Brooke Shields's journey to motherhood was not a smooth ride. The actress's hopes were almost dashed after several failures. The "Blue Lagoon" actress almost accepted her fate before her breakthrough came.
Brooke Shields is hailed as one of Hollywood's most attractive women. The actress has been a significant figure in the movie industry, starring in "Blue Lagoon," released in 1978, and "Pretty Baby." Her career took off when she was barely a teenager.
In her early years, Shields's face was featured in several ads and billboards and got many acting gigs coming in. Her stunning looks made her one of the most wanted actresses in Hollywood.
Actress Brooke Shields (R) and husband, producer Chris Henchy, stand outside a restaurant after brunch November 24, 2002 [left], Brooke Shields at a news conference about postpartum depression on Capitol Hill May 11, 2007 [right] | Photo: Getty Images
The 56-year-old once confessed that despite her sexual appeal as a teenager, she was a virgin until she was 22. However, Shields said she wished she had learned to love earlier when speaking of her biggest regrets.
The actress has never been short of admirers. Shields has been married twice and linked with some of Hollywood's leading actors. Her first marriage was to professional tennis player Andre Agassi.
Their 1997 marriage drew much attention. However, less than two years later, the couple divorced. Agassi later confessed in 2009 that he had a role in their failed marriage. According to him, he could not have been married to anyone at that point in his life.
Brooke Shields and "Blue Lagoon" co-star Christopher Atkins circa 1980 | Source: Getty Images
The tennis player was secretly taking crystal meth while still married to the former teen supermodel. Also, Shields believes her immaturity was partly to blame for their split.
The "Blue Lagoon" actress confessed that marrying Agassi was enough distraction to keep herself from worrying about her mother, Teri, who battled alcoholism. However, her inexperience got the best of her. In her words, she "still had so much growing up to do."
MEETING CHRIS HENCHY AND FALLING IN LOVE
Closeup of Andre Agassi and girlfriend and celebrity actress Brooke Sheilds at private party | Source: Getty Images
Shortly after the end of her first marriage, Shields moved on and embraced her new life. However, it did not take much time before she met her next husband, producer, Chris Henchy.
Shields detailed their meeting in her book, "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression." According to her, she met Henchy the same year she divorced Agassi.
Their meeting was made possible thanks to her American bulldog, Darla. Shields's furry friend strayed off from Warner Bros, where the actress was filming "Suddenly Susan." Thankfully, Henchy was writing for the show and rescued her little pup.
Actress Brooke Shields arrives the Media Awards Gala, at the NY Hilton Hotel with new boyfriend, tv writer Chris Henchy. | Photo: Getty Images
The movie writer made a strong impression on the former teenage sensation. They quickly struck up a friendship, and for the next few weeks, they intensified their bond and attended a show in Washington, D.C. that Shields was hosting.
Shields became increasingly attracted to the movie producer and found him funny and charming. However, she was not ready to date since she had just ended a relationship. But she noted that "there was something between us that I could no longer ignore," and later on, they began to date.
SHIELDS WEDS A SECOND TIME
Brooke Shields attends MoMA's Twelfth Annual Film Benefit on November 12. | Source: Getty Images
Shields and Henchy dated for two years before the next big moment of their lives. The movie producer was convinced he had found the right person for him and made a move to ask her to marry him. The couple got engaged in Mexico, where Henchy proposed with an old cushion-cut diamond ring.
The specifics of their wedding have been kept under wraps and remain a mystery. Initially, it was reported that the two were married in April 2001 on the beach of Catalina Island, surrounded by a small group of friends and relatives.
However, other reports claimed the news about Catalina Island's nuptials was false and part of a ruse used to throw off paparazzi and Shields' long-time stalker. According to other outlets, the couple's wedding took place in a private Roman Catholic ceremony at a luxurious Palm Beach estate a month later.
BROOKE SHIELDS HAD A DIFFICULT PREGNANCY JOURNEY
Before they married, Shields and Henchy already looked forward to having a family and felt excited about being parents. Shields went off the pill before their wedding but didn't get pregnant. She became concerned over her inability to conceive.
The couple discovered that scarring from surgery on her cervix to remove precancerous cells a few years earlier had hampered her ability to conceive. Despite the difficulties, Shields relied on her husband's support.
After attempting artificial insemination, the pair proceeded to in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. The actress said doctors had warned her she was running out of time on her biological clock and needed a more aggressive approach.
Shields and Henchy decided to trust the IVF procedure despite finding it very upsetting. After seeing that a close friend who had gone through IVF was pregnant, the couple was encouraged.
Shields got pregnant after the first round of IVF, but the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The couple continued to try for a baby but had more and more failed cycles. They became increasingly disappointed. Shields became frustrated and wondered if she was destined to be a mother.
After several failures, Shields and Henchy decided to give it a final shot in 2002. According to the former child star, "I was about ready to call it quits. I was growing weary of the anticipation and the pressure, and Chris said he wasn't sure he could handle seeing me rip off another estrogen patch in frustration."
FERTILITY NIGHTMARE FINALLY CAME TO AN END
Shields's fertility nightmare came to an end in 2003 when she welcomed their first child, Rowan Francis, and, for the first time, heard her cry as James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" played in the background.
The couple had long admired Irish names and quickly named their little girl Rowan when she arrived. Also, Shields named her "Francis" in honor of her father, who passed away weeks before her birth.
Three years after welcoming Rowan, Shields and Henchy announced the birth of their second child, daughter, Grier Hammond. Having a second child was a big deal for the actress, as she was assured her children would not feel lonely when they grew older.
Actress Brooke Shields, husband Chris Henchy and daughter's Rowan Henchy and Grier Henchy attend the EB Medical Research Foundation picnic presented by Sinupret for Kids and Yogen Fruz held at The Malibu Lumber Yard on June 28, 2009 | Source: Getty Images
Becoming a mom was not a smooth ride for Shields. The 56-year-old reportedly battled depression after her first child was born, and according to her, it almost ruined her family. Speaking to Oprah, she said,
”This gripped my heart to such an extent that I didn't even have the desire to try to overcome it. I mean, I was flattened by it. I was devastated by it.”
The actress finally got help from a doctor who recommended antidepressants. Shields said her husband encouraged her to go through her depression battle, and she emerged from it a better mom.
SHIELDS HAS A HAPPY HOME
Shields and Henchy have been married for several years and are still deeply in love and support each other. Speaking of the secret of their marriage, the actress attributes it to deliberately spending time together.
Despite their busy schedules, the couple still goes on dates as they believe having kids could challenge their bond. However, instead of letting their kids come in between them, they raise them as a team. The lovebirds also navigate the challenges of parenting teenagers together.
Shields and Henchy raised their girls to live everyday lives, away from the hype and stardom of celebrity children. The movie star is under no pressure to toss her kids into the limelight. Shields previously said her girls wouldn't go into modeling any time soon.
Instead, she wants them to get everyday experience. Shield's daughters got summer jobs in 2020 and earned their own money. The actress is glad to teach her kids the value of hard work and appreciate what they have.
The actress still enjoys a close bond with her daughters despite her strict parenting. She once shared an Instagram post revealing her daughter had paid her a visit from college. Shields couldn't be happier seeing her girls chase their dreams.