As a spokesperson for Fertility Lifelines, actor Brooke Shields is an open book when it comes to her infertility issues. The mom of two children had to have surgery on her cervix to remove precancerous cells, and the procedure left scarring that made it difficult for her to become pregnant. She tried artificial insemination several times with husband Chris Henchy, but the procedure was unsuccessful. Because she was 36 when she started trying to conceive, she says her doctor suggested IVF.
She described the process of taking Lupron and being on constant ovulation alert as an ordeal. "I had to take these shots for weeks," she said in her memoir, Down Came the Rain.
"In addition, there were countless doctor visits for blood tests, sonograms and peeing on sticks, not to mention the estrogen patches I had to wear that made me look and feel like I'd had a skin graft when they were removed. The whole process was quite an ordeal, and we became slaves to the time of day and to little vials of liquid. We'd find ourselves out at dinner with friends, and then we'd have to sneak off to a coat room, where we'd huddle over syringes and a travel-size cooler filled with small bottles of drugs."
After her first round of IVF, Shields became pregnant, but miscarried. She was ready to stop trying when she got pregnant during her last cycle of treatments in 2002. "
I was about ready to call it quits," she said. "I was growing weary of the anticipation and the pressure, and Chris said he wasn't sure he could handle seeing me rip off another estrogen patch in frustration… at wit's end, we decided to try one more time." The couple is now raising their daughters Rowan and Grier.