They hoped that this time, finally, the call would bring them joy. But the news from the fertility clinic was a hammer blow because it marked the end of Jay-Jay Feeney and Dom Harvey's dreams of conceiving a child naturally together.
'I'd been so excited. This time I thought it was going to work,' says Jay-Jay, New Idea columnist and host of The Edge's breakfast show, after enduring their fifth and final round of IVF. 'But then part of me knew. When the clinic rang and said 'I'm sorry, it's not good news', I swore and I cried. For 10 minutes we just sobbed.'
Dom, furtively gazing at his wife to check she's OK, adds, 'I was sad and frustrated. We tried absolutely everything because we knew this would probably be our last go at this.'
Couples having IVF must wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test. Jay-Jay, nurturing embryos fertilised by Dom's sperm, was shocked to discover herself bleeding two days before the test was due. But she hung on to the slim chance that the outcome would still be positive.
When the heartbreaking call finally came, it marked a change in the life of New Zealand's best known radio couple. 'It's been two years since our last attempt, we're now pushing 40 and it's just devastating because it's so final,' Jay-Jay, 38, admits.
Behind the public face of the cheeky husband and wife double act who front the breakfast show with Mike Puru, are a devoted, down-to-earth, home-loving couple who simply want to have a baby of their own. They have ridden an emotional rollercoaster and spent $15,000 on fertility treatments. But Dom is coming to terms with the fact he'll never be a biological father and give his wife the baby they yearn for.
After collapsing during a marathon seven years ago, he had surgery to remove a tumour from his aorta and the super-fit DJ was left with a condition which means his sperm swim the wrong way. Then, after the latest round of IVF, doctors broke the news that Dom's low quality sperm means his chances of having a child are minimal. It was a cruel shock for the 39 year old. He's the antithesis of his on-air persona, a sensitive and articulate guy who has a natural way with kids, and who believes that becoming a father is the reason for living.
'For me, a life without kids feels like an empty life,' he says. 'Being a dad is something that has always been really important to me. You think about the big scheme of things and what we are here for. I think having kids, and going through that stage of your life, and then being grandparents is what it'sall about.'
Jay-Jay doesn't share the same philosophy but is driven by the desire to complete their close-knit family by producing a child. 'I'm not the sort of person who has always wanted to have kids my whole life and I didn't think I would until I met Dom,' she says. 'But now I do want them because I'm in love with Dom.'
Her husband feels remorse he is unable to help her make their life complete. 'I feel incredible guilt,' he says, the emotion evident in his voice. 'I feel bad because it is something that we both want that we cannot have.'
Snuggled on the couch at their Auckland home, Jay-Jay comforts her husband of eight years. 'It's not your fault,' she reassures him. 'It's not anyone's fault.'
It's been a 'tough time' they confess but then the couple's irreverent on-air personas come into play and they joke about their experience. 'We tried everything, even feng shui, and sleeping on green sheets all year,' Jay-Jay says, smiling.
Dom, who munched a cup of sunflower seeds and drank a glass of vegie juice every morning, chips in, 'Having some chopsticks hanging up on your wall and a little statue of an elephant is not going to make any difference!'
Now, at this major crossroads in their lives, they are determined to look to the future. 'We have accepted I am not going to have my own biological kids,' Dom says. 'That door is shut and now we need to think about other options. Our next preference would be a sperm donor.'
They've had countless offers of help. including two fans who offered to give them their babies. 'But good friends who know what we have been through have offered their sperm which is really humbling,' Dom says.Meanwhile, they are concentrating on raising their nine-year-old nephew Seven because his own parents are unable to care for him. After four years at the couple's home, he's finally starting to call them Mum and Dad. 'Since then there has been no turning back and I'll say, 'Hi Sev' and he'll say 'It's not Sev, it's son,' says a proud Dom, proving he's already a great dad.