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Anne Hathaway recalls suffering miscarriage at work and 'conception hell' before welcoming sons Jonathan and Jack

The Idea of You actress shares two sons with husband Adam Shulman

Anne Hathaway attends 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on February 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
25 March 2024
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Anne Hathaway is looking back at her difficult road to motherhood, and the touching impact her vulnerability about her experience has had through the years.

Though The Idea of You actress, 41, is largely private about her family life with husband Adam Shulman, 42, and their two sons, her decision to be open about her struggles with becoming pregnant has paid off.

She's a doting mom to sons Jonathan, eight, and Jack, four; when announcing her second pregnancy in 2019 on Instagram, sharing a black-and-white photo highlighting her growing bump, she wrote: "It's not for a movie…" before adding: "All kidding aside, for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love."

WATCH: Anne Hathaway documents her very long journey to the SAG Awards

Four years before that, Anne had suffered a miscarriage while in the middle of a six-week run of the one-woman, off-Broadway show Grounded. Recalling the painful time, she told Vanity Fair for their April cover story: "The first time it didn't work out for me. I was doing a play and I had to give birth on stage every night."

At the time, she felt "it was too much to keep it in when I was onstage pretending everything was fine," and decided to be upfront about what was going on off the stage with her friends and family. "I had to keep it real otherwise."

She eventually tapped into that same transparency with the broader public when it came to announcing her pregnancy, and now explained: "When it did go well for me, having been on the other side of it – where you have to have the grace to be happy for someone – I wanted to let my sisters know, 'You don't have to always be graceful. I see you and I've been you.'"

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"It's really hard to want something so much and to wonder if you're doing something wrong," she added. The Oscar winner further recalled her shock at learning how many pregnancies end in miscarriage – per Mayo Clinic, 10% to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, though the number is likely higher – and wishing that information was more widely disseminated. 

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Anne continued: "I thought, 'Where is this information? Why are we feeling so unnecessarily isolated?' That's where we take on damage. So I decided that I was going to talk about it."

Anne Hathaway attends the Opening Night Celebration of 'Grounded' at the The Public Theatre on April 24, 2015 in New York City© Getty
Anne, pictured above at the 2015 opening night of Grounded, suffered a miscarriage while working on the play

"The thing that broke my heart, blew my mind, and gave me hope was that for three years after, almost daily, a woman came up to me in tears and I would just hold her, because she was carrying this [pain] around and suddenly it wasn't all hers anymore."

MORE: Anne Hathaway's The Idea of You co-star Nicholas Galitzine dishes on their 'transformative' behind-the-scenes chemistry

"It was more about what I wasn't going to do," she noted of the pregnancy announcement, adding: "I wasn't going to feel ashamed of something that seemed to me statistically to actually be quite normal."

Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman attend the ceremony honoring Anne Hathaway with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 09, 2019 in Hollywood, California.© Getty
The actress and her husband met at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2008

Given "the pain I felt while trying to get pregnant," she said, "it would've felt disingenuous to post something all the way happy when I know the story is much more nuanced than that for everyone."

Anne and her husband Adam, an actor, producer, and jewelry designer, tied the knot in 2012 after four years of dating; they own homes in New York, Connecticut, and California.

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