Anne Hathaway wants to get real about fertility.
Hathaway, who earlier this week revealed that she is expecting her second child, knows it’s anything but simple. Hathaway announced her pregnancy with a black-and-white mirror selfie on Instagram, but also took care to note that “for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies.”
Hathaway has one child, three-year-old Jonathan, with her husband, Adam Shulman. While promoting her upcoming Amazon series Modern Love this weekend, she told Entertainment Tonight that she couldn’t be more thrilled for baby No. 2 — but she also empathizes with people who are struggling with fertility, and knows how happy pregnancy announcements can feel isolating at times.
“There is a one-sided narrative to this, and of course it's wonderful that we celebrate the happy moment when it's ready to share,” Hathaway said. “I think there is a silence around the moments before that and they are not all happy, and in fact, a lot of them are quite painful.
“I just knew that somewhere my announcement was going to make somebody feel worse about themselves because — and it wouldn’t be their fault that that happened — you just can't help it when you want something so bad and it feels like it's happening to everyone else but you,” she added. “I just wanted that person to know that they're included in my story, too, and that my story didn't just have happy moments, too.”
Along with the social stigmas surrounding pregnancy and children — especially for women, who are regularly expected to enter and embrace motherhood without issue — fertility is a widely misunderstood concept. A person’s journey to pregnancy hinges on a multitude of health factors, often extremely unique to them, and it can be a stressful process with negative mental health effects. It’s also worth noting that there are many ways besides pregnancy to become a parent — as Hathaway said, it’s never a straight line.