Marcia Cross on considering adoption, trying a sperm donor, and her pregnancy complications

02/13/2008 at 05:31 PM ET

Although she loves being a mom of multiples now, when Marcia Cross first found out she was expecting two babies, another emotion piggybacked on the feeling of joy — fear.

Iwas terrified. As a mother, being outnumbered is scary.

The Desperate Housewives star, now 45, tells Health that she was lucky to be expecting at all — given her age and past history, she wasn’t sure she would be able to become a mother in the first place.

In my early 40s, I considered adoption, and I tried gettingpregnant on my own through a sperm donor, but neither worked out. [When I married Tom,] we decided to skip our honeymoon and try invitro after the wedding. I had already been through infertilitytreatments. It’s very, very difficult to get pregnant in your 40s. It’scostly and tough on your body and your relationship.

The pregnancy wasn’t easy. Marcia says she had "really romanticized pregnancy." There were the constant cravings — ‘You wouldthink it’d be fun, but it wasn’t. I was up at 2 in the morning eatingsteak!’ — and the nausea. However, the complications became more serious as Marcia reached her seventh month.

I started having contractions at 28 weeks and had to go on bedrest for two months. I was constantly worried that the babies would be bornpremature. Then, in January, my eyesight started going, andI gained 12 lbs. in one week. Both are symptoms of preeclampsia, a complication that is life-threatening for mother and baby.

Although Marcia had symptoms through weeks 28-34, it wasn’t until 35 weeks that she was officially diagnosed with the condition. After that, things moved quickly. Her babies, not due until the end of March, had to come out.

[I was scared.] Within 12 hours of being diagnosed — at 35 weeks — I had a C-section.

However, the birth and welcoming home of the twins, Eden and Savannah, was "amazing," recalls Marcia — even if having two has its own set of difficulties!

I’d go through it all again. I don’t want to, but I would. Eden had trouble latching on, but breastfeeding was the most wonderful thing — so beautiful, so sweet and intimate. I had to stop when Eden and Savannah were 4 months old to go back to work, though. The challenge is with juggling two. When they both cry, I think, Who do I pick up?

As for more kids? Marcia says she’s done birthing babies, but says she and Tom are "not 100% sure we won’t adopt."

Source: Health

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News

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What a story! I’m thrilled for her to finally experience motherhood. This explains the serene look she has on her face when she’s with her girls!

What a great example for all of us mothers to follow…cherish your little miracles each and every moment!

Rhodneigh on

I’m glad she told her story. Every time I saw her with her babies, I though she probably used donor eggs.

Not that there’s ANYTHING at all wrong with that, but sometimes Hollywood gives the illusion that you can get pregnant super-easily no matter how old you are.

Like I said, I’m glad she told her story. It gives other infertile women hope that they, too, will one day be mommies.

tink1217 on

wait, where does it say she used donor eggs??? Marcia is gorgeous and so are her girls!!!

Brit on

It just says she used invitro—which can be done with a woman’s own eggs and the man’s own sperm.

lis on

Frankly I don’t think it matters if she used donor eggs or not – and I don’t feel she needs to share that information with anybody. In fact, she wasn’t obliged to share ANY of this information. But I admire that she was frank and honest about how difficult it was and that she is indeed quite lucky to have gotten pregnant with past difficulties and being in her 40s.

I have grown to have a lot of respect for this woman.

Loralee on

What a beautiful family. I really love her honest view on fertility and motherhood over 40. Fertility diminishes for everyone and when you have celebrities getting pregnant in their mid to late 40’s, it appears that it is easy. I respect their decision on not discussing their fertility, but it gives false hope for those who wish to postpone children. Celebrities like Marcia Cross put a realistic view on having babies in their 40’s.

asm1976 on

I don’t like how she generalizes. Women get pregnant naturally in their 40s all the time. I personally know of 4 women who have had big, healthy, happy babies at ages 40-43. Marcia has made this statement before. She probably would have had problems conceiving in her 20s also. Also, I’ve heard that it can be hard for anyone to get pregnant after being on birth control for many years. Think about it, a lot of women start taking the pill in their teens or early 20’s and don’t take a break from it until their late thirties. It’s expected that your body is going to need time to adjust to the change. There are too many factors to name. Maybe it was just harder for Marcia.

Pam on

Some women do get pregnant naturally, but a vast number don’t. I think Marcia being open and honest is very refreshing as well as very important. There are a number of women who don’t realize just how much your fertility dips after 35…I appreciate Marcia being up-front about it.

Lisa K on

My midwife said Marcia Cross likely used donor eggs. The chance of IVF conception is 1-2% for women 45 & over.
As for trisomy: “1:10 if chorionic villus sampling results are evaluated; 1:20 if amniocentesis results are evaluated, and 1:40 at birth. Spontaneous abortion rates are significantly higher (about 40%) in the older age group. This high rate of genetic errors is one of the reasons why in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles have poor outcomes among older women.