At 50, D'Leanne Lewis just gave birth for the third time.

This was never the plan for D'Leanne Lewis.

"When you're little, you don't think 'I'm going to be a single mum. I'm going to freeze my eggs,'" the star of Luxe Listings Sydney shares with Mia Freedman on this week's episode of Mamamia's No Filter podcast.

"And I never had that game plan to be a single mum at 50," she adds.

"But I tell you what, I don't think I've ever been happier in my entire life than I am right at this moment, because I've done the hard yards to get here. I'm experiencing happiness in a deeply authentic way that is not on anybody else's terms."

Listen to D'Leanne Lewis full interview with Mia Freedman on No Filter. Post continues after. 

While the pregnancy is not the first for Lewis - she is mum to daughters Nava, seven, and Myka, four - it is the first time she has used an anonymous sperm donor. 

Just the other day, one of her girls asked, "Who is the daddy of the baby?".

"And I said, 'it's a lovely man who lives in South Africa'. She doesn't know what the word 'anonymous' means, so she thinks his name is Anonymous. It's really cute... and a conversation that we'll have to have sometime in the future!"

The road to this point has been long for the real estate dynamo - choosing to freeze her eggs 15 years ago, at the age of 35. 


Reflecting back on that time, Lewis says she knew that she wasn't yet ready for motherhood. 

"I was engaged three times, by the time I was 35. And it always felt for me like I was like a square peg being put into a round hole. It never felt like it was something that I wanted to do. You've got a boyfriend, he asked you to marry him and you go 'yeah', but you're not really 100 per cent there, and then you start with the wedding plans and you go... 'Oh sh*t'."

But after leaving her third fiancé and being in her mid-30s, Lewis understood this would be her last chance to freeze her eggs.

Then she was engaged a fourth time - and married - giving birth to her first child at the age of 42. 

Both daughters were conceived through IVF, but the process included a number of failed attempts and sadly, a miscarriage too. 

"There was talk about are you never going to be a mother, those kinds of things really hurtful. And no one knows how painful those processes can be. Then someone that's been trying and trying and failing and failing, you really do feel like a failure," Lewis tells Mia. 

And while her marriage ended years ago, Lewis knew she still wanted one more child.

"If I didn't do it now, I wouldn't be able to do it."

So, in January this year, she flew back to her home country, South Africa, to be inseminated with sperm from a donor. She stayed one night before returning to Sydney. 


It was a success.

And on September 27, just a few days after recording No Filter, Lewis gave birth to her third daughter, Lyra Yvonne Lewis. 

Swimming against the tide.

At the age of 10, Lewis, together with her sister and parents migrated from Johannesburg, South Africa to Australia.


"We came here with nothing," Lewis recalls. "Our church gave us a box of toilet paper, toothpaste, and things like that."

"We come from a very ethnic culture South African. It's very much [about] family, and I love that."

But it wasn't always smooth sailing. 

Growing up in a devout Seventh-Day Adventist family, Lewis began pushing the boundaries in her mid-teens. 

"[It was] very strict. No makeup, no jewellery. No rock music, No sex before marriage."

Her first act of rebellion was piercing her ears. 

"And I thought f*** it. If I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell on a highway."

Drinking and smoking followed. And then at 18, Lewis decided to move out of the family home with her boyfriend - much to the chagrin of her parents.

Their often polar outlooks have coloured the relationship between Lewis and her parents throughout her adult years, even until today. 

But it's not so binary either. 

On learning that Lewis had decided to use a sperm donor to conceive her third child, her father expressed his disapproval. 

"He said, 'You know I don't agree with it'... And I said, 'I don't think you've agreed with anything that I've ever done in my life - but thank you for supporting me anyway'." 


"And I think that is the essence of family, right?" muses Lewis. "They don't have to agree with what you do. But a good family will always support you throughout your journey, and that's what I have unconditionally from them." 

"They've never agreed with the crazy things that I've done. But I've always known I've been deeply loved. And if things go wrong, I know they always reach out to them, despite their judgement, they will still love."


Finding faith.

Lewis also respects the fortitude that faith has imparted on her father throughout South Africa's Apartheid years. 

"Instead of being hateful, he's loving and always taught me about when someone treats you badly, imagine just pouring coals of kindness on them. And it frees you. He's taught us about not getting angry, but having our happiness is the best revenge."

And the respect for faith is reciprocated - despite Lewis' father's disappointment towards her rejection of a lifestyle according to the values of the Seventh Day Adventist church. 

Because 12 years ago, Lewis found religion - just, a different one. 

She converted to Judaism. 

Lewis recounts the conversation where she broke the news to her father.

"That's great!, he said, Because you're coming back to God. And that's the way he saw it... He's come to shule (synagogue) with me, he does Shabbat (observes the Sabbath) with us."

Lewis had discovered Judaism through the one man that she married. And while they eventually split - her newfound Jewish identity firmly remained.

"For me, [the connection] felt real, authentic, and something that I would take on in a real sense."

With her ex-husband being the grandson of Holocaust survivors, Lewis said she also felt it was "important to keep that bloodline going for them".


"I just loved my rabbi... The temple was so welcoming, and the sense of family and forgiveness and food and celebration, was so joyous," Lewis says, adding, "And it's always good to never leave a Jewish house hungry!

"I just felt belonged."

Navigating divorce.

It was when Lewis was pregnant with her second child that she decided to end her marriage. 

She shares the moment of life-defining clarity she found at that time: 

"I [realised that I] didn't want my girls to grow up hearing me being spoken to in a way that was so disrespectful, that was dishonouring myself. And I would never want to hear them being spoken to in that way."

"And I also felt disempowered in a deep way because I thought, I'm not being appreciated for who I am... But then who am I? And what do I need?"

Lewis says she had to "look inwards and stop playing the blame game".

"I realised that this whole thing started and ended with me. I knew that I wanted my girls to grow up in a different environment that showed my best self."

Career versus family.

Throughout the hardships in Lewis' personal life, her career has always remained her saving grace. 

Her favourite aspect? 


"Turning a 'no' into a 'yes'," says Lewis, who is the director of Laing & Simmons National Corporation.

"The signing is like an anticlimax; it's the negotiation that I love. I love the chase. I love just putting the deals together," she effuses.

The pace is relenting - but something she has managed to make work - on her terms - since motherhood. Sometimes those deals are made late at night in pyjamas, or at the school gate. 

But it's not without sacrifice. 

"Time, my friendships, and being in a partnership with someone [are the cost], because I have to give my focus to where I want to be. Do I want to split myself into 10, or into two? And my choice right now is two."

With a hard-earned reputation, Lewis says that rising above the fray commonly associated with the ruthlessness of the luxury property game is staying away from the gossip, and to set clear boundaries when it comes to mixing work and pleasure: No dating clients. 

"My career is far too important for me. And I want my conversation always to be about my work - not who I've slept with and not what I'm wearing."


The perception of age and colour.  

Speaking with Mia, Lewis observes how her age has played into how she is perceived - sometimes seen in the show through the snide comments of her peers. 

It was "confronting" to witness, she says, "but I've dealt with being deprecated my whole life".

"When I was young, it was, 'Don't pay attention to the young girl'. Now that I'm older, it's, 'Don't pay attention to the old girl'."

Lewis' response?

"I'd love you at 50 years old to be doing what I'm doing. Sit in my shoes for a day or two days and see how that goes for you!"


Asked about her experience of being a woman of colour - especially working within the insular northern suburbs of Sydney - Lewis shares that her father's self-identity has shaped her own. 

"My dad never taught us to be colour-conscious, so I don't see myself as a woman of colour. I've got long hair. I wear high heels. And I like my smile. I don't look at myself in the mirror as being a colour."

She continues, "My dad said that is exactly why he wanted us to leave South Africa; because he didn't want us to look at each other, and see people as a colour."

'Acceptance of the journey'.

Along the path of deep introspection over the last few years, Lewis has arrived at a place of "acceptance of the journey".

"Wherever life decides to leave me, I'm pretty cool with it... As long as my babies are healthy, and I'm healthy and my family's healthy; everything else will fall into place."

"I am accepting of what's around the corner rather than trying to control it."

 "We're going to be okay."

Listen to D’Leanne Lewis full chat with Mia Freedman on the fascinating story of how and why she came to be pregnant at age 50 hereFor more episodes of No Filter with Mia Freedman, go to

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