Sunday, June 1, 2008

Infertility up in the stars

That's right, it's not just us common folks. Many celebs have also experienced the journey.

Tom Arnold and ex-wife, Shelby, struggled with infertility since 2002 until their divorce in 2007. To compensate for Tom's low sperm count and poor motility, they have tried IVF with ICSI 5 times with no success. In People, they discussed how difficult infertility has been on their marriage and the cost of IVF (Guess what? They're insurance doesn't cover it either.)

David & Courtney Cox-Arquette have had a well publicized battle with infertility. After several miscarriages due to immunity problems and IVF, they finally had a healthy, baby girl, Coco. In a Good Housekeeping article, she said, "In vitro is a wonderful thing that people can do in this day and age, and I'm lucky enough to be able to afford it." She and her husband hope to try IVF one more time. If unsuccessful, they hope to bring Coco an adopted sibling.

After 7 years of TTC, actress Angela Bassett and her husband, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Courtney B. Vance welcomed twins, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah carried by surrogate.

Christie Brinkley sought in vitro fertilization treatment and had three miscarriages before giving birth at 44 to her third child, daughter Sailor Lee, with soon-to-be ex-husband Peter Cook.

Helena Bonham Carter & Tim Burton, director, welcomed a baby girl in December 2007. After trying Clomid, IVF, and several alternative treatments, the baby was conceived naturally.

Marcia Cross skipped her honeymoon to start IVF and successfully conceived twins Eden and Savannah. Even Marcia, as an actress on a high-rated show, acknowledged the high cost of IVF, telling USA Today, "it's very expensive and (requires) a lot of needles and shots."

Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, Christopher Guest, adopted their children after realizing that infertility prevented them from conceiving. Jamie has written a book, Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born. The book was "written to let children who joined their families through adoption know that their own birth stories were exciting, too".

Robert De Niro and his former companion model-turned-restaurateur Toukie Smith gave birth to twin boys via surrogate on Oct. 20, 1995.

Peri Gilpin, of Frasier, has two little girls, born May 7, by surrogate. She and her husband tried to conceive for 7 years. After many years of pain and failed IVF attempts, they were able to have two daughters, Stella and Ava.

Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas, struggled with secondary infertility for years and had some unsuccessful fertility treatment. Reportedly, the emotional pain caused by failed treatment is part of the reason why she entered rehab.

Leila Kenzle, best known for her role as Fran Devanow, Jamie Buchman's (Helen Hunt) best friend for six years on the Emmy award winning "Mad About You," has co-founded FertilityLA in Sherman Oaks, California, a psychotherapy program for people who are struggling to get pregnant.

After an ectoptic pregnancy and miscarriage with ex-husband, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and country musician, Keith Urban are expecting a baby, allegedly conceived after eight months of fertility treatment.

Alex Kingston, of ER tried to have a child for 6 years before finally giving birth to a baby girl. She states, "It didn't surprise me that women were trying IVF so many times; there's that need, and it ultimately overrides everything else." She is now supporting HER trust, a charity dedicated to investigating unanswered questions about infertility. As well as funding research, the charity will provide information for women on reproductive issues.

Although never confirmed, Jennifer Lopez allegedly conceived her babies via IVF after trying for 3 years.

Cindy Margolis- Supermodel/actress discusses her struggle with infertility and her desire to have a baby. She had her first child, Nicholas through IVF/GIFT in 2002. Her two daughters, Sabrina and Sierra were born prematurely by a surrogate on July 17, 2005. VH1 ran a special highlighting Cindy's career and struggle with infertility. Cindy recently published a guide about navigating infertility diagnosis and treatment.

'Will and Grace' star Megan Mullally, has been trying to have a baby and admits that conceiving naturally will be very hard. Rather than turn to IVF, she is considering adoption.

Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, had twins, Thomas Boone Quaid and Zoe Grace, born November 2007 via surrogate. Their faith was tested again when their babies were accidentally given a near-fatal overdose of Heparin.

Julia Roberts gave birth to twins, a girl named Hazel Patricia Moder and a boy named Phinnaeus Walter Moder. It is rumored that she conceived through IVF, but her publicist denies it.

Jane Seymour had multiple miscarriages and painful infertility treatments. She has also written a book "Two at a time" to describe her and her husband's ordeal.

Brooke Shields gave birth to baby, Grier (conceived naturally) on April 18, 2006. She had her daughter, Rowan after many IVF cycles. Brooke now speaks out on infertility (and yes, postpartum depression). Her book Down Came the Rain chronicles her struggles with infertility and postpartum depression.

Sharon Stone reportedly suffers from recurrent early miscarriages and recently adopted her second child.

Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young- Desperate Housewives) wrestled with infertility and turned to the practice of yoga to manage and alleviate the associated stress brought on by the diagnosis. She released a Yoga 4 Fertility DVD in 2004. She will serve as the first national spokesperson for The American Fertility Association (AFA).

Oscar-winner, Emma Thompson suffered a miscarriage in 1997 and was subsequently diagnosed with PCOS. She was able to have a daughter, Gaia in 1999 at the age of 40. Later IVF attempts failed. She is happy with her daughter, but notes that "there are thousands and thousands of women like me who can't have children." In 2006, Emma and her husband adopted a teenager from Rwanda.

Nia Vardalos, the genius behind "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" has been ttc for eight years. She is currently undergoing infertility treatment.

Kellie Coffey, country singer, based her song, I Would Die For That, on her experiences with infertility. In December 2007, Kellie announced that she was pregnant with second child "after trying for awhile and having another miscarriage."

Sharon Osbourne revealed that she and husband, Ozzie, tried IVF to conceive a baby after son, Jack. However, she described it as "mental torture" and could not try it again.

Music legend, David Bowie and his wife, model, Iman, had troubles conceiving. They tried IVF for one year before giving up. Iman then tried an old African fertility ritual that requires the woman to carry a baby for a day. So, Iman carried model Chrisite Brinkley's baby with her for a day in September 1999 and stated, "Boom! I got pregnant a few months later!"

Pop star Gary Numan, is thrilled at finally becoming a dad after years of stressful attempts and IVF treatment. The veteran singer's wife Gemma gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Raven Webb - who was five weeks premature - after seven IVF attempts and two miscarriages. The CARS singer, 45, gushes, "I'm feeling very emotional and just overawed by the whole thing. The early birth was a monumental surprise."

Celine Dion had a bouncing baby boy through IVF with ICSI after she and her husband, Rene were unable to conceive following cancer treatment. Celine has embryos frozen in New York and plans to go through IVF again now that her Las Vegas show has ended.

Former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham has PCOS, a common cause of infertility. PCOS inhibited the conception of her first child, but she has had no problem since then.

Both Emily and Martie of the Dixie Chicks found that they couldn't pass on their musical genes without help. Emily underwent over two years of testing before having a baby through IVF. Martie waited two and a half years before finding out she was pregnant with twin daughers, Eva and Kathleen by IVF. Martie announced, "I'm 33, and I realize fertility's not a given, it's a gift." On their most recent album, the song, "It's So Hard When It Doesn't Come Easy" addresses their infertility problems.


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