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Katie Lee expecting first child following struggles with infertility

Katie Lee visits SiriusXM Studios on Nov.

 Katie Lee visits SiriusXM Studios on Nov. 20, 2019 in New York City.  Credit: Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil

Following struggles with infertility, Food Network star Katie Lee says she and her TV-producer husband Ryan Biegel are expecting their first child together.

"Eating for two," Lee, 38, wrote on Instagram Wednesday, with a photo of herself eating spaghetti at a kitchen counter and sporting a baby bump. "Baby Biegel is on the way!"

Lee, who  was married to pop star Billy Joel from 2004-09, fielded a host of congratulations from many in the food and lifestyle industries. They included fellow Food Network host Kardea Brown and "Mom Brain" podcaster Hilaria Baldwin, wife of Massapequa-raised Emmy Award-winner Alec Baldwin. Lee's close friend, celebrity wedding planner Marcy Blum, commented, "Already rehearsing for my Auntie Mame role," followed by four red hearts.

Biegel, whom Lee married in September 2018, has not commented publicly.

In April, Lee had made known the couple's troubled efforts to conceive, writing on Instagram, "I get multiple messages a day asking me if I'm pregnant or why I am not pregnant yet," and revealing the hurt such questions caused. "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."

She went on to say, "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."

Surgery to address the problem led to an infection and, in turn, shingles, she wrote. A round of in vitro fertilization yielded "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." Saying fertility issues "are supposed to be private … 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."

Concluding on a hopeful note, Lee said, "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."

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