Hilarie Burton Morgan Shares How Fertility Struggles Affected Her Relationship With Jeffrey Dean Morgan

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Hilarie Burton Morgan is opening up like never before.

In her new memoir, which Morgan recently told ET was supposed to be a book of "recipes and fun stuff," the actress gets candid about how five years of fertility struggles affected her relationship with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

"I had been the worst version of myself," the former One Tree Hill star writes in The Rural Diaries. "Jeffrey had been distant and unreachable. And yet somehow we had found each other again..."

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This past weekend was the best of my entire life. There are dozens of thank yous I need to make. So bear with me over the next week as I gush over the amazing group of people who gave us this beautiful moment. But before we do any of that, Jeff and I just want to put it out there that WE GOT MARRIED! For real. We’ve lived as husband and wife for a decade. We’ve built a family, and a farm and found our community. For years, publications have reported that we got married in 2014 or 2015 and that I’ve been married and divorced before. All untrue. But WE knew our truth. So it felt silly to try and correct anything. Here’s the God’s honest fact: From the moment I met @jeffreydeanmorgan , he was my husband. Rather than make vows right out of the gate, we lived them. For over ten years. The good times and the bad. Standing up there with our children at our sides - celebrating all that has been - was bliss. I love you Jeffrey. I love our intimate group of friends and family who joined us. I love the various circles of loved ones who have supported us over the years. It was private and magical and everything I dreamed. So yeah. I’m Mrs. Morgan. 10.5.19

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The 37-year-old secretly wed the Walking Dead star Oct. 5, 2019, after being together for more than a decade. Now the mom of two is detailing how years of hardship, including three miscarriages, strengthened their relationship into what it is today.

In March 2010, the couple, who reside on their farm in Rhinebeck, New York, welcomed their first child --  a son named Augustus. After having "the best, easiest labor" of anyone she had known, Morgan wanted to become a mom once again. It was a year-and-a-half struggle for her to become pregnant a second time, which ended in a miscarriage.

"I was spending hundreds of dollars on ovulation tests... I was peeing on sticks... even looking at moon cycles," Morgan shares, revealing she and Jeffrey considered doing fertility treatments at one point.

However, the constant pressure of having to "take advantage of her fertility window" was taking a toll on their relationship.

"There was no romance," Morgan admits. "The whole thing had become a science experiment... He'd feel used and wouldn't respond to me, and then I'd feel hurt and rejected. It was a vicious, unhappy cycle."

After the miscarriage, Morgan admits she and Jeffrey "came undone."

"He and I handle stress and grief very differently," the author explains. "He gets quiet and leaves the room, but I need interaction."

Despite retreating to his garage most of the time, Morgan says Jeffrey remained optimistic, often telling her "We're going to get pregnant again. It'll be fine."

However, the two were spending less and less time together, even when they were both physically home at Mischief Farm, often purposefully avoiding each other.

"We didn't know how to talk to each other. The things I needed to hear, he didn't know how to say; and the things he needed me to be, I couldn't be... I was just a vessel and I was empty. Any energy I did have was going to Gus; I had nothing left for Jeff."

After many months of disconnect, the two found solid ground after an apology from the actor.

"We talked about our grief. We talked about how we both felt like failures. We talked about how lonely we were... He was incredibly vulnerable. He talked to me about how much he valued me and that this was home and that it was worth any fight." 

From there, the two moved forward as a team who would eventually face two more miscarriages.

"There had been so much sorrow in the previous few years, but Jeffrey and I had made it through together," Morgan shares. 

In June 2017, Morgan was successfully pregnant with her second baby -- a daughter. At that point, the couple's relationship had been through just about every test in the book and they were in the process of "sealing the deal."

In her memoir, Morgan reveals for the first time that she and Jeffrey were supposed to get married on Jan. 4, 2018, in St. Maarten. However, due to Hurricane Irma and the Zika virus, the couple's nuptials were put on hold.

Though their Caribbean wedding didn't happen, the two had a pretty big milestone ahead -- welcoming George Virginia Morgan on Feb. 16, 2018.

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As some of you know, @jeffreydeanmorgan is off in Europe getting ready to do some big conventions. And he's self aware enough to know his track record for "spilling the beans" isn't so great (bless his heart!). So before he starts tripping up in an attempt to maintain our privacy, he asked that I go ahead and post something about our little girl's birth. But before I do that, there's something I really want to say to all the women out there who are trying..... It took a long time for Jeffrey and I to have this baby. The first time I got pregnant, it took a year and a half. I surprised him on Christmas with baby Seahawk booties. We cried. We celebrated. We picked out names. And we lost that baby. More losses followed, and as so many couples know, it was heartbreaking. It still is heartbreaking. And every morning of the five years it took us, I'd open my computer at the kitchen table and see the news and I'd grow bitter over the endless parade of celebrities showing off their bumps and babies. I'd weep out of jealousy for how easy it was for them. Didn't they know something could go wrong? Didn't they know that there were other women out there struggling? It pained me to see the corporate sponsored baby showers and magazine covers capitalizing on this human miracle that wasn't happening for us. So when this pregnancy started, we were cautious. I didn't want to celebrate for fear of jinxing it. I didn't want a baby shower. I checked her heartbeat every day, up until the day she was born. And now that she is here, I just stare at her in wonder all day. 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. 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. Please meet George Virginia Morgan. She was born February 16th. Her daddy delivered her. We love her very much.

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George, alongside her big brother, Gus, were in tow for their parents New York City wedding the following year. Shortly after exchanging vows, Morgan told ET the secret to her lasting relationship with the 54-year-old is growth.

"I think finding someone you can be your best and worst with is important," she said. "And yeah, you're going to change a lot over 10 years, 20 years, 40 years. And so it's a choice. You know, you make the choice to say, 'All right, well, I like you now, I'm gonna choose to like you in 10 years,' and I lucked out because I met someone who is capable of a lot of growth and is very much a good dad and partner."

Last month, ET caught up with Morgan, who proudly revealed Jeffrey did read her autobiography once it was finished.

"He's a really good sport," the actress chuckled.

While their journey together hasn't always been some "glamorous and great," picture-perfect "Pinterest" account, Morgan wants fans to know she's "a messy lady. It's all in there!"

Most importantly, "when you want something bad enough, you will figure out how to do it," Morgan shares. "If it's a family you want, if it's a lifestyle... If you want it bad enough, you'll figure out how to do it. And you just have to be vocal about it... Because then everything else falls in line."

For more from Hilarie Burton Morgan, watch the video below:


Hilarie Burton Shares the Best Family Photo on Her and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's 1-Month Wedding Anniversary

Hilarie Burton Spills Details on Ultra-Private Wedding to Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Exclusive)

Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan Secretly Marry After a Decade Together