Mary Coustas, 49, – best known for her portrayal of the beloved Australian TV character Effie – has had a very long and very public struggle with fertility.
Mary first discovered she couldn’t have children, only six weeks after marrying George Betsis in 2005, due to blocked fallopian tubes.
Next, the couple decided to give IVF a go – and then Mary’s first daughter, Stevie, was stillborn in May 2011 at 22 weeks. Over a period of 10 years, Mary underwent perhaps 20 rounds of IVF.
But despite sometimes feeling like she might never fall pregnant, Mary and her husband of eight years, George, kept trying. Last year, their dream of having a child was finally realised.
Jamie Betsis was born in November last year, and Mary has appeared on 60 Minutes tonight – bringing her beautiful three-month-old baby girl along for the ride. Mary and George say that while they never felt assured that they would ‘get the happy ending’ – Mary sometimes thought she would never fall pregnant – the couple never considered giving up.
George says, “I think experiences like this, you discover your limits and you test your limits and we didn’t want to have any regrets later to say that we didn’t fully exhaust every ounce of our energy and being to get there.”
However, Mary explains that, “We didn’t assume that we would get the happy ending.”
“I mean many people don’t and we were looking like we were not going to get it,” she says. “I still went back to Greece on three occasions [for IVF] after Stevie. I still did 6 other attempts after Stevie to get Jamie”.