We remember Jon and Kate Gosselin as the endearing Pennsylvania couple with eight children. On Jon & Kate Plus 8, we witnessed their trials and triumphs while raising their eight kids — a set of twins and a set of sextuplets. Many parents can’t imagine having eight kids, let alone carrying as many as six children during a single pregnancy. And it had many wondering: Did Kate mean to have so many multiples, or did it all occur by chance?
Here’s the truth about whether the Gosselin’s hoped for twins followed by sextuplets or not.
Kate used intrauterine insemination to get pregnant with their sextuplets
The Washington Post notes an estimated one out of every eight couples in the U.S. has infertility troubles — and after Kate gave birth to her twins, she was experiencing the same strife.
In Multiple Bles8ings, the Gosselin’s best-selling novel, Kate describes how difficult it was for her to get pregnant with her first children due to her polycystic ovarian syndrome. After treatments which clearly yielded success, she was ready to try again — but she went to a new doctor to get their opinion on her best options. The doctor recommended a treatment consisting of fertility drug injections in combination with intrauterine insemination, which involved sperm being injected directly into the uterus. The treatments worked — but by the time Kate was going in for ultrasounds to see how the baby was coming along, they realized there wasn’t just one child growing. Instead, they saw seven developing embryos.
It’s common for intrauterine insemination to cause multiple pregnancies
The news that multiple children were growing shocked Kate and Jon. But in reality, it’s quite common for intrauterine insemination to fertilize multiple eggs, leading to multiple children. While in vitro fertilization is typically a more effective option, it’s expensive and not always covered by insurance. The Washington Post notes their odds of having sextuplets would have been greatly reduced if they went for in vitro fertilization, too. But The New York Times mentions intrauterine insemination is less invasive and less expensive, and insurance will also typically cover the procedure. This made it a viable option for Jon and Kate, who at the time were still working to make ends meet.
Kate and Jon made it clear that they wouldn’t be selectively reducing their children — so they went forth with the multiples. Seven embryos soon developed into six growing babies, and though the likelihood of complications was high, we know now that all of the children are thriving.
Kate and Jon only wanted one more child, not six
As far as what Kate and Jon wanted, they’ve stated in the past that no only did they not plan for more multiples, but they never wanted six kids at once in the first place. The Washington Post notes Kate said she wanted “just one more baby” after the twins. Kate and Jon even told their second pregnancy specialist that they didn’t want more multiples. But, because they also decided they wouldn’t selectively reduce, they stuck it out. Thus Jon & Kate Plus 8 graced our TVs on TLC.
We know now that pressure in the public eye (as well as raising a huge family) led to marital troubles for the couple, and they later had a highly-publicized divorce. If Kate had only become pregnant with one child, would her marriage with Jon have worked out? She once claimed, “Parents of multiples have triple the divorce rate,” so perhaps she had a suspicion that it might impact their marriage. Today, she maintains full custody of the kids.
We might not have a TV show following the family anymore, but Kate still posts photos of her large family to keep fans up to date. Fans can also look forward to watching Kate get back into the dating game on the upcoming TLC series, Kate Plus Date.
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