Our final IVF heartbreak

July 27, 2012, 3:36 pmnewideanz

Jay-Jay Feeney and Dom Harvey's final round of IVF has failed, ending their dreams of having a baby naturally. Here they share their grief and hopes after hearing the cruel news


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.

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  1. Kathleen10:14pm Friday 30th November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    I admire the passion and strength to all those who have struggles to produce a biological child of their own. Sure there are plenty of children out there in foster care who would greatly benefit being brought up by couples like Jay-Jay and Dom, but wanting to be parents to your own child made together is something special and so natural to do with someone you are in love with. I'm ashamed of the people out there who think it is ok to publicly critisize their struggles to have a baby. Their intention being in the public eye is to share their story for those who are in a similar place, not to be told it is "narcissism". Such a strong word to use and in the wrong context. I love listening to your show in the mornings on my way to work, keep up the great work!! I'm sure Seven feels like the luckiest boy Alive!

  2. delphi05:22pm Thursday 11th October 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Isn't that the point of the article, that other couples in a similar situation can relate to it? Take a walk in their shoes first, and then your comments might be worth posting.

  3. kizmiazz200105:20pm Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I too think this is sad.. but not sure why so many expensive attempts were made, when there are other very good options at hand...why not use a sperm donor? There are plenty of couples who have gone down that road...not sure why you would keep trying something that is destined to fail...good luck to them ..

    1 Reply
  4. J05:02pm Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    IVF is just another sad example of sociey's overt selfishness. Yes, childlessness is heartbreaking and sad. But 15 grand? Its like spending thousands on some pure bred mutt when there's perfectly good doggies down at the SPCA wanting a home. Thanks to abortion there are too few babies to adopt in this country, but 15 grand could have started an intenerational adoption process. Wanting a baby of their own shows a naricism, having a child should be about love and wanting to offer life and joy to another. There are plenty of kids in foster care that could have done with that support. Or perhaps they could have founded a child foccussed charity. Harsh of me to say so? Maybe, but sometimes people need to hear the truth, as unpleasant as that is.

    2 Replies
  5. nikki01:24pm Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    just a couple of ideas if you havent already heard of them... shift your focus from desperately wanting to have children to continue being a happy healthy couple for now. I dont know if its worth trying the elevit & menevit. Somethings happen when you least expect it to. I have no doubts that you deserve and would make great parents. I do know that stress can put a block or two in the way of wishes. All the best from Nikki

  6. Michael01:14pm Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    who cares like so many other couples out in the world who cannot have kids what makes this couple different ????? this page is getting more and more american everyday post some decent news or don't post any at all

  7. frank12:14pm Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    And we are meant to care, why ?. I'm sure there is much more worthy news out there then some couple that can't have kids.

    2 Replies
  8. Shrimp11:38am Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    As a listener to the Edge I too have sort of followed this through and think I could add another perspective from personal experience. My father was unable to have children due to a medical condition and my parents eventually adopted both myself and my sisters. Sadly I lost my father some years ago to cancer, but my love for him is still solid and true. I may not be of his sperm, but I was and still am his daughter. He loved us unconditionally and I never felt anything but that sense of belonging and I know when he died he did so believing we were his children. Blood doesn't bind, love does. The wisdom of Soloman to find the true mother did not look to bloodlines but rather to the heart (1Kings 3:16-28).

  9. Corona11:32am Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Who? This is news because. . . . . ?

  10. pakeha pride11:00am Saturday 28th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Being a listener to the Edge,i know they have tried everything to get their wish and i am very sad for them. Wendy needs to look at herself in the mirror and be grateful her parents did not share her views. Even though Dom drives me insane sometimes with his comments, as a dad i feel for him that he wont get to see his child grow into adult hood and all the pleasures and pain that comes with the role. If you on Yahoo Keep your spirits up both of you.


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