Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison open up about their fertility struggles
Dixie Chicks and sisters Martie Maguire, 37, and Emily Robison, 35, have made no secret of the challenges they faced while attempting to conceive their children, finally succeeding with IVF treatments. Martie is now mom to twins Eva Ruth and Kathleen ‘Katie’ Emilie, 3, while Emily has Charles Augustus ‘Gus,’ 4 1/2, and twins Julianna Tex and Henry Benjamin, 2.
However, for the first time, they tell their story in-depth to Conceive magazine — discussing getting their shots while on tour, the difficulty of seeing Natalie Maines‘ easy pregnancies, Martie’s baby plans, and more.
Click below for the highlights.
Issues arise: Both Emily and Martie had always wanted to be mothers, and their health and family history didn’t suggest that there would be a problem achieving that dream. Bandmate Natalie Maines, 32, decided to start her family a year after getting married to actor Adrian Pasdar, and got pregnant with son Jackson Slade, now 6 1/2, right away. The sisters thought it would be just as easy for them. Martie says,
Emily’s story: Emily had been married to country singerCharlie Robison for a few years when they decided the time was right to start their family.
Another year passed with no pregnancies. Emily and Charlie decided to take a more aggressive approach. Emily underwent a laparoscopy, which found that she had mild endometriosis — however, it was ‘nothing that would have kept me from getting pregnant.’ The couple tried for six more months without success — ‘Then wewere ready to just go for it.’
After two years and three rounds of IVF treatment, son Augustus Charles was born on the fourth try, on November 11th, 2002. Emily and Charlie were over the moon with Gus, their miracle baby.
When Gus was almost two, Emily and Charlie decided it wastime to test their luck again — the couple wanted more babies.
This cycle and pregnancy, Emily was able to stay home, as the Dixie Chicks were no longer touring. Twins Julianna Tex and Henry Benjamin arrived on April 14th, 2005.
Martie’s story: Martie had found it incredibly difficult to watch her little sister struggle with her fertility problems. But when she and actor husband Gareth Maguire decided to start their family while Emily was still receiving her final treatments, Martie never thought she’d face the same issues. After all, Gareth is one of six children — hearty stock.
On her first IVF cycle, Martie conceived, giving birth to twins Eva Ruth and Kathleen ‘Katie’ Emilie, on April 27th, 2004. Currently, Martie and Gareth are trying for another baby — she began the IVF process again in August.
Martie does have a concern about possible leftover embryos, though.
On doctor’s visits and injections while touring:
Emily: I’m by nature a very modest person, but by the end of that tour, everyone had seen me naked.You’ll do anything when you’re wanting to have a baby. I can laughabout it now, but I called that the gynecological tour across theUnited States.
The band was on a European tour when it was time for Martie’s IVF cycle. Martie recalls,
On insurance and using fertility treatments: Both sisters feel very strongly about insurance companies and their infertility coverage — or lack thereof. Although because of their careers as Dixie Chicks, they were lucky enough to be able to afford as many fertility treatments as they felt they needed, Emily
and Martie are both aware that lack of funds is a major stumbling block for many couples dealing with infertility. Martie says,
However, she adds,
On their bandmate, Natalie Maines: Natalie was always sympathetic and supportive of Emily and Martie, but also felt guilty at the ease in which she conceived while her bandmates struggled. Martie remembers,
Emily: Natalie was always able to say, ‘Okay, we have ninemonths off. I’m going to get pregnant.’ And she did. [Second son Beckett Finn was born on July 14th, 2004.] ButMartie and I had to start hoping we’d get pregnant, and then it wouldtake a while and we’d be back in the work cycle.
On the lyrics to ‘So Hard,’ off of Taking the Long Way:
Martie: Idon’t think we would have been strong enough to write the song while wewere in the throes of [infertility]. We felt morecomfortable writing about it once we had success.
Emily expounds on the song and what its meant.
The lyrics include:
Thanks to CBB reader Charlene.