Let Us Now Praise Famous Eggs

Google “pregnant celebrities over 40,” and you get over 20 million page results. Yes, there are a lot of them in Hollywood, but it isn’t because of age-defying seaweed wraps or chemical peels. Those have no effect on ovaries.

It’s because of IVF procedures and donor eggs.

As I’ve mentioned before:

  • By 35, women have a 10% chance of getting pregnant each month. The miscarriage rate is 25%
  • After 40, 90% of a woman’s eggs are genetically abnormal
  • After 44, women have a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant with their own eggs even if they use IVF

This means that Hollywood moms are using IVF and egg donors behind closed doctor’s curtains, and they’re trying to keep it on the down-low in an effort to preserve their youthful image.

Conversely, the purpose of this post is to out them.

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Donor Egg Moms Who Used Surrogates

This group is pretty easy to identify since almost all women who use surrogates also use egg donors. Many women try to suggest that their surrogates are carrying babies fertilized with their own eggs, and this could be true for younger women (as in the case of Dennis Quaid’s wife who was 36), but among women over 40, it doesn’t really work that way.

Giuliana Rancic is having a baby via surrogate at 37. (Fingers crossed for a healthy baby due summer 2012.)

Joan Lunden had two sets of twins via surrogate when she was 42 and 44.

Sarah Jessica Parker used a surrogate to conceive her twins at 44.

Angela Bassett had twins via surrogate when she was 47.

Annie Leibowitz had twins via surrogate at 56.

Cheryl Tiegs used a surrogate to deliver twins when she was 53. I love her story best because she told Larry King that they were conceived using her own eggs, which pretty much means she’s crazy.

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Donor Egg Moms Who Carried Pregnancies Themselves

This group is tougher to guess at, but when it comes to moms over 44, it’s fairly safe to assume they’ve used donors. For women closer to 40, it’s less obvious, although twins are a pretty big clue, especially if their babies follow years of infertility. Anyhow, here’s my list:

Nicole Kidman had a baby at 40 and another at 42. A third baby was born a year after that via surrogate. With all her history of infertility and miscarriage during her 30s, I suspect that she used donor eggs for all three.

Patrick Dempsey’s wife had twins at 41. Considering the 5 year gap between this pregnancy and their first daughter, I’m going with egg donor.

Mariah Carey delivered twins at 42 after years of struggling with infertility. She credits the miracle pregnancy to acupuncture. I credit it to an egg donor.

Celine Dion had six IVF cycles and a miscarriage and then finally gave birth at 42. It’s possible that the 7th try was the charm, but an egg donor is more likely.

Iman had a baby at 44. A successful IVF is possible, but statistically unlikely. I’m going with egg donor.

Jane Seymour delivered twins at 44. Donor.

Marcia Gay Harden had twins at 44. Donor.

Mary Stuart Masterson was pregnant with twins at 44. Egg donor. [She was supposedly due summer 2011, although I haven’t seen any reports about a successful delivery, so hopefully things didn’t take a bad turn for her.]

Marcia Cross gave birth to twins at 44. She’s admitted to going through IVF treatments but not to using donor eggs. She has, however, acknowledged that egg donation exists. Baby steps.

Mimi Rogers had a baby at 45. Egg donor.

Susan Sarandon had babies at 42 and 46. Egg donor. (Although the kid she had at 39 obviously has her genetics.)

Jane Kaczmarek had babies at 42, 44, and 47. Donor, donor, and donor.

Kelly Preston had a baby at 47. Donor.

Holly Hunter and Nancy Grace each had twins at 47. Donors.

Bridget Jones scribe Helen Fielding gave birth at 43 and 48. Donor, obviously.

Geena Davis gave birth to twins at 48. Egg donor fer shur.

Beverly D’Angelo had a baby at 49. That’s forty-NINE.

* Elizabeth Edwards had kids when she was 48 and 50.

Annie Leibowitz gave birth when she was 51. Obvee. [As noted above, she subsequently used a surrogate for twins.]

Jennifer Aniston isn’t pregnant, but she’s 43 and a long-time heavy smoker, so I’m calling it early: egg donor.

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IVF Moms

Then there are the celebrity moms who have done IVF. Again, I’m totally fabricating this list based on assumptions, but twins are a giveaway, and singletons born to moms close to 40 are suspect, too. My guess is that many of these women have also used donors, but I’m less sure of these than I am of the group above.

Rebecca Romijn had twins at 36. It’s possible that this was natural, but I was infertile at 35, and we used the same wedding photographer, so I’m going with IVF.

Julia Roberts had twins at 37 and a singleton at 40. Definitely IVF. [More specifically, my guess is that the second pregnancy was a frozen embryo transfer leftover from her first cycle’s retrieval.]

Jennifer Lopez had twins at 39. IVF for sure. Egg donor possible.

Lisa Marie Presley gave birth to twins at 40. IVF for sure. Egg donor possible.

Courtney Cox Arquette had a baby at 41 after years of struggling with infertility. Definitely IVF. Probably egg donor.

Julianna Margulies had a baby at 41. IVF is likely, particularly since it was her first child. Possible egg donor.

Diana Krall had twins at 41. IVF for sure. Egg donor possible.

Molly Ringwald had twins at 41. IVF for sure. Egg donor possible.

Angelina Jolie is pregnant with her second set of twins. I realize that she’s only 36, but – as my friend A pointed out – the odds of having two sets of twins is pretty low. That combined with the fact that she’s crazy makes it clear that she’s using IVF. Own egg, though. And Pitt sperm, obviously. I mean, wouldn’t you?

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I suppose there should be some moral to this blog post: something about how bad it is that these upper-class, professional female role models are perpetuating the myth that you don’t have to start worrying about your biological clock until you’re 45 even though the true start-worrying age is 27, and how bad it is that celebrities are setting real-life women up for failure when instead what they could be doing is educating folks that ovaries expire, and that women would be wise to make more informed decisions when it comes to their plans for family-building, and that the only way to do that is to reject the illusion of Hollywood youth, glamor, and invincibility once and for all.

But, whatever.

Right now I just feel like outing them.

~~~

* Update, April 24, 2012: With the announcement of Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s surrogate pregnancy, I decided to keep this log updated as pregnancy news emerges. Names preceded by asterisks denote additions made after the initial post.

~~~

Update, March 2, 2013

Chances are you’re here because you Googled some celebrity’s name and the word “donor” or “IVF.” To those of you who read this page as a tongue-in-cheek look at Hollywood and the ways that many post-fertile celebrities perpetuate the delusion of feminine youth: you’re awesome. I’ve greatly appreciated your suggested corrections to the details of this post, and I value your camaraderie on this lonely path of reproductive challenges.

Moreover, I appreciate that when you hear me say, “I’m totally fabricating this list based on assumptions,” you understand that what I mean is, “I’m totally fabricating this list based on assumptions.” Way to exercise reading comprehension skills. Bravo.

If, on the other hand, you think this random blog post you found on the Internet is going to give you medically accurate records of famous women’s vaginas, then you’re an idiot. But fret not, because you’re one of many idiots. And because so many idiots before you have felt the need to expose my journalistic failures by calling me names or making generally unkind remarks, I decided to close the comments on this page.

That said, you may still want to get in touch with me so that I can ignore you on yet another channel of communication, in which case my email address is on my About Me page. Feel free to write. I’m more than happy to delete any messages you send my way.

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About TG

My eggs don't work, so I manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
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10 Responses to Let Us Now Praise Famous Eggs

  1. I especially appreciate the point you make about people being honest about infertility instead of perpetuating myths. I can respect the right to privacy, but I sure wish more famous couples were like Bill and Guiliana Rancic in bringing awareness about infertility.

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    • TG says:

      Just read the news about the Rancics’ pregnancy on your blog. Yay for them! I agree, they’ve brought so much attention to how common infertility is. Thanks so much for commenting, domestic, and for your posts. Best, TG

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  2. enhancedmama says:

    Wish I could click “love” instead of like.

    Like

  3. Pingback: If Jane Austen Were Writing Today, I’d Probably Still be a Squawky Old Maid. Women’s Progress My Butt.

  4. Amy Ashford says:

    White I totally agree that a celebrity, or any woman for that matter who is over the age of 45 who has had twins most likely used donor eggs, I do not agree at all with your guesses that most women who have had singletons and twins between the ages of 35-45 used donor eggs or had IVF. My grandmother had my mother in 1943 at the age of 42. Five of my friends had their children between the ages of 37-43 with no infertility treatment. And yes, I also have a friend who had twins at 48 using donor eggs. I have had infertility treatment, clomid only, using my own eggs and successfully had children at ages 36 and 40. And yes, I used acupuncture to give me an additional boost, lol. Eggs are not the only thing that deteriorates when a woman gets older! It’s not all about the “eggs” Some women who cannot have children due to age related infertility need that help, whether it be with IVF, progesterone, etc….and can certainly have children using their own eggs before the age of 45. Many women that you speak of could have used infertility treatment when they were younger, for example: Sarah Jessica Parker, Celine Dion, then froze their embryos, implanting them resulting in a successful pregnancy years later. It’s hard to value your opinion when you have cited many incorrect facts. For example: Angelina Jolie was never pregnant with her second set of twins. Joan London had two sets of twins using a surrogate in her 50’s, not 40’s. Nicole Kidman has 2 children with her second husband, not three. Celebrities usually have the financial resources to pay for these infertility treatments as well, unless you live in a state that health insurance will cover it. Facts: Believe it or not, women who are older have a greater chance of naturally having fraternal twins. It’s the bodies way of preparing for the end of childbearing years by releasing an egg from both ovaries so there will be a greater chance of fertilization and attaching to the uterine wall due to diminishing quality/quantity of eggs. Fact: A woman who is between the ages of 35-45 and using fertility drugs has a greater chance of having twins simply because Clomid and other similar drugs make the body produce more eggs. While many of these women have used infertility treatments, it does not mean that they used donor eggs or IVF, a very invasive procedure. Celine Dion most likely used the frozen embryos from her infertility treatment in her early thirties. It’s a known fact that she had no fertility issues, it was her husband due to his cancer. Julianna Margulies got pregnant naturally when dating her current husband. Yes, it happens! Susan Sarandon had her 3rd child at age 46 with her own eggs. Donor eggs use was not as widespread in 1992 as it is now. It’s funny, my aunt who is a nurse in her 60’s told me that 40 years ago all the nurses used to rush to the maternity ward when the “old mom” was having her baby because it was such an infrequent occurence. Now, when an older mother has a child naturally, everyone assumes she must have had infertility treatment. My husband’s aunt had her 5th child at the age of 44 in 1988. My ex boyfriends mother had him at age 44 in 1969. Know your facts before you spew alot of nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sandra says:

    I know Giuliana had to use a surrogate because of her cancer, high estrogen levels caused by pregnancy can cause a problem for women that have had breast cancer like her. She went to CC.RM, my clinic and she cycled there herself, I know that for a fact. Her baby is with her own eggs.
    With Angelina, if I were to guess, a little clomid or iui can cause twins too. I have a friend that at 43 produced a bunch of embryos, I know she went through IVF herself and just delivered twins yersterday. While it is unlikely, some women in their 40’s are still producing good eggs.

    I also agree with pp about using frozen embryos from previous cycles. I had my first IVF at 35 and if I have had the money back then, I would have had another one for future syblings, celebrities don’t have money issues and it would make sense for them to bank embryos.

    Yes, some cases are obvious, but I disagree that they are all donor eggs.

    I still appreciated your post :) As I do all of them!

    Like

  6. Suki says:

    Love it! But Nicole Kidman only has 2 kids with Keith not 3, and Angelina only had one set of twins, other biological child was a singleton. This blog made me smile. Cheers to donors!

    Like

  7. Lee says:

    I have two children. . . got pregnant with the first a few weeks before I turned 44 and got pregnant with the second when I was 45 (and she was born on my 46th birthday). No IVF and my own eggs. . . just so happened that my husband and I had done a better job practicing birth control prior to conceiving our son, and we loved him so much that we planned our daughter but didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to get her here. I’m a decided rarity. . . but it can happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. TG says:

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