For a woman who wants to have a baby, struggling with infertility can be one of the most difficult times in her life. Even with medical breakthroughs, fertility treatments are painful, expensive and frustrating, and it can be difficult for women to keep their hopes alive.
But we want to assure women that there is hope out there, even for women who think that they will never get pregnant. There are dozens of stories of women who were finally able to make their dreams of motherhood come true. Some of those came in the most unlikely of circumstances, when doctors and others were giving them very little hope. But there are women who have gotten pregnant after going through cancer treatment, after their partners suffered disease or gotten paralyzed. Some of these courageous mothers have suffered multiple losses, but even then, they held onto hope. And they have experienced blessings they never imagined.
We've compiled a number of these stories — from celebrities to regular women — to provide a little more hope to the women who need some good news to help them through the day. Here are 15 moms who got pregnant even though they thought they never would.
15 Miracle Swim
Nicole Kidman used to be one of the most famous adoptive mothers in the world. She adopted two kids, Bella and Connor, during her marriage with Tom Cruise, and everyone believed — including Nicole — that she couldn't get pregnant. But when was 40, a miracle happened. Nicole got pregnant, conceiving a baby with her second husband Keith Urban.
It truly was amazing, and Nicole had a very interesting explanation for it — she believes it happened because she swam in a waterfall with magical waters while she was filming the movie "Australia." According to the Daily Mail, Nicole said that seven babies were conceived among the cast and crew of the film, and six of them were girls. Since everyone had always told her she couldn't get pregnant, she had to believe that there was something in the water. After welcoming Sunday Rose, Nicole and Keith has a second daughter Faith Margaret through a gestational carrier. But if Nicole can get pregnant, it gives hope to all of us who have ever been told that we can't get pregnant — miracles are possible.
14 Really Rattled
Aly Taylor is a survivor. She was 24 and hoping to have a baby when she discovered she had stage 3 breast cancer. After going through treatments surgery, she knew that the way she would expand her family with husband Josh would look different than she had originally imagined. Despite being told she would never get pregnant because of the chemo, Aly and Josh were happy to go through the adoption process to have a baby.
That's when a miracle happened. About nine months after their little Genevieve became a part of their family, Aly somehow got pregnant. Doctors can't explain the miracle, but then it went one step farther, and Genevieve's birth mother called and said she was expecting again. She asked Aly and Josh if they wanted to adopt that baby as well. Little Vera and Lydia were born just a couple of weeks apart, and they are being raised like twins. Josh and Aly's story was documented on the TLC show "Rattled," and they have expressed how truly amazing their story is — their girls are God's answer to prayers that went even beyond the joy that they could imagine.
13 Hilarie's Miracle
Actress Hilarie Burton recently revealed her little miracle in an Instagram post. Hilarie, who was on "One Tree Hill," had her first child with Jeffrey Dean Moran in 2010. But it took years for her to have her second baby. It wasn't just secondary infertility. Hilarie had a hard time getting pregnant, and unfortunately she lost more than one pregnancy to miscarriage. The couple struggled for five years before their rainbow baby George Virginia was born in February.
Hilarie said her earlier losses meant she checked the baby's heartbeat every day, and she didn't want to have a baby shower. But now she celebrates like she never thought she could. "I see her in her daddy's arms and I don't take any of it for granted. She screams bloody murder and I smile because she is so wildly alive," Hilarie wrote in her post. "So now that folks know she's here, I don't want her birth to cause any other woman to weep at her kitchen table. If anything, my wish is that she would restore hope for others. Fertility is a fickle thing. And for the other couples out there who have had dark days, we want to introduce our miracle baby to you and send you our love and support in finding yours."
12 Pregnant and Adopting
Country music singer Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren weren't so much worried about their fertility, but they had been trying for a while for a baby and it wasn't working. They decided to begin the adoption process in Africa and worry about whether they wanted to get pregnant later on. But just a few months later, Lauren started to feel ill. Turns out that they had two babies on the way — one through the adoption and one through pregnancy.
Their first beautiful bundle Willa arrived in May, and in August, Lauren gave birth to baby Ada James. Lauren met Willa on a trip to Uganda to an orphanage, and she and Thomas fell in love with the little girl. They weren't about to give up on their adoption when they had an unexpected pregnancy, so they brought home both, making it a pretty exciting summer in 2017.
11 Full House
Not everyone wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to go through fertility treatments when they are struggling to conceive. Oklahoma couple Sarah and Andy Justice decided that they would rather invest their money into adoption, since doctors told them the treatments came with only a 10 percent chance of success. The couple was thrilled when they were matched with a birth mother, and even more elated when the mom's ultrasound showed that she was carrying triplets.
The babies were born early but healthy, and while they were growing in the NICU, the family got another surprise — Sarah got pregnant when no one thought that she could. Even more amazing, she was having twins. They brought home five babies within a year — triplets Joel, Hannah and Elizabeth and twins Abigail and Andrew. The Justices got the full house that they never believed was possible.
10 A Quadruple Miracle
For some people, infertility can last years — nearly even a decade. Ashley and Tyson Gardner wanted to have kids as soon as they married, but it wasn't happening for them. Ashley eventually found out that she had endometriosis, and her body wouldn't carry a pregnancy. She had to go through multiple surgeries to give herself even the slightest chance.
The Utah couple decided to try for one round of IVF before turning toward adoption. They ended up with only two viable eggs, and that gave them a slim chance for one baby. But both eggs implanted — and they both separated. Ashley and Tyson were pregnant with four babies, despite all the odds. The entire family — Ashley, Tyson, Indie, Esme, Scarlett and Evangeline — have been featured on "Rattled," and they have a social media following around the world as they celebrate their amazing story of hope.
9 Transplanted Blessing
There is a woman in Texas who was born without a uterus, the organ where a baby would grow in her belly for nine months. So without it, every doctor told her there was no doubt she would never become pregnant. But fertility research has gone so far that even this woman was given hope — and she gave birth earlier this year.
As part of a research study, Baylor University doctors implanted uteruses into the bellies of eight women. Six were from live donors and two were from deceased ones. In February, the second mom successfully gave birth by C-section. Four of the women who went through the study had complications that caused their implanted uteruses to be removed, but the two successful births provide an incredible amount of hope to women like the unidentified mom who thought that pregnancy would never happen for her.
8 Thawing Out
Tina and Benjamin Gibson knew they may never have children naturally from the day that they married. Benjamin has cystic fibrosis, a condition that makes most men sterile, so the couple decided to become foster parents and eventually they planned to pursue adoption. But Tina's father heard a report about embryo adoption, and the couple thought it might be an option for giving them the pregnancy they never thought was possible.
Tina and Benjamin chose an embryo that had been frozen 24 years — it was conceived when Tina was just 2 years old. Some doctors wondered if it would work, but amazingly the baby was born perfectly healthy in November — 24 years after it was first conceived. Sweet Emma is a total blessing to her parents, who had never even dreamed of having their own pregnancy. And she proves that embryo adoption can provide hope to millions of women who struggle with infertility.
7 Baby Buns
We've mentioned a few moms who experienced infertility for a long time, but their journey was short in comparison to Dana and Arkell Graves. They struggled for 17 years with infertility. Their journey included four miscarriages and one stillbirth, and even though they adopted a baby early in that journey, they still had hopes for a pregnancy.
The couple became a viral sensation when Dana left a a bun in the over for Arkell, and the video announcing the pregnancy and his emotional reaction tugged at our hearts. The pregnancy was tough, though, and little Baby Buns, as he became known, was born at 24 weeks gestation, weighing less than one pound. The boy, Kaleb, spent an entire year in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before he finally got to go home, and all of our hearts were warmed once again.
6 It Still Works
Todd Krieg was paralyzed in a dirt bike accident, so when he met and fell in love with Amanda Diesen, the couple thought that having children naturally wasn't going to be a part of their love story. But last year Amanda got pregnant the good old fashioned way, so the couple used a creative announcement to celebrate the good news.
The picture, which went viral, showed a proud Todd proclaiming, "It still works," with a thumbs up, while a somewhat sheepish Amanda held the ultrasound photo. It was a funny and joyful way to share the news — and during the photoshoot, Todd proposed. What an amazing way to deal with all the questions and take pride in having a new member of the family.
5 Menopause Miracle
When you are 40 and have struggled with infertility your entire life, you think the end is near. Verity and Jason Degg had an eight-year-old who was born born after 11 rounds of IVF, but after seven miscarriages and the stillbirth of their daughter, they gave up on having another baby. So when she started to feel sick, she thought that it must be from early onset menopause. But the truth was much more amazing.
Verity and Jason were expecting a baby that they thought would never be possible. After so many losses, they worried constantly that they would lose this little one, especially after she was bitten by a feral cat and had to go through surgeries. But Olly was born perfectly health in March of 2017, proving that women who think that they can't get pregnant can witness their own miracles.
4 Dream Baby
Twenty years is a long time to dream about a baby. And $80,000 is a lot to spend on fertility treatments, especially when getting pregnant isn't the problem as much as it is keeping the baby. Louise and Mark Warneford gave up their dream of becoming parents after 18 miscarriages. But a few yeas later, they decided to give it one more try.
At the beginning, they thought that their pregnancy journey was hampered by Mark's vasectomy, but even with insemination and then IVF, the pregnancies weren't lasting long. Doctors had discovered that Louise had "killer cells" that were attacking the embryos that were implanted via IVF. When they discovered that, they figured out how to treat it. And finally, the couple were able to achieve their dream of carrying a pregnancy to term and having a baby — little William was born when Louise was 48.
“We want people to know that it is doable and despite my multiple miscarriages and rounds of IVF, our dream baby was achievable," the couple said on Story Trender.
3 Four Times the Blessings
Katalina Martin and Matthew Davies both had a child each before they met and fell in love. But they thought that they would never have a child as a couple because Katalina had polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that makes it really difficult to conceive a child. Many women with PCOS don't ovulate consistently, and they have a different amount of hormones than normal.
Doctors were surprised when Katalina found out she was pregnant, but they were even more surprised when she had her ultrasound. The UK woman was expecting quadruplets. Usually, quadruplets happen when at least one egg splits, but Katalina — whose condition can cause it to be difficult to even have one egg released — had released four separate eggs, all of which were fertilized. The odds of conceiving quadruplets naturally are 700,000 to 1, but the odds of having all separate eggs is even more rare. On Godvine, the couple called it a miracle. They named their little ones Sofia, Roman, Aston and Amelia, and all are healthy little blessings.
2 A 20-Year Wait
Wendy Bainbridge tried everything to get pregnant — but after 20 years of fertility treatments, she amazingly got pregnant on her own. The UK woman thought she would never be a mom after years of fertility treatments were unsuccessful. Once, she got pregnant with quintuplets thanks to a treatment, but she lost all five babies.
Wendy and her husband John decided to go through one last IVF treatment with their last frozen embryo. And that's when doctors found something amazing. When they were scanning Wendy at the fertility clinic before they implanted the final embryo, they found that Wendy was already pregnant. The couple had tried treatments for 20 years only to be blessed in the end with a natural conception at the age of 41. Little Olivia is considered a big miracle — and she is certainly worth the 20-year wait.
1 Conception After Cancer
We've already talked about one woman who thought that becoming pregnant was impossible after she went through cancer treatment, but the same is also possible for men. Taboo, one of the members of Black Eyed Peas, had to go through treatments for testicular cancer, which can lead to low sperm count. Taboo was already a father of three, but after he was declared cancer free, he and his wife Jaymie talked to a fertility doctor to see if they could have another baby.
It turns out that IUI or IVF can be effective treatments for men with low sperm counts caused by cancer, as long as they can get enough sperm to insert. The couple welcomed their daughter in 2016, and they consider her a miracle baby that just adds on to the blessing of Taboo's remission.
Sources: Today, People, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Metro UK, Story Trender, Godvine, Huffington Post