August 08, 2016 02:30 PM

Kevin Richardson is a household name among Backstreet Boys fans. But what many may not know about the singer is that he and wife of 16 years Kristin went through quite the challenges in conceiving their second child.

“Me and Kristin had our firstborn, Mason, with no issues at all,” Richardson, 44, tells Entertainment Tonight. “Then when we tried for our second, it just wasn’t happening.”

After a few failed attempts at conceiving, Richardson and his wife went to the doctor to see what was going on.

“Kristin had some issues,” adds Richardson, who is promoting If I Could Tell You, a short film the actor and singer stars in that follows a woman who turns to the world of black market conception in a desperate attempt to get pregnant.

“We couldn’t believe it. It was like, ‘Wow. Okay, so this is isn’t going to be easy. Maybe it’s not in the cards for us to have another child,’ ” he continues. “That was a realization that smacked us in the face.”

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For Kristin — who touched on her fertility battles in 2015’s Pushing Motherhood — one of the most difficult parts of the journey was hearing that her FSH (a hormone that stimulates follicles, leading to control over egg production) level was decreasing her likelihood of being able to conceive.

“I never thought I’d hear those words,” she says emotionally in the documentary. “It’s tough.”

The couple’s second child, Maxwell Haze, was eventually born in July 2013 and joined big brother Mason, who is now 9. But the road to arrive at that point was a bumpy one for Richardson and his actress and dancer wife, 46.

“We tried IVF, we tried artificial insemination, and none of that worked,” Richardson tells ET candidly. “She was injecting her body with all kinds of hormones to make her ovulate, then on top of that was all the stress.

“She also couldn’t exercise and she’s a dancer, so it was totally unnatural. I just tried to be as supportive as I could, let her lead and be there for her.”

When IVF treatments didn’t seem to be working, the couple turned to something else: acupuncture, from a professional whose success rate for couples trying to get pregnant was extremely high. And for the Richardsons, it turned out to be the answer they were looking for.

“Taking all the pressure off and getting the unnatural things out [helped],” Richardson says. “I’m not saying Western medicine doesn’t have its place because it’s about whatever you need, but it was Eastern medicine, acupuncture, that did it for us.”

Richardson says that though the couple realize they “have to accept some of that responsibility” since they started trying to conceive a little later in life, they couldn’t be more grateful for the eventual outcome.

“It was amazing,” he admits. “We were jumping for joy. Kristin and I come from big families. She’s the youngest of three, I’m the youngest of three, and we had always envisioned ourselves with more than one child.”

Jen Juneau

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