Hilarie Burton's fertility struggle left her feeling like the "worst version" of herself.
The 'One Tree Hill' alum endured five years of fertility struggles when she was trying for a second baby with her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan - with whom she now has son Augustus, 10, and daughter George, two, - and has said the battle to have a baby put pressure on both herself and her relationship.
She said: "I had been the worst version of myself. Jeffrey had been distant and unreachable. And yet somehow we had found each other again."
Hilarie spent "hundreds of dollars" on pregnancy tests and considered trying fertility treatments, as the struggle sucked the "romance" out of her relationship.
She added: "I was spending hundreds of dollars on ovulation tests ... I was peeing on sticks ... even looking at moon cycles.
"There was no romance. The whole thing had become a science experiment ... He'd feel used and wouldn't respond to me, and then I'd feel hurt and rejected. It was a vicious, unhappy cycle."
The 37-year-old actress had been desperate for a second child following the birth of her son Gus, and after finally becoming pregnant after a year of trying, she suffered a devastating miscarriage.
And Hilarie says the loss of their baby caused her relationship with Jeffrey - whom she married in 2019 - to "come undone".
She explained: "[Jeffrey] and I handle stress and grief very differently. He gets quiet and leaves the room, but I need interaction.
"We didn't know how to talk to each other. The things I needed to hear, he didn't know how to say; and the things he needed me to be, I couldn't be ... I was just a vessel and I was empty. Any energy I did have was going to Gus; I had nothing left for Jeff."
The couple eventually got their romance back on track following an apology from 'The Walking Dead' star, and moved forward as a team, who would eventually face two more miscarriages.
Writing in her new book 'The Rural Diaries', Hilarie said: "We talked about our grief. We talked about how we both felt like failures. We talked about how lonely we were ... He was incredibly vulnerable. He talked to me about how much he valued me and that this was home and that it was worth any fight.
"There had been so much sorrow in the previous few years, but Jeffrey and I had made it through together."
Eventually, Hilarie was successfully pregnant with her second child in June 2017, and later gave birth to her daughter George.
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