Katie Lee previously opened up about not giving up on her dream of having a family in an essay for PEOPLE

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Katie Lee is having a baby!

The Food Network star, 38, is expecting her first child with husband Ryan Biegel after a history with infertility struggles, she announced on Instagram Wednesday.

Lee revealed her happy news alongside a photo of herself at a kitchen counter, holding up a forkful of spaghetti from a bowl on the counter. Her black long-sleeved shirt was pulled up to expose her bare baby belly.

“Eating for two ? Baby Biegel is on the way!” she captioned the snapshot.

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Katie Lee
Credit: Katie Lee/Instagram
Food Network 25th Birthday Party Celebration At 11th Annual New York City Wine & Food Festival
Katie Lee (L) and Ryan Biegel
| Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty

The chef and cookbook author opened up in an exclusive essay for PEOPLE about her fertility challenges last May after previously posting about it on Instagram, addressing the fact that she and Biegel had had difficulties conceiving since their September 2018 wedding.

“I know a family will happen for us; it’s just not going to be as easy as we thought,” Lee wrote of being optimistic for the future. “We will keep working toward it. Someday we will have our happy new beginning.”

The now-mom-to-be, who said she has read similar infertility stories from many women online, went on to offer comfort to other couples experiencing the same struggles, sending her prayers for their own happy endings.

“I pray any of you out there experiencing the same will have yours too,” added Lee, who’d had surgery and undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) in attempts to get pregnant.

katielee
Katie Lee
| Credit: Katie Lee Kitchen/Instagram

RELATED VIDEO: Katie Lee on Staying Hopeful Through Fertility Struggles: “I Know a Family Will Happen for Us”

Lee’s Instagram post addressing the couple’s hurdles came in April 2019 after she was moved by her pastor’s sermon on Easter Sunday, as he touched on the beauty of “new beginnings” while telling a story of a couple trying to grow their family.

“I get multiple messages a day asking me if I’m pregnant or why I am not pregnant yet,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “After one said that I looked ‘thick in the waist’ I finally responded that it’s not ok to comment on a woman’s body and you never know what someone is going through.”

“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,” she continued of her preconceived notions of getting pregnant, but she quickly learned “reproductive health is an entirely different ballgame.”

“We just finished the intense process only to get zero healthy embryos,” Lee said of the couple’s journey with fertility treatments. “Not only is IVF physically exhausting, the emotional toll is unparalleled. We were filled with hope and excitement only to be crushed.”

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Katie Lee
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

“It is really hard to put on a happy face,” she admitted. “Fertility issues are supposed to be private so many of us are silently in pain. 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. When they say I look like I’ve gained weight, I have. I can’t exercise as much and the hormones have made me bloated,” Lee continued.

Her candid post touched several celebrities, including Daphne Oz, Hilaria Baldwin and Nate Berkus, all of whom offered their support.

“Love you. Strong, smart women, unafraid to be vulnerable, should be running the world,” Berkus wrote.