Carly Patterson is a proud mother of three. But her journey into motherhood was an emotional rollercoaster for her and her husband, Mark Caldwell. The couple suffered a miscarriage and went through many fertility treatments. But now they are a happy family of five.
Carly Patterson is an all-around Olympic gymnast champion who took home a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and is a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Patterson worked hard to build her career and has the medals to show it. But something that she also longed for was starting a family.
The athlete met her husband, Mark Caldwell, and the person she would create her dream family with at a mutual friend’s wedding. Two weeks into dating her husband, Patterson said she knew he was different from all the other men she had been with. She expressed:
“Mark is handsome, loving and he makes me laugh. He is a great support system and motivator in my life. I feel so lucky and fortunate that I get to spend forever with my best friend and the love of my life.”
After three years of dating, the couple tied the knot in Dallas in 2012. They said their I do’s in front of 250 guests, and the bride looked beautiful in a Vera Wang dress. The gold medal gymnast said she only tried on one dress and immediately knew she had found the one.
Patterson and Caldwell’s wedding had amazing food and a decked-out taco station. They paired their treats with a live 10-piece band called The Good Question. The couple was excited to start their new chapter as husband and wife, but they were also stoked to be parents.
Sadly, their journey to becoming parents was one filled with immense emotional turmoil. Patterson opened up about the turbulent rollercoaster and said that she and her husband had started trying when all their friends tried.
At first, Patterson thought falling pregnant would be easy, but she watched her friends conceive and welcome their children while she had never gotten a positive test. After a year of trying, the athlete decided to see a doctor.
She went through a few rounds of fertility treatments and finally fell pregnant. Patterson was over the moon, but when she went for her sonogram, there was no heartbeat, and she realized she had miscarried. Patterson was shuttered, she recalled. “You’re lying there, and there is no heartbeat.”
The gymnast anticipated that she would be getting bad news, and understandably, the loss was painful and heartbreaking. “That was probably the worst day of my life,” expressed Patterson.
Patterson did everything to ensure she kept her body healthy and protected from anything that could affect her chances of falling pregnant. In 2016, she was invited to speak to competing women’s gymnastics teams in Rio and turned the offer down.
The athlete mainly did not want to risk contracting the Zika virus. She confessed that she and her husband had decided to turn down the offer months before, but their doctor also advised them not to travel.
At the time, Caldwell and his wife had been trying to conceive for a year, and starting a family was their main priority.”… It’s kind of like one of those things that we didn’t want to put it on hold any longer with the trouble we’ve been having.” she added.
A few months after the miscarriage, Patterson was fit to try again. This time she opted for a intrauterine insemination (IUI). In the middle of her treatments, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, causing cysts on her ovaries.
This led to the first two rounds of IUI to be unsuccessful. However, Patterson and Caldwell did not give up. They decided they would try for the third and last time before trying IVF. The process was heartbreaking because the couple celebrated their friend’s children’s birthdays while they still dealt with the challenges of trying to conceive.
Fortunately, the third time resulted in Patterson falling pregnant. Patterson was excited; she recalled calling her husband and screaming the good news to him. “There’s nothing more that I want than to be a mom,” she said. The couple decided to take time before letting their family know because of their previous experiences.
Carly Patterson Becomes a Mother of Three.
Patterson and her husband became parents in October 2017 when they welcomed their son Graham Mitchell. Ten months after announcing the arrival of their firstborn, they shared the good news that baby number two was on the way.
In 2019, the couple welcomed their daughter Emmaline Rae Caldwell, who became a big sister in 2021 to Pearson Caldwell. Although Patterson and her husband had an emotionally challenging journey to becoming parents, the athlete said it strengthened her marriage. She explained, “It’s one of those things in a marriage where you can let it build you up or break you and tear you down.”
Caldwell and Patterson have now been married for over ten years, and for their 10th anniversary, the gymnast commemorated the milestone with ten things she learned since getting married. First on the list was keeping their faith at the center. Laughter is also an important aspect of their long-lasting marriage.
The mother of three also added that it was crucial to allow each other to grow and learn together, to constantly pursue one another, have open communication, celebrate each other, and last but not least, to learn to compromise and forgive.
During the decade-long marriage of Caldwell and Patterson, they experienced many painful moments together but came out stronger and got to live their dream of becoming parents. Now, they enjoy going on family adventures like hiking, swimming, camping, and more.