Hilarie Burton Morgan Shares How Fertility Struggles Affected Her Relationship With Jeffrey Dean Morgan
By Cassie DiLaura
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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..."
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.
"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: