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Deb Knight’s journey to motherhood never went to plan.
The journalist and mother-of-three was shocked when she needed to do IVF. And she was shocked, many years later, when she didn’t.
But it was her IVF experience that was hardest.
“I kind of think I was a different person then.”
“I look back at myself then and I think I was such a sad person. I was deeply quite distressed about the road my life might take. Quite different to what I’d envisaged. I was a very different person then and I put a lot of that and those experiences into a compartment.”
Deb in more recent times:
Deb was in the midst of a two-and-a-half-year battle to conceive her first son, Darcy. Throughout the 12 rounds of IVF, Deb still had to live her ‘normal’ life and turn up to work.
“It was hard because at that stage I was presenting the ‘5pm News’ in Sydney for Channel 10, their flagship bulletin … I had to have my stuff together. I had to be organised and professional.”
“In the morning, I was going off and having blood tests for rounds of IVF and being told that an implantation had failed and then I’d have to go into work.
“That was quite difficult to put that mask on. I would put the hair and makeup on and my mask on and go and try to do my job. It was hard.”
Their beautiful boy Darcy, now eight, finally arrived. Twenty months later, Deb and her partner Lindsay kicked off the gruelling process again.
“Elsa came along much easier and at that point I didn’t really mind because we had one little baby … She was IVF too but much less problematic. It was 2 rounds of IVF”.
But even then, “it was costly emotionally and financially and a very, very difficult time.”
Deb says IVF is everything anyone can imagine it is.
“You always hear that it’s an emotional rollercoaster and that’s exactly what it is. But I kept going and I thought I have no other option here. I just have to keep trying.”
But it was when they stopped trying that things became complicated for all the wrong reasons.
“We had our boy and our girl. Our pigeon pair and I had a great job and everything was going really well.”
Deb was 42.
Suddenly, she was feeling hormonal. Menopause, Deb thought.
“We were told we couldn’t conceive naturally so we hadn’t been on birth control for years and I felt a bit odd, a bit strange … I thought I’ll go and check it out and [the doctor] said you’re pregnant.
“I was absolutely blindsided … I actually rang the IVF doctor who we’d been dealing with and said ‘hey, what’s going on here?’ and he said ‘admittedly, we don’t know a lot about fertility. Sometimes it just happens’ and in this case it did.”
Little Audrey was born fourteen months ago. Six years after Elsa.
“I do look at her … and think ‘wow you were just so determined to come into this world’ and she is a real go-getter”.
Deb’s experience with IVF and her family’s story, still fascinates her and her children.
“Darcy and Elsa are from the same batch of eggs so effectively they are twins, to some degree. It’s sort of strange when you sit down and think about the science of it all.”
Science that she wants her children to know about.
“I’ve been very upfront with Darcy and Elsa … it’s not as though it’s an unusual event or incident … it’s an illustration to them about how much they were wanted and how much we wanted to have children, and those particular children in our lives. It makes them feel that much more special.”
And they are pretty special.
Audrey joined her mum for the final part of the I Don’t Know How She Does It podcast. Deb handled her wriggling and cuddling with the gentle love of a woman who wanted nothing more than her three miracle children.
But motherhood doesn’t define the Weekend Today presenter, even though she probably wouldn’t care if it did.
Motherhood is just part of her big, beautiful life.
In the end, she’s just like every other mother – constantly learning “on the hop” as she puts it.
Motherhood is never constant. It’s always changing. Evolving. Surprising.
And from the very, very beginning, that’s certainly been the case for Deb Knight.
You can listen to the entire I Don't Know How She Does It interview with Deb Knight, here:
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Genea has more than 30 years’ experience helping people have children. If you’ve been struggling to conceive or want to learn more about your fertility, book a free chat with our Fertility Advisor.