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PAULA ZAHN NOW

The Baby Chase; Joan Lunden on Motherhood

Aired June 16, 2005 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Paula Zahn. Welcome.
You're about to go an incredible, sometimes shocking, sometimes exhilarating journey in pursuit of the most powerful bond on Earth, the love of a child.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): The brave new world of making babies, millions of desperate couples yearning for a child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to have my own baby. I wanted to have a child.

ZAHN: Spending millions, going to extremes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're stitching her up and trying to keep the babies in there.

ZAHN: Turning back the biological clock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me just say that men have been having children at 50 and older for decades.

ZAHN: Tonight, new medicine, new ethics. Welcome to the baby chase.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: It's a simple, but frustrating fact. More than six million American women and their partners have trouble getting pregnant. Not so long ago, they simply had to accept that reality.

But consider this. Next month, the world's first test tube baby celebrates her 28th birthday. And almost three decades of revolutionary medicine have brought new hope to infertile couples, along with some amazing new challenges.

We begin tonight with the story of Abby and Georg Hartman, documentary filmmakers who turned the camera on themselves. You won't believe what you're about to see.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABBY HARTMAN, MOTHER OF QUADRUPLETS: Somebody once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. And everybody had these great ideas and doctors and lawyers. And I said, I want to be a mom. I want to be a really good mom.

ZAHN (voice-over): You know that expression, be careful what you wish for? Abby certainly got her wish in spades.

A. HARTMAN: Hello.

ZAHN: The odds of what happened to Abby are one in 25 million. She gave births to quadruplets who are two sets of identical twins.

(on camera): I love that little tuft of hair sticking up on your head. You have a little Mohawk.

(voice-over): Meet Max.

(on camera): Oh. Nice, Sid. Good job.

(voice-over): Sid.

A. HARTMAN: She always has this little strawberry on the top of her head.

ZAHN: Emmy.

A. HARTMAN: So that's how you know Emmy from...

ZAHN (on camera): I haven't met Emmy yet. Hi, Emmy.

(voice-over): And the tiniest, Lucy.

A. HARTMAN: She doesn't eat as much as everybody, but starting to catch up a little bit.

ZAHN: At least that's who I think she is.

A. HARTMAN: That's Max.

ZAHN (on camera): Max. Sorry. You're good. See? There's no way I can tell them apart.

(voice-over): Three years ago, if you asked Abby and husband Georg, they didn't even know if they could have babies. You see, Abby couldn't get pregnant.

A. HARTMAN: Very, very frustrating, because I thought it would be so easy. I didn't get pregnant. And the next month, nothing happened. And it kept, like, you know, not working. So, I just couldn't believe it. And I knew it was me, because I knew there was something going on in my body that wasn't quite right.

ZAHN: Abby was right. Doctors diagnosed her with blocked fallopian tubes. Fortunately, there were a lot of treatment choices.

A. HARTMAN: I think that's progesterone cream.

ZAHN: But, unfortunately, they didn't have a lot of money. Abby could have surgery to unblock her tubes, then try to get pregnant. Or she could have fertility treatments to bypass the blocked tubes. Their health insurance covered neither procedure. Abby and Georg decided to go with what they thought gave them the greatest odds of getting pregnant, in vitro fertilization.

A. HARTMAN: I as pretty confident that the in vitro would work, because I am young and I knew that I just needed help to get from A to B, basically. And I knew they were planning on implanting two embryos. So, we thought, best-case scenario, how cool would if be if had twins. Best-case scenario. That would be so great if we have twins.

OK. Thanks. Bye.

Honey, we're pregnant!

ZAHN: It was the moment they had been waiting for. In the initial sonograms, doctors could see their there two fetuses, twins. In follow-up exams, they then saw something else

A. HARTMAN: And I'm lying there and they said, OK, I want a head count. And then I hear, oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, from the ultrasound woman. And what, what, what? She is like, there's another one. So, I said, what do you mean? She said, there's another down here. I said, well, they both split? And she goes, yes.

And I thought, oh, my God. Something's terribly wrong. They're going to keep on multiplying.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN (on camera): Forty babies.

(CROSSTALK)

A. HARTMAN: ... so wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

A. HARTMAN: And the doctor said, oh, yes, yes, another one. So, two sets of identical twins. I said, what are the chances?

(CROSSTALK)

A. HARTMAN: I mean, that's something that's so random and so statistically weird. And it happened to us.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Now, were you at the appointment when all four babies were discovered?

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORG HARTMAN, FATHER OF QUADRUPLETS: Yes. Yes, I was. A. HARTMAN: I don't even remember seeing him. It was a dark room. and he's in the corner. And all I know is, I hear like a bang.

(CROSSTALK)

G. HARTMAN: That was me hitting the wall, honey. I was holding on to the wall in the ultrasound room.

ZAHN: And was that a bang of, oh, no, I can't do this or, oh, my God, it's really...

(CROSSTALK)

G. HARTMAN: Oh, my, God, what's happening? Is this really my life? It was a really surreal moment.

A. HARTMAN: Oh, my God. I hope you're seeing.

ZAHN (voice-over): The Hartmans finally got what they wanted. But this type of pregnancy is very extreme and comes with a very high risk. Women's bodies weren't built to carry four babies. Babies in multiple births are more likely to be born earlier, smaller, with lifelong disabilities.

A. HARTMAN: Honey, get it away. It's too big.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too big? We haven't even gotten there yet.

A. HARTMAN: I know. Just starting.

ZAHN: Abby's first four months of pregnancy went by OK. She kept on getting bigger and bigger, month after month. But then the trouble started on Thanksgiving Day 2003.

A. HARTMAN: At five months, I started contracting, dilating. And I went to the hospital. And they told me that I might have to deliver two, knowing that they won't survive, and trying to keep the other two in. So, they really gave me like a 50 percent chance that all the babies would survive.

It's just stressful. I don't want to make it worse.

ZAHN: The Hartmans had to make a life-or-death decision, risk losing or babies or undergo a cerclage, where the cervix is literally stitched close to keep the babies inside. They opted for the cerclage, despite the danger that Abbey's cervix could become infected or a gestational sack could rupture and put mom and all the babies' health in danger.

G. HARTMAN: Abby's in surgery right now. They're stitching her up and trying to keep the babies in there, because her cervix is opening up. So, she won't be holding the babies in there long enough, so that they have a chance to survive. ZAHN (on camera): It's one thing for Abby to be going through all of this physically. It had to be absolute torture for you psychologically

G. HARTMAN: Right. You know, the worst on my part was feeling so helpless. I knew that my role in this was to be the rock. I just had to hide my fears as good as I could for -- at least until the babies were born.

A. HARTMAN: I just wish I felt better. And I feel bad that you're doing all the work.

ZAHN (voice-over): Georg quit his job as a director of photography at MTV to stay at home.

G. HARTMAN: Here's the tea.

ZAHN: Abby had to stay in bed for the rest of her pregnancy. She gained 85 pounds.

A. HARTMAN: I know they're all inside right now.

ZAHN: Her stomach grew so much, the doctors stopped taking measurements. But perhaps most extreme is that, unbelievably, she had contractions every day, at least five times a day for the next two months.

A. HARTMAN: Being pregnant with them was really, really scary, because it was all on me. You know, I felt I really want to keep these babies. I want them to be OK. And I don't know if my body can do that.

ZAHN (on camera): Because every time a contraction came, you thought they were going to go early.

A. HARTMAN: Oh, no. Yes, I'm too early. I'm at 21 weeks. I'm too early. I'm at 22 weeks. It's Christmas, 24 weeks, too early.

G. HARTMAN: So, at 28 weeks, we were like, yay, 28 weeks.

A. HARTMAN: And my water broke.

ZAHN: The Hartman quads were ready to arrive. But with an average weight of under just 2 pounds, would they all be healthy? Would there be complications?

More when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: It's the moment of truth for Abby and Georg Hartman.

Their struggle to conceive hasn't been easy. And the physical and emotional strains of carrying two sets of twins is about to end. Now Abby faces the most exciting and uncertain of moments, the rush to the hospital. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

A. HARTMAN: Are we ready?

G. HARTMAN: Yes. Let's go.

ZAHN (voice-over): January 16, 2004, 1:15 a.m. Abby Hartman goes into labor, about to give birth to two sets of identical twins. She carried the quads for 28 weeks. But they're still a couple of months premature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You signed a consent for (INAUDIBLE) when you came in.

A. HARTMAN: Right. Weeks ago.

ZAHN: A team of 40 doctors and nurses at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. is waiting, 12 hours of labor, then a carefully choreographed delivery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feel (INAUDIBLE) pressure, so it's normal to feel this, OK? Don't let it worry you.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby A is out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby B is out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby B is out.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby three is out.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby four (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are done. Hallelujah.

(CROSSTALK)

G. HARTMAN: I heard a doctor say:

A. HARTMAN: Boys...

G. HARTMAN: Boys had...

A. HARTMAN: Needed to intubated.

G. HARTMAN: Needed to intubated.

A. HARTMAN: I can't see (INAUDIBLE) I got to see a girl. I don't know which girl it was.

(CROSSTALK)

A. HARTMAN: Oh, my God. She is so small.

ZAHN (on camera): And then that was it. And they were whisked off.

A. HARTMAN: Whisked off.

G. HARTMAN: It all happened really fast. And they were rushed to the NICU.

A. HARTMAN: Yes. And I didn't see them for another 12 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take the hat off and the clamp.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take the hat off.

ZAHN (voice-over): The babies were too fragile. Far from out of the woods, they weighed between 1 pound, 15 ounces and 2 pounds, 11 ounces. They each had a host of complications. Sid (ph) had jaundice, Max a collapsed lung. Emmy (ph) had a brain breed, Lucy (ph) a blood infection. For the next three months, they lived in the NICU, the neonatal intensive care unit.

A. HARTMAN: It was so frightening. We really, really didn't know if we were going to get all four babies home. One day, one of our daughters diagnosed with, you know, bleeding on the brain. The next day, she had bacterial meningitis. The next day, they had...

G. HARTMAN: Then, the next day Max's lung collapsed.

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

G. HARTMAN: I mean, it was always something.

A. HARTMAN: Every day, for the first two months, every day was something.

ZAHN (on camera): So, basically, from the time these babies were born...

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

ZAHN: ... through the three months...

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

ZAHN: You were thrown a curve ball almost every minute of the day.

(CROSSTALK)

A. HARTMAN: Definitely. I was -- we were a wreck. I mean, it seems like a blur. It seems like it -- I just feel like it was just crazy, emotionally, so challenging. You know, and, for us, for the two of us to get through that was -- it's really -- I mean, that was really difficult.

ZAHN: How much pressure did it put on your relationship?

G. HARTMAN: I think it can do a number on even the healthiest relationship, to begin with. But, in a way, it just made us stronger as a unit, because we have this...

A. HARTMAN: Were doing it together.

G. HARTMAN: Were doing it together.

ZAHN (voice-over): The biggest test came when the quads were just two weeks old. All four needed heart surgery to repair defective valves.

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

G. HARTMAN: The first time, it's like the end of the world.

A. HARTMAN: Yes. First time, we were like, we don't know if she's going to make it.

(CROSSTALK)

G. HARTMAN: It's terrible. It's invasive, but it worked out the first time.

A. HARTMAN: Right.

G. HARTMAN: So why shouldn't it work out the second time?

A. HARTMAN: Yes. Third time...

G. HARTMAN: The third time, it keeps getting easier somehow. I mean...

A. HARTMAN: Yes, somehow.

G. HARTMAN: It's really -- you really do get used to almost anything.

ZAHN (voice-over): The babies survived surgery. Slowly, their tiny, underdeveloped bodies overcame the hurdles. Three months later, each one weighed more than six pounds. The Hartman kids were ready to go home.

A. HARTMAN: As soon as they all got in the car to come home, we really -- that was probably the best day of our life.

G. HARTMAN: Say hi. Good boy.

Then a whole new story, a whole new life started.

A. HARTMAN: Yes. We were like, thank God. Oh.

Where are you going?

G. HARTMAN: We just puked a lot.

A. HARTMAN: It was chaos.

G. HARTMAN: Hang in there.

A. HARTMAN: We tried really, really hard to make it as calm as possible. So, we just decided to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. And each day was a different day. And each day got better and better.

ZAHN: In the beginning, life in the Hartman house was a nonstop, bone-tiring marathon, 40 diaper changes a day, finish feeding one baby, then start the other and then sleep, if you want to call it that. Mom and dad had only an hour or two of it a night.

(on camera): Are there ever points where you get so tired...

A. HARTMAN: Yes.

ZAHN: Where you don't think you can handle it?

A. HARTMAN: And then they go to bed. Sometimes, you're just like, how am I going to wake up tomorrow morning and do this all over again? But as soon as you wake up in morning, it's kind of a new day.

And you see them. And they're smiling at you like nothing happened the day before. And you go on again.

Our whole philosophy of this whole thing going into it was, we're going to just -- everybody was like, how do you do it? How are you going to do it? You can't do it. How are you going to buy baby food? How are you going to, you know, give them anything? And, you know, we just -- we have -- what we have is love and understanding of each other. And we have a great relationship. And I think that really, really helps.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE (singing): Happy birthday, dear, Sid, Max, Lucy, Emmy.

ZAHN (voice-over): Abby and Georg have come a long way since those infertile years.

A. HARTMAN: Hands up.

ZAHN: Today, the quads are all healthy and thriving. There's still one hurdle that Abby and Georg are struggling with.

G. HARTMAN: It's like running a small restaurant, basically, already. And they're just like 1.

ZAHN: The high cost of having these babies, $4.4 million in medical bills. Insurance covered most, but not all of it. And Georg estimates that it will cost nearly half-a-million dollars to send all four of his kids to college.

The Hartmans are tackling all of this like they have everything else, as a team.

A. HARTMAN: Yay. We got it.

ZAHN: And even the babies are pitching in by acting and modeling.

A. HARTMAN: It's not something we really love doing. It's something they seem to really love, because they get one-on-one attention with us each time we bring one in. They have their own little savings account that they're slowly starting to build, which is good.

G. HARTMAN: Later that night, her water broke.

Georg, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, is hoping to turn their lives into a reality show. But forget about the lack of money and lack of sleep. This family lacks little else. From the moment they all wake up at 6:00 a.m...

A. HARTMAN: Good night, Sidney (ph).

ZAHN: ... to the moment these adorable little babies go to sleep at 7:00 p.m., the Hartman household is filled with laughter, love and a whole lot of luck. And when Abby and Georg are really lucky...

G. HARTMAN: OK, baby, cheers.

ZAHN: A quiet dinner for two.

A. HARTMAN: I'm so tired.

G. HARTMAN: I know.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Yes, they're tired, all right, with four kids now walking. And while Abby and Georg are thrilled they're doing so well, the Hartman household just got a whole lot crazier.

While Abby Hartman only had two embryos implanted, some couples and doctors want to implant as many as they can to increase the chances that a pregnancy will take hold. That has sparked some controversy in both political and medical circles over the costs associated with not only prenatal care for high-risk pregnancies, but also the cost of care for premature babies.

When we continue, a woman you're sure to recognize tells us her story of motherhood after 50.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOAN LUNDEN, NEWS ANCHOR: It's disappointing every time you hear that it didn't take that time. I mean, it's a real emotional roller- coaster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Joan Lunden joins the baby chase.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Still ahead, Joan Lunden's story, becoming the mother of twins, twice, after she turned 50, and why some couples are traveling halfway around the world to have a baby.

But, first, time for the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Paula.

Californians are already feeling the aftershocks from this afternoon's earthquake, the third to shake the state this week. Now, today's quake was moderate, a 4.9 magnitude, but enough to jolt much of Southern California. It was centered about 70 miles east of Los Angeles. There are no reports, though, of injuries or major damage.

The Army is charging a New York National Guard sergeant with killing his company commander and another officer last week near Tikrit. Both officers died in what was initially thought to be a mortar attack.

The next time a hurricane heads for Hillsborough County, Florida, sex offenders will be on their own. County commissioners have banned them from public shelters. One officials says sex offenders ought to fend for themselves.

And Senate Republicans will try once again to break the blockade on John Bolton's nomination as U.N. ambassador with a vote on Monday. Democrats have been insisting the White House give up more information about Bolton before the nomination moves forward.

And that's the latest from CNN Headline News at this hour -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much for the update.

Coming up next, their numbers are growing, women over 50 who want to have babies, how one famous woman made it happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUNDEN: The only thing that disappointed me about turning to surrogacy was that my husband wouldn't go through the process, the experience of me with the big belly and all of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Joan Lunden's first in-depth interview since the birth of her second set of twins. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Medicine is helping push the age of motherhood to the extreme. The numbers speak for themselves. Births to women between 40 and 44 went up 71 percent in the 1990s. And births to women between 45 and 49 went up 15 percent.

TV host Joan Lunden is an older mom. At the age of 54, many women her age are thinking of retirement. But Joan Lunden is dealing with diapers and lots of them as the mother of four children under the age of 3.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GOOD MORNING, AMERICA")

LUNDEN: Hi, I'm Joan Lunden from Fair Oaks, California. And this is my daughter Jamie (ph). Good morning, America.

ZAHN: For 17 years, while Joan Lunden was the cohost of "Good Morning America," the world watched her raise three daughters. Along the way, she became a role model for working mothers, and then, after her well-publicized divorce, for single mothers. Now, at age 54, she's a role model again, this time for a whole new set of moms.

LUNDEN: Now, let me just say that men have been having children at the age of 50 and older for decades. But because now medical science has made it possible for women to all of a sudden enter that arena and start having children in their late 40s and early 50s, now it's news.

ZAHN: Joan Lunden would be one of those women, trying to have babies in her late 40s with her second husband, Jeff Konigsburg. But getting pregnant wasn't easy.

LUNDEN: It's disappointing every time you hear that it didn't take that time. I mean, it's a real emotional roller coaster.

ZAHN: After five failed in-vitro attempts, Lunden's husband suggested surrogacy, but Joan was hesitant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is she?

ZAHN: Seared in her memory, the 1980's Baby M custody battle. Surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead fought to have custody of the baby she carried for William and Elizabeth Stern.

LUNDEN: Well, look, I mean, I'm one of the people that always reported on horror stories of surrogacy, and that's all you hear about that. So, that's your frame of reference.

ZAHN: A dinner with actor Richard Kine (ph), whose children were born through surrogacy, changed her mind.

LUNDEN: He just sat down with us and said, I know you guys must think this is the weirdest thing in the world and so did my wife, and I think that a year ago (ph). You're about to embark on a journey that's going to change you as a person, because not only are you going to be going through the parenting process, but you're going to learn that there's people on this earth who will do something so amazingly selfless, that they are willing to give this much of themselves, to help you create a family. They're just going to change you forever as a person.

ZAHN: What does it take for a mother of three biological children to surrender to the process of surrogacy?

LUNDEN: To think that you're going to give something so important, so big in your life over to someone else -- what if she smokes? What if she didn't take her vitamins? What if she didn't eat the right things? You can't control any of that, and I mean, that's when it comes to making sure that you do surrogacy in the right way and that you get matched up with that you can sit -- look them in the eyes, and just say, I have confidence in this person.

ZAHN: That person was Deborah Bolick (ph), a 41-year-old married mother of three. Joan found her through a very experienced surrogacy center in California, a deliberate decision. Unlike most states, California favors the intended parents if there's custody dispute, something that Joan believes is crucial.

Deborah had already given birth to twins for a British couple. She would do that again for Joan and Jeff, becoming their gestational surrogate. Jeff's sperm, fertilized an egg from someone other than Deborah, and that egg was implanted in her uterus.

LUNDEN: When you use a gestational carrier who's not biologically related, she doesn't have any rights to the baby. So, that becomes a nonissue, and that to me, took a big load off Jeff's and my shoulders.

ZAHN: Joan won't discuss whether they used her eggs or a donors. For her, that's simply too private to share. But she is candid about everything else, especially the sense of loss she felt having another woman carry their baby.

LUNDEN: The only thing -- the only that disappointed me about turning to surrogacy was that my husband wouldn't go through the process, that experience of me with the big belly and all of that. So, the fact that Deborah was as giving of herself and sharing of herself, that helped that, because I was worried about him missing out on that.

ZAHN: Despite missing out on those kind of moments, there are so many other special times that Joan and Jeff experienced, like when Kate and Max were born in June of 2003.

LUNDEN: I'll never forget when they finally delivered Max, and Pete, Deborah's husband, looked at Jeff and said, when I look at my wife's face, as those babies are handed to you guys, I fall in her love with her all over again.

ZAHN: Oh, wow. It's beautiful. LUNDEN: Because he's so proud of her. It makes me cry when I say it.

ZAHN: Of course.

LUNDEN: Because it was such an amazing thing for him to say. That's why I say it's the whole family that does it, not just the mom.

ZAHN: A life-long friendship and bond was formed between these two families. Amazingly, less than two years after Max and Kate birth, Deborah Bolick gave birth to Jeff and Joan's second set of twins, Kimberly and Jack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wave hi, baby!

ZAHN: Almost midway through her 50s, Joan Lunden is now the mother of the two infants, two toddlers, and three adult daughters. Perhaps now the ultimate mother, supported by perhaps one of the most devoted husbands.

LUNDEN: We have a amazingly joyful, full life. As Jeff says, you only go once on this earth, so you might as well make it as great as it can be.

ZAHN: How many more babies are in you future?

LUNDEN: None.

ZAHN: Seven is it?

LUNDEN: Deborah said, as we left the hospital, Jeff, if you want any more, you have to get another surrogate. I said, Deborah, if he wants any more, he's going to have to get another wife. No, this is it. We have really great crew.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: A sensational crew. And, hiring a surrogate is not for everyone. The cost can run up to over $60,000.

For some couples, however, their only option may be half a world away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't give up. I couldn't give up because I didn't feel whole. My life didn't feel complete. I had to have a child, and I wasn't going to give up until I got one.

ZAHN: Searching the globe for help in getting pregnant, when "The Baby Chase" continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: More than 6 million couples in the U.S. have fertility problems and nearly 90 percent are able to use conventional treatment, either drugs or surgery. But the cost and other issues are driving some couples to search literally halfway around the world, in their quest to become parents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHY BUTUCEANU, FERTILITY CLINIC PATIENT: Come on, sweetheart.

ZAHN (voice-over: For Kathy and Cornell Butuceanu, parenthood is simple: feedings, diapers and lots of hugs and kisses multiplied by two. But how they got here was anything but simple.

Kathy was almost 50 when she and Cornell were married. And while they desperately wanted a family, there were two obstacles: Kathy's age and infertility.

BUTUCEANU: Our marriage was strong enough that we could do it together. And even if it ended up with no results, it was still better to try and to rule it out. To say, OK, we went the extra mile...

ZAHN: And that extra mile would mean using a donor egg and in vitro fertilization procedures. The problem was, they couldn't afford the $15,000 to $30,000 price tag. Their doctor, Sanford Rosenberg, had a solution. He worked with physicians overseas to harvest and purchase eggs from donors in Romania and Russia, eggs that are much cheaper than here in the U.S.

DR. SANFORD ROSENBERG, RICHMOND CENTER FOR FERTILITY: That fact that it hasn't been done in this country, doesn't automatically mean that it was done in the back of a garage with a bare bulb hanging over a dirty table. That's an image that we work hard to dispel.

BUTUCEANU: I almost fall off the chair, because with my husband being Rumanian it was just ideal. We were in his office in two days.

ZAHN: The eggs from an anonymous Romanian donor were fertilized with Cornell's sperm in a lab in Bucharest. The embryos were frozen and flown back to the U.S. for implantation into Kathy's uterus.

To everyone's surprise, Kathy became pregnant and delivered beautiful twin boys.

After four failed IVF attempts, Sharon and Paul Saarinen gave birth to their daughter Alana using a new and controversial technique called cytoplasmic transfer. Sharon was only in her 30s, but the quality of her own eggs was poor. They needed a boost so to speak.

DR. MICHAEL FAKIH, IVF MICHIGAN: We got (INAUDIBLE) from a donor egg, injected this into along Sarah's egg, along with Paul's sperm and the embryos that developed out of this procedure were transferred and ended with a beautiful baby.

SHARON SAARINEN, WIFE: Just to look in her eyes, I've waited like almost ten years just to see her face.

ZAHN: 18 months later, the Saarinens wanted another baby. But this time cytoplasmic transfer was not an option. It was banned in the U.S. in 2001, because of safety concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any cramping?

ZAHN: But Doctor Fakih is licensed to practice in Lebanon where he was born. If the Saarinens were willing to fly there, he was willing to do the procedure. The price tag with travel, $10,000.

PAUL SAARINEN, HUSBAND: This is where Doctor Fakih's is.

ZAHN: Sharon and Paul traveled to Beirut. And Sharon underwent the procedure. When the couple went home to Michigan, they waited. But this time, it was not to be.

The Butuceanus and the Saarinens stories are extreme, but they represent a new way of thinking in the world of infertility, families and doctors willing to push the envelope. Dr. Richard Scott is one of founders of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey.

DR. RICHARD SCOTT, REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE ASSOCIATES: I think that going overseas to do procedures in areas where there's less regulation, less scientific scrutiny really transfers the burden for that level of scrutiny back to the patient and their physician. It does mean that it's always wrong. It does not mean that good outcomes can not be obtained. What it means is you have to be much, much more sophisticated consumer.

ZAHN: Sharon and Paul Saarinen don't regret for a moment what they did. They haven't given up the hope of giving Alana a brother or a sister.

For the Butuceanus it was all about being willing to take a chance.

BUTUCEANU: All of my dreams, all of these years, all of this waiting was there. It had culminated in these most beautiful, lovely babies. I really had to pinch myself over and over again, because they were there and they were mine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: What we just saw is still unusual. But because only 11 states require insurance to cover fertility treatments, reaching outside the country is something more couples feel they have to do.

Still ahead, Brooke Shields tells the story of her devastating experience with fertility treatments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: Your emotions are just -- they range -- just they rage. So, it's teary, to anger to just fatigue to just, sort of like -- and you just never know what's going to happen. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: The dark depression that haunted Brooke Shields after birth.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Coming up, Brooke Shields on her desperate attempts to have a baby.

But first, time for another look at the latest headlines from HEADLINE NEWS.

HILL: Thanks Paula.

A three-year-old boy from Canada was killed by gunman during a siege today in an elementary school in Cambodia. Authorities say four men held dozens of children and teachers hostage for nearly six hours. Police captured the men when they tried to escape.

B.J.'s Wholesale Club has settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that lax security led to $13 million in counterfeit credit and debit card purchases. Now BJ's will adopt new a security program that will be monitored by an outside expert for the next 20 years.

Meantime, the FDIC, which insures many U.S. banks is warning 6,000 current and former employees that their personal information may have been compromised and to be on the look-out for identity theft.

And deals for "Deep Throat": Mark Felt, the 91-year-old former FBI man who recently revealed his role in helping the Washington Post cover the Watergate scandal has sold the book and movie rights to his life. Actor Tom Hanks will produce the film. It was only a matter of time.

And that's the latest from Headline News. Back over to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much for the update. Coming up next, Brooke Shields' long struggle to become a mom. And what happened when she finally succeeded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELD: It just seemed like it would never get better. The light would never come in my heart again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Brook Shields' story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: You might find it surprising less than 1 percent of the babies born in the U.S. are a result in vitro fertilization, test tube babies. It's an option when others fail, but it can be extremely difficult. That's what actress Brooke Shields learned when she chose that route to motherhood.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): She was born under a lucky star. Beauty. Body. Brains. For 40 years, taking on the camera, the Ivy League, the small screen and silver screen, even Broadway. Succeeding at everything she set her mind to. But it wasn't until Brooke Shields was 36 that she reached a hurdle that she couldn't overcome.

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: I wasn't getting pregnant, and so it all seemed like I was failing everywhere I looked.

ZAHN: Shields, like 6 million other American women every year, was having problems getting pregnant, her infertility caused by scarring on her cervix by past surgeries to remove precancerous cells.

SHIELDS: I wanted to have my own baby. I wanted to have a child.

ZAHN: And she wanted to have that child with a man she truly loved, her husband, comedy writer Chris Henchy.

SHIELDS: I respect him so much, and he's not the guy that gives up. He's not the guy that runs away.

ZAHN: Brooke and Chris dedicated their lives to having a baby. Brooke quit working for the first time in her life and started fertility treatments. First, artificial insemination, then in vitro fertilization.

Walk us through that two-year period when you took time off from work and you were solely focused on trying to get pregnant. What happened physically? You were giving yourself shots.

SHIELDS: Shots on a daily basis, two -- usually two times a day. Physically, you know, you gain weight, but it's sort of -- it's like a bloated kind of a weight. You're emotions are just -- they range. They just rage -- so, it's teary to anger to just fatigue, to just sort like -- and you just never know what's going to come, and it's not like the old PMS, which is -- you can usually sort of chart it, and you can figure out, you know, how long it's going to last. It was sort of endless -- this sort of endless cycle of disappointment.

ZAHN: But that cycle ended in the winter of 2001 when Brooke Shields finally got pregnant, but the good news quickly turned bad.

Help us better understand on emotional level what you went through when you found out you actually were pregnant and then later, being told that the baby wasn't viable?

SHIELDS: That is when the anger, for me, hit the hardest. You get the prize, so to speak, and then just as you're about ready to kind of like, be able to put it on your mantle, it gets snatched away and I think that that's where I just -- I got real bitter. That was the most bitter that I became.

ZAHN: Were you tempted to give up at that point?

SHIELDS: Giving up didn't seem like an option, but I'm not so sure why. What kept me going, was just -- I saw me as a mother. I've always seen myself as a mother, ever since I was a child myself.

ZAHN: That image helped her heal from the miscarriage. She immediately began more in vitro treatment, half a dozen more in the months to come.

SHIELDS: The difficulty of IVF, or of any fertility issues, is the expectation, once again. It's the hope and the shattered hope, the dream that might happen this time and then it doesn't happen.

ZAHN: Midsummer 2002, Brooke Shields was ready to call it quits, but with four of her frozen embryos left to be implanted, she and her husband decided to try in vitro just one more time.

Thankfully, that would be enough. Brooke became pregnant. Despite her fear that she would suffer another miscarriage, it was a textbook pregnancy. Her luck had turn -- that is until she went into labor. After 24 hours of nonproductive labor, Brooke would need a C- section. Her daughter Roan was born on May 15th, 2003.

Still on the operating table, Shields was far from out of the woods. Her uterus was herniated. She lost pint after pint of blood. Her life was in danger. Doctors warned she might need an emergency hysterectomy, if the bleeding didn't stop, but it did stop.

Brooke believes the traumatic birth, the loss of blood, and the hormonal imbalance led to severe, near-suicidal postpartum depression, which Brooke wrote about recently for the first time.

"I didn't feel at all joyful. I had always though there would be an instant bond between us, but no matter how long I stared, I couldn't seem to feel one."

Do you remember that desperation?

SHIELDS: I remember staring at her, and just thinking, come on. Let's feel it. Let's -- where's the thing? Where's the stuff? Where's the fairy dust? Where's the birds? Where -- come on.

ZAHN: How dark were your days?

SHIELDS: They were like endless pits of darkness. It just seemed like it would never get better. The light would never come in my heart again.

ZAHN: With the help of antidepressants, Brooke was able to overcome her depression. Today, her days with Roan are filled with a new-found joy, happiness, and light. Despite those seemingly endless dark days, Brooke and Chris are ready to have more kids, hoping that luck is now on their side.

SHIELDS: I hope to god that I can get pregnant. I mean, it's not very easy for me.

ZAHN: What does motherhood mean to you now?

SHIELDS: It still doesn't mean sleep, which is unbelievable. She actually peels my eyes back in the morning and says, wake up. All I know is, now, I know I'm a mom and that title precedes everything.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: A very happy ending for Brooke Shields.

You should know that Brooke is a lucky mom. In vitro fertilization works only about a third of the time. But, as we've seen tonight, despite the odds, many couples are willing to go to extremes and while adoption was an option for them, they made the very personal decision to conceive a child of their own.

I hope the stories you've seen in this past hour can offer some hope, especially to the many couples struggling with one of the most important parts of life, having a child.

I'm Paula Zahn; thanks so much for being with us. "LARRY KING LIVE" stars right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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