Following a years-long struggle with infertility, the Prison Break and Good Doctor actress is expecting a baby boy this fall

By Melody Chiu
August 28, 2019 12:03 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Candida Wohlgemuth

After years of struggling with infertility, Prison Break actress Camille Guaty is expecting a baby boy this fall with husband Sy Rhys Kaye.

“The day the nurse called to tell me I was pregnant, I burst out crying!” the 43-year-old TV star tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I made her say it to me four or five times. I feel so grateful now and can’t wait to meet our son.”

Guaty’s emotional journey to motherhood began nearly six years ago when she and her songwriter-producer husband began trying for a baby naturally when she was 37.

A year later, Guaty and Kaye, 39, visited their first in-vitro fertilization clinic, where the actress was told her ovarian reserve was “equivalent to that of a 50-year-old.”

“You never think this is going to be your story,” she says. “Women come up to me and say, ‘If you’re 43 and pregnant, I have plenty of time!’ I just want to say, ‘It didn’t happen the way you think it did.'”

The couple went through five failed rounds of IVF and also tried intrauterine insemination — which involves placing the sperm directly into the uterus — but were still unable to get pregnant.

Camille Guaty and Sy Rhys Kaye
| Credit: Candida Wohlgemuth

Two years ago, Guaty visited another doctor in New York who felt confident about her chances of conceiving and put her on a three-month regimen to start her sixth round of IVF.

“I thought he was the end-all, be-all,” says Guaty. “But then I took such a nosedive in my fertility in those three months that he was like, ‘I don’t know what happened!’ My fertility was pretty much nonexistent.”

Last year, Guaty and Kaye began discussions of using an egg donor. “I honestly had a difficult time wrapping my mind around this choice,” she admits. “Just a couple of years ago, the idea of another woman’s egg in my body was unfathomable.”

For all the details on Camille Guaty’s “miracle” pregnancy after a heartbreaking struggle with infertility, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

But the star stayed open-minded, and after months of looking the couple found a donor through an “amazing IVF clinic in Mexico.”

During this time, Guaty was guest-starring as a 38-weeks pregnant woman on The Good Doctor, which shot in Canada.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

“Sy flew to Mexico to give his sperm deposit, and I FaceTimed him from my trailer while the wardrobe team was putting on my prosthetic belly,” she recalls. “I saw this look on my doctor’s face. He told me our donor had messed up her final shot and ovulated all 17 eggs, so they weren’t retrievable.”

That devastating call happened just moments before Guaty was supposed to head onto set to shoot a post-birth scene in which her character is handed a newborn.

“When they handed me the baby for my birth-scene moments later, I lost it,” she says. “Five years of emotion and heartache just came out, and I was crying uncontrollably.”

Despite being “tapped out” both emotionally and financially, Kaye wanted to try again with a new egg donor. But Guaty, who began working with foster children during this time, wanted him to consider foster-to-adoption as well.

RELATED VIDEO: Gabrielle Union’s Heartbreaking Struggle with Infertility: ‘I’ve Had 8 or 9 Miscarriages’

“After we found a second egg donor, we were told she could only give us two eggs — and then only one embryo matured. That’s when I told my husband, ‘I can’t do this. It’s too much pressure,” she says.

Just as the couple began seeing eye-to-eye and seriously considering adoption, Guaty received the call that she was pregnant.

“When we both let go of our expectations of what parenthood was supposed to be, our pregnancy happened with that one golden egg,” she says about their mutual breakthrough. “I had such faith that I was going to be a mother. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out but, I realized being a mother means nurturing a child in an environment that will help them grow and flourish. That’s a family.”

In 2018, she co-founded Foster a Dream, a non-profit that works with the Department of Children and Family Services to improve the lives of foster children.

Now, the star hopes that her story will help other women — especially those who are fearful of opening up about using an egg donor — feel less alone.

“What a gift [our egg donor] gave us. Let’s celebrate that there was a person so selfless and able to give us this opportunity,” she says. “It’s something we don’t talk about. I want to inspire women to start speaking out about their fertility challenges. I want people to know that this is my journey. [Being open] erases the shame and stigma and has made me feel more confident.”

And after everything they’ve been through, Guaty and Kaye feel it was all meant to be.

“While this journey has felt endless, and I’ve been in the depths of despair, I feel so grateful now,” says the actress. “Through everything, Sy and I became a stronger couple, and we know our second child is going to come from the foster system. We’re going to have a really cool family.”