After countless months of attempting to get pregnant, Chuck Wicks and wife, Kasi, suspected that something was wrong — and medical tests confirmed the heartbreaking news. The pair suffered from infertility.
The pair decided to share their challenging journey with PEOPLE in hopes to help others like them as they have since gotten their wish: Kasi is set to deliver their baby boy in December.
The couple had been attempting to get pregnant since they were married on July 12, 2019, as Chuck has always wanted to be a dad. Kasi, 36, has three daughters from a previous marriage and prior to meeting Chuck, she says, “I thought I was done.”
But she then reveals, “I couldn’t imagine not having a child with him.”
“As a man,” says Chuck, “the last thing you want someone to tell you is you can’t do this. It makes you feel small. It makes you feel like you’re not a man.”
Two had been set on the only available course of treatment, which required retrieving Chuck’s few sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF). And while a normal single ejaculation contains 100 million sperm, Chuck’s count was never more than 15.
Then, late last fall, he began to regularly leave specimens for clinicians to undertake the task of locating the tiny single cells, which were then frozen for the anticipated IVF.
And on the day of Kasi’s egg retrieval, Chuck produced a fresh specimen (considered the most reliable) but the small amount of sperm found were listless and deemed unusable. To add to the couple’s disappointment, Chuck’s saved specimens were thawed and none had survived the freezing process.
The medical team then decided to administer a stimulant to the fresh specimen and soon, both Chuck and Kasi received the good news: two sperm had come to life. One of each was then injected directly into two eggs and the news day, the couple learned one of the eggs had been successfully fertilized.
“It was just one egg, one sperm, and it actually worked,” says Kasi, sister of Jason Aldean.
The embryo was then frozen and the couple waited another two months so Kasi could take hormone shots that prepared her body for pregnancy. In the interim, genetic testing determined the embryo was healthy and it would be the little boy they had been hoping for.
And along with Kasi’s three daughters, 9-year-old Avery, 19-year-old Madison and 21-year-old Makenzie (the latter two adopted during her earlier marriage), Chuck jokes, “We’re loaded up on estrogen!”
Kasi then underwent an embryo transfer on March 25 while Chuck watched.
“I see this incubator come in,” he recalls, “and I just start sobbing because I knew inside that incubator was my little boy.” And just eight days later, both Kasi and Chuck celebrated when a home test revealed a positive result. Two days after, their fertility specialist confirmed the pregnancy.
And while they await the birth of their son, Chuck says he has come to terms with his medical condition. “It just happens,” he says, “so that’s the reassuring part.”
Both say they feel blessed beating the odds. “The fact that we had to go this route,” Chuck says, “makes us realize even more how special having a child is.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.