Congratulations are in order for Home and Away favourite Emily Symons, who has fallen pregnant at age 45.
Emily, who has played Home and Away mother Marilyn on and off since 1989, will finally have a child of her own thanks to a successful IVF procedure.
At 15 weeks pregnant, she is set to give birth to her first child in August, around the time of her 46th birthday.
But the road to motherhood has been far from smooth sailing. Symons and her partner of two years, Paul Jackson, had almost given up hope of being able to conceive.
“I very much thought it couldn’t happen and I was too old,” Symons told the Daily Telegraph.
Symons split with former partner Lorenzo Smith in 2005 after a series of failed IVF attempts.
In 2012, she spoke out about her struggles with IVF and the realisation that she might never be a mother.
“I spent a lot of my 30s being so anguished about not having a baby,” she revealed at the time. “IVF can take over your life. It gets to the point where you’re so desperate to have a baby, everything else falls by the wayside.”
Symons and Jackson went through more than one cycle of IVF before they got the happy news.
She advises other frustrated couples to stick with the IVF process.
“I thought it would be impossible but it isn’t. I’d given up really, I thought I had tried every avenue that was available to us. My advice is to not give up if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process.”
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“It is a waiting game and it is very gruelling on your emotions and your relationship. I am so inspired by what women go through to achieve their dream, to become pregnant and have a family, you’ve got to be prepared to do that stuff to get the baby.”
Symons is set to remain on the set of Home and Away throughout her pregnancy.
“I will just stand behind the coffee machine in the diner until it is time to take a break,” she jokes.