The reality show follows the larger-than-life Bates family of Rocky Top. Together, husband and wife Gil and Kelly Jo Bates raise their family of 19 children, plus five sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren. During the January 11th episode of "Bringing Up Bates," Michaella Bates Keilen revealed that she and her husband have been working with a fertility specialist for a year now. The Keilens have been married since August 2015, and their fertility struggles have gone back to season six of the show.
- Michaella's sister, Erin Bates Paine, and mother, Kelly Jo Bates, discovered this on their trip to Chicago to visit the young couple.
- The couple is still waiting for answers to their fertility problems.
- The cost of using a specialist has taken a toll on their bank account.
A Trip to Chicago
The couple recently obtained a new rental house in Chicago, and during Erin's visit, she asked how the couple's fertility journey was going. Even though they live in Chicago, the couple plans to go to East Tennessee again for another test. In terms of their struggles with getting pregnant, the couple has both good days and bad days. "Perspective changes a lot when I focus on what I do have. Brandon's gracious...he prays with me. He leaves me notes and roses, and he'll wake up early and get coffee, just lets me know that he cares...that helps a lot, but at the same time, I just, there's days I cry a lot, and there's other days that I don't seem to be fazed. We just take walks and have fun together, so it's a lot of back and forth."
Still Waiting for Answers
According to Michaella, "The whole journey to find an answer and just see what might be the problem is very emotional. I think we've tried all of the major tests, and there's one more procedure that I want to have done, and then after that, just take a break and enjoy each other and maybe start this journey again later if we don't have an answer."
Fertility specialists can be quite pricey, a phenomenon that the Keilen's are painfully aware of. Michaella says that their own has cost quite a lot of money. The couple's struggles are shared by many others who are having issues becoming pregnant. Hopefully, this episode will let other couples know that they are not alone.