weight, I have. I can’t exercise as much and the hormones have made me bloated. At church on Easter, the priest started his sermon with a story about a family struggling to have a baby and the happiness they are now experiencing that their prayers have been answered. He said it is a time of new beginnings. Tears streamed down my face. I know a family will happen for us, it is just going to be a different journey than we imagined. We will keep working towards it. Someday we will have our happy new beginning and I pray any of you experiencing the same will have yours too.
The issues that she encountered, as noted in her Instagram post, was that Lee quickly learned “reproductive health is an entirely different ballgame.”
She then revealed that she and her husband had explored In-Vitro Fertilization. According to the Mayo Clinic’s official website, the procedure entails the collection of mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries, which is helped by hormones a woman takes to assist the process. The eggs are then fertilized by sperm in a lab. Once the eggs are impregnated by the sperm, they are implanted in a woman’s uterus.
According to People Magazine, Lee and Biegel met while he was a producer on her Food Network show Beach Bites. Their relationship developed quickly as the twosome realized they had a love of food and adventure and wanted to share their lives with one another.
Biegel and Lee became engaged in March 2018 and tied the knot in September 2018 in Italy. The ceremony was held on the Amalfi Coast at Lo Scoglio da Tommaso in Marina del Cantone, reported People Magazine. The bride wore a Danielle Frankel gown with vintage jewelry.
The Kitchen airs weekdays on The Food Network.