News and Research
FNZ Announces new Ambassadors
One in four New Zealanders is affected by infertility, with both men and women equally affected.
Former BlackCap Cricketer Chris Harris and his wife, Linda are one of those couples. After conceiving their daughter naturally, the couple had no idea that they would go through 7 rounds of IVF and other medical procedures, before they had twins, Louie and Phoebe.
Every Christmas their daughter would ask Santa for a baby brother or sister, and the couple’s heart would break. They too were longing for more children and were constantly being reminded through well-meaning questions from family or friends, and by watching their friends’ families grow, that their desire to build their family may not come to fruition.
Those New Zealanders struggling to conceive a baby know all too well how lonely and difficult Infertility can be. The burden is emotional, physical, and financial and can be extremely isolating.
In becoming Ambassadors for Fertility NZ, the Harris’s want to offer hope to those in the midst of trying to have a baby, and to support the work of FNZ. Support groups and other resources play a critical role in lessening the feelings of isolation and fear.
The couple say they never understood what a toll infertility and the resulting treatments could have until they were faced with it themselves. In becoming Ambassadors for Fertility New Zealand and sharing their story, they hope to raise awareness and encourage others to seek support, “We always thought having a big family would be easy, a natural part of life. But when it didn’t happen that way we were really thrown. It’s a big thing to come to terms with and treatment is tough.” Says Chris.
For Linda, going through IVF alone, while Chris was playing Cricket in the IPL in India was particularly lonely. She says support and resources such as those offered by Fertility New Zealand would have been a great help, “The support and empathy of these going through a similar process would have been incredible. The Support Groups and other services Fertility NZ offer are just so useful.”
Linda also urges young women to be aware of their Fertility and not to leave having children too long, “We always thought IVF would be our sure fire, back-up plan to have children if we left it until our mid-30s. But it doesn’t always work out that way. I’d love children to learn more about their fertility in High school – not just how to prevent pregnancy, but how to make sure you can achieve it easily when the time is right.”
Watch interview with Chris and Linda on TVNZ's Breakfast: