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Her Midlife Miracle

continued...

The man, Tom Mahoney, who'd never been married, did return to that shop and got Cross's number. He called her the day she found out she'd been nominated for a Golden Globe. "He didn't say anything [about the award]," Cross says with a sly smile. "And I thought, That's really good; he's a regular guy. So we went on a date."

Early on, it became clear that both were interested in starting a family, and the couple wasted no time once they were married. Now that Cross is pregnant, "she exudes this incredible sense of gratefulness," says Hatcher. "She's so excited to meet her babies." But Cross does not want to be seen as a one-woman advertisement for older moms. "We went to a fertility doctor," she confides, "but it's difficult on the woman, it's difficult on the marriage, and not everyone can afford it. I'm glad there are actors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon and other 30ish women who are having their kids younger, which is a better example than the way I'm doing it, at the eleventh hour."

When Cross and her husband listened to an ultrasound and heard two heartbeats, which signaled twins, Cross says they were in shock. Although they tried to keep it a secret, word soon leaked out. For now, though, they're planning on keeping the gender of the twins private: "We're going to try to have one thing for ourselves," she says.

Cross does have one regret: Her own children may not have as many years to share with her as she has had with her own parents (her mother, Janet, 71, is a former math teacher; her father, Mark, 82, a retired personnel manager). "I've had the time to go through all the life phases with my parents," she says, "from being a bratty teenager, pushing them away, to saying later on, ‘Oh my God, I can't believe what you did for me—thank you. I love you so much.'" When she thinks about how she and her kids may not be able to go through some of those stages together, her eyes brim with tears. "But I have good genes in my family," she says, brightening, "so we'll see just how long I'll be around."

After so many years of being on her own, merging her life with someone else's could have been tricky. But Cross says she and Mahoney mostly avoided tensions, partly because they both left their own homes and bought a new house together. As for finding each other at this point in their lives, "If we had met in our 20s, we would have been ships in the night," Cross maintains. "He had his journey to go on, and I had mine."

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