U. S. Senator from Illinois, Tammy Duckworth, announced Tuesday that she's pregnant and the birth will be history-making. She'll be the first sitting senator to give birth while in office. At 49 years old, Duckworth has been open about her struggles with infertility. Her fertility success story is opening up conversation for other hopeful mothers in their forties.
"We tried 18 years to get pregnant. Sorry..." Tracy Murrell spoke to WFMY News 2 reporter Carly Flynn Morgan through tears.
The 44-year-old went through three rounds of in vitro fertilization and one miscarriage before her son Keaton was born in August. She’s now back to work as a hairstylist at Girls’ Cut N Up in Greensboro.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth struggled with infertility before conceiving her first child, Abigail, who’s now 3 years old. She had multiple IVF cycles and a miscarriage while trying to conceive this time at the age of 49.
Doctor Rick Taavon with Wendover OBGYN and Infertility in Greensboro says certain pregnancy complications increase with age and naturally, fertility declines significantly in your forties. But he says in vitro fertilization is making more and more women that age mothers.
"I think now given the improvement of IVF techniques and technology in general I think the prognosis is fabulous compared to maybe what we offered people 5, 10 years ago," said Dr. Taavon, who treated Murrell.
Murrell admires Duckworth. They’re both working mothers who got a later start. She sees the positives and says Keaton was worth the wait.
"I feel like I have a lot more patience now, older. It's a good thing," she said. "You can do it in your forties.”
Duckworth will turn 50 years old a month before her due date this spring.