From Hollywood to Singapore, celebrities share how they’ve beaten the odds to become parents.
Lee Yang Yi
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While the decision to start a family may seem like a simple one, actually making it happen doesn’t come easy for every couple. And celebrities aren’t excluded.
The path to welcoming their bundle may have been riddled with obstacles - some have gone through multiple rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, while others turned to surrogacy.
However painful the experience was, it takes real courage to share about the often taboo subject of infertility. So, kudos to these stars, who’ve shared their moving, honest and emotional paths to parenthood.
Scroll through our gallery to read their inspiring experiences…
While it is often (falsely) believed that a couple’s infertility issues tend to be a women’s issue, in the case of the Titanic singer and her husband, manager and musical producer Rene Angelil — who passed on in 2016 — that cannot be further from the truth. The couple had been trying for six years before they succeeded in conceiving their first son, Rene-Charles, in 2001. And that was after the pair turned to IVF due to Angelil’s low sperm count. And if you think Dion’s road to conceiving more child after that episode was any easier — thing again. She had to endure another six rounds of IVF and suffer a miscarriage before, incredibly, giving birth to twin boys Eddy and Nelson in 2010, at the age of 42. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t give up! Dion once said, “The only reward that would mean anything to me is my children. There’s nothing that can top being a mother." (Photo: Instagram/Celine Dion)
This Hollywood A-lister, 50, suffered several miscarriages during her first marriage to actor Tom Cruise. The couple eventually decide to adopt two children — Isabella, now 25, in 1992 and Connor, now 21, in 1995. In her second marriage to country music superstar, Keith Urban, 50, the actress overcame the odds and managed to deliver her daughter, Sunday Rose, via a natural birth in 2008. She shared, “I had so much time thinking that wasn’t going to happen in my life and trying to understand that. When it did happen — and for it to be a surprise — that was great.” Kidman and Urban have another daughter, Faith Margaret, whom they had via surrogate. But through it all, the star told The Mail that she still has hopes of having another baby this year. “My grandmother gave birth to my mother at 49. I would be beyond happy [if I do get pregnant] and just welcome it with open arms.” (Photo: Instagram/Keith Urban)
Best known for his role as Wolverine in the Marvel movie franchise, actor Hugh Jackman, 49, and his wife, Australian actress and producer Deborra-Lee Furness, 62, didn’t choose to pursue surrogacy as a solution to their fertility issues. The pair started their family via adoption after experiencing two miscarriages following IVF treatment. The couple’s son, Oscar Maximilian Jackman — now 17 — was adopted right from his birth back in 2000 and their daughter Ava Eliot, now aged 12, came six years later. The doting dad points out in an interview with Herald Sun newspaper that he doesn’t think of Ava and Oscar as their adopted children. “Deb and I are believers in, I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happen the way they are meant to.” The couple made a self-professed “no-brainer” decision to adopt two mixed race kids, which are often turned away because there aren’t families who are willing to take them in. (Photo: Disneyland)
Even if you do manage to have a baby, it doesn’t make your journey as a couple to have subsequent kids less bumpy — secondary infertility can happen to any couple. Reality TV star Kim, together with husband, America singer-songwriter Kanye West, were able to have their firstborn, North West, now 4, through a natural birth in 2013. And it took the couple another two years before welcoming their son Saint West in 2015. In an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, the former personal stylist, 37, shared that battling infertility is an emotional rollercoaster ride. “There are definitely times when I walked out of the doctor’s office hysterically crying, and other times when I was like ‘Okay, everything’s looking good, it’s going to be this month!’”. The pair turned to surrogacy after being told by the docs that it would be unsafe for her to carry her third child. The unnamed baby is expected to be delivered at any moment now. (Photo: Entertainment Tonight)
The voluptuous diva, now 47, made the headlines when she started dating TV host and comedian Nick Cannon, 37, who was 10 years her junior. Shortly after the pair wed in April 2008, Carey suffered a miscarriage and had to turn to taking progesterone shots to enable her to maintain a pregnancy. Cannon told Us Weekly Magazine Carey also did daily acupuncture treatments all over her body. All these efforts paid off in a big way when she conceived boy-girl twins Moroccan and Monroe in 2011. Even then, there were rumours that the singer has turned to IVF treatment to conceive, which she was quick to deny. (Photo: Instagram/Mariah Carey)
Melody Chen and Randall Tan
When Singaporean media personalities Chen, 40, and her hubby of nine years, Randall Tan, 44, threw in the towel on their attempts to try to conceive, they were greeted with a serendipitous reward. The former Spin actress told 8Days, “We’ve always wanted kids so we’ve been trying from the start, but it just never happened.” The couple were initially hesitant about seeking medical help for infertility, or go through with IVF — choosing to leave things to fate. Chen eventually relented when friends pleaded with the pair to give the procedure a shot. Chen says, “We decided to try IVF early this year, because in a way, I wanted to shut some people up.” But despite pumping herself with hormones, the decision to try IVF only left her in despair when her body produced two little eggs. After the failed IVF, the pair decided to give up on trying and set off on a vacation. As luck would have it, the pair got pregnant during the trip. Chen points out, “We travelled to Hong Kong, and I climbed a mountain. We had omakase sushi, one of the best I ever had, and drank sake, and partied till 5am. At that time, I was seven weeks along. I had no idea.” There was speculation that Chen’s twins were the result of left-over hormones from the IVF, but whatever the reason, Chen and Tan were just elated about getting pregnant. And after the journey they both had to go through, it’s good news the couple deserves! Chen gave birth to a twin boy and girl — Rueben and Maegan — in October this year. (Photo: Instagram/Melody Chen)
Imagine going on national television and telling the world that you and your partner are undergoing In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment to solve your infertility. That was what the smizing supermodel Tyra Banks, 44, did on her talk show FABLife. Fighting back tears, Banks made an impassioned plea for people to stop asking when she’ll get pregnant because “you have no idea what people are going through”. The America’s Next Top Model host then opened up about the challenges of getting treatment. “You know, putting needles in your tummy every day and having to come to work and smile when you feel like you want to throw up and laydown.” Just a year later, Banks and her now ex-boyfriend, Erik Alsa welcomed their son York, delivered via surrogate last January. In an interview with ET Online, 43-year-old Banks admits she holds hopes of one day seeing her 2-year-old become a model like mama. “I’d be like, ‘Baby, of course you can model. You can do whatever the h*ll you want to do’.” We bet with those fierce mummy genes coursing through his veins, he’ll do just fine, anywhere. (Photo: The Sun)
It took the Tonight Show host and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, 50, five years to have their daughter, Winnie — now 4 — by surrogacy. In his interview with NBC’s TODAY show, Fallon, 43, shares that the couple tried a bunch of “awful” things before turning to surrogacy. When Fallon got news that they were expecting in 2013, the couple decided not to tell anyone. “We tried before, we told people and then it didn’t happen and it’s really depressing. It’s hard on everybody.” The couple’s first born was named after the lake instead of the renowned cuddly bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. Fallon notes, “My wife and I got engaged in New Hampshire at this lake house… on Lake Winnipesaukee.” Besides that, the Saturday Night Live alum added his daughter was also “a ‘win’ for us.” Fallon shares his words of advice for couples who’re struggling with infertility. “Just hang in there, try every avenue; try anything you can do, because you’ll get there... and it’s so worth it. It is the most ‘worth it’ thing.” (Photo: NBC’s TODAY)
The other half to funny, gutsy and sexy model and host Chrissy Teigen, 32, American singer John Legend is both the devoted spouse and doting dad, who inspires much envy. The couple’s struggles with conceiving shows that infertility is a problem that does not discriminate. The couple found their inability to conceive confusing, seeing as Teigen is young and Legend, 38, is healthy. Nevertheless, Legend shares with Cosmopolitan magazine that the pair’s struggles with trying to conceive has only strengthened their bond as a couple. “We’re lucky that we’re living in an age where we can conceive in other ways. [IVF] brought us Luna and hopefully it will bring us a few more awesome kids, too.” Keeping their channels of communication open and honest has also helped the pair build their relationship. “We’re always honest with each other so we discuss everything that’s on our minds.” Legend always played the role of a supportive hubby, like when wife Teigen wanted to cut back on her alcohol intake. “I want her to be happy and to live the fullest, most awesome life she can, and I want us to do it together.” The power couple welcomed son Miles, in May this year. (Photo: Instagram/Chrissy Teigen)