Having a big family was always a dream of Kim Kardashian West‘s — and something she just assumed would fall into place when the time was right.
But after having daughter North, who turns 2 on June 15, the reality queen had an inkling things might not go as smoothly the second time around. Her first pregnancy ended in a complicated delivery due to preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition in which a woman’s blood pressure skyrockets during pregnancy, as well as placenta accreta, where blood vessels from the placenta grow into the uterine wall and remain attached.
“Kim also had three surgeries to repair her uterus,” a source close to the star tells PEOPLE. “The inner lining had been so damaged that she was told conceiving on her own wasn’t possible.”
With the help of her fertility doctors, Kardashian West had IVF treatment with hormones four months ago, which sadly didn’t take.
The next month, the couple conceived using IVF, but on Kardashian West’s natural cycle, without hormones. (And no, the source says, she isn’t expecting twins!)
Kardashian West is thrilled — but having a hard time with the pregnancy. “I have the worst morning sickness, day sickness, night sickness,” she told reporters Monday night at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Adds the source, “this pregnancy is very different because she’s sick all the time. She’s very nauseous and very tired.”
The source says the pair are expecting a high-risk delivery “but are prepared. It’s been a long road, and they are just so thankful to the doctors because they said she would never conceive again.” The source also says this pregnancy will also likely be Kardashian West’s last because of the complications she’s already experienced.
For now, her priority is to simply take care of herself until the new addition arrives in December. “She’s trying to rest and doing what she can to not get preeclampsia again, but there’s a chance she might,” says the source. Adds Dr. Lisa Masterson, an OB/GYN who has not treated Kardashian West: “[Her condition] does tend to repeat itself. The best thing she could do is just be healthy — eat right and exercise.”
Struggles aside, the miracle of being pregnant isn’t lost on the expectant star. “I’m so grateful to even be pregnant when we didn’t think it would ever happen for us,” she said. “It is so worth it!”
For more on Kardashian West’s struggle to conceive and all the emotional details, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
— Jennifer GarciaFollow @jengarciaallen