Monika Schnarre on her struggle with infertility

Monika Schnarre was a model at the top of the fashion world, a successful actor and TV host with a loving husband. She had it all — until she wanted to have children.

Photo: Arline Malakian, Courtesy of Chatelaine

I was pregnant on my wedding day. It was August 6, 2010 — and my new husband, Storey, and I were thrilled. Given my age (39), we’d started trying as soon as we got engaged eight months earlier. It was perfect, and I thought, “That was easy!” But it wasn’t meant to be, and I experienced my first miscarriage — we soon discovered that having a baby would be anything but easy.

A fter the loss of that pregnancy, a faint, achy sort of fear came over us, although it faded somewhat when we learned in November that we were expecting for the second time, just three months a fter our wedding. But by January, the news again was not good. Our growing baby’s heart rate was weak (under 100 beats per minute). We were told to prepare for the worst.

It was heartbreaking. One of the hardest things for me was seeing Storey’s face when they told us we were going to lose this pregnancy, too. I felt old — and broken. He didn’t ask for this. He was six years younger than I was and healthy. I was the problem. Many times over the next two years I’d find myself asking him to leave me. I wanted him to have children and didn’t want to be responsible for keeping him from his dream of being a father. But Storey was resolute in his belief that we would have a baby together — that everything would work out. We’d even prepared for this, just to be safe, when we first met. I was 36 at the time and wanted to protect my fertility. When I told Storey about my plan to freeze some eggs and embryos (my eggs, fertilized using a donor’s sperm), he said, “Use mine.”

“But what if we break up?” I remember saying. “Then I won’t have any embryos.” And his response still makes me cry. “I’ll sign off on them,” he said. “You’ll make a great mom.” I fell even more in love with him for being so selfless, kind and generous.

To read the rest of Monika’s story, visit our sister site Chatelaine: Monika Schnarre: ‘How I got pregnant (against the odds)’

Read more: Infertility awareness week>

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